Ansel asks: I would like to gather project ideas, budgets and goals from my clients for video productions we produce for them. Is there a faster way to do this other than an initial production meeting? I want to spark some creativity from my clients and ensure confidence in the direction of the production. Thanks for a great website and podcast!

Answer: As soon as your client places an order, the fastest way to gather data from them and spark creativity in all of you, is to have them fill out a pre-production questionnaire as the next step. The answers your client gives will allow you to set the project on the right path, will help you understand their business and needs and are crucial for a timely and successful video.

This tutorial will give you a blank sample questionnaire (or creative brief) you can customize and give to your clients.

The sales call is done. The client is sold on your service – you’re hired.

The next step is to email or send a link to your online Pre-Shoot Questionnaire or Creative Brief. This is a form that asks them to provide you with additional information about their company and their goals and expectations for the video. It also builds confidence and loyalty in your client as they begin the process of owning the production.

Here are the most important questions to ask for a smoother production:

Working Title of Video:

Who is the official responsible for the final approval (sign off) of the product?

  • Responsible Official’s contact information: (including alternate point of contact, with titles, phone #s e-mail addresses etc.)

Final script approval target date:

Final product approval target date:

Distribution target date:

What is the message that you intend to get across? (In 3 sentences or less.):

What do you want to achieve by producing this video? (Call to action?)

Who is your intended audience?

  • Do you have a particular “style” in mind? (Open ended question)
  • Is this a revision, update or follow on to a previous product?
  • Is there a target length for the video?

How will this product be presented to the audience? (i.e. presentations, broadcast, web distribution, VHS, etc.)

  • Production acquisition, and distribution formats:
  • Shooting location(s) notes:(indoors or out, point of contact, loading/staging area, security, power requirements etc.)
  • Cast notes: (how many, contact information, special needs or considerations etc.)
  • Are there any outstanding issues regarding the use of client provided pre-produced clips or segments (music rights etc.)?
  • Do you have agreements with any unions or actor’s guilds, etc.?

Is there a print, PowerPoint or web campaign that complements this product? (Does pre-produced artwork, video or photos exist for this production?)

Name of production insurance company:

Are you aware of any issues that would impede or prohibit the release of this production?

Budget & Payment options: (usually 1/3 pre-production, 1/3 post shoot, 1/3 at final delivery of product)

Is there anything else that we should know about this production?

It’s important to tie up loose ends. Thinking about potential issues is important!

Once they completed and returned your creative brief questionnaire, schedule a conference call or in person production meeting to discuss video concepts, script ideas, visuals, design elements and scope of project.

Seperate briefs:

If you are doing a promotional video or an educational video, reelmarketer.com has separate Creative Briefs for you to download. Confused as to which to choose? If you are looking to persuade, download the Promotional Video Creative Brief. If you are looking to inform and educate as main goals, choose the Educational Video Creative Brief to download.

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