Budget Video Production, Saving Money on Quality Video Content

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Budget Video Production, Saving Money on Quality Video Content

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Budget doesn’t mean cheap; it means knowing how to use the limited budget you have to produce a video that will work for your business.

You can create some amazing, cinematic videos with a limited budget as long as you understand a few simple guidelines.

We have come a long way since the day of expensive hardware, which required a whole team of people to operate. Now technology has made video production equipment affordable and portable. To the point where the technology to shoot most corporate videos is now only a fraction of the total cost it used to be. Even when special equipment is hired (such as dollies or special lenses) these are hired on a day to day (or week to week) basis, so these expenses are fixed.

In fact, what really adds up to the cost of producing a great video is time. Simply put, the more time it takes, the more man power hours are required, which ultimately is what adds up to the cost.

This is why a lot of our suggestions will be about saving time and making sure you are making the most out of every minute of production. So let’s begin!

Keep locations to a minimum. This is a real budget buster. Moving from one location to another really eats up time and money. It’s not just the travelling from one place to the next, it’s also the fact that it takes time to pack up from one location and set up again at another. Don’t change locations unless you really have to and when you do, try to keep locations close to reduce travel time.

Keep setups to a minimum. For example, in a straight to camera interview, there are always lights, backdrops, audio and camera to set up. This can take up to an hour. So having all your interviewees come to the same location, even at a venue, saves setup time. This way you are making the most out of each setup. It’s definitely work discussing this with the production team.

Bring some of your own resources to the table. Are you able to organise locations yourself? Maybe some of your staff can be extras? This can be really valuable when it comes to saving money, but do be mindful when choosing to do this. We have been in situations before where people who are not trained actors do take time before they get it right, eating up more of your allocated production time. If it is a role that requires dialogue and direction, then in the long run, it might be worth getting an actor.

Shoot only what you have to. This means having a clear script and storyboard that is approved before the shoot. Adding more unscheduled shots to the production on the day can really blow out your budget and compromise the quality of the final video.  Stick to the approved script and storyboard. Which leads to our next tip.

Spend time and think through your pre-production phase thoroughly. The more time you spend on pre-production the less time you spend on production and the more money you save.  Production involves the most amount of crew and equipment and is where most of the budget is spent. By careful planning you can minimise this. Deciding what is actually included in the script or storyboard and sticking to this, means the shoot will run smoothly and you’ll be stay on schedule.

Be clear about what you want. Video production companies are not marketing agencies; they can offer advice about the logistics of your video production, but will have little to say about your message or your marketing strategy. So if you are unsure about your strategy, it might be worth spending to employ marketing agency services or spend more time planning your concept. By the time you reach out to a video production house you should be very clear about your call to action, your target audience and the message you’re delivering. There will be little advantage to you if you are sticking to a strict budget but are left with a video asset with an unclear message.

Be realistic with your concept and keep it simple. Utilising green screens, jibs, cranes and other specialised lighting and equipment contributes to time and money. Part of the job of the production company is to give advice on the best way to develop a concept to fit your budget. There’s plenty of flashy equipment out there that might produce great results, but you need to be realistic and prioritise the most important elements to your video. If it’s not really relevant nor necessary, your concept might be able to go without.

See if you can get a package deal. Producing a group of videos at once will probably be cheaper than just shooting the one. There might be scope in the footage to develop more than one video from the footage shot, so by paying just a bit more for the additional editing involved, there could be more value in more video assets.

Which is why, you should think of your video as an asset, not just a one off deal. If possible try to avoid making it time specific for longevity. Shoot footage that you can re-edit and re-use into other forms of videos, saving on potential future production costs.

It’s best to remember that going with a cheap video production house will not necessarily save you money. You may end up with a video you are not happy with and have to start the spending process all over again.

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