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Sophie Gill

Working to a brief A contractual brief is a legal contract between a producer and its client, including the price and payments along with the duties required. It explains what exactly is required from a piece of work. One of the main things included is the deadlines for a piece of work and general liability insurance. It specifies how much payment the producer will receive when the brief is fulfilled, but the producer has to agree to the fulfilments before signing it.

This particular brief has both advantages and disadvantages, of which the advantages benefit both the client and production company. There is benefits to the company in showing that they fully understand what task is at hand, meaning the client will be 100% understanding in completing the project, as well as benefitting them both through approaching the agreed contract without legal consequences. The disadvantages, however, mainly apply to the production company. It can be seen to be too controlling due to being very specific and detailed for what is required of the client meaning there is no room for creative freedom. It can also be seen as too specific and therefore controlling and unsatisfactory. With being so specific in its needs, a contractual brief can take a long time to bring together and negotiate, therefore delaying the start of the actual project.

A negotiated brief is produced after the client and producer have discussed their views on deadlines, creative ideas, payment (schedules and amounts). The brief is completed by coming to an agreement.


Sophie Gill This particular brief is beneficial to those who are discussing the project in a meeting as well as making the project, rather than talking to somebody else about what you have discussed in the meeting. However, if just handed this brief, it is very short, satisfactory and to the point with what needs to be included in the project. In terms of advantages, as mentioned, it is very short and to the point, making it easy for a client to understand exactly what is needed in a project, in comparison to a contractual brief which is very long and wordy. However, a contractual brief can be beneficial for the final project because everything is explained fully with giving exact details that need to be included, where as a negotiated brief is ‘negotiated’ to the best short brief to provide the most information in the least amount of words.

Formal Briefs are more technical and are written in subject specific language. There are specific references in this brief to legal considerations (e.g. copyright). Both client and producer will have clear expectations and responsibilities laid out before this brief is written. It aims to help protect the interests of both parties because it states what is required for successful completion of the work. This specific brief is normally used in a place of work, instead of setting out a task. It is professionally laid out, ensuring it is easy to read and follow for the client. It is a relaxed yet professional approach to a job, of which means the project is completed quickly and sufficiently. This brief is like a contract, of which cannot be changed. This is a feature that differs from the rest of the briefs and ensures that the ideas are final and the finished product will be as professional and close to the brief as it can be. However, this can be seen as a disadvantage because no adaptions can be made (e.g. extra resources), and anything added on may affect the companies budget due to having to purchase items outside of the budget on the contract.


Sophie Gill

An Informal Brief is a much more relaxed approach to the situation. This however has the danger of the client and producer making differing assumptions about what the work will be like. The advantage is that the producer can introduce more of their creative ideas due to being a loose verbal agreement or discussion about what is required, when the work is to be done and what pay may be involved. An example cannot be provided for an informal brief due to it being a spoken brief. This can be used in interviews or presentations, stating a task that needs to be completed, yet no exemplar material is provided for the client. Very basic details will be mentioned, such as locations, budget or people to work with, but in terms of actual projects producing, nothing is provided. This has the advantage of adaptation to the product. Also, each client (if working in a group) has the opportunity of putting in their own ideas and exploring their imagination to the fullest to provide the best piece of work from very little explanation on the project. However, the disadvantage to this is that the client(s) misjudge the brief and provide something that is not linked to the original idea, or everything may go wrong with nobody giving ideas for the product. It can be seen also as unprofessional due to not having anything physically written down, meaning significant factors may be forgotten. Also, for the client it can be a disadvantage when not having anything written down because they may not get paid for their work.

A commission brief includes instructions, commands, or duties given to an individual/group. e.g. “his commission to redesign the building�. It is usually provided for a company brought in/hired to create the product. The disadvantages of doing something like this is that profits would be shared between the providers and the producers, so it may not be as much as the providers wanted. Also, the company providing the services do not necessarily get a say in the decision making process, and so they may receive a product that is different to what was originally thought of. However, the advantages can out-weigh the disadvantages for this brief, especially for the client. Firstly, everything (e.g. insurance) is covered for. The profits are shared between the client and the company, ensuring a good healthy amount of money is rewarded at the end; this is in comparison to an informal brief, you will here have a signed written document to prove that you will be paid and you are contracted for that period of time. Also, it outlines everything the client needs to know and do, but is not as detailed as a contractual brief which again can be an advantage. Also, the company benefit because they do not need to focus completely on a project because other people are doing the work, and so they can carry out multiple projects at once.


Sophie Gill If a producer makes a formal written offer to carry out work, supply goods, or buy land, shares, or another asset for a stated fixed price, it is known as a tender. It is very similar to a job advertisement, where companies may pitch their brief or send a letter asking what needs to be done. A tender brief is one where there are not too many advantages. The client has access to ideas they may not have thought of by themselves. However, this can disadvantage the company because they may receive a product completely different to the original idea, which can happen when using an informal brief. Also, the product may be adapted to the client, especially with carrying out the process on very little information, and so may be harder to sell.

A cooperative brief is where multiple producers are working on a project. One company may be doing the graphics for a project. Due to having multiple people working on the project, the brief is fulfilled by one producer but there can be added complications and addition layers of communication. Working together can add specialist skills from different companies to contribute to a stronger finished piece. Due to multiple people getting to work on a single product, the advantages allow everybody to have their input and explore their imagination, this is in comparison to a contractual brief where there is no room for imagination. Also, everybody can manipulate the product in their own way, allowing everybody to have equal input as well as make it their own. However, to resolve these issues of ideas clashing etc., a negotiated brief can be used as an alternative if no conclusions are made. Also, if a client is employed by multiple companies, the companies may disagree over who should take the product to sell/budgets/profits made.


Sophie Gill

A prize can encourage producers to fulfil the brief (maybe without payment). A competition is a good opportunity for a new company to show their skills and talents. However, if the prize is won by a larger competitor there may be no return of time and resources invested.

This brief is open for anybody to use. It is normally used in competitions on television, allowing the biggest audience to get involved and apply for a prize. Prizes vary depending on how big/small the constitution is which can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. These briefs appear through advertisement, which again can be both an advantage and disadvantage due to how big/small the company is and how much they can afford to spend on advertisements. The prizes can be suitable for the smaller companies because it helps to get them recognised in the bigger industry, but it can also be financially damaging to such a small industry.

Working to a brief  
Working to a brief  
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