This is the most rudimentary question and ultimately the most important. Defining the answer to “What is our goal” will help guide the team (your internal team and the miano.tv creative team) throughout the production process. For instance, if someone says: “We want the CEO to introduce the video” then our question to you might be: “Does that really help you achieve your communication goal?” Or if, in the editing session, someone suggests a “really cool” special effect, the production team can consider if it truly helps accomplish the communication goal or distracts from it.
There are lots of ways to effectively communication a message. Video is one of the most powerful and effective … But it is not always the right choice. For instance, if all you want to present is complex data or specs, a print piece will be far more effective than video. Our communication professionals are not shy about telling you when video may not be the best way to communicate your message.
The target audience drives the production. From the script and production design, to the choice of narrator, music, and pacing … Every element is guided by knowing who the intended viewer is. The more specific your target audience is; the more effective your communication will be.
This may be the furthest thing on your mind when you have only just decided to use video as your communication tool. The reality is, knowing how a video will be distributed and seen drives many of the production choices. Is the finished video going to be shown in a small window on the company website, on a big screen at a company conference, or on a REALLY big screen at a Cineplex? Will it be sent to clients on a DVD, USB drive, or web link? How your video will be viewed and distributed not only determines the technical requirements but visual elements, like how large a font should be or how close is too close for an interview shot.
Nobody likes to be asked: “How much do you want to spend?” because we all assume the person asking that question will charge exactly that amount (or perhaps a tiny bit lower to make it look like a bargain). Here’s the cold hard reality: We have created a wide range of productions for an equally wide range of clients and in a wide range of budgets. If your project warrants a “Hollywood production” – and some do – we can certainly supply those resources. If, however, you have a big budget idea but a small budget reality, we need to know that. We have unlimited production tools at our disposal – each with a corresponding price. We have accomplished amazing things with tiny budgets. Knowing your budget comfort level prevents us from presenting an idea that simply can’t be accomplished.
We are not just “creative types.” We all work in the reality of deadlines and know that there are consequences if those deadlines are missed by even the smallest amount. So, one of our first questions to you will be: “When do you need this?” We then carefully create a realistic production time-line to meet that deadline.
The type of filming and the location of that filming can have a significant impact on the budget. There are potential travel expenses, obviously, but also equipment considerations. For instance, do we need an underwater housing, a drone, a car mount, a camera dolly, a truck full of lighting or specialty lenses? Will we be filming in town, at multiple facilities across the country, or halfway around the world?
A stakeholder is anyone who has a vested interest in the video. This might include the CEO who requested it, the VP of Sales who will need to have his sales force incorporate it into customer meetings, or the Marketing Director who approves the look and content of all company communications. The role each stakeholder will play needs to be considered in the production and approval process.
If you are talking to other production companies in addition to miano.tv, those folks should be asking you these same questions. If not, walk away!