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17 Point “Quality Video Assurance” Checklist

Izzy with camera

The satisfaction that comes from completing a video project is nothing short of delightful.

It’s a great feeling, but it might be a little premature.

When you think your project is done, it’s a good time to check a few things just to make sure your video does what you intended.

If you want to maximize the quality of your project, here is a checklist of things to consider before you decide you’re done (in no particular order):

  1. Step away from your project and come back to it the next day. Does it need any changes once a little time has passed?
  2. Watch the project without sound. Does the project mostly make sense? Is it entertaining and interesting?
  3. Close your eyes and listen to the project without visuals. Is it mostly understandable, entertaining, and interesting?
  4. Play each transition separately. Does the transition work? Would it be better as a straight cut? Are there any unexpected frames or sounds? Do any transitions need adjustment?
  5. Disable music and play the project. Is the project still good without music? Music should enhance the project, not come to its rescue.
  6. If there is text on the screen, is there plenty of time to read it aloud slowly? (In other words, does the text stay on the screen long enough?)
  7. Is there anything you can cut? Does every shot serve a purpose?
  8. Does your video answer the questions: who, what, when, where, and why?
  9. Is there enough visual variety? Variety can help keep a viewer’s interest.
  10. Is there anything you could add to make it better, to improve the message, or improve the visuals? Sound effects, visual effects, titles, music, and voice-overs are tools you could consider for this.
  11. Is there anything you could remove to make the video better? (A recurring theme in this checklist is to cut, cut, cut.)
  12. Do you have permission for everything you’re using in the project? Music, photos, graphics, and people are especially troublesome areas.
  13. Is there any terminology (including acronyms) that won’t be clear to the audience?
  14. Does the opening shot make a strong first impression? The opening shot is important. Did you choose a good one?
  15. Does the closing shot leave a lasting impression?
  16. Can the video be shortened to make it better?
  17. Would your audience (and possibly a total stranger) understand and enjoy this video?

Can your video succeed without these items? It’s certainly possible.

However, when you take the time to polish your product, you’ll likely get better results.

It’s a good idea to run through a checklist like this, especially when you’re trying to make the project represent your best work.

What else would you add to the checklist? Let me know in the comments…

6 thoughts on “17 Point “Quality Video Assurance” Checklist

  1. I’d add: Are there distractions in the video that take the attention away from what you would like to be the focus of attention. Sometimes the most subtle of backgrounds can catch the eye (especially if it is moving) and leave the the viewer distracted. I had a mountain scene near a stream with me juggling, and off in the distance was a dog that had jumped into the stream, very subtle and behind a bush and about 40 yards away, yet I heard more comments on the dog in the water than on the juggling. Just a thought. Also shows our attraction to animals. Thanks for all the hints Izzy.

    1. Nice tip, Vadim. That goes right along with point #11 — “Is there anything you can remove to make the video better?” A distracting background would certainly quality. :)

  2. Thanks. I liked these tips and found them useful. Especially cut, cut, cut. I find it very hard doing training tutorials to know what to leave in and what to leave out. I like to show “real time” training, but although this is interesting to “die hard” trainers who love to see problem solving, it may be ‘yawn’ material for others. Finding that line. I guess it’s helped by being clear on the target audience: die hards or novice. Thanks again.

  3. Great list Izzy. It’s easy to forget simple things and a top list of simple things can make all the difference. What’s that saying? Perfection is a lot of little things done well.

  4. Great list Izzy, I’m going to print it to keep as a visual reminder. At times, I instinctively close my eyes to focus on the verbal, as not to be distracted by the visuals or background music.

  5. Hi Izzy,
    Thanks for your checklist. It’s always good to realize that there is a lot to think on to make a perfect movie. However, there is one problem for me, as a beginner:
    1. I hesitate to film, because there is so much to think on.
    2. Editing I think there is almost nothing good enough to let. Cut,cut cut …..is what remains still useful? Than cut again and I have no video anymore.
    Nevertheless I’m happy with your list. To become a semi-professional you have to learn a lot.

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