Questions for Prospective Production Clients

It starts with a phone call or email: “We’re interested in producing a video.” Sometimes, the project details are very clear with little room for changes.  Other times, the media need is more vague, with the client only knowing what they want to accomplish with the video production.  Most of the time, however, it’s somewhere in between–the clients knows generally what they want and how they want to accomplish it, but needs help getting there.

Helping the client understand their audience and how a video production can help communicate their message will build a very strong foundation for the project at hand.

To best understand what my client wants to accomplish with this video, I have a list of questions I ask them:

  1. Who is your target audience? Who do you want to watch these videos?  Customers?  Investors?  Clients?  Businesses?  Mangers?  Can you define your target demographic (people your trying to reach)?   What is the social target: age, income, marital status, number of children, education level, etc. Is this video for a particular region (east cost, city, state, etc.), or nationwide, or global?
  2. What are you wanting to communicate through this video? Brand, company stability, services, offerings, value, training, a new product, etc.?
  3. Is it more like a documentary (facts, information and education), or more of a narrative story (fiction, storytelling, hypothetical use, etc.)?
  4. What are some emotions or feelings you would like to communicate? Trust, confidence, strength, etc.? List some adjectives that you’re want to convey about what you’re wanting to communicate through this video.
  5. How many separate videos do you need, and what is the estimated length of each video?  For example, “I want one video about 8 minutes long.” Or, “We need a series of 4 videos, each about 2 minutes long.”  If you don’t know exactly the length, then estimate the range, like 8 to 10 minutes long.
  6. Do you want to interview someone — company leaders (CEO, president, manages, etc.), strategic partners, random audience or customers, or a mixture of those? How many interviews do you expect per video or total?
  7. Do you want live action coverage shots (B-Roll) of certain things happening — factory lines, people at work, customers in their environment, etc.? If so, what are you looking for, and what do you want others to see?
  8. Do you need any special graphics or animations to demonstrate a technology, a process or something futuristic that’s not created yet.
  9. Do you have an estimated budget for this piece, or range of budget?
  10. What distribution options are your considering? Website, YouTube, DVDs, Broadcast, etc.?
  11. Do you have a format preference:  Standard Definition (SD) or High Definition (HD)?  NTSC (Americas) or PAL (Europe)?

I use these questions with every new client when putting together a corporate video project.  After these questions have been answered clearly, we have a much better understanding of the client’s needs.  And, with this information, we can now begin budgeting the project much more accurately.

We then take this information and begin putting together the client proposal.  We find that our proposals are simply their information provided back to them in our own format.


Russ Pond is the owner of Top Pup Media — a corporate video production company based in Dallas / Fort Worth, Texas providing production services for commercials, tradeshow videos, promotional spots, training media and a variety of other services.