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How to provide helpful, effective feedback on a video

Feedback on a video can be difficult to give – your comments need to be fair and useful, but still respectful of the time and effort spent on the project so far. So, how do you strike that balance? Learn how to provide effective feedback on video projects in this complete guide.

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An illustration of two creatives in a studio using a film camera to create a video.

The video production process can be lengthy – and arriving at the final delivery after planning, storyboarding, filming and editing is rarely straightforward.

Working as a team on a video often means different people are responsible for different stages of the project. When teams are scattered and several tools are being used at the same time, sharing progress can be a hassle.

When deadlines start to be missed or extended, that’s when you know your workflow needs a refresh. So how can teams ensure a video project runs smoothly, while also meeting goals and quality standards?

That’s where feedback comes in – helpful, effective feedback. Not just 'let’s look at this again' or 'let me think about it'. Feedback that’s direct, constructive and provided with the video’s target audience in mind.

Before we dive into how you can provide great feedback on a video project, let’s start by explaining why feedback is so important for this particular kind of media.

Two videographers review footage on a laptop.

Why is it important to provide feedback on a video project?

Providing and receiving feedback is a critical part of the video production process. 

Usually, creating a video is a collaborative effort – often including different departments such as creative, marketing and maybe even legal teams. Effective feedback enables every team member to produce their best work.

Whether it's a solo project or a team effort, feedback can help you inject some fresh perspective into your video. Reviewers may be able to offer new ideas or alternative storytelling approaches that take your video to the next level.

Likewise, you may spend so long looking at the same series of clips that you miss minor errors. Another team member might pick up on these details when they review the video with fresh eyes.

Finally, effective video feedback should provide actionable suggestions that lead to the video becoming more suitable for the intended audience.

Tips for providing feedback on videos

It’s often easy to highlight features of a video that are working well, such as the order of the shots or the pace. However, feedback needs to be constructive, and provide clear next steps for making the video more polished.

Here’s how you can provide more effective feedback that helps your team achieve the goals of your video project.

Be specific – give actionable suggestions

Vague comments aren’t helpful. They won’t help the production and editing teams improve the video in any meaningful way. Hiding negative feedback in statements like 'I’m not sure about this' or 'it’s not quite there yet' doesn’t indicate actionable next steps.

It becomes much easier to streamline the workflow when the reviewer says why they want to change something. This makes it clear how the team can action the amends, and who would be the best team member to achieve this.

As the person providing feedback, it’s better to be clear and direct – reference points such as brand guidelines may help to give the production team some direction. Examples of past projects can also demonstrate how the team should approach specific details such as transitions or audio.

Two creative professionals discuss a project while working at a laptop.

Set reasonable turnaround times

It’s important that everyone involved in the video project is aware of the deadlines from the very beginning – this includes key stages for production, editing, feedback and final delivery.

As the reviewer, you need a fair amount of time to watch the video in its entirety – ideally several times – and provide thorough feedback. Similarly, you need to allow whoever is actioning your feedback enough time to make the necessary changes to the expected standard.

This is especially true if the subject matter of the video requires input from experts such as lawyers, is very niche or complicated or one of your suggested changes is to source more footage.

Review with your audience in mind

A key question to ask while reviewing a video is whether the content and presentation are fit for the intended audience. Does the video have value for the audience? Does it entertain, inform or instruct the viewer in the way it is supposed to?

Besides the video’s content, different audiences may have varying expectations or standards for the visual and sound quality. Event videos, for example, need to make an impact with a lot of action – but you may want to put some music over the footage if the live sound is too tinny, or contains a lot of echo.

You may have some audience insights or personas from the project planning stage. These can inform your review process and help keep your feedback focused.

Two creative professionals work at a monitor while reviewing project documents.

Remember the project goals

The project goals should be at the forefront of the entire video production workflow, including every round of feedback. 

Providing feedback that aligns with the project goals means looking at the bigger picture. During your review, start by focusing on the most important aspects such as the storytelling and tone of the video. Then, you can move on to the smaller details like shot selection and editing.

Keep the feedback in one place

It creates unnecessary frustration when you have to jump from app to app to find feedback on emails, direct messages and other communication tools.

If each member of the team has to scramble to source disjointed feedback from multiple channels, the whole workflow slows down. This becomes even more confusing if there is misunderstood or conflicting information that has passed from one reviewer to another before arriving at the video production team or editors.

Keeping the feedback and video together in one place like Dropbox Replay solves this issue.

With Replay, you can provide frame-accurate feedback and on-screen markups for videos directly from tools including Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects, Apple Final Cut Pro, Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve LumaTouch LumaFusion or WeVideo. Consolidating feedback encourages a more collaborative review process and ensures everyone stays focused on the task at hand.

Dropbox Replay UI showing the review and approval process for video files

How to give feedback on videos in Dropbox Replay

With Dropbox Replay, you can upload videos and access feedback directly from Adobe Premiere Pro and other editing apps. 

Create a virtual viewing room to watch the video with your team in real time. Browser-based reviews allow you to simply share a link – so team members require no special access, software, or Dropbox accounts.

Version control allows you to keep track of each version of your video project – including version comments and markups. Replay’s integration with editing tools like Adobe Premiere Pro makes it easy for production teams to action feedback.

Get precise feedback on video projects today, with Dropbox Replay

Dropbox brings everything you need to elevate your video collaboration process, without sacrificing your favourite tools and editing apps.