Through the years, we’ve learned a lot of lessons the hard way. While every project is unique, it often seems that the problems remain the same. Here are a few questions we always encourage asking at the start of a project:
- Who is our customer? Projects often have many parties involved. Know who you are responsible to keep happy.
- What is the purpose? You need to know what the video is trying to accomplish.
- How will we measure success? Determine which factors will be used to judge the success of the project.
- What do we want to say? Identify the goal of the piece and the message that the audience should walk away with.
- What resources do we have? Decide who will be assigned to the project. Establish if there are any assets or resources available to the project that should be utilized.
- What is the budget? Never discuss approach without having an idea of your financial constraints. Creative types often get swept up into big ideas without knowing what the project can support.
- What are the deadlines? Equally as important as budget is schedule. You need to understand any major milestones so you can schedule work and adjust your approach to match the available time.
- Are there any customer requirements? Never make assumptions. It’s always a good idea to ask the clients if they have any specific needs or requirements for the end product. You’ll often be surprised how important details can go unspoken until the very end of the project.
This article is excerpted from the Pre-Production chapter in the book Video Made on a Mac: Production and Postproduction Using Apple Final Cut Studio and Adobe Creative Suite.