Production Checklist

Define your business objective
Answer this question: What do you want to happen when people finish watching your video? What do you want your video to do? To raise awareness? To drive traffic to a landing page? To motivate your customers to buy your product? To influence key decision-makers in your industry? To clearly differentiate you from your competitors?  To educate a new target audience on important issues affecting your industry?  The list is infinite but since you already know now you want a video let’s discuss what that video is going to accomplish before we press record.  ‘Having a video up on your website’ or ‘keeping up with your competitors’ are not business objectives. Determining a business objective allows you to focus on results and without that focus you are just throwing money away.
Define your audience
It’s funny every time I talk with a client about who their audience is they are convinced they know, but in reality this takes a bit more time and research to understand.  The medical industry isn’t the audience, there is always a subset of people you are trying to reach.  Narrowing the focus will give a greater chance of success because you can deliver a message that you know your audience is interested in watching. What are the needs, preferences and biases of this audience? Answer this question: With this specific video who will benefit the most from this information?
Develop your message
We’re still not getting ‘creative’ yet…} What I mean here is that there may be a list of 20 things your product or service offers that sets it apart from the competition, but we are on a mission to simplify this.  Narrow this down to the main 2-3 topics that will be easy to win the audience over with. How will this resonate with your audience.  The more you try to convey to your audience the less likely they will walk away understanding anything you just told them.  Answer this question: What specific problem am I trying to solve and how do I communicate the solution to that problem?
What’s your budget
As much as I hate to talk money it always comes up in the beginning of the conversation even before knowing what the heck we are about to produce.  So you ask for a budget and I ask “What’s the idea?”.  This conversation while important should come after you have a sense of what style and type of video you want.  If you are new to video this is a good starting point to give me a call so I can walk through the process and help with an understanding of time, costs and the process.
Answer this question: Find a video similar to what you are thinking about and ask potential video production companies ‘what would a video like this cost to make?’
Planned Distribution
Usually when I talk to folks they know that they will place the video on their website, but that is about it.  Most companies have a Youtube channel or Vimeo account, but don’t know from there how their video will be found.  While google makes finding the right video fairly easy, there is a whole other universe out there in terms of getting your video seen by the audience you are searching for.  This is where Setla Films comes in.  We have a strong social presence and ultimately know how to find where your audience is and what communities they are involved in.  This service while advertising agencies charge an arm and a leg for we pride ourselves on giving our clients not only high end production value, but strong distribution options to get the video seen.
Treatment/ Storyboard/ Narrative Brief
In the beginning we may start with a few conference calls to discuss some of the initial ideas that you and your team had for the video or series of videos.  From there this can turn into a more scripted idea or it may be more from a documentary standpoint where the ideas come from the interviews while in production, either way we’ll usually start with a Narrative Brief to describe “The Message”, “The Flow” of the concept and get buy in from those key opinion leaders on the project.  From there you need to flush out the video in detail (typically by scene) if it is a scripted idea.  In this case a storyboard is created and we dive deeper into the shot selection.  Location ideas, Motion Graphics, animation concepts, etc. are in discussion.  This is the step where you determine the style, the flow, the length (more on this step below) and the structure of your video. It allows you to think through the video in a logical fashion and share this vision with others. It’s also a tremendously valuable tool for accountability.
Length of Video
What is this video?  Educational, promotional?  a commercial? perhaps it is a series you want to start.  While usually shorter is better,  shorter is also harder. Shorter seems riskier because you necessarily have to leave things out and narrow down your message to a very few key ideas. That’s tough to do. As online attention spans continue to shrink, ‘shorter’ should definitely be the target. ‘Shorter’ is a guideline not a rule, however. If you are creating a product demo, a training video or something else for someone much further along the sales cycle – then these audiences may want more information, they may want more detail. The length of your video then really depends on the motivation of your viewer. A good rule of thumb for promotional videos (targeting the ‘awareness’ or’ interest’ phases of the sales cycle) is between one an two minutes in length. Your video needs to be succinct, it needs to include targeted, relevant information and it better be interesting. Answer this question: How long do you need to get to the point of your video?
The size and scope of the job will determine how many meetings and how many people are involved in the video production process. This will be key in making sure deadlines are kept and the video can be delivered on time. The better the collaboration, the better the outcome. Answer this question: Who’s input/perspective would really be of value in the planning process?
Pre-production meetings
Who has to be involved in the approval process. What is their involvement and do they have any input or biases that should be communicated upfront? This becomes much more important in large organizations.  Answer this question: Who needs to approve the video and where do they get inserted into the process?
6 things to ensure success
Shareable Content
Converse With Viewers
Remember a good campaign grabs the viewers attention and consistently keeps it!