Briefs are a formal document that dissects a project through stating the criteria and requirements needed in order to achieve a project goal.
- What is the importance of writing a brief?
The importance of writing a brief is that it fully outlines to the reader what tasks they need to undertake are and what they are required to achieve. It is a formal way of explaining a project, and the importance of it is that it makes the plan simple to understand and follow. If all elements of the task are constructed in a clear manner it means that the workers can avoid confusion and be able to execute the project to the best of their ability. In addition to this, briefs need to be set so that nobody falls short and all expectations are met. Otherwise, elements of the project might be missing or not performed to the highest standard.
- Describe and explain types of briefs and their structures
There are eight different forms of brief. The first is called a contractual brief. This is a brief in which two groups make a mutual agreement on an offer presented by one of the two groups. The two parties are the commissioner, who sets the project, and the producer, who creates it. The agreement will contain an exchange so that both parties gain from working together. These briefs are bound by legal enforcement and cannot be tampered with.
The second variation of brief is a negotiated brief. This is a brief that is continuous and can be altered to suit the requirements and to make the end goal more manageable. It is a more laid back style of brief and easier to change around because the brief allows room for change. Things that might be altered or switched in these briefs are things such as budget, what content the project will feature, deadlines etc. For example, our corporate videos for Dartmoor were based on negotiated briefs as the company and us the producers worked together outlining requirements and where we could meet them.
Thirdly, another form of brief is the formal brief. This brief can be described as the strictest and most formal. The brief will set out specific requirements and will be the most precise with terminology and guidelines. These briefs are the kind of briefs businesses use and will outline all legal agreements and laws. For example, the Delish project we worked on last year featured a formal style of brief where they had specific requirements such as colours and package shape.
The fourth type of brief is the very opposite of the previous – the informal brief. This agreement is more personal and laid back. The brief is formed from discussion between client and producer – the producer will be open to the thoughts of the client and an agreement will be made based on what each party feels is most suitable. An example of an informal brief was the Lili By The Sea project. The brief was casual and the requirements were open to discussion.
In addition to this, a fifth kind of brief is a commission. This brief is where the client will ask the producer to create them something, most likely involving their own interpretation, to an agreed cost. An example of a commission is the official character artwork by artist Viria commissioned by author Rick Riordan.
The sixth form of brief is a tender brief. This brief will see the producer/contractor giving a roughly outlined price and a loose idea of how they would like the product to be made. It will be sent to multiple agencies who will come up with their own idea of how they will produce this, then they will pitch it to the producer and an idea will be chosen. An example for this brief would be the Dartmoor corporate video project. We worked in groups where we came up with individual ideas, then pitched them and we decided to base our production of of a chosen idea.
Second to last, the seventh brief is the co-operative. This is a brief that will provide individual roles for each producer working on the project. It shares the responsibility of the project and makes sure that each worker has a fair share of the project.
Lastly, the eighth type of brief is the competition brief. These are usually quite simple – a task is set outlining the requirements and when it needs to be completed by, and outstanding project will be chosen as a winner, often accompanied by a reward.
- What elements do you look for when reading a brief?
When you read a brief, it is important to know the specific details of what is required. In order to achieve the best result, it is best to explain in a brief:
Objective – the contractor needs to have an idea of what the end project should turn out to be. It is near impossible to create something when you don’t know what it should look like. It also makes it easier to piece together because the creator will have a better idea of if they are producing correctly or incorrectly.
Budget – this is necessary because without a budget it would be difficult to work out an estimated profit and a company could easily go overboard and become in debt if they misjudge the success of the project.
Timescale – timescale is needed so that the client/audience will know when to expect a result, and to be able to prepare for it. Some projects are time sensitive so it is important to be able to adhere to a deadline.
Target audience – different projects will cater towards different types of people, so if you’re targeting a specific demographic you will want to know the characteristics of your audience so that you can maximise how positive their response will be.
Scope – the limitations of a project and the extent of how much it can be stretched – there will be limits on different factors of the project such as timescale, size, budget, etc. The scope will help the client and producer to not go overboard or past the limitations.
Existing assets – the skills and qualities the producer and client have may help with the building of the project, so it is good to know what skills are already readily available.
Aesthetic – the visual element of the project – what does the client want the creation to look like? What colours and quirks should be used? This is important because it is important to have a clear brand identity and smaller projects will also need to pay attention to detail.
“Do and don’t” – Some briefs are more strict than others, but all requirements must be met, especially if they concern legal issues such as copyright or other rights. It is important to adhere to instruction.
- What changes could happen to a brief and why?
One kind of reason a brief may have to change is because of physical constraints. Examples of physical constraints may refer to budget or travel – there may not be enough budget to fly to a certain location, it could be due to cancellation i.e actors not being available or a shortage of resources. A lot of these reasons could mean that a particular feature may be removed or the time scale may be lengthened.
In addition to this, another way a brief may have to change is through legal issues. Legal issues cannot be ignored and are a vital part of research before producing a project. For example, in an advert you need to make sure you don’ breach any guidelines with the ASA such as no violence, or with copyright you need to make sure you have the right to use other people’s content.
Ethical issues is also another reason a brief may have to change. It is important to be ethical when working on a project because you will need to make sure you can be honest about the facts of what you’re working on, otherwise you might get caught. You also want to be honourable and righteous also as it will look better on your company.
- Why is negotiation a key part of working to a brief and what kind of issues need to be negotiated and agreed on?
Negotiating to a brief plays a vital role in the success of a project because when a client and a producer work together they need to be able to cooperate fluently and the brief needs to be fair to both parties. If neither or one of the parties is not willing to change the brief, or arrange the project around other factors, it is less likely to work. Some factors that might need to be negotiated and agreed on are payment, travel, timescale and aesthetic.