A Guide to Working in the CreativeMedia SectorHow to Respond to a Co-operative BriefThe best way to recognise whether or not you are a reading a co-operative brief is to look for theamount of people involved. A co-operative brief will have other people as well as yourself involvedwith the final product that the client has assigned for you. As a group, everyone will be workingindividually or small teams to create different elements of the product that will eventually piecetogether to create the final outcome. It’s important that as a group you all work well as a unit andlend a hand in other areas when needed to ensure the briefs requirements and deadlines are met.However, in times of disagreement, there is plenty of room for debate and discussion to decide thebest way to tackle a problem and pick the most beneficial idea. It’s important that decisions aremade as a group to ensure you are satisfying the requirements of the client.Even though there will be other people working on different elements of the product to you, it isvital that you keep in regular contact with the other members of the group to guarantee the productis developing in a productive way. Not keeping in contact and consulting each other, then throwingall the pieces of work together at the end will make the product look less professional and patchy.For example, if your client wanted a family based sit-com episode created and you were in charge offonts and graphics, you would need to look into the content and style of the episode beforedesigning a font.As well as keeping in regular contact with each other, it is extremely important to liase with yourclient. However, with multiple people working on the product it may become harder to decide whenthe most necessary times to contact your client are. Although it’s good to liase with your client, youdon’t want to pester or annoy them; otherwise you could risk your chances of doing any other workwith this particular client. A good way to overcome this problem is to have team meetings, this iswhere the group can come together, ask questions and speak of having problems they’re having.Then one member of the group can be elected to contact the client and resolve all the problems orissues at once.Once you have initially received the brief, one of the first things you should check for are anydeadlines. Most of the time, everyone will be working to the same deadlines within the group. Withthis in mind, it will be a good idea for the group to come together to make a production plan and toensure that the final outcome of the product is not only professional, but delivered on time.How to Respond to a Tender & Commission BriefIn normal circumstances, you should know you’re reading a tender brief because you or yourcompany will need to have applied for it. For example, should a railway company require a newstation they would advertise in a suitable newspaper or magazine this fact. The client would request
tenders to be submitted for the execution of the work. Some tenders are sold and/or may require atender bond to ensure parties are fully committed to delivering the requirement. The tenderdocument will identify the scope of works to be completed, time frames to be achieved andnormally minimum guarantees and insurances that will be required. The tender brief will require thetenders to be returned in a sealed fashion on or before a due date. A tender brief will be designed bythe client to suit your needs and make you as happy a possible with the briefs requirements. Toensure that you are happy with everything, the client would make several briefs. This allows you topick the brief that is most suitable to you and one that you think youll be able to create the bestoutcome for. This is very similar to a commission brief, in a commission brief you are able tonegotiate with your client with different elements of brief. This gives you the chance to remove anyunrealistic outcomes and sort them out with other realistic actions. However, by being able tonegotiate the brief with the client, your expectations will be higher due to the fact you had an inputin aspects of the brief.When you start to develop your ideas for a tender brief, you need to make sure you stick to theexact specifications that you read in the brief. If you dont you could be left with an unhappy clientand more work for you to do. Whilst working on a commission brief, you are able to keep in contactwith the client throughout the task. This is so that if you come across an area that you believe needsto be negotiated, you can easily contact the client. If you dont contact them about any changes youmake, you could possibly end up going over your given budget or not getting the work done by thedeadline, both resulting in a dissatisfied client.In most briefs you only really liase with your client at the beginning and at the end of the production.However, in a tender and a commission brief you are expected to keep in contact with your client.This gives the client reassurance about how the project is going and if it is up to date.Planning the production of the brief is something you might want to get your client involved in. Forexample if you were making a TV sit-com, you may want to hear the clients input on what actors,musicians or special effects artists to use. This will also greatly help you to understand therequirements of the brief in much more detail. This also allows time to discuss the budget in moredepth without having to keep referring to the client about financial issues.During the creation and final stages of production, it may help to keep a document of your actions,similar to any pre-production work you have done. Then when you are presenting the final productto your client you can use these documents to show how ideas were generated and how theproduction was completed. It also gives the client a better insight into the work you have put in tothe project.This link is an example of what a Tender Brief may look like -http://www.kingston.gov.uk/sample_form_of_tender_-_pricing_document.pdfThis link is a website for companies to keep an eye open for Tenders regarding constructioncontracts -http://www.tendersdirect.co.uk/sector/constructioncontracts/?gclid=CJmCxMbM5rcCFaTItAodPxgAmw
How to Respond to a Negotiated and Informal BriefWhen going over a negotiated brief, a thing to look out for to identify the type of brief will be thecosts involved with the production. Other briefs, such as a tender, will usually have a fixed price,whereas a negotiated brief will leave room for costs and deadlines to be ‘negotiated’. When given anegotiated brief, you initially need to know and understand that you are not the only party involvedin the production, in fact there can be sometimes up to three parties. Usually, a client wont involvemore than three parties. Having too many people involved will leave plenty of room fordisagreement and lack of production. A negotiated brief allows you to suggest and put forward yourown ideas on how the brief you should be written and tackled. However, the other parties involvedwill have to agree, if there is any disagreement you will have to start over until everyone is happy.Negotiating with your client is expected, this gives you the opportunity to put forward any concernsor any of your own ideas. This could include re-scheduling the deadline, the budget or organisingmaterials. An informal brief is very similar to this but in this brief you are the only one involved.There are no other parties and you are the only one in contact with the client. This allows you to becreative with your ideas and design the brief to suit you in the most productive and beneficial way.Once a negotiated brief has been confirmed, it is essential that all parties have agreed with it. Yourclient wouldnt be pleased with some parties unhappy with the ideas for production. To avoid this,you may like to keep referring to your client with different ideas and letting them choose theirfavourite before you begin any production. However, if before you have negotiated ideas with thedifferent groups, there is no harm in suggesting minor changes along the route of production.Whereas in an informal brief you can use your ideas without having to put it past any other parties.This allows you great room for creativity, but with this responsibility, your client will haveexpectations and you will have to meet them. If not your reputation will fall and other clients maylook past you and not offer you briefs.As important as it is, liasing with your client is very relaxed. In a matter of negotiating, just as muchas a few simple e-mails either way could be sufficient. Both these briefs dont require much liasingwith clients but if any drastic changes are made, the client should be informed. This will give theclient no reason to suggest you changing the brief without their consent. The negotiated brief willrequire slightly more contact with the client purely because there will naturally be minor or majordisagreement on an element of the brief.It is important for both briefs that you carefully plan out your production. It is also important thatyou know exactly what you will need to create the product, if it be the hiring of equipment,actors/actresses or a special effects team. Along side the planning, you will need to producedocuments that show how you decided upon your ideas. For example, a brief for making a TV advertwill require you to produce a crew/material list, location recce, risk assessment, shot list,storyboards etc.As the production progresses, you will need to create similar documents so that any faults duringproduction can be repaired. This also gives the client reassurance that you or a team including youcan capably repair the problem. In doing so you can build a good relationship with the client and ifthey are pleased with your work, may hire you for more briefs.
How to Respond to a Contractual BriefA contractual brief is a legal document and should be treated with caution, this is the first thing youshould notice when try to recognise a contractual brief. When given a contractual brief, you need tomake sure you have read and completely understand the content of the brief before signing. If thereare some constraints that aren’t realistic, check for negotiable elements that could be changed inorder to suit you. If you don’t read and fully understand the brief and then proceed to sign it, youare then expected to fulfil the terms of the brief. If any terms of the brief are breeched then legalaction could be taken by the client against you and you could end up in court. It is important to liasewith your client to provide them the confidence that you will deliver and perform to the standardsthey have requested. Liasing with the client will allow you express any concerns, as well as informingthem of what has happened. You will probably be asked to liase with your client on more than oneoccasion.It is important to plant the work before getting started with the creation of the project; this allowsyou to fully understand what needs to be done and when its deadline is. This also gives you time tonegotiate any changes or ideas you have had whilst planning the production. It is vital that the actualproduction of the work is completed by the set deadline. If it isn’t you have broken the terms of thecontract and you client will not be impressed. If, prior to the signing of the contract, you don’tbelieve it possible to have created or finished your production by the set deadline, it should havebeen bought up and negotiated with your client then.How to Respond to an Informal & a Competition BriefAn informal brief is a written document containing specific and precise details about the goals thatneed to be achieved. The brief gets straight to the point and doesn’t contain any unnecessary detailsor information. This allows the client to identify what it is that needs to be done in a specific manner.This type of brief is mainly aimed at a group of people or a business company rather than individuals.An informal brief is not always a legal document.A competition brief is where a client, usually a large corporation of company, gives everyone whowants the chance to compete a brief. This can be done by e-mails, social networking sites,advertisements etc. This type of brief allows lots of different people to compete against each otherfor the chance to have their product used. After the deadline of the brief, all the submitted work willbe looked over (usually by the client), and the winner have their product used by the client. Thewinner could either receive a prize, recognition from other clients, or more work with client youhave won the competition with. You will not have the chance to liase with the client during theproduction stages; you will only have the brief to refer to.Below is a link that will take you to a website that has a database of lots of different competitionbriefs. This is a great way of clients getting there briefs read due to the vast amount of internet useacross the world and its viral ability.http://www.bfxfestival.com/competition/competition-briefs/