Relationships: Creating a successful product is rarely a solo act.
When producing a multimedia product, the single most important thing you can do to ensure your success is to establish a relationship with an audio/video professional. He or she will be your partner from the beginning to end of this project, and perhaps, become a lifelong partner for all of your multimedia endeavors. This person might be a producer, a director, a writer, an audio engineer or a video editor. Finding this one person is probably the most challenging and time-consuming parts of the production process.
Why? Because as you sift through the Yellow Pages or Internet directory, or read brochures and resumes, you have to invest a great deal of time in finding the right person: the one you will connect with on a creative and personal level. This is a relationship in every sense of the word. You either hit it off, or you don’t.
Look For a High “Get it” Factor
It takes time to find a like-minded professional who “gets you” and what you want to do. They must be able to realize the unique value of your message or music to do it justice. And you don’t want to settle for less. You don’t want to work with someone who doesn’t appreciate your expertise or talent. You want to work with someone who you like, admire and respect, and who feels the same way about you. When you start meeting with people, pay attention to vocal tone and body language. You’re looking for someone with a positive, enthusiastic attitude who is excited about what you do.
Ask the Right Questions
When you’re selecting a recording studio or production facility, be sure the people who are assigned to your project understand your industry. Do they have the experience to understand what you are trying to accomplish? Can they bring something of value to the table? If you are making a hit record (old term, I know) has this engineer or producer ever recorded or produced a hit record? What credentials do they have? Are they interested in what you are producing?
When you find someone that has interest in your work, they will contribute more to your production. Now you’re getting added value! Watch out for hard sells. Multimedia professionals know how costly the production business is, and the respectable ones won’t rush you into creating a product before you’re ready. If you meet anyone who launches into a hard-sales, reduced-to-the-ridiculous-estimate closing technique, run for the door.
Match Their Strengths with Your Needs
When it feels right, you’ll know it. It’s tremendously rewarding when you finally meet someone you feel you can trust. Beyond his or her expertise, this person will show you the support and encouragement you need as well as provide you with honest feedback and criticism that can save you time and money, not to mention, the embarrassment of putting out an inferior product.
For example, I worked with professional speaker Floyd Wickman to create an audio training program. The relationship that grew as a result of this project shows you what to look for. Floyd came to the music-recording studio where I was employed at the time. This was a big mistake because a music studio cost him a great deal more than a conventional voice over studio. I was assigned as his account person and engineer, which proved to be fortuitous, turning a potentially bad decision into something good for both of us. Not only did this experience shape the course of my career, but it also gave him an excellent product. The most important factor in our success is that we truly enjoyed working with each other.
Keep in mind that each person you interview for a possible relationship is an expert at something, regardless of where they are in their career. They have their niche. As you evaluate the candidates, look for strengths that match your needs. If you are producing a narrative CD, don’t hire somebody who has never produced a narrative recording.
Interested in learning more about professional audio/video services? Contact me at 800-647-4281.
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