Video is a multi-headed beast that’s constantly screaming to be fed and nourished. You’ve got people in front of the lens, people behind the cameras, and even more behind the scenes. Video projects are complex with multiple stages of approval along the way. You need to control things and have a plan (and even another plan for when that one fails).
Project Management is not unique to video, but it is a critical skill due to the complex interconnected nature of video projects. Chances are that you may have some project management skills… but I want you to go deeper and actually study the formal business practices of project management.
The best decision I made in my professional career as a video producer was to formally study Project Management. I chose to get a master’s degree in it, and it saves me nearly every day. Many schools offer consolidated courses and workshops; you can pursue an educational certificate, or even just start your own independent study.
While I’ll emphasize project management, I mean the business practices. It is important to learn how to balance the scope of the project, track your resources, and maintain budget and quality. Simply buying a project management software package will make you no better a business pro than owning Photoshop will make you a photographer. Software is a tool, not the foundation of a professional career.
We use project management principles to clearly describe the work to be undertaken. We measure progress and track changes so the end budget reflects the work performed. We closely monitor the budget and schedule (as these are often more important or easier for the end client to measure). Quality video is awesome… and the world is filled with talented folks who can make it. Fortunately (for true business professionals) it takes more than just creative talent to make it in the world of video. Business acumen and client management are just as important.