Questions you may face during concept development

Having a clear idea of what you want your video to look like will make pre-production steps such as concept development and storyboarding go much more smoothly. That said, if you only have a vague idea but really want to get started on the video, you should absolutely feel free to contact Hencar. We’ll help you flesh out your idea and turn it into a full-fledged video that will make you proud.

To do that, we’ll have to ask a lot of questions. Even if you think your ideas are vague, you may be surprised at just how much clarity you really have about the project. You’ll find that you have ready answers for some of these questions; you simply hadn’t thought about them before now.

During initial meetings with the production company, you can expect a lot of questions

During initial meetings with the production company, you can expect a lot of questions

Here are a few of the questions you can expect during initial meetings with a production company:

1) How are you going to use the video? Is it for a website? Is it for distribution on YouTube/Vimeo or another video hosting service?

2) What’s the purpose of the video? Are you making a sales or marketing presentation? Is it strictly for use within your company or industry? Do you plan to give the public access to it through your website or YouTube/Vimeo channel?

3) Who will be in the video? Will it be you, you and a group of people (like a band or your employees and co-workers), or do you want to have actors? What sort of actor do you want? Yes, we like Brad Pitt to. What sort of actor who could reasonably be expected to be available and interested do you want?

4) What setting do you want for the video? In your office or business? At a specific location? Or at a specific type of location (such as an old building with lots of pillars and fancy exterior embellishments)?

5) When do you need the video? Are you flexible about the delivery date if it turns out to be a complex production?

6) What are you looking to spend on the video? (You really should have a solid baseline for this going into the meeting, even if you’re expecting the company to give you an estimate.) Are you willing to consider spending more for certain elements that can increase the impact of the video, like aerial photography or graphics and animation?

Before you can start shooting your video, you'll have to have firm answers for a lot of questions

The more questions you can answer up front, the sooner production can begin on your video

7) How do you want the final product delivered? (This will partly be determined by your answers to question 1, since some of those options require specific formatting.)

8) What’s the target audience for your video? (Again, this will largely be answered by question 1, but some projects like reality shows or personal stories may require further clarification about the audience demographics.)

9) Do you plan to come up with the script, or will you need us to help? If you don’t need us, will you be working with another person? This information helps the production company know how many people need to be consulted if there are any problems or recommended changes. You may be able to come up with the content, but need help with the formatting, which a video company should be willing to provide.

10) If you’re planning a series of videos (such as a series of social media or instructional videos) how many do you want to have? Do you want to tape them in stages or do you want to tape all of them at once?

11) Have you ever committed a felony while using a firearm, a cattle prod, or a walrus?

OK, that last one was tongue-in-cheek, but it lets us segueway into a more serious topic. Keep on the lookout for questions that seem out of place or odd. Most video companies are reputable, but you can’t be too careful.

Don’t give out personal information such as home phone number or address during the initial meetings. At some point it may be necessary, but for the initial steps you can ask that follow-up communications be through email and, if needed, cell phone. If the video is for your place of business you’ll have to give the name (otherwise the production company may be leery of you) but if it’s not, then don’t feel obligated to give that information.

Be wary of giving your credit card information for “a deposit” during the first meeting, and especially don’t give your debit card number even if you use it as a credit card. At some point the company may want a deposit as a good faith gesture on your part, but it should be a reasonable percentage of the final cost and should count towards that final cost.

Questions go both ways, and during your initial meeting your should feel free to ask anything you consider important. Have a list ready when you head into that first meeting so that you can be certain you’ve covered all the points. Above all, be open to suggestions for different approaches to your project. As it comes together layer by layer, you could find it not just meeting, but exceeding your dreams. That’s a happy ending for everyone.