Because it’s my first post on the blog, I will choose to talk about one of my favorite subjects and that is how you can prepare a video from a mentally point of view. This article is intended to all the beginners, the ones who would like to create promotional videos but they don’t know anyone that can help them with different kind of tasks, like creating illustrations, graphics, music or sound effects.
This is my story from my first year of work with clients and it looks like a marathon runners’ story.

MENTAL PREPARATION

Running a marathon is a tough job and it’s clearly not for everyone. First of all, each marathon runner visualizes mentally his course, he sees himself defeating those muscular cramps and the weather conditions and he creates his own belief that all the hard work deserves the satisfaction to pass the finish line.
Same principle is applied also in digital animation. Not many have the luck to make collaborations with artists that come hand in hand with his skills. My main skill is animation, but unfortunately I didn’t knew anyone who was able to help me to create the illustrations, a professional storyboard or the videos’ music. Not to mention the fact that I didn’t afford to hire someone to help me.
So, I was ready for a long race, in which I had to take each phase of the video creation step by step. For those who don’t know, these phases are:
1. Creation of the script (even if it’s not always applied, and most of the times the clients will have a script already made by a experimented copywriter)
2. Creation of the storyboard
3. Creation of the illustrations and graphics
4. Find the perfect person to record the voice
5. Find the perfect music to match the animation
6. Creation of the animation
7. Find the best sound effects and add them to the animation
8. And not lastly, talk with your client and keep him updated with all of the latest news.
All this process can last from 1 to 4 weeks depending on how complicated is the animation.

3, 2, 1 START

The thing that motivates the marathon runner to keep going despite all the terrible muscular cramps is the visualization of all the satisfaction feelings, pride and the award that he will receive at the finish line. During the marathon, he’s struggling against his negative thoughts like giving up, take a short brake, lack of motivation and in these conditions only a strong mind can help you overcome them.
I also had negative thoughts. Creating a video can take many weeks, and my concentration can be for a short period of time; there are so many things that can distract me from my race into delivering the perfect video to my client. It’s very important to make all of your necessary things before sitting on your desk chair. These necessary things can include: eating, take your pills or supplements, take out the garbage, walk your dog, check your emails, your Facebook, Twitter and so on.
When you sit at your computer you have to concentrate only on the things you have to do. For a long period of time, my schedule was: I was hard working for a whole hour, and then I was taking a short 5 minute break in order to rest my eyes. For each period of time I was doing the same thing. Once at 3 hours, I was taking a lunch break for 30 minutes. In this way your eyes and stomach will not get hurt.
Another negative thought that I was facing (and I still do) is the negative feedback that was coming from my clients. It’s impossible to create from the first time the perfect draft (weather is about storyboard, animation or graphics). The client will always want small changes or, in some cases, huge changes.
This thing doesn’t have to break you down because it’s a part from your artist job. You always have to be willing to take it all over with a new version, again and again until everything goes out perfectly. When you feel discouraged, you only have to think about the fact that the effort is worth it, you will have a happy client, you will also receive money and you will be able to attach this video to your portfolio. It’s a certain thing that other persons will see your video and they will contact you to make them a similar one.

THE FINISH LINE

The race is almost over; the marathon runner gives the best out of him to win more seconds. There are left only 50 meters, he gets closer and … he passes the finish line! The crowd is going crazy, the marathon runner is filled up with their energy, he fills accomplished and proud of himself knowing that not many people is capable of doing what he did. He’s lucky and this is the most beautiful feeling in the whole world.
Getting closer to the finishing line, when the animation is almost done, it happened many times to be too anxious to deliver the video to my clients, and I almost forgot that I have to add sound effects, or worst,  not putting to much effort creating a more attractive CTA (call to action).  In the runners’ world, this is similar to the fact of taking it easy in the end, or even quitting.
There were several situations when I’ve felt that I’ve abandoned the projects when they were almost done. I couldn’t control my anxiousness to deliver the project much sooner and to be happy to receive the most waited congrats.
With mentally thoughts very well prepared, I knew that the race wasn’t over yet, and I’ve learn that I need at least one more working day to deliver the perfect project. So, when you lose your patience the wiser thing is to stop working, take a break (a couple of hours or maybe an entire day) and you go back with your mind refreshed to finish the project.
The client is happy that his promotional video is perfect and he’s going to be willing to collaborate with you once again for his next project or he can recommend you to some other persons.
This metaphor applies not only in the case of producing a video, but is also applies in everyday life. Building your own habit of not giving up, remaining focused only on the things that really matter, the final reward will be priceless. Go for it!

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