Before the lights, the camera, and the action, it’s important to take a step back and think about why you’ve decided to make a video. Creating a document that answers these 9 questions will help your team manage expectations, infuse clarity and honesty into the process, and act as a guide to look back to whenever questions or disagreements arise.

To “Begin with the end in mind” is an important law in the video-creation process and we’ve seen it personally benefit many of our video projects. So whether you’re creating a video in-house or working with an external videographer, the following questions should help you grasp the most important concepts of the video before going into production.

  1. Who’s watching?
    Designers? Customers? Facebook Friends? Understanding who you’re talking to will help you develop the best concept and voice for your message.
  2. What is the purpose?
    In other words, “What do you want the viewer to walk away with?” The purpose differs drastically and can be anything from, “Teach the viewer how to build a tabletop”, to “Have the viewer fill out our questionnaire”.
  3. What is the core message?
    This is the golden nugget, the most refined diamond of information you want the viewer to know. Take everything you want to communicate and condense it into one sentence. And yes, this is just as hard as it sounds.
  4. How are you determining success?
    Determining success should go hand-in-hand with your goal. It could be “going viral” or simply giving your website visitors a better idea of who you are and what you do. (Tracking video views and analytics may be necessary).
  5. What is the timeline?
    First, decide when the Final Draft is needed. Then work backwards to schedule post-production time, the video shoot, and the storyboarding process.
  6. What is the budget?
    This is typically the elephant in the room and getting this question answered sooner rather than later can help the whole process run smoothly.
  7. Where will this video be hosted?
    Choosing between Vimeo, Youtube, Wistia, or all the other options can change the way you construct your video. While Vimeo may give viewers a clean, ad-free viewing experience, Youtube offers captions and higher potential for sharing.
  8. Is there a script? Who’s writing it?
    Some clients want complete control of the messaging of the video while others want nothing to do with it. Determining who is in charge of this process early on is important.
  9. Are there any examples of videos you like?
    Describing what you want for your company video can be difficult if you don’t know all the lingo (B-roll, voiceover, motion graphics). Sometimes it’s easiest to let another video speak for what you are thinking.

That’s it! Schedule a meeting with your videographer or internal marketing team and talk through these questions. We guarantee your video, and your stress levels, will thank us.