4 Tricks To Use To Get Your Video Finished On A Tight Deadline

If you’ve got a rush job there’re a couple tricks you can use to be sure your video is going to be finished on time.

These tips should work for you no matter which studio or freelancer you go with:

Rush Job Trick #1 – Be Sure They Understand What Your Video Is Trying To Achieve From The Beginning

Since you’re in a hurry it can be easy to go with the first person who promises they’ll deliver on time, or maybe even a more expensive company since it feels like you’ll get better service for paying extra (generally but not always true).

So here are some simple ways to be sure the company understands what you’re trying to do:


  • Ask them to repeat back what your goals are.   This might seem simplistic, but it’s easy for a sales person to fake it by saying “this sounds like something we can help with” and harder to prove they understand the nuances of your project.
  • [If they’re writing the script] ask for story ideas.  It’s a lot easier to come up with story ideas than a whole script and this way you get a sneak peak at the direction they see the video going.  If you don’t like it you can give some guidance now instead of waiting for the script to be written and having to start from scratch.
  • Have a pre-video call with your whole art team:  It’s simple to get on quick call with the whole team, artist included and be sure she get’s what your video is trying to accomplish and doesn’t have to rely on the project manager’s info.


Rush Job Trick #2 – Block Off Time On Your Schedule For Quick Feedback

It’s going to take time to give real, well thought out feedback.  Nothing can kill a project deadline or budget quicker than making your studio wait days for feedback.

An experienced freelancer or studio will give you a deadline on when they need your feedback to keep the project on track.  Please schedule this into your calendar.

Try to give the exact time you want changes for and be as detailed as possible in your feedback.

Common Pitfall: we’ve found that conference calls to discuss changes aren’t always helpful.  Written feedback makes it easy to go down the list and also to re-read it instead of trying to make the video changes from memory or quickly jotted down notes.

It also gives you the chance to point to the numbered change – e.g. “Change #1 and #6 don’t look right because of x, y and z.

Bonus Tip If You’re Working With A Committee

The more people who have to give their feedback on a video the more potential for delay, so it can be helpful brief the team on the need for quick feedback in order to hit the deadline.

Rush Job Trick #3 – Work With A Studio Who Has Experience In Your Industry

Each industry has a learning curve.  To cut down on that curve try to find a studio that has done a similar project in the past.  I’m not saying they have to be specialists, but the more they’ve worked in your industry, the easier it’ll be.

Oftentime a studio will have quite a few videos they can’t show in their portfolio due to NDAs, so a smart thing to do is ask whether they’ve worked with similar companies.

Bonus Tip: Avoid Outsourcers

Although it gets a bad wrap, outsourcing work is not a sure-fire way to get bad work.  In fact, I’ve seen some freelancers that were extremely talented video producers.

The main reason to avoid companies that outsource your video production on a tight deadline is response time.

You want to be able to talk to the artist and editor directly, not have to wait for the studio to relay your comments.  Not to mention it’s a lot easier to ask employees to work late than freelancers.

Rush Job Trick #4 – Be Clear on Your Feedback

There are some things a studio, no matter how good, just can’t do.  One of them is read your mind.

It’ll take more work on your part, but will make the video process go much faster:

Here’re a few examples

Bad Good
Can you change the coloring about halfway into the intro? Add Timestamps: Can you change the coloring at time 0:34?
Can you make it pop more? Be specific: can we add more upbeat music to the video?
Please change the position of the man in the 3rd scene? Show what you want: use a screenshot software with arrows to show what you want.  Jing is free.
Can you make the logo we sent you less fuzzy? Provide high-def images: if possible send your studio Adobe Illustrator (.ai) files or high definition graphics (.jpg, .png).

Closing Tip: Don’t Be Afraid To Bug Them

The squeaky wheel really does get the oil.  You might not want to feel like you’re bugging them, but the more often and earlier you check-in with them the less stressful it is for everyone.

As you get to know the studio or freelancer the frequent check-ins aren’t such a big deal, but in the beginning I’d recommend setting very small milestones that you can check over easily to make sure you’re all on the same page.