Here is a checklist we often go through with potential clients so we can assess their needs, budget and expectations. It also helps them sort out and clarify what they want, because they’re not always clear on that initially:
What is the purpose of your video? What’s your desired result?
Always have the end result in mind. What’s your call to action at the end of your production? Do you want them to click, call, email, buy, come to your store? Let the audience know what you want them to do. That is the ultimate purpose of your video.
What message are you trying to convey?
Similar to purpose or result, this goes more towards the content of the video. If it’s a training video, do you want people to learn how to do something, practice safety, or otherwise gain knowledge? If this is a promotional video, perhaps you want to succinctly convey the top 3-5 ‘talking points’ or strengths about your company, product or service. Be clear on this so as not to confuse the viewer. Video is supposed to be succinct, entertaining, informative and motivating. Make sure that that happens. Otherwise, people will tune out one way or another.
Where will the video be shown? Who is the audience?
Who will be watching this video? What’s their attention span? What are their interests? What industry do they represent? Know your audience so that you speak their language.
Do you have an idea of the style or tone of the video?
This goes towards the last point. While not wishing to stereotype, you should be mindful about the tastes and interests of the viewer. A promotional video for a garden club should have a different look and feel than one where auto mechanics are the primary audience.
Do you have an example that you wish to emulate?
If you can find a sample video similar on YouTube that you want produced, it will help us understand the production value you are looking for, the tone, pacing and overall look that you’re going after. That will definitely help us determine your budget. We’ll be able to see if they used multiple cameras, special equipment, props, sets, actors, etc.
What’s the duration of the video?
The less time it takes to convey your message the better. It’s no secret that people are time challenged these days. So if you can communicate the benefits of your company in 90-120 seconds, that’s a lot better than trying to do it in 5 plus minutes.
A promotional video should be between one to 3 minutes. Maybe four, but you’re pushing it.
A training video should be as long as it takes to succinctly convey the information. If necessary, break it into modules so the viewer can take a break if necessary before the next section begins.
An event video is a tricky one. The ideal duration depends on who is watching. It depends on how motivated they are to get the information from it. But often, event videos are summaries that last for 5 minutes, tops. However, sometimes people want and need the entire event to be shown. But perhaps you want to modularize that in whatever way seems logical and appropriate to the event.
Who will write the script?
Here’s where you can save money. You can write at least the first draft of the script. The way we approach it is to first have a discussion with the client and outline the major talking points of their video. This forms the skeleton. Then we ask questions or read their material or website to put some meat on those bones. Ultimately, a script needs everything broken into different shots, identifying what will be heard and what will be seen. One side of each page of the script contains the audio and the other side is the video. The audio generally goes first, as the visual supports the story—which is contained in the audio.
If you take the first crack at writing the script, all we have do is suggest changes. We can guide you on this or we can also write the whole thing. But in order to budget your video, we need to know what you plan to do regarding the script.
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