I have had a run of projects that have a surprising number of questions unanswered at the start- things that would become expensive changes down the line.
Every industry has it complexity, but there is just a dizzying number of options in a video edit. With the news that using a checklist cuts down on surgical deaths, I imagine that using a similar, standardized format can reduce confusion, delays, overruns, and most importantly, looking like you don't know what you are doing in front of the client.
A checklist would be doubly beneficial for the sales department, who are usually long on enthusiasm but short on technical knowledge. In the excitement of a new sale, it would be very easy to not ask the important questions that the technical staff will need to know. What format is the project being shot on? By who? What are the deliverables? When are they due? Who gives final approval?
This doesn't have to be a twenty page legally binding document- projects always change a bit from beginning to end. A simple one or two sheet summary of the important details will answer 95% of the questions, and will hopefully cut down on the email loops one gets sucked in to.
What would you put on your checklist?