Stephen Covey writes “Between stimulus and response, man has the freedom to choose.” That means all of us (er. . . women too) have the ability to make choices, rather than just respond to stimulus.

Let’s apply this very simple concept to video production. Most videos GoodSide Studio produces are started with a need. I’ve never had a client say “I think it’d be fun to make a video. What do you think it should be about or do for me?” They always start with “We need to train our workers.” or “We need to sell more widgets.” or something like that.

Clients don’t want a video, they want an outcome. We can think of the need as the stimulus. The first task of A successful video producer is to make sure they really understand the stimulus, rather than jumping to the first, most obvious conclusion. For example, if the client says they want to educate our customers about our product. An unthinking response might be to make a marketing heavy response intended to educate the public about the features and benefits of the product. However, maybe the client wants to educate their customers about the product because people are using it incorrectly and could hurt themselves. In the real world, of course the client and producer are going to align their beliefs eventually, but the sooner the producer gets it right, the smoother sailing everyone will have.

Next, even if you understand the stimulus, should you always act on it? This isn’t a very good trick question; the answer is “No!” By dissecting the word “responsibility” we can think of it as “response ability.” Rather than being reactive and doing things the way “they’ve always been done,” you can use your self awareness, imagination, conscience and independent will to ask if the stock solution is the best one in this case.

OK – this is blog, not a dissertation, so I only touched on the depth of wisdom to be found in the 7 habits. To sum this habit up: Both the client and the producer should take initiative in detailing the scope and mission of the video. Their decisions are the primary determining factor for the effectiveness of the video. Take responsibility for your choices and the subsequent consequences that follow.

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