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Tips for writing a film brief

Writing a brief for a film?
Here’s where to start.

There are lots of elements of a video brief that evolve out of the development process once you have commissioned your film. That’s one of the many benefits of hiring a production company who have experience creating a range of content and understand the impact it can have.

Before you get to that stage, here are some tips for starting to work up a brief for your film.


Whether you are writing a brief for a tender document, approaching companies for quotes or even if you have already selected the team you want to work with, these steps will help get you off to the best start. A good production company can take you through this, but there will still be some homework to determine what you really need.


What do you want your film to achieve?

Is it an advert to drive sales, raise awareness, or is the purpose of the film to educate your audience?

Try to focus on one key aim, or if there are multiple objectives then a suite of films might be the best approach.


Who is your audience?

Who do you want your film to speak to first and foremost? If there are distinctly different audiences then showing them all the same film might not have the impact that it should.


How will your film be viewed?

Are you looking for a film for your website, to screen at an event, short films for social or even a TV advert? Thinking of the end use of a film is an important consideration for a production company as it will help define the best approach and style for that platform. Multiple assets optimised for different uses can also be created from a film if it’s been developed with that in mind.


What do you want your film to capture?

How much will it cost to make a three minute film? Three minutes of interviews, animation, or a musical version of Game of Thrones will all have slightly different costs involved!

Outline as much content as you can that you ideally want to see in your film. Do you need graphics to help illustrate, or will your film require actors? Do you need a location or studio, or if you have a location in mind then let the production company know from the outset as there might be filming or logistical considerations that could impact on your brief and budget.


What is your budget?

It’s really important to outline from the start what you want to spend on a film project. You might think that the best approach is to ask for lots of quotes and see what lands, but if production companies know what the parameters are from the outset, they will channel efforts in to putting together the best offer and added value for your needs rather than pitching you their biggest (or smallest) idea that is way off the mark. It just wastes everyone’s time and won’t get you the best fit for your project.



When do you need to start using your film? Are there any set dates for filming?



If there are examples of work that you like it’s really helpful to share these along with your brief too.


Some other questions to consider are listed in the Commissioning Us section of the website.

Give us a call at the office and one of the team can help you to get started.

Contact us to get a quote for your next project
To discuss your project requirements give us a call
To discuss your project requirements give us a call