5 Tips for Giving Video Feedback the Right Way

“Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.”

– Frank A. Clark

Giving feedback to a video production company needs to be handled with care. The information should be relayed in a way that’s both motivating and actionable.

Like, when a sales manager gives feedback to their sales rep after a call. Good managers will know how to relay feedback and build the rep’s confidence, not destroy it.

In this article, we cover 5 tips for giving video feedback the right way. Because when the creative is happy, you’ll achieve our goals and make killer video.

Let’s hit it...

1. Start high-level.

You should ask yourself big questions before anything else. The little details sometimes become irrelevant when larger changes are applied.

Questions like:

  • Does the video tell your story in a compelling manner?
  • Does it come across authentic?
  • Does it convey the key message we want to communicate?
  • How’s the pace?

If the answers to those questions are “Yes, great!”, then you can focus on the smaller “stylistic” details.

2. Be upfront and honest.

If you have concerns, it’s best to address them early in the process. If they bottle up later, it could cause frustration for both parties.

For an editor, it’s easier to make changes early in the edit because there’s less stylistic elements involved that can slow down their computer.

Here’s a snapshot of a final project:


All those layers slow the editor’s machine to a crawl (even high performing comps).

3. Be descriptive, not prescriptive.

The editor has spent more time than you could imagine on the video you’re watching. There’s a purpose behind every cut, clip choice, and sound bite.

If something isn’t working, it’s their job to articulate the WHY behind their decisions. It’s your job to ask.

Here’s the right way to approach feedback (descriptive):

“The opening clip (:04 - :08), seems a little blurry. Was that the only clip that worked?”

Here’s the wrong way (prescriptive):

“Replace clip (:04 - :08) with one that’s sharper.”

It should be a collaboration in which you both work to find a solution. So ask WHY.

4. Save external feedback for the final draft.

The video should be close to finished before getting feedback from others that weren’t involved in the process. The reason for this...it’s not done!

Once you’ve received external feedback for the final draft, choose a few points that are most important and have a conversation with your video production company. Don’t send them a spreadsheet with all the feedback, spend some time and decide what’s really important.

5. The compliment sandwich.

Everybody loves the compliment sandwich:


Editors and video production companies are no different. Think of the relationship like a partnership, you don’t just holler demands at your partner. You work closely with them to find a solution and treat them with respect.

Giving positive feedback goes a long way and will make your video production company feel appreciated. So spread the love!

To recap…

  1. Start by asking high-level questions.
  2. Be upfront and honest.
  3. Be descriptive, not prescriptive.
  4. Save external feedback for the final draft.
  5. Use the compliment sandwich.

Bottom line: make it a conversation and treat them like a partner.

Did I miss any tips? Let me know in the comments.

Lance Miller

Level Set Films, San Francisco Bay Area

Lance Miller is a filmmaker and owner of Level Set Films, a video production company in the San Francisco Bay Area. He also teaches what he's learned about business on his site Freedom Everything.