My position as a Video Producer at Brafton is seriously the result of fate. I have wanted to work in video and storytelling forever. I grew up acting and doing comedy, and subsequently making really terrible, but kind of hilarious, videos along the way. I was ready to actually make this my profession after working at a local cable access station. One word of advice to anyone interested in a video career: Work in cable access if you have a chance. It will teach you undeniable skills you won’t learn anywhere else.
That being said, Brafton is definitely not cable access. It is here that I’ve really learned the importance of detail, organization and communication.
This is a typical arrival time for me. The whole Chicago office is filtering in at this point. I usually help myself to a cup of Brafton blend Metropolis coffee. This will turn into three or four cups throughout the day.
Emails, emails, emails. One of the most important parts of my job is making sure that I have read and internalized everything. This includes videos that need to be reviewed, upcoming shoots, upcoming edits, client requests and everything else in between.
Weekly Video meeting. This includes both the Boston and Chicago office. We go over any upcoming shoots and whatever else may be going on that week. When Animation and Videography are working together on a hybrid video marketing project, it’s especially important. It allows us to smooth over all the details and run ideas back and forth to make sure we’re on the same page.
I create a new to-do list for myself to follow every day. I have a whole team to keep on track so it’s super important that I, myself, am organized.
My workload entirely depends on the day. Sometimes I’m busy preparing for a shoot, sometimes I’m on location, and other times I’m doing maintenance-type things.
Today, I’m preparing for a huge lifestyle shoot with one of our biggest clients. We really want to go above and beyond on this project. They have a track record of creating really beautiful videos, and we are aiming to make this one the best yet.
After finally getting through all my emails, I need to lock down some great options for the location of the shoot. Since I’m new to the Chicago area, I’m less familiar with where to rent. That’s why online rental sites like AirBnB are my favorite. They provide great visuals to show to the client and are also a super simple way book in advance with little hassle.
The most fun I have while preparing for these shoots is when we’re looking for talent. Since Brafton has its own internal video team, we also have an amazing talent pool. It’s part of my job to constantly be on the lookout for new talent that may fit any need we have. When a client has a specific vision of who they’d like, we often use talent agencies. Sorting through rows and rows of headshots is always the fun part of a process like this. It allows me to really visualize the project, as well as live out my life-long dream of being a casting director.
Lunch! Lunch at my desk is a common theme for me. I’ll give myself a break and browse the internet while I eat, but taking a full hour for lunch definitely isn’t an everyday thing. The food in Chicago is amazing, so I take advantage of that as often as possible. The French Market on Clinton is filled with anything I could want, from crepes to Vietnamese food and even the occasional gelato when I’ve really had a long week. The sandwiches at Little Goat in the West Loop are some of the best I’ve ever had.
Client calls are a huge part of my job. The sooner I can smooth over any details about upcoming videos, the better. Kick-off video calls go over everything involved in making the video, from beginning to end. I’m present for each step of the process: pre-production, shooting and post-production.
Pre-production is where the producer has a major part to play. I help clients decide what kind of process they’d like to capture on camera and what questions we can ask with the video to make sure we capture the answers they’re looking for. For the more hands-on shoots, this includes prop and costume shopping. Thrift stores are my absolute favorite when shopping for shoots. They have the most diverse range of products and come at a great price. Recently, I purchased a bunch of kids’ toys for a shoot. The toys looked well-played-with and full of life, something you’d expect in an everyday setting.
Though it isn’t in the official job description of a producer, I get to act as the makeup artist on set for all Chicago projects. Makeup has been a hobby of mine for as long as I can remember, so it feels great to finally put my skill to good use.
In-studio shoot time! Recently, a lot of my Brafton Video projects have focused on cooking videos. As the producer on these types of shoots, I have to prepare in every way possible. This includes buying all the ingredients and props, as well as making sure a second version of the dish is precooked and ready to shoot. As with most offices, we don’t have access to a full kitchen. So for this shoot, I made the dish we were shooting the night before in my own kitchen. I love to cook, so it’s actually a pretty fun process (Food Network can reach out at any time).
To make sure that the process kicks off as smoothly as possible, I measure out all ingredients before the shoot begins. I also make sure all props we’ll be using to dress the set are ready to go. I’m always stocked with paper towels and Lysol wipes for those inevitable spills.
Wrap time! It’s always best to leave LOTS of extra time for shooting. Things go wrong, we get urgent emails, co-workers need us last minute, etc. We’ve even had to extend our trips a few more days to make sure we’ve covered everything the client is hoping for. I’ll admit, I can’t complain about having a few extra days to enjoy Palm Springs.
Today has been especially busy, but I’m feeling accomplished. I feel best on days where I’m running around and able to use my hands to create. Tomorrow will be filled with following up and checking in on current projects, as well as getting started on new ones.
If there’s anything I can say about Video Production at Brafton, it’s that it’s an ever-evolving, always-growing position that always seems to push me when I least expect it.
Interested in career opportunities at Brafton? Check out our available positions here.