It’s a good idea to avoid rush jobs if you can, but sometimes, they’re unavoidable. Sometimes, you really do need a video to go out right away, and that’s all there is to it.

Under these circumstances, you can still try to mitigate the risks that tend to crop up when you’re working in a hurry. If you check out our previous post on this topic, you’ll see that we highlighted a few in particular.

What does this mean in practice? How can you make sure that your last-minute videos are up to scratch?

1. Adjusted expectations

Let’s start at the beginning. If you’re rushing to get a project out the door, it’s probably for a very specific purpose. In that case, there’s a good chance you have a particular vision in mind, whether it’s a vague sense of what you want it to look like or a detailed checklist.

Is this mental picture doable on your given timetable? Maybe, maybe not. It’s tempting to think that you can pull off your dream video with just a little effort. Try to set that feeling aside and look at the situation honestly.

Don’t waste a killer concept that you won’t have time to execute properly. Save it for when you can do it justice.

2. Keep it simple

In fact, the best thing you can do with a rush job is to keep it simple.

Control is your watchword. You want a project that can be managed easily, with few chances for something to go wrong. You simply don’t have time for mistakes—because you won’t have the time to correct them.

Instead of putting your team’s creativity into a complicated set or story, focus on crafting a strong message. What is the important takeaway from this video? That’s your priority.

Meanwhile, limit the variables that aren’t under your direct control: people, locations, and other moving parts with the potential for conflict. You don’t want to find out last minute that the talent misunderstood the subject of the video and didn’t give you the soundbites you needed or that scheduling is impossible. Keeping these elements in check gives your video the best chance to succeed.

3. Plan for delays

Remember, you have even less time than you think. It may technically be, say, a month until the launch date, but that’s without accounting for other responsibilities, other conflicts, and any unexpected holdups. You may want to look over your calendar before you get started to see what might end up distracting you from giving the video your all.

To be on the safe side, plan for delays. None of my clients have ever regretted leaving too much time for a video.

Making a last-minute video means making the best of a bad hand. You can do good work, but it will be within certain inevitable constraints.

If you can afford to take more time, that’s always what I’d recommend. But if not, you can still work smart and make a video that gets the job done.

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