More than a decade ago I ran an independent video production company that produced videos for a variety of corporate clients. I wore many hats back then, which meant doing as much or as little of the video creation process as the project required. I was typically involved in everything from scripting and storyboarding each video segment, all the way through recording, editing, and post production.
This predated UHD and 4K, so the typical deliverable was a set of digital downloads ready for including on a DVD or uploading to a streaming service. Sometimes the projects also included DVD authoring to create the DVD menu experience coupled with have a few hundred DVDs produced for distribution. A few times the projects included print assets like DVD packaging, printing on the surface of the DVD, and mailers to send the finished product.
Each part of the project required multiple rounds of collaborative feedback to get client approval. At the time the proofing process typically happened via email. I would send links for video assets and the clients would go through the tedious process of logging specific timecode with requests for changes. Any printed materials were saved out as a PDF and sent as an email attachment, with the feedback generally coming back in fairly verbose emails. Sometimes the email chains would be extremely long and comments got buried either because someone in the email chain started replying in line or the number of indents became hard to read.
The process for getting client feedback on video got much better with the advent of online proofing tools like Frame.io. One of the things I’ve really enjoyed about getting to know WeTransfer’s products better is seeing the evolution of our own client collaboration software. Reviews can contain a mix of video, images, and PDF print proofs, so that a project with the kind of complexity I described above can be managed all in one place.
Video markup allows clients to draw directly on the video and anchor comments to a specific video frame.
The same type of markup can be added to photos and to PDFs, with comments and annotations anchored to the specific page of the PDF.
I can’t transport myself back in time to prove it, but I can’t help thinking that tools like this could have saved hours of back-and-forth and reduce the number of client revisions on every project. WeTransfer makes this collaborative feedback tool for free with additional capacity for paid accounts. Whether you try out WeTransfer Reviews or use a competing solution, you owe it to yourself to move feedback out of email and messaging applications and into some kind of client feedback and proofing software–being able to see feedback embedded directly in a proof file is a game changer for productivity.