Updated: Sep 22, 2022
You’re ready for that consultation with a video production company, but you’re not sure if you’re prepared for the meeting. The last thing you want to do is sound misinformed or unfamiliar about your own brand, but you still have no idea what to expect. While every film crew or media company is different, there are usually 4 burning questions they will have about a project you are hiring them to do:
1. “What is the message of the video?” Or “What is the purpose of the video?”
This is likely the first question a filmmaker might ask. Knowing the purpose and the message of the video is the driving force behind the project because it reinforces the why. Sometimes, even knowing the purpose behind the video is enough to construct an entire outline. Common answers to these questions might be, “to teach my employees proper safety techniques,” or “to educate our consumer audience about an issue our company is directly addressing.” Chances are, if you don’t know why you’re creating the video, the entire project could suffer.
2. “Who is the target audience?”
Determining the audience is a key part in crafting the tone of a video. Whether it’s an interview-driven deep dive or a highlight reel, it’s important to know who will be watching so that the production company can shoot, edit, and write for that audience. For instance, a video made as an internal employee training video will have a much different tone than a public service announcement for certain consumer audiences. It can also determine other factors, such as the pacing of the editing or what ‘information’ is omitted or included.
3. “How long will the video be?”
The length of the video will determine what assets will be required of the video company. If, for instance, you want a 1 minute highlight reel, but you don’t have any footage internally, the production crew may need to shoot for several days onsite to capture all the activities needed to go into the video. Remember, as a general rule of thumb, only about 10% - 30% of what is shot on site actually makes it into the final draft. If you’re not sure how much your crew will need to shoot, experienced crews will be able to procure a rough checklist and filming schedule, as long as you know how long you want the final product to be.
4. “What content will go into this video?”
This is a question that might be asked in a myriad of ways, but essentially, the production company is looking to establish a formula for the video. Your answer doesn’t have to be too complex; you can tell the crew some of the elements you’re envisioning. Perhaps some interviews from the CEO? A testimonial from a customer? A music-driven montage in no particular order? An emotional yet informational piece that inspires the audience to respond to a call-to-action? Seasoned filmmakers will often have an industry word for this piece and be able to use certain techniques to achieve your vision.
While this is by no means an exhaustive list, knowing the answers to these questions is a great start to any conversation with a production company. But if you don’t feel prepared to answer these questions when prompted, that’s okay, too! It could be a sign to continue to brainstorm and reflect about your needs.