Storytelling, particularly when using a medium as engaging and immersive as videos and movies, can be an overwhelming task. Think of all the moving parts involved. There’s the script itself, the casting of characters, locations, props, production crew - truly a moving, evolving target that requires extensive collaboration.
Speaking of collaboration, if you are reading this article, you are most likely already at least familiar with Confluence and the functionality it offers in this area. We thought this would be a wonderful opportunity to showcase the collaborative power of Confluence, along with a pair of macros from Blueprint Creator, Property Group and Property Group Report, while detailing one aspect of the process; video content brainstorming. Essentially a robust, yet easy-to-use system to record content ideas and details.
The Importance of Planning
With so many moving parts, the proper planning and management of a project as complex as a video or movie production is paramount. As the saying goes, “time is money and money is time”. If everyone involved in the project isn’t on the same page, and that means everyone - cast, crew, producers, financers - it all but ensures the project will be off schedule, over budget, and most likely, a colossal failure.
Having the tools in place to keep each team on track and working together is crucial. Atlassian’s Confluence by itself already offers powerful tools for knowledge management and project collaboration functionality with its Spaces and Pages. Editing and commenting are real-time, notifications can be used to tag teammates or assign tasks, information can be shared easily. This is what you want and need to see taking place for any team project, including video production.
Laying The Groundwork For Success With Properties
Every great project or undertaking starts with an idea. Videos and movies are no exception. In fact, they perfectly show the importance of a great idea!
Let’s say you work as part of the scriptwriting and idea development team for a video production company. In the past, you’ve used a variety of tools to capture your team’s content ideas; spreadsheets, wikis, shared notebooks - nothing has really worked well. There’s a lack of consistency in the way the information is entered, or it’s been difficult to review and compare the ideas easily, or not everyone on the team has the access to the tools needed. Or worse, it’s all of the above and then some!
Enter the dynamic duo, the Property Group and Property Group Report macros. The Property Group macro, a free additional extension of Blueprint Creator, allows you to create individual forms, Property Groups, with custom fields of different types (e.g. select, people, date fields, etc.) that are displayed and can be edited on your Confluence page.
The companion Property Group Report then lets you summarize, sort, and list pages. In our example, we will create a Property Group to track the team’s ideas for future video projects. We will not be covering how to install the companion macros in this article. If you need assistance with the installation, you can reference our article, “How Properties Help Organize Your Team’s Information”, or speak with your Confluence Administrator.
Once the macros are in place, we create a new Confluence page that will serve as the template for our writers to enter each of their story ideas. We’ll simply call it Video Ideas. With the page created and given that title, we then move into the body of the page and insert the Property Group we’d created previously for this task.
We created seven Property Group fields; Author, Date Submitted, Summary, Description, Genre, Status, and Suggested Location(s). Now when anyone uses our Video Ideas template page, they can enter the specific details for their concept. As the fields have been pre-defined by us, there’s no need to worry that the information will not be consistent across all submissions.
As the Property Group fields are customizable, and we can add as many as we’d like, it’s totally up to us the types of information we want to track and report on for our video projects. For us, it was important to track not only the concept and broader ideas for video production, but we also wanted a record of who submitted it, when, as well as where the project stood (i.e. status) and suggested location. We wanted to include as much information as possible so that we can appropriately plan resources for the next few months. Resources being not only staff, crew, and cast members, but also financial resources if it might involve a number of remote locations or if we have a large number of projects listed with a status of “Approved for Production.”
And possibly best of all, as we’ll see next, all that information from each page submitted is rolled up automatically and can be displayed in an easy-to-read and functional list using the companion Property Group Report macro.
The Pinnacle of Our Story - The Property Group Report
Now that your teammates have been putting all those creative juices to work submitting their ideas through your Property Group, you want to be able to review, sort, and dive into them.
As we did with placing the Video Content Brainstorming Property Group on our Video Ideas page, we then created a new page we titled Video Content Brainstorming List and used the Property Group Report macro to insert the list. We added a basic introduction to the page above the macro and once we published the page, we now had a live, real-time, sortable list of all our video content ideas.
And as we’d hinted, we can drill further into each item by clicking the title to open up that page in a separate browser tab.
That’s A Wrap!
Now that you’ve seen one possible scenario for the Blueprint Creators Properties Group and Report macros, you can learn more about them from the folks at Seibert Media. Head on over to their Products page to learn more or install the macros now. Enjoy!
- Properties: Capture and display information in Confluence Cloud
- How Properties Help Organize your Team's Information
- Content Marketing in Confluence Cloud
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