Managing Workflow in a Creative Environment

Posted by Zoe Griffiths on 03 May 2016

Managing a bunch of creative individuals requires plenty of preparation, a touch of patience and above all a foolproof workflow. Much like the job of a football manager… Your most gifted player may have the ability to conjure up a beautifully crafted pass. A pass that splits the opposition wide open and allows your star striker to put you in front. The problem though is that very same midfield maestro is also prone to forgetting about his defensive duties. Now, your opponents are through on goal and you are back to square one.

As Albert Einstein once said “Genius is 1% talent and 99% hard work”. Video production is no different. All the hard work and visual flair that goes into the creative side of what we do can be completely undone by a lack of care and attention to the more mundane aspects of that all-important workflow.

If you want to succeed in this industry, in football, or in most things in life, then you need to combine talent with graft. As Head of Production at Nomad I am incredibly fortunate to work with a highly talented team who work incredibly hard (most of the time). However, it’s the system that we have put in place that allows them to make the most of their creative skills.

From pre-production to post-production and beyond, your company’s workflow requires a strong and familiar formation, an effective game plan, flexible tactics, and a team who have been trained to execute it. At Nomad, our workflow is at the core of everything we do. It’s the reason we are able to ensure that our output remains at a consistently high standard. Whether we are creating a short promotional film or a long-form documentary, the procedure from start to finish is practically identical:

PITCHING – A tried and trusted system of writing, re-writing and eventually signing-off of job-winning proposals. Involves plenty of thought and creativity but ultimately needs to be delivered in a clear and engaging manner.

PRE-PRODUCTION – Critical to a successful shoot and edit, covering a broad cross-section of planning, from scriptwriting to booking kit and crew; deciding how and what to shoot, to assessing and managing media storage requirements and more.

PRODUCTION – A consistent system and process of how a specific production is shot in order to maintain high standards. Creativity is allowed to flow freely but needs to be controlled in order to make sure shoots don’t run over budget.

EDIT PREPARATION – An edit requires major planning. It’s an incredibly logical, detailed and laborious process; however it’s probably the single most important stage of an edit.

POST-PRODUCTION – The edit preparation gives structure to a creative mind and allows a freedom of expression that is otherwise lost in a muddle of style over substance. This is the fun bit for most creative souls.

SIGN OFF & DELIVERY – Having a rigid framework for sign-off is key to ensuring the highest possible standard of output before being sent to the client. The better the edit, the fewer the changes which means we spend less time amending edits. It keeps the client happy and it keeps the CFO happy. Happy days.

Of course our workflow is a work in progress. A process that we are continually reviewing and amending, but one that eventually becomes second nature to our staff, and allows us to deliver consistently excellent content on time and on budget.

Written by Tim Orr
Head of Production, Nomad Productions