Posts Tagged ‘budgeting’

Divide and Conquer Your Video Production

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Red Fox Media - Video Production - Birmingham, AL -Dual HVX SetupIn our experience as video production professionals, we’ve learned that one of the biggest factors in budgeting for a particular job is time.

  • How much time will be required to conceptualize and script a video project?
  • How much time will we need in-studio or on location?
  • How many shooting days will be required?
  • How much time will we need to put the whole video together and deliver a final product?

Of course there are other factors to consider as well, including the cost of on-camera talent, additional crew, equipment, travel, etc. However, a video’s budget will grow exponentially when a client needs additional days for shooting, post-production, etc. The budget for a five-day shoot will look very different from a budget for a half-day shoot.

Most projects we work on require multiple camera set-ups, which require the movement of camera, lights, people, additional gear, etc. All of those set-ups mean that we can only capture a certain amount of footage per day. However, one way to increase the amount that can be shot in one day is to use a 2nd unit camera.

From a budgeting stand point, it may seem like an unnecessary expense to use two camera packages and two camera operators for one job. However, employing the use of a 2nd camera unit may actually reduce the cost of the video, because you are accomplishing more in less time.

This strategy is the most effective when there is a long, complicated shot list with several different locations and a small window of time. Rather than have one camera unit spend four days shooting everything, why not invest in a second camera unit and get all of your shots completed in two days? The first camera unit can spend time at your main location, conducting interviews with your staff and shooting b-roll of your operation, while the 2nd camera unit shoots b-roll of satellite offices, off site installs, and conducts interviews with clients. And if your video calls for an on-camera panel discussion with two or more individuals, you can use both cameras to cross-shoot the scene and omit the need to reset one camera for multiple angles. It can be a very efficient way to tackle your project.

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Shorter Videos Aren’t Cheaper

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Let’s imagine that you are currently accepting proposals from various video production companies on two different video projects. Each video is to last ninety seconds. Let’s suppose that Video #1 is a promotional video for a yearly two-day conference and seminar that your company sponsors. And let’s suppose that Video #2 is a promotional video for a specific product or service that your company offers. Sounds pretty straight-forward. Each video will last only ninety seconds. Each video will highlight your company. Each video will be used on your website.

So why is it that the budget estimate for Video #2 ┬áis five times greater than the budget estimate for Video #1? Since each video lasts the same amount of time, they should cost the same amount of money, right? Actually, the final running time of a video has very little impact on the budget.* To find out why Video #2 will cost more to produce than Video #1, you have to look at what’s involved in each project. Let’s suppose that in the case of Video #1 (the promotional video for the two-day annual conference) you already have all of the footage from last year’s conference. You simply want to re-purpose that footage into a video that promotes next year’s conference. So, all you need from the video production company is post-production services. You will even provide a script from which to structure the video.

In the case of Video #2, let’s assume that everything will have to be created from scratch. You need the video producer and/or director to come in, meet with you and your team, see the product or service, develop a concept, write a script, and provide all production and post-production services, which includes a two-day shoot on location with a full camera crew.

In these brief descriptions of each project, it’s apparent that Video #2 is a much more involved project than Video #1. Therefore, the budgets for each will be different, although the final running time for each video is the same. Think of it this way: most television commercials last thirty seconds. But, would you say that the commercial for your local furniture store cost the same amount of money as the commercial for Coca-Cola that aired during the Super Bowl? Each spot may last thirty seconds, but each one will have vastly different budgets.

*We’ve discussed the topic of budgeting before on this blog; how one video’s budget is not like the others, how to get the most accurate bid from a video production company, how to go through the budgeting process with your video production company, and several others. You can type the word “budget” to search our archives for articles pertaining to budgeting.

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How to Produce a Video With No Regrets

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Coverage is so important when creating a promotional video for your business or non-profit. The word “coverage,” when used in the context of video production, refers to the amount of footage needed to adequately “cover” the scene. So, for example, if you are creating a sales video that describes how your company makes potato chips, you would want the video production company to shoot enough footage to properly communicate what happens at every stage of the process (i.e. Unloading supplies, moving those supplies into the facility, potatoes moving across conveyor belts, potatoes being sliced, etc.).

Neglecting to get adequate coverage during the video shoot means that you cannot properly tell the story when you get everything back to the edit suite. “Well then,” you might ask, “why would anyone neglect to get the coverage they need?”

Most often, in my experience, lack of coverage comes from a lack of time. And a lack of time can be caused by:

-a failure to properly schedule the shoot.

-a failure to stay on schedule due to various circumstances (talent and/or crew arriving late, problems with the location, problems with the gear, multiple takes of a scene that weren’t accounted for, last-second script changes, etc.).

-failure to budget for an adequate amount of crew members.

-failure to invest an amount of money proportional to the size and scope of the project.

The last two points become especially important when creating a promotional video in which the content is documentary in nature. In other words, projects in which everything is dictated by events as they unfold, not by the video producer/director. For some video production projects, you will be able to coordinate all of the action for the camera. You will be able to set up lights, block out the scene, and shoot multiple takes. For other videos, you might only get one chance to shoot the action as it happens.

For the latter situation, you need to make sure that you budget enough to ensure that you have the right amount of crew on location and the right amount of time to shoot everything. Otherwise, you might not get a second chance, and you might find yourself without enough coverage for your video. This is especially true of live events, like trade shows, conferences, seminars, etc. Don’t budget for one camera, when you might need two or three to cover the event. One camera can capture interviews, one camera can capture keynote speakers and breakout sessions, and a third camera can cover the trade show floor. Don’t budget for one-half day, when the conference lasts one or two full days.

The last thing anyone wants (you, your video production crew, your marketing director) is to get into the editing suite only to realize that you have a video full of interviews, but not enough b-roll to flesh out the story. Carefully budget your time and your money and you won’t regret it.

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This Video’s Budget Is Not Like the Others

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011
Video Production

Image by Johnnie Blows via Flickr

Once you have worked with a video production company to create a marketing presentation for your business, you might be inclined to hire the same company again when a new need arises. As you and your team estimate the cost, feel free to use the budget from the previous video production as a starting point, but don’t assume that both budgets will be exactly the same.

Different video projects can vary greatly, depending on the size, scope, and style. The budget for building a 4,000 sq. ft. home will be vastly different from building a small cabin in the mountains. Even though they are both considered “houses,” the costs in creating each structure will be different. Even if you are using the same video production company a second or third time, the budget for each video can change. For example, an overview video of the company and its history is different from a client testimonial video. And a testimonial video is different from an internal training piece. These are important distinctions to make, because I don’t want you to be in a situation where you have already budgeted “X” on a new video, and the actual budget turns out to be more than you anticipated. Both client and video producer need to be open and honest about what’s expected and what can be delivered, regardless of how long each they have been working together.

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Get Started With Your Video Project

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

It’s not uncommon for me to receive calls and/or emails from potential clients who have never hired a video production company. Since they are so new to the process, they aren’t sure what questions to ask. They don’t know how much they should budget. They don’t understand the steps in the production process. In an effort to answer some of those initial questions, I have created a section in the sidebar of this page called “Get Started With Your Video Project.” It’s a collection of articles that I have written for this blog over the past several years that are intended to inform the newcomer about the overall process of video production, some considerations that need to be addressed, how to budget and schedule your video project, and other helpful information. So, if this is your first time here and you are interested in knowing more about how to get started, take the time to read some of these blog posts. After that, if you have more questions, please call or email me and I will be happy to help.

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