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10 Qualities Needed to Be a Successful Video Producer

Students standing around a boom mic in a studio learning from a video producer.

Video production opens up many opportunities, from entertainment to self-expression. This versatile and valuable skill is used by YouTubers, educators, artists, film producers, and event photographers. It is also a creative outlet for hobbyists. Furthermore, having the ability to produce a stellar video is a fantastic way to communicate and stay connected, especially today, as we navigate the new social challenges caused by the impact of the crisis we are in.

Becoming an established and competent video producer is no easy feat, but with the right tools, it is possible (and even fun). The 10 vital qualities for stepping into the shoes of a successful video producer include creativity, selectivity, patience, concentration, efficiency, communication, organization, attentiveness, cooperation, and flexibility. Learning these 10 qualities will be the stepping-stone to becoming a successful video producer.

Quality #1: Creativity

Creativity is imperative for success in almost any field, but it is especially important for video production. A creative mindset will keep you stimulated and energized as you accomplish the tasks of your project, come up with new projects, make edits and collaborate with colleagues.

Video production almost always relies on a steady stream of output. YouTubers, for instance, must stick with a specific production schedule to stay relevant and establish their online presence. A lapse in activity means a loss of followers, and subsequently, a loss of income. Constantly producing new content can become challenging, especially when your motivation or subject matter begins to wane, but creativity will keep you going.

But what exactly is creativity? Put simply, it’s the use of your own intuition and ideas to break the barriers of the status quo. This could mean taking your recording studio outside to create a more natural aesthetic or developing your own music and sound effects to avoid copyright complications. Creativity elicits your hidden genius, so don’t be afraid to use it.

Quality #2: Selectivity

While creativity is valuable, unleashed experimentation is not. We must reign in our imagination with common sense, street smarts and strategies. In other words, we must be selective with which ideas to pursue and which to discard.

Successful video producers are selective with their ideas, time and resources. Through experience, you can fine-tune your preferences to prevent disaster and promote success. For example, casting directors must have a trained and careful eye for talent to select from among an endless number of similarly qualified candidates. Developing your ideas comes with time, but smart selectivity can speed up the process.

Quality #3: Patience

As with any endeavor worth pursuing, video production requires patience. Despite our best intentions and most careful planning, real life is known to disregard the blueprint, and in many cases, throw our goals, plans and strategies out the window. Much of the time, the best we can do is sort things out, devise a Plan B or just sit and wait.

Patience is especially important today as we face the unprecedented uncertainties of a crisis and its effects. Even video producers are curtailed, especially when it comes to filming and working with other people while implementing the guidelines of social distancing.

This ‘new normal’ can cause frustration, but if we practice patience, both with the projects themselves and in our interactions with others, we can survive the storm.

Quality #4: Concentration

To be successful as a video producer, consistent concentration is a must. Life is full of distractions, but if we can learn to focus on the task at hand, success is all the more attainable.

Although it is a simple concept, complete concentration is often a beastly challenge. With the entire world at our fingertips through the wonderful gift of technology, we are more than ever bombarded with notifications, expectations and distractions. However, learning to silence these voices is imperative, both for the timely completion of our projects and our own peace of mind.

Video producers are especially prone to distraction since they must juggle a montage of moving parts, from collaborators and actors to editors and technicians. Even freelance producers pursuing individual projects must multitask and manage a variety of components.

To facilitate concentration, focus on one task at a time and eliminate needless noise. To keep your mind on track, you could create a to-do list, turn off your cell phone, or move your workstation to a new location. While everyone is different when it comes to productivity and concentration, shutting out distractions is almost always a surefire way toward success.

Quality #5: Efficiency

Video producers must be experts when it comes to efficiency. With so many tasks to complete, poor time-management is a great recipe for delays, catastrophes and burn-out. With a strategic schedule and plan of action, a formidable project can move forward like clockwork.

Furthermore, efficiency can reduce the impact of disasters or things we can’t control. By prioritizing and allocating our time and energy, we can navigate the seas of unpredictability with ease. Efficiency is a personalized process, so find what works for you and stick with it.

Quality #6: Communication

Since video production is a highly collaborative career, communication is key. We must master the art of listening, knowing when to speak, and expressing our ideas clearly and effectively. The success of any project depends on how well the contributors can understand each other.

Confusion, on the other hand, is poisonous. To eliminate confusion and promote clarity, video producers must practice humility, empathy and patience.

Quality #7: Organization

Organization goes hand-in-hand with efficiency. It is especially important for video producers who must manage a diverse variety of tasks and duties. Learning the art of organization is crucial to moving projects forward and staying on schedule.

Put simply, organization is a way of compartmentalizing items, time and tasks for optimal functioning. For example, if you were creating educational videos on Algebra, you might group the subject material into specific topics and subtopics. These might include subtopics of adding and subtracting, polynomials, or other foundational concepts.

Organizing your material in this way, even for a vast, daunting subject such as math, provides bite-sized pieces to put together in an orderly, systemized fashion. This quality is also important for film set crews, which depend on smart planning and strategizing to be productive.

Quality #8: Attentiveness

Being attentive to both the small and sweeping ramifications of your project is crucial for success as a video producer. Tiny details often fall through the cracks because the time is not taken to address them, and the results can range from insignificant to cataclysmic.

For example, imagine that you are posting a video to your YouTube channel for guitarists. You upload every Wednesday night, and it’s already 1:00 AM on Thursday. Frantically piecing together a last-minute production, you accidentally merge an embarrassing home-video clip (instead of the time-lapse you had intended to select) into the video. You upload and fall asleep, waking up only to discover that your how-to guide on using augmented chords is punctuated with a blurry, laugh-riddled clip of your dog chasing your cat.

Paying attention to the details, however tedious, is vital for video-production success and dignity.

Quality #9: Cooperation

Cooperation goes hand-in-hand with communication. Learning how to effectively cooperate with others is a crucial quality for video producers to master and consistently practice. Many video producers are involved in collaborative teams, such as film crews or studio departments, and dynamic personal interaction is thus a daily reality.

Effective cooperation is based on humility, keen listening skills and clear communication. To avoid interpersonal conflict and arguments, it is imperative to practice empathy but also know when to speak up.

Quality #10: Flexibility

Extending from the last point, flexibility is paramount for video production success. It is necessary both for interacting with others and accomplishing individual tasks. Learning how to be flexible in any situation relies on many of the qualities we have already discussed, particularly creativity and patience.

You may have already mastered the qualities of selectivity, efficiency, concentration, communication, organization, attentiveness and cooperation, but without flexibility, even these efforts may be insufficient. For example, imagine that you are the director of a film set. Everything is in place, and your crew has spent months getting ready to shoot the first scene. However, one of your key actors calls in sick just before shooting is scheduled to start. This is a frustrating predicament, but it is unavoidable, and being flexible is the only way to move forward.

Final Thoughts

While this is not an exhaustive list, hopefully it has given you an idea of what video production entails, and how to be successful in whatever situation you may find yourself. These qualities are not mastered overnight, but time and practice will make them second nature.

Do you enjoy making videos? Want to learn more about video production? IPR’s digital video and media production associate and bachelor’s degree programs can lead to a variety of entry points into the video and film production industry. We help you build a strong visual portfolio for your career search through time in our studios.

Using the latest industry-standard tools, our digital video production school immerses you in your video and film production artistry, both in theory and application, emphasizing corporate and commercial production, as well as short and feature narrative filmmaking. We equip you with a toolbox that includes all aspects of film and video production skills.

Contact us today to learn more about the digital video and media production associate and bachelor’s degree. Starting a rewarding career as a video or film producer is closer than you may think!