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5 min read

I often write about the value and the importance of planning. The truth is thought that life can throw things at you. You never know what’s coming. What if you suddenly find yourself in need of a video NOW? Here is how to make sure you get that video made, meet your deadlines and reduce stress.

The scenario

Sometimes you can do all the planning for your event, meeting, product launch. You’re feeling good; you’ve been thorough and got everything ready. Suddenly the boss calls and asks you to make a video. It wasn’t on your budget, you’re out of time (with only a month, week or day to go). Is there anything you can do?

Spongbob and Patrick Panicking

Don’t Panic

Don’t panic! Pick up your phone and call your video producer (or Smarter Video). Having made 1000s of videos we can help you out. Explain the situation to us, tell us what you need, what you want (as they are often different) and be open about the budget you have. We can then advise you over what can be achieved in the time you have.

I remember being called by a UK client at 9pm in the evening. They were panicked and upset. They had just discovered that a video, that was meant to be produced for a meeting on the following Friday afternoon had slipped through the cracks and not been created. To complicate matters the video needed interviews with 6 people who were all in different countries, in different time zones all over the world (Australia, China, France, Spain, UK & the USA). Using our local contacts we were able to use time zones to our advantage and had footage for Australia and China already sent to us by Thursday morning and a shoot arranged in the USA. A few more rapidly arranged shoots on the Thursday and by the evening we had all footage and had begun editing. By Friday lunchtime the project had been delivered, the client was saved and I had a really great story to tell about keeping calm under pressure and teamwork.

Getting video made in a hurry?

For situations like this there isn’t time to play games or for much negotiation. You need to be working with someone you trust who can will pull the extra hours if necessary, that you trust and you need to understand what you need and what you want. Here’s what you do:

Find a producer

Before you ever find yourself in this position find a video producer that is contactable 24 hours and then don’t contact them outside of office hours. Most producers understand that things happen outside of work hours and are happy to put in the time when necessary. If they feel you are taking advantage however they are less likely to be inclined to help. If you have a producer you trust then you can relax a little –  if the situation ever arises you know you have someone on your side.

Know the difference between what you want and what you need

Before calling a producer ask yourself what you want this last minute video to be. In an ideal world, if you had all of the time necessary what would you want the video to look like and be? Then ask yourself what you need… what are your goals? who is the audience? What is the simplest possible form of video you could get away with?

When you talk to your producer be open and honest. At Smarter Video we have been through this and can guide you but time will be saved if you can be clear about both of these things. What you want guides us as to what we are working towards and what you need helps us work out the limitations and the best places, for your project, to save time.

It also helps you to manage your colleagues expectations of the video if you can help them understand that, video produced in 24 hours might not be as impactful as video produced over a month or two.


I won’t lie. Getting a full quality video made 24 hours before a deadline is possible (although not recommended) but it costs. Everything that needs to be done as part of the full video production process still needs to happen… just now with considerably less time. Therefore, to pull it off, more people need to work on the project to get it done, favours need to be pulled in etc. all of this is going to cost more than if there was plenty of time (check out the blog on project management for more on this).

Speak openly about the budget you have available and your producer can advise you on what can be produced for your budget in the limited time now available.

Plan then re-plan

Once your video is made, delivered and used. Take a moment to plan the video campaign again. Everything has been a bit of a rush. You have a video but… now the rush is over, are there any minor tweaks that can make the video better? How are you using that video to generate results?

You now have a new piece of content and it would be silly not to take proper advantage of that so… start the planning process again, ask yourself the 5 magic questions and see how you can use your new, last minute video to get results.

For more information about Smarter Video take a look here.

Please get in touch and let me know what you would like to learn or read about.






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