Tuesday, 29 December 2015

The Requirements to Working to a Brief.

The Requirements to Working to a Brief .


A brief is a piece of work given to you by a client, the brief specify's the guidelines to what you have to abide by when creating a project for them. The brief entails an outline of the requirements, purpose, audience target, context, activity, timescale, budgeting and the legal and ethical side of the project that you must follow.

Commissioning Brief 
A way in which a brief can be given is through commissioning, commissioning is where a company wants to promote a product and to do this they will approach a specific media company they want to deliver the product. For example if the company Unilever wanted to make a new advert that promotes one of their products like Vaseline, they may approach a media company that are known to create adverts that are targeted to a specific market, like females. The company will then specify the brief and what the requirements are to create this. An example of a company that commissions is Channel 4, as shown below from the commissioning section of their website, channel 4 chooses commissioning as a means of funding new TV programmes. Those with the ideas are approaching channel 4 and hand picking channel 4 to be the distributor of their media product, in a sense the people with the ideas are commissioning channel 4.

Above is an example of the brief for the documentaries Channel 4 are interested in commissioning and what to include when sending in a media product.
An example of where Channel 4 have commissioned and created a successful global hit show is with the TV series GoggleBox. GoggleBox is a weekly programme that films the most opinionated people they could find, commenting on TV shows and news stories that are on throughout the week, it is to reflect a wide range of peoples views and to show the audience the diversity and how people interpret things differently.

Above shows who the final say to be commissioned came down to, also showing the comments of the producers from the studio which puts what channel 4 commissions into action.

They provide the details for which an individual can present their product to the commissioning faculty and they determine how far they want to take it. It can be said in this sense that GoggleBox gave channel 4 the opportunity to commission this idea, the writers hand picked channel 4 as the production company they wanted to produce this idea, and channel 4 funded the cause.

Tender Brief
 An alternative to commissioning is a tender brief this is where the client will publicly advertise their brief, then a production company can approach that brief and create a proposal of what they can do and make from the tendered brief. They will then pitch this idea to the client, therefore the client will get to choose the proposal of what they think would best suit their brief, this tends to give the production company more freedom to add a more creative touch to the project and also broadens the clients options of how best to promote their project. However the disadvantages of this type of brief is that you may not be chosen as the final client if the company do not think you are the right person for it. An example of a tender brief is a contest from the well known company MOFILMS they are a leader in the people-powered marketing, connecting with brands globally to produce more authentic content and get it noticed by millions around the world. They reach out to creative people of all ages and propose a brief from any brand that exists globally, the work from MOFILMS have appeared at the Oscars, the Super Bowl and even on Times square (quote from the website :https://www.mofilm.com/about ). Below is some of the example brands that MOFILMS promotes contest briefs from.


An example brief from the website is the Visa sponsered Texas 2016 Video Contest. The brief is called #NotATourist

https://www.mofilm.com/competitions/brand/Texas-2016/Visa - The Brief
There is more information on the exact terms and conditions and a more depth version of the brief on the website, however this is the introduction into the brief. Reaching out to hose who are interested in making a video to represent, in this case Texas, in a non tourist fashion so that people who visit can see before they go how welcoming and comfortable it is, it makes you feel as if you are not a tourist when you visit. Visa are sponsoring this brief and are reaching out to the public to help them promote a product. It could be suggested behind this brief is to represent Visa being available in other countries which makes people feel stability as they recognize the Visa logo. (more info in the actual brief document once applied). Below shows the rewards you can get if you make it into the top 5, possibly to fund another project you take part in, there are also grants available to help fund your production if you qualify for the requirements of the grant. This builds an incentive for the next project someone might want to take on.


 An alternative to a tender brief is a website called FiveSquid  this is where instead of a company setting a brief in which people with the skills can respond to, those with the skills and creative tools can sell their talents for as little as £5. For example if someone needs a website to be built for them, they can go on FiveSquid and look for someone selling their labor who has the talents to take on a task like building a website.

Above is an example of the homepage, this is where people promote the work they can do, whether it be a Blog Post or designing a company logo, this is where people are promoting themselves in a sense promoting a personal brief, for which people can get in touch and pay them for the work they can do to help them.

Competition Brief 
Another type of brief is a competition brief, this is where a company sets the guidelines of a brief which anyone can respond to and send to the company to see if their product wins the opportunity to represent that company. An example of this is one I have taken part in myself which is E4's e-sting competition, as shown below

The E4 E-sting Brief.

There is more information on the website about the terms and conditions of this brief that are outlined in more detail. Below is the link to the terms and conditions which we had to follow.

Reading into a brief is more advanced in the content you must cover to make sure you are following the correct guidelines. Outlined in the terms and conditions were specific regulations in what the restrictions were, below is a print screen of a few of the guidelines which were most important to abide by when taking part in the brief.

One important guideline to follow was the sound track that had to be used, you were given a collection of files of different soundtracks that were tailored to the E4 theme, you had to use this music to meet a requirement of the brief. Another requirement was that anyone who appeared in the animation had to be over the age of 16, this is due to consent from parents and the content you create must be appropriate for TV. Another part of the guidance that had to be included to meet the requirements of the brief was the size and format of the animation, it must include a frame rate of 25 FPS and a high resolution, this was so it was able to be aired on TV in the highest quality. The E4 materials (e.g sound track) had to be used as the brief set out, for the purpose of creating an animation only. If it was to be used in any other way without E4 permission, they have the right to enforce copyright laws, this includes the music and the E4 logo.

When it came to negotiating the brief we did not physically get to meet with the client to discuss any amendments or limits, however within the brief that we were given we were able to have creative freedom when it came to the idea. We could create our own story line of how we include the E4 logo and were also allowed to use any format of animation, however our unit was on stop-motion animation which is why we chose to use Lego animation, although within stop animation there is a range of different options you could choose, e.g. claymation, live action. There was no limitation of what our idea could contain, it was mainly about how best we could represent the E4 logo in the most creative way. In the media industry in general when you are given a brief by a client the level of discretion you would have when interpreting a brief could be minor or could be broad. It depends on the client, however if it is a set brief then that is what you must follow in order to comply with what the client has asked for. We had a visit from two young men who are part of a media course in the city, they told us about negotiating a brief and how they have had clients that have proposed ideas that they thought wasn't good when it comes to promoting a product or business. However even when they suggested ideas to improve it, the client wouldn't take it into consideration, sometimes in the industry you have to follow the guidelines of the brief if the clients heart is set on that particular idea. They also told us about projects that they were given lots of creative freedom and were able to share ideas with the client on how this could be improved or how they could reform the idea. Therefore when it comes to working in the industry it depends what the client is like and what the project is about whether the creator has an input or not.
Edgar Wright
This is not always the case, some directors, writers in the industry cannot handle not being able having any creative freedom on a brief, especially when someone else (e.g the client) withholds too much creative control. An example of this is Edgar Wrights abandonment of the movie Ant-Man, creative control came between him and the known superhero creators of Marvel, he wanted to add his own personal style in the evolving Marvel Cinematic Universe, however Marvel did not advocate this, causing him to abandon his directing role.

When it comes to responding to the brief you have to take the legal aspects into consideration. After taking part in the E4 e-sting competition I had to face these legal aspects when it came to the use of E4's music. It was copy righted for it's use to only be for the E-sting I was creating, if I'd have used it for anything else they would be able to sue me for the use of their copyrighted materials. Once they have copyrighted these materials they own the economic and moral side, this means if I was to make money off of their materials I would have to pay them back the income I gained plus excess for breaking the law. As stated on the Terms and Conditions of the E4 website as follows;
  1. 'The E4 logo is a registered trademark belonging to Channel 4 and Channel 4 owns all intellectual property rights (including but not in limitation trademark rights and copyright) in the E4 logo. The E4 logo is protected by intellectual property laws in the UK and throughout the world and we reserve all rights in the E4 logo. We give you a limited revocable non-transferable non-exclusive permission to use the E4 logo solely for the purposes of creating your Entry and submitting it to the Competition as described in these E Sting Rules.'
When it comes to the ethical consideration this is based on the race, gender and sexuality, to make sure when responding to a brief you are acknowledging the rules and regulations on the ethical side, this means not discriminating or being offensive to another person based on their ethnicity.  As I could not find any film/television examples of where this had been infringed, within the media there is a candidate running for president in American for the next election who infringed this when it came to making a comment about immigrants, Donald Trump's comments about Muslims as follows from the Political Insider Website

Taken from the website, Donald Trumps comment - http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/video-resurfaces-donald-trumps-views-on-the-muslim-problem-whoa/
Finally regulatory is a constraint which can come into responding to a brief, if you have been asked to create a media text that is for under 16's or younger children then you must comply by keeping the content appropriate. If not there are regulatory company's that have the right to enforce legal action against you and your production, the response to the brief will also be disqualified. Ofcom is an example of a regulatory body that regulates, TV, film and radio production, a quote from their enforcement section of the website as follows;


An example of Ofcom enforcing the protection on citizens was in 2008 when Ofcom imposed it's largest fine on the BBC corporation, in relation to 8 different phone-in competitions, including Comic Relief, Children in Need and The Jo Whiley Shown on Radio 1. In the cases Ofcom found that viewers were misled by production staff who made up the names of winners and even posed as the contestants themselves. The investigation also found that in some cases production teams encouraged listeners to enter competitions even though they had no chance of winning. The regulator said 'Ofcome considered that these breaches of the broadcasting code were very serious, overall Ofcom found that the BBC failed to have adequate management oversight of it's compliance and training procedures to ensure that the audiences were not misled'. This is an example from a corporation not following the guidelines, the fine came to £400,000. If an upcoming film maker wanting to respond to a brief and not abiding by the regulations provided by a regulatory board like Ofcom, this reinforces how severe the consequences can be.

When responding to the E4 E-stings brief there was no amendments we had to make to the final product as we had followed the guidelines strictly, however they may be reasons why those who do respond have to make amendments, on the E4 terms and conditions website there are 'House Rules' of uploading the product, these as follows.


Where it says about possibly getting into trouble or rejected, this is due to the content, it must be kept to the lighthearted and non violent content otherwise the response could be a breach to the terms and conditions. There may be amendments that have to be made if you use a persons under the age of 16 within your E-sting as this is also against the brief. The work produced must be your own, if there is anything remotely similar to an already published product with copyright terms then your E-sting may be removed.

When negotiating a brief there may be amendments to a budget if there is not enough financial support in order to complete the production, if this occurs the budget of the project will need to be increased or the extent of the project will have to be decreased. If you are unable to fund the project yourself you may have to borrow money from the company or the bank which can cause implications down the line. There may be need for changes to the conditions layed out in the contract, if the project runs overtime then you might need to discuss with the client about possibly increasing the pay if it takes your time away from potentially other opportunities, this should be discussed before the beginning of a signed contract as it may be difficult once the project has begun. There can also be amendments made to the production itself, when it comes to meeting deadlines that the client has provided you may have to keep to a strict time schedule, therefore letting go of ideas that wont be able to be completed within the time you have been given.


An individual might respond to a brief for many different reasons, one of those reasons is money, when you are passionate about creating content whether it be for marketing purposes or as a hobbie, responding to a brief can help fund future projects that you may encounter. A competition brief is the most likely to have a prize of payment, an example of this is Blue Cat Screenplay Competition this competition is open to aspiring writers that would like the opportunity to respond to a screenplay brief and be in with a chance of winning some funding for any future projects.


Here you can see the awards you can receive if you win the competition, $2500 in cash which could fund your next project, but also the different awards you can win in which will widen your reputation and give exposure of your work. This is another reason someone might want to respond to a brief, so that it can get their name and their work reaching a broader audience, even worldwide. An example of this is is IPA competition brief this years one includes responding to the brief to launch the re-release of 'Assult on Precinct 13' by Death Waltz Records. On the website is the brief in a PDF file, this states the background of the company to know who you would be representing, there is also details of the target market and the brand that the applicant will be representing, there is a budget plan and also the media requirements you need in order to respond to the brief efficiently which is direct-digital marketing component, the deadline is also stated as the 30th of September. This may not have the prize of funding however you are being funded by the client for this, which could develop your individual self- development and a great opportunity to show off your creative skills.

During the response to the brief, I had a chance for self development when it came to uploading the creation I had made, this reached the audiences of YouTube, which is worldwide and successfully exposed the work I had produced, due to the feedback I received. It was also distributed on social networking sites from my accounts, like Twitter and Facebook. It gave me the opportunity to distribute the product myself and learn how to market myself. New skills that I learnt was the consideration of the brief requirements, abiding by the 10 seconds limit on the E-sting increased my variety of editing skills. Also learning to embed E4's own music into the editing sequence while juggling the sound effects in specific parts, this helped me gain the experience of multi-tasking and organizing where I was saving the files in order to find them when I needed them again. There was another opportunity for multi- tasking when filming was taking place, as I worked on this project with a partner we had one person taking the pictures and the other controlling what was in the shot and moving for the animation. There was one day while filming when my partner was not in the first half of the lesson, therefore I had to multi-task by taking pictures but also moving the animation, this was difficult because I had to make sure the camera was in the same place in each shot and that the animation was not becoming jumpy. This involved me having to look back on the images to check the lighting was the same in each shot, keeping to continuity in tact, this did give me a new experience and an added skill of mulit-tasking which has made me confident in being able to take on a task like this again.

Contributions we made to the brief was creating the idea from scratch, we researched previous E-stings to gather inspiration of the theme commonly used and that was the revaluation of the E4 logo. This was a start to think about the way we could create an E-sting that revealed the logo in a wacky and creative way. Due to the use of stop-motion animation, we had the idea of making things move that would not normally move, we began thinking of paint appearing and then disappearing however we thought we could be more creative. We decided we wanted to use a character and Lego was the best option for what we wanted to create. We started writing down on paper and drawing what the characters personality and looks were like. This is when we began to have an idea of an artist and that he/she could paint the E4 logo, although we wanted to be more adventurous. Eventually we came up with the idea that the artist was going to paint something but accidentally falls off his ladder and gets frustrated, he/she kicks the canvas, and the E4 logo appears. We used masking tape and created the E4 logo and then peeled piece by piece off while taking the pictures, so that when the images were put together it looks like the characters frustration actually created a good design in the end. As long as this idea stuck to the brief guidelines which it did, we were able to contribute as much as possible to the idea, which gave us a wide range of creative freedom and opportunity when tackling this brief

References: 16/12/2015, 18/12/2015, 22/12/2015, 29/12/2015.

1 comment:

  1. You have explained the requirements of working to a specified brief with reference to some specific and well-chosen relevant examples. Some of the English is a little muddled and proof-reading would help.