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Through the years, I’ve learned a lot of lessons the hard way. While every project is unique, it often seems that the problems remain the same. If you are doing a personal project, think of yourself as the client. Here are a few questions I always encourage asking at the start of any video project:

  • Who is our ultimate customer? Projects often have many parties involved. Be sure that you know who you’re responsible to keep happy.
  • Who is the target audience? Who should we design the video for so it appeals to their tastes and interests.  There is often a huge gap between the audience and the customer, and this is where tension lies.
  • 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.  Is it total views online, sales generated, press coverage?
  • 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. Make sure there are no assumptions being made about what you have to work with.  Do you have access to client facilities or personnel?
  • 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.

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About Richard Harrington

Richard Harrington is the founder of RHED Pixel, a visual communications company based in Washington, D.C. He is the Publisher of Photofocus and Creative Cloud User as well as an author on Lynda.com. Rich has authored several books including From Still to Motion, Understanding Photoshop, Professional Web Video, and Creating DSLR Video.

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Business, Cinematography, VideoLC

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