We’ve had a few projects through the door in the last month that have had tight deadlines. One of these was for a long-standing technology client, one from a new hair care client and another from a banking client who googled looking for an animation. The latter we won not just on the quality of work, but our assurance that we could deliver quality animation within two weeks. We call these our FastTrack projects.
Our confidence in being able to deliver comes from the process that is the back bone of our work, and it’s a process that definitely supports, not hinders, creativity. Of course, when you’ve got two weeks to turnaround a job, you have to make sure the creative is executable in the time, but adding strict process really helps speed the project along.
The end result? Well, here’s what we just got back from the client:
Alex and I have both seen the final cut and we are happy with it. A great job done by you and your team! Please consider this email as our approval of the final version. Many thanks and best wishes!
If you’re looking to create an animation in a short turnaround, then here are our nine key tips for making that deadline.
1) Early inclusion of all stakeholders
We ask that all key stakeholders give input on the project early on. We work swiftly on FastTrack projects, often with two or three designers working concurrently. We need to make sure that we’re going in the right direction, and by running ideas past everyone involved it avoids us wasting time.
2) Lock off the script and storyboard
It’s important to focus on the script and storyboard and get them signed off, even if that means starting the actual animation work a few days later. It’s better to bring in more talent later in the day, than waste time on scenes that might be cut.
3) Sign off on a Look and Feel sheet
Early on we’ll send a Look and Feel sheet, to show you still images of the direction we’re taking. This will be quick and easy to share, so you can get feedback to us promptly. Again, this needs to be signed off before any real work starts.
4) Quick Clarification on any issues
When we’re working on a project, there are inevitably areas of the script or the product offering that we don’t understand, which we’ll raise by phone or email. We ask that you respond to these within 2 hours.
5) Pronunciation Sign off
If there’s a voice over, we’ll send an email with any words that we want clarification on pronunciation. We also ask you to read your script aloud to someone else in your office, as this is a great way of revealing any changes needed to sense or flow.
6) Independent Eye
We recommend someone from outside the project taking a look when we’re a good way in. When you’re working on something on a tight deadline, it’s easy to become blind even to obvious mistakes. A fresh pair of eyes watching the film is more likely to spot little mistakes and also highlight where there might need to be more clarity.
7) 20% Contingency
We add a 20% contingency on to the budget. We find that working at speed sometimes means a detail is missed, or additional animations are requested. Quite often the delivery deadline is brought further forward, as delivery is needed a day or two before the event, rather than on the day. By building in the contingency, there’s scope to add additional hours if needed.
We try our best on FastTrack projects to deliver to our usual high standards, just quicker. However, there will be times when we have to say no to a creative suggestion, because it will be too complicated to implement and hit delivery. We’re also likely to miss details because we’re trying to turn things around quickly. So we ask for your patience and understanding as we collaborate to make something brilliant and quick!
If you’ve got an animation project, whether quick turnaround or not, get in touch. We’re always happy to talk it through!