When you’re gearing up to create a stunning video, that first phone call between the production company and a potential client sets the stage for a successful project. Whether you’re a business owner looking to promote your brand or someone with a creative project in mind, many prospective clients aren’t fully prepared to answer the key questions we need to build a quote or get started. This blog post is designed to help you, someone looking to hire a video production company, understand what to expect and how to prepare. It’s also a great resource for other video professionals to ensure they’re asking the right questions. Here are the main questions that I ask prospective video clients on a first call. Let’s dive in.

1. What’s the Big Picture?

First things first, I need to get a sense of the overall vision. I usually start with, “Can you give me a brief overview of your project?” This helps me understand the scope and the central idea. Whether it’s a brand promo, a documentary, or a product demo, knowing the project’s essence is crucial.

2. Who’s Watching?

Understanding the target audience is essential. I’ll ask, “Who is the target audience for this video?” Are we talking to tech-savvy millennials, corporate professionals, or maybe a niche hobbyist community? This influences everything from the tone to the style of the video.

3. What’s the Message?

I’m always curious about the core message. “What message or story do you want to convey to your audience?” This helps us craft a narrative that’s not only engaging but also aligned with your goals.

4. Style and Inspiration

Next up, I’ll delve into style. “Do you have a particular style or tone in mind for this video?” and “What do you want people to feel when they watch your video?” I’ll also ask if there are any specific examples or references you can provide. These questions help me gauge your aesthetic preferences and ensure we’re on the same creative wavelength.

5. Budget Talks

Money matters, so I’ll ask, “What is your budget range for this project?” This isn’t just about numbers; it’s about setting realistic expectations and making sure we can deliver the best possible product within your budget. Having a budget is not required, but it does help me put together a plan to give you the best possible video for your desired price point. 

6. Timing is Everything

I need to know your deadlines. “Do you have a specific deadline or timeline for the project?” Understanding your schedule helps us plan the production process efficiently.

7. Location, Location, Location

Filming logistics are crucial. “Where will the filming take place?” This question helps us plan for travel, number of shoot days, permits, and any location-specific challenges.

8. Creative Collaboration

I always want to know how involved you want to be in the creative process. “How involved do you want to be in the creative process?” and “Do you have a script or storyboard, or will you need help developing these?” Whether you’re hands-on or prefer to leave it to the pros, it’s good to establish this upfront.

9. Distribution Plans

Knowing where the video will live is key. “Where and how do you plan to distribute or use this video?” Different platforms have different requirements, and this influences our approach to filming and editing.

10. Past Experiences and Expectations

Lastly, it’s helpful to learn from your past experiences. “Have you worked with a video production company before? If so, what was your experience like?” and “What are your expectations for the final product?” These insights help us avoid past pitfalls and aim for a home run.

Wrapping Up

At the end of the call, I’ll often ask, “Is there any other information or specific requests you’d like to share?” and “Do you have any questions for us about our process, experience, or services?” This ensures that we’ve covered all bases and are ready to move forward.

These questions aren’t just about gathering information – they’re about building a partnership. By understanding your vision, audience, and expectations, we can create something truly amazing together. So, next time you hop on a call with a video pro, be ready for these questions. It’s all part of the magic of making your project come to life!

Looking forward to our next blockbuster collaboration!

Written By: Andrew Klein, Executive Producer, Fog Coast Productions