Video is the fastest growing area of in-house creative teams. Making the decision to start a video team within an in-house environment can both an exciting and potentially nerve-wracking one. Having gone through this process a few times, I've come to realize a few things to help it lean toward the exciting side. Most importantly, think of it as starting a business unit, because that's what you're doing and make sure to keep that in mind at every decision you make regarding your business unit.
Knowing in advance the challenges that lie ahead with finance, HR, and even your boss should focus the business case you need to prepare. Your primary research source is your department's history within the video space. You need to analyze past use with the goal of finding methods to improve efficiencies--cost and process. From a finance, HR and manager level it's tough to argue against efficiency improvements! Data to investigate includes:
- How many shoots has the department produced where people needed to be hired
- How much time was spent finding those people?
- How often is it necessary to rent equipment for shoot? Which equipment and what is the cost?,
- Will this video team be able to benefit other areas of the business (PR, digital, Sales, etc.)?
The more you can prove you're striving to help the company as a whole, the better your business case will be.
Once you've identified the answers to these questions, the next thing to think about is what specifically are you requesting. Would it benefit the company if they were to purchase a camera as opposed to renting one 50 times during the year (i.e., how quickly can they get their ROI) and then apply this formula to any other piece of equipment you request. Also consider the cost of the time it takes to arrange the equipment rental and any potential delay in delivery due to not being able to rent the equipment on the desired schedule.
Now onto personnel...who do you need? Is there someone on your team with shooting, editing, lighting, audio, or production skills who can take on the added responsibility to avoid needing a new headcount? Companies typically love to develop people so that they can retain their top performers. So while you may not have the talent on your team today, it may be possible to invest in professional development opportunities in order to gain that talent. The theme I'm going for here is start small and nimble. All decision makers involved will appreciate that strategy, and it will prove you're approaching this with their best interests (i.e., $$$) in mind.
So now we have the how, what and who covered. The next thing to think through are workflows. Visualize that you've created this video team (keep it positive), consider the processes needed to ensure smooth pre-production through delivery and storage. Here's a tip: make them simple. Talk to your friends in the industry, talk to IT in your building, and rely on others to help you through these workflows to better understand what works and what doesn't (and by the way, it's not the same for everyone).
While the above actions are just a few things to think about, keep in mind that all places are different and it's very helpful to fully understand your environment before creating a business case. Look for the opportunity, grab it with both hands, and own it.
If you're considering starting a video team and need help with setting up your studio space, determining which equipment you need, planning a staffing strategy or finding qualified people, we can help point you in the right direction. Just let us know!