Josh Wilson - Director, Cinematographer, Editor

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There are an endless number of ways to manage your life and support your creative output; the important thing is to find one and stick with it.

The Client Journey

This is Part 5 of an ongoing series of an indeterminate length about starting a new production company. I don’t really have a pre-planned structure for this (although that might not be a bad idea). Catch up by reading Part 1, 2, 3, & 4.

Last time we talked about the purpose of a website: clarify what you do for your potential clients and get them to act. Now let’s talk about what to do once they do act. We’ll call this the “Client Journey,” and our’s goes something like this:

  • We have a short survey to get an idea of what our client wants to accomplish.

  • We schedule a 20 minute call to make a connection and have an initial conversation about the project.

  • We put together a proposal for how we would approach the project, and send it along with a contract and an invoice for deposit.

  • After we receive a deposit, we schedule our shoot dates.

  • Ten days out from the shoot date, we send an email to touch base to make sure everything is arranged.

  • Three days out we send an email with specific information about what the shoot day(s) will look like.

  • The day before the shoot we send one last email reminder/confirmation.

  • We head into production.

  • We wrap up production and send our second invoice.

  • Once that invoice is paid, we head into post-production.

  • We send weekly project status emails every Monday.

  • Once we have final approvals, we send our final invoice.

  • When we receive payment we deliver final files.

  • One week later, we check in to see if there are any issues they need help with.

  • One week later, we send a post-project survey.

  • Ten days later, we ask permission to use quotes from their survey and ask for two referrals.

  • Every three months, we send an email to see if they need help with another project.

That’s the overview of our Client Journey. Our goal with this process is to give our clients a consistent experience, and perhaps more importantly, give us a consistent system for running projects. We don’t have to think about what we need to do next because we’ve already made that decision. It saves us from ourselves. It allows us to free up our time and attention on the hard stuff: story, creative direction personal connection.

I hope this helps you create your own process for your clients.

But one of the amazing things about documentary is that you can remake it every time you make one. There is no rule about how a documentary film has to be made.

Errol Morris

via Brainyquote.com

Having a really good understanding of history, literature, psychology, sciences – is very, very important to actually being able to make movies.

George Lucas

via FilmmakerIQ.com

People have forgotten how to tell a story. Stories don’t have a middle or an end any more. They usually have a beginning that never stops beginning.

Steven Spielberg

via FilmmakerIQ.com