A Baker’s Dozen: Questions to Ask About Your Video Production

A Bakers Dozen-2Nearly every day at Flying Moose Pictures, we receive a call from a prospective client who has discovered our services through a Google search, reviewed our portfolio and looked beyond the charismatic megafauna in our company name at the prospect of trusting us with a vital task of visual communications.

This hypothetical client gives us only a bare minimum of information about the proposed video and then asks, “How much will it cost?”  We sympathize with their need for a budget, however, our response is invariable, “We need to ask a lot of specific questions about your needs, goals, and style of the video.”  Simply asking, “How much does it cost” is like asking, “How much is a car?”  Of course, the answer depends on what type of car.  A clunker or a limo?

At the core of the creative services, we offer at The Moose is assisting clients in understanding what they need to communicate and how best to do that.  In the past, many of our clients would have worked with us through a creative agency with experience in production.  Now, however, these same companies work with us directly.  Fortunately, we enjoy engaging clients who are new to video production and we believe they enjoy learning about filmmaking as well.

So how do we define those clients needs and their solutions?  We break out our toolbox full of probing questions:

What do you want the video to achieve? What is its message? After watching … the video, what should the audience remember?

  1. For example, the video might;
  2. Educate and train
  3. Increase brand awareness
  4. Differentiate your brand from the competition
  5. Launch a new product or service
  6. Attract new customers
  7. Communicate internally to employees
  8. Kick-off a meeting
  9. Entertainment

Who is the target audience?

  1. An internal or external company?
  2. What is the demographic?
  3. What is their prior knowledge of the subject matter?
  4. Why would they watch the video?

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What do you expect the audience to do after watching the video? 

For example, the call to action might be to:

  1. Explore a website for more information.
  2. Purchase a product
  3. Perform a task
  4. Contact your organization
  5. Add video to social networking sites

Where will the program be seen? 

For example:

  1. On a company website
  2. Distributed through social networking (YouTube, FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter)
  3. Live presentation to a group
  4. Tradeshow floor

Will the video be part of a larger presentation or stand alone?

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  1. What are the style and format? Is the tone serious, humorous, or ironic?
  2. How many different versions of the video need to be produced?
  3. What is the target video length?
  4. How many different versions of the video need to be produced?

What production elements are required?

For example:

  1. On-screen presenter
  2. Voice-over narration
  3. Corporate officer (CEO, VP, Director)
  4. Talent (for character acting, as a professional presenter, etc.)
  5. Customer testimonials
  6. Graphics (charts, diagrams, text, 3D images)
  7. Music

Do you have existing videos you wish to incorporate into the new video?

Do you have a start date and a deadline?

Do you have a specific budget?

Do you know who will approve each step of the production?