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Trust is a key element of video production

How to reconcile the need for freedom of the creative process with the need of collaboration?
The crew and the storyboard
I realised that the only way to create a trustful collaboration is letting things go even at times when if it seems a bad idea.

When I started video production, about 15 years ago I learned from fellow video editors that you should never let the client enter the edit room. I have heard this rule many times from various video creators. The idea behind this tradition is a belief that you, the video creator know better than anybody on Earth how to do a masterpiece. So if the client sits next to you during the editing time and has total control over the process then you will not be able to do what you think should be done.  

But something is wrong about this belief because the best videos are created in collaboration. The more people can bring in ideas, inspiration, help and creative energy to the production the better video you will have. Videos for nonprofits are useful when they serve the goals of NGOs, and they know more about the subject than what you know.  

So how do you reconcile the need for freedom of the creative process with the need of collaboration with the client?

How to create a trusting atmosphere where your client lets you do your best but also they can bring in what they know better than you? I figured out that the only way to get there is that I start trusting others and this will in return make them trust me more. 

I had a client who wanted to have a 3 minute video about a CSR program of their company,  something that I thought was way more complicated than what you can feature in a 3 minute video. But I could not convince them to plan a longer video. This actually was an annoying experience to me. Because I missed this feeling that they trust my opinion. 

So we did the shooting which turned out to be a very interesting experience. They had a CSR program which made sense, and I saw that they were doing it out of their heart and had very good results. So I started to believe in their cause. When I presented them with the first version of the video they realised that a longer one would be much better. So they also started to believe me. 

At this point I decided to invite them to the edit room and we could watch and select more material for the video. And this was a magic moment. Because inviting a client to the edit room and creating something together requires trust from both sides. And as we both started to trust each other, we could do a much better job. They selected material to use that I would have had never selected but those materials turned out to be very useful. 

At the end, we created a video together which was two times longer than what initially the client wanted. There was way more information in it than what I actually wanted to use, but we all loved the video a lot. 

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