I’m sure we’ve all sent a rough cut to a client before and the feedback we’ve received hasn’t been the best. “What is this?” or “This isn’t What We Expected,” are never words you want to hear. At LooseKeys our clients are often people who run businesses or startups and not people necessarily familiar with all that goes into the creation of a video.
People who work in video or film, tend to toss around phrases that aren’t always widely known outside of our industry; terms like rough cut, styleframes, and codecs. People outside our circle might not be familiar with them. I know I’m not familiar with banker terms like M&A, LBO and below the bar.
As creative people, we tend to get upset when others, especially clients don’t understand our vision or process. You have to take the time to educate and inform them on what they are seeing, otherwise you’re going to work yourself up and out of frustration end up freaking out on the client.
So what’s a rough cut?
A rough cut is one of the first steps in putting together a video, this is the first phase where the project starts to resemble a real video and not just a bunch of random pieces. Typically rough cuts will still undergo many changes before the final. If you’re working with video, assembling a rough cut is a time consuming process; you have to go through all the footage trying to figure out what is the best and in what general sequence it should all go in. You typically go through many versions of rough cuts before you get to the fine cut and are near completing the video. A rough cut is really just the first step in the editorial process, there are many more changes that can and will be made.
Since most of the videos at LooseKeys are animated, our rough cuts are typically very advanced animatics. All the movements of the characters might not be in place but the pieces are there to make sure the scenes are working and flowing together.
No matter what you show the client, make sure you’re happy with it and assume that they are looking at this video like it is the final. If there are changes that need to be made let your client know. Give them a list of things you’ll be fixing or doing. It helps to signal to them that this isn’t the final cut and you’re still working on it. If you get bad feedback on a rough cut, remember to breathe and take a moment and try to understand that sometimes it will take a while before the client understands that this is a process.