Hi folks, Megan here again, Producer at CJ Inc. We recently delivered a couple of big jobs to clients, and it got me thinking about file management, tracking + job wrap-up. As the producer, I’m responsible for creating + managing the post production schedule, sending files to clients for approval, then delivering final images once all files have been been given the thumbs up. I work closely with Chase and the digital artist to ensure that we’re delivering exactly what the client has asked for, which means cross-checking each image with both the creative brief AND the contract to ensure that our bases are covered.
Here are some things to keep in mind prior to arriving on set.
What are the images going to be used for? A billboard or in-store signage? A web banner or e-brochure? Usage is usually defined at the contract stage, so it should be well documented and understood prior to shoot day. This will perhaps inform which camera you opt to shoot with and image resolution.
TIFFs? Layered PSDs? JPGs? RAWs?
Is shot #4 a horizontal or vertical? Be sure to have the creative brief handy if there’s no Art Director on set to advise.
_Naming convention + folder structure:
Has your client provided you with a specific naming convention or preferred folder structure? This is especially common on retail and catalog jobs, where each shot usually coincides with a garment SKU.
[If not, you may want to decide upon an agreeable solution before you start shooting.]
How many files are you providing? Are you able to upload to an FTP fairly quickly? Or will you need to send a hard drive to your client?
[If you are sending a hard drive, be sure to label it with your name + contact info so it’s easily identifiable.]
_Description of files + thumbnails:
Along with the hard drive, we like to include a memo (or cover letter, of sorts) outlining the project name, shoot description, deliverables + usage terms. All of the pertinent info relating to the files is concisely captured in 1 document for the client’s reference.
I also include a page (or more, depending on how many images are being delivered) of thumbnails, so the client knows what he or she is getting at a glance. A copy of each of these documents gets saved in the project folder on the server so if there’s ever any question about what was delivered and when, it’s easily trackable. File delivery is usually the last step of a job, with the exception of final billing, and can leave a lasting impression on your client. You really want to nail it.
Feel like I’ve missed something important? Have anything to add? Feel free to leave comments below.
(Disclaimer: I’m no Digital Asset Manager, so if you want additional info on any of the items above, check out the Complete Workflow and Backup for Photo + Video here.)
Very good post! Love the idea with the contact sheet!
This is great – one of the things we started doing is making a show out of delivery.
http://preview.simplifilm.com/medias/g0vtkox4xx <–that's an example of how the client sees things for the first time.
We're going to take this to the next level as we get time…
I use MailBigFile to send my images to clients. It’s simple to use and I also receive an email notification to let me know when the files have been downloaded.
Great blog post. I never really thought about creating a cover letter type of document specifying what the images are etc. Pretty clever.