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Video ProductionQuestions for your Video Production Company
video production company

Questions for your Video Production Company

Your team is about to embark on a new video production project. You did your research and found the right video production company for the job. Now on the precipice of your kick-off meeting, it dawns on you that there might be a couple of questions that need clarification. Now depending on your previous experiences, the whole process could be akin to Googling for something you don’t know how to describe. There are intricacies to every discipline, knowing where to start on your informational journey will enable and empower your team to get the absolute most out of the experience. To get you on the right track we have curated a couple of important questions:

Ask your Video Production Company about Video Drafts

Every produced video will go through multiple drafts, each draft is an opportunity for you as a client to review the video work. A typical industry standard is around three drafts per video, which means you want to make your team available for a minimum of three sessions of video review. To get more out of this question we recommend asking for the dates of video review as per the project plan, this way you can book your key project members for each video review session. Depending on the video project, there might be additional review meetings especially if you are preparing multiple videos which may require standardised templates or design. It is important to remember that video production is a step-by-step process, each production step is dependent on the previous one, which means you want to provide timely feedback for each step so that you do not hinder the next step.

Ask your Video Production Company about Shoot Days

To make the most of your collaboration with a video production company, there are several key points you should discuss with them. Particularly when it comes to the shoot days, having a clear understanding of what’s going to happen, what’s required from you, and what you can expect will help ensure everything runs smoothly.

This question can be elaborated on immensely depending on the nature of the shoot, video and industry. The considerations for a typical video shoot could include the following:

Site Preparations

Ask about what is needed to prepare the location for the shoot. Will there be a need for set designs, props, or any alterations to the current site? How about lighting conditions – do they need to be adjusted or controlled? If you’re shooting in an office or public place, how much disruption will the shoot cause, and how can this be minimised? Understanding these logistical details can prevent unnecessary surprises or delays on the shoot day.

Employee Preparation

If your staff are going to be involved in the shoot, either in front of or behind the camera, they will need clear instructions on what’s expected of them. The video production company should provide a detailed briefing on their roles and responsibilities, and guide wardrobe, make-up, and other related aspects. Discuss whether your employees need any specific training, like acting or media handling, to come across well on camera.

Safety Precautions

Safety should always be a top priority during video shoots. Ask about the safety measures they have in place, especially if stunts, special effects, or potentially hazardous environments are involved. The company should follow industry-standard safety protocols and guidelines. Confirm that they have comprehensive insurance to cover any potential mishaps.

Branding Considerations

It’s important to discuss how your brand will be visually represented in the video. What kind of style, tone, and colours will be used? How will the video reflect your brand’s identity and core values? Ensure the video production company has a clear understanding of your brand guidelines to maintain consistency across all your visual assets.


Whether you’re using professional actors, influencers, or your staff, it’s essential to understand how the talent selection process works. What attributes should they have to best represent your brand? If you’re hiring from outside, who will handle the casting and contract negotiation? Make sure you are part of the decision-making process.

Special Equipment

For certain types of videos, special equipment like drones, high-speed cameras, or virtual reality setups may be required. Ask your video production company about their technical capabilities, and whether they can accommodate your specific needs. Discuss the cost implications of using such equipment and if there are cheaper alternatives that could achieve a similar effect.


If the video shoot requires travel to multiple locations or out-of-town sites, this will need to be planned well in advance. Ask about travel arrangements, accommodation, permits, and any other logistical considerations. Keep in mind that travel and accommodation for cast and crew could significantly impact the budget, so it’s important to discuss this early on.

Based on your kick-off meeting, you should have a clear idea about what to focus on for the shoot days. If, for example, you have additional talent involved during the shoot, there may be an additional screening process, which should be planned for. Some considerations may also require additional discussions, like branding considerations, special equipment and travelling. In this case your video production company should guide you through each question.

What are the Communication Channels?

Open, transparent, and consistent communication is the backbone of any successful collaboration, especially when you’re partnering with a video production company. The ability to relay information, address concerns, give feedback, and confirm details is crucial in ensuring your project runs smoothly from start to finish. Here’s how to establish and maintain clear communication channels with your chosen video production company.

Identify the Primary Point of Contact

Establish who will be the primary point of contact on both sides. This person will be responsible for relaying information between the team members and ensuring everyone is on the same page. They will keep track of communications, coordinate schedules, and follow up on tasks.

Determine the Preferred Communication Tools

Different companies have different preferred communication methods. Some may prefer emails for most correspondences, while others may use project management tools like Slack, Asana, or Trello. Discuss and decide on the most effective and efficient way to communicate.

Set a Communication Schedule

Defining how often you communicate and when can prevent miscommunication and ensure everyone is in sync. Regular updates could be weekly or bi-weekly, depending on the project’s complexity and duration. Setting fixed times for updates keeps the team accountable and the project on track.

Establish Protocols for Giving and Receiving Feedback

Feedback is a crucial part of the production process, and it’s important that it is delivered in a constructive and organised manner. Determine how feedback should be given, who should provide it, and within what timeframe.

Define a Process for Urgent Matters

Despite the best planning, urgent matters can come up. You’ll want a pre-established plan for handling these situations. This might involve a direct phone call or a specific ‘urgent’ tag in your communication tool.

Document Everything

Having a record of all communications related to the project is vital. Documenting discussions, feedback, and decisions can avoid confusion, ensure everyone is on the same page, and serve as a reference point.

Open Door Policy

Promote an open communication environment where questions, ideas, and concerns are welcomed. This openness can foster a healthy working relationship and encourage problem-solving.

Clear communication channels are a critical part of collaborating with a video production company. By setting these channels up early and maintaining them, you ensure that the collaboration process is efficient, smooth, and results in a final product that aligns with your vision.

What Happens If The Project Goes Over Budget?

It is not unusual for creative projects to evolve over time. As you delve deeper into the production process, you may find that certain elements need tweaking or that there are additional features you’d like to incorporate. Consequently, these changes can result in additional costs that may push your project over its original budget.

To avoid confusion and stress when such scenarios arise, it’s vital to discuss with your video production company their strategies and policies for handling budget overruns. Here are some specific questions you could ask:

Notification and Transparency

You should confirm that the company will notify you immediately if it seems likely that the project will exceed the estimated budget. Ask about their policy on transparency about costs. How will they inform you about the escalating costs? Will they provide you with regular updates or only alert you when a certain threshold has been crossed?

Scope Adjustment

Understanding their flexibility regarding the scope of work is also essential. If a project threatens to exceed the budget, would they be open to adjusting the scope or even downsizing some elements? How would such changes affect the overall quality and effectiveness of the video?

Additional Charges

Clarify what constitutes additional charges. Are there specific aspects of the production process that are more susceptible to budget overruns? Understanding this can help you keep an eye on those areas and make cost-effective decisions.

Contingency Plan

Discuss if there is a contingency plan in place for unforeseen expenses. Some video production companies might include a contingency line in their budgets for unexpected costs. If they do, you should know what percentage of the budget is set aside for this and under what circumstances it can be used.

Payment Terms

Finally, discuss the payment terms for any additional costs. Would these be payable immediately or can they be spread out over a certain period? Would over-budget costs affect the payment terms of the original contract?

By having these discussions early, you can ensure that any budget overruns are handled smoothly and without causing any major hitches in the production process. Being clear about these matters can also help strengthen the relationship between your team and the video production company, facilitating a more effective collaboration.

Post-Production Inquiries

Post-production stands as the critical phase where videos transition from raw footage to polished content. To navigate this essential stage effectively and ensure your project aligns with your vision, it’s imperative to address several key considerations:

Editing Philosophy

Ask about their approach to editing. Do they lean towards a narrative style, a documentary feel, or something more abstract? The way they perceive the raw footage and stitch it together can significantly impact the final video’s narrative and feel.

Music and Sound Design

Soundtracks can evoke emotions and set the video’s tone. Will they use royalty-free music and custom compositions, or would you need to buy licenses? Discuss the importance of ambient sounds and sound effects that might be used to enhance the video experience.

Colour Grading

Colours can influence the audience’s emotions and perceptions. Do they handle colour grading in-house, or is it outsourced? Discuss your vision for the final look, be it warm, cinematic, cool, or neutral.

Graphics and Animations

If your video requires graphics or animation, inquire about their process. Do they have graphic designers and animators on board? Share your brand’s aesthetic to ensure any animations or graphics are on-brand.

Feedback on Edits

Editing is a detailed process, and sometimes what looked good on paper might not translate well in the edit. How open are they to feedback at this stage? Is there a limit to the number of post-production revisions?

Video Formats

You might need different formats depending on where you plan to showcase the video. Ask them about the formats they can provide, keeping in mind your needs, be it for social media, web, or large-screen presentations.

Distribution Strategy

Some video production companies might offer services or partnerships that assist in distributing your video, ensuring it reaches your desired audience. Discuss if this is an option and any associated costs.

How Will the Video Production Company Facilitate Long-Term Collaboration?

In the rapidly evolving landscape of digital content, the relationship between businesses and video production companies often extends beyond a single project. With consistent branding and video marketing gaining importance, establishing a long-term collaboration might be advantageous. Here’s what you need to know to ensure an ongoing, productive partnership:

Understanding Long-Term Goals

Shared Vision: How well does the video production company grasp your brand’s long-term vision? Their understanding is pivotal in creating content that aligns seamlessly with your brand over time.

Continuous Learning: How open are they to learning and evolving with your brand? A willingness to adapt and grow with your company is crucial for a long-term partnership.

Consistency Across Videos

Branding Consistency: Will the company ensure consistency in video style, tone, and branding across various projects? This ensures a coherent brand narrative.

Updating Past Content: As your brand evolves, how open are they to revisiting and updating previous content to maintain brand alignment?

Pricing and Packages for Regular Collaborations

Package Deals: Do they offer packages or discounted rates for long-term collaborations? This could provide significant cost savings for frequent content production.

Flexible Budgeting: For evolving businesses, financial projections can shift. How flexible is their budgeting for recurrent projects?

Intellectual Property and Rights

Ownership Clarity: Ensure clarity on who owns the final video, raw footage, and any other assets created during the process. Establish guidelines for any future usage by either party.

Licensing Agreements: Discuss the licensing terms for any proprietary music, software, or graphics they use. Will there be additional costs for extended or multiple uses?

Staying Updated: The video industry is constantly changing. How does the company ensure they stay updated with the latest trends, technologies, and techniques?

Innovative Ideas: For a long-term collaboration, it’s essential that the company frequently brings fresh, innovative ideas to the table to keep your content engaging and relevant.

Feedback and Continuous Improvement

Feedback Mechanism: How does the company handle feedback over an extended period? A system should be in place to gauge the success of each project and use learnings for future collaborations.

Performance Metrics: Can the company provide or work with analytics to measure the success of your videos? Understanding performance can guide future content strategies.

What are the Video Archiving Policies?

After the project is completed, it’s important to understand how the video and its associated files will be archived.

Storage Duration: Ask how long the company retains the footage. Some may keep it for a limited time, while others may offer long-term storage solutions.

Access to Archives: Inquire about the process of accessing archived footage. Will there be additional costs associated with retrieving old files?

Data Security: Discuss the security measures in place to protect your video archives. Confidentiality and data protection are crucial, especially for sensitive content.

How Does the Company Handle Changes in Project Scope?

Changes in project scope are common in video production. It’s vital to understand how the company will handle such changes.

Change Management Process: What is their process for handling scope changes? How do they reassess timelines and budgets?

Impact Assessment: How will changes in scope impact the overall project in terms of cost, quality, and delivery time?

Flexibility and Adaptability: Evaluate their flexibility in adapting to changes. Can they pivot quickly if needed?

Ensuring that your video is legally compliant is crucial, especially when it includes music, people, or branded content.

Rights and Releases: Ask about how they handle rights and releases for talent, music, and branded content.

Compliance with Laws: How do they ensure compliance with broadcasting and advertising laws?

Intellectual Property Rights: Discuss the ownership of the final product and any raw footage.

Can They Provide Case Studies or References?

Seeing their past work and hearing from previous clients can provide valuable insights.

Portfolio Review: Ask to see a portfolio of their work, especially videos similar to what you’re aiming for.

Client References: Can they provide references from past clients? Hearing from others can give you an idea of their working style and reliability.

Success Stories: Ask for case studies where they successfully met or exceeded client expectations.

What Post-Production Services Do They Offer?

Post-production can make or break a video. Understanding the range of services offered is key.

Range of Services: What post-production services do they offer? This could include editing, sound mixing, colour correction, and more.

Technology and Tools: What kind of technology and tools do they use for post-production? Are they up-to-date with the latest industry standards?
Turnaround Time: How long does their post-production process typically take? What factors could affect this timeline?

Collaborating with a video production company can be a journey of creativity, innovation, and storytelling. By asking the right questions, you’re not just ensuring the project’s smooth execution but also actively partaking in the creative process. Open dialogue, clarity, and mutual respect are the cornerstones of producing a video that encapsulates your vision and resonates with your audience. With these comprehensive questions in your arsenal, you’re well-equipped to embark on a successful video production adventure.

Looking for a video production company with over three decades of experience? Get in touch with our team today!

We are a full-service Web development and Content Production Agency in Gauteng specialising in Video ProductionAnimationeLearning Content DevelopmentLearning Management Systems, and Content ProductionContact us for a quote. | | | +27 82 491 5824 |

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Sound Idea Digital is a Content Production and Systems Development Agency based in Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town South Africa. Sound Idea was started by Francois Karstel and has been in business for over 29 years. Our team has travelled Africa, the UK and Europe extensively. Our foreign clients enjoy highly competitive rates due to the fluctuating exchange rates.

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