Video Production On a Budget
Video production can get very expensive very quickly. With multiple revisions comes several hours of additional work for the videographer, the editor, and the people featured in your video. Getting it right—or close to right—the first time, then, is important. One of the best ways of doing this is to make sure that you have as much work done before the shoot as possible and that everyone who is involved knows the score.
Most cost saving comes from efficiencies. Follow these steps and you should have a quick, efficient shoot and edit and get the video you need for the price that you want to pay.
Define The Outcome and Work Backwards
Think about what you want your video to do. What would be the result of producing the video? More leads? Better brand recognition? Once you’ve decided this you can piece together how the final product will look, sound, and feel, and what messaging you want to push to the forefront. With a clear understanding of how the finished product will look you’ll find it easier to outline the steps to get you there.
Find Interesting Locations To Shoot
Even if you’re shooting something as simple as an interview, your choice of location matters. The idea here is to get out of the studio and out of the office. If you have a manufacturing space or production floor, this can look great in the background as someone is talking. With a decent lavalier microphone, you’ll eliminate the worst of the noise, and you’ll have an engaging, relevant, unique, and interesting background for your interview.
Use Natural Lighting
If you’re looking to produce video on a budget, it’s sometimes possible to get away without using a lighting setup. The key here is to find a window or external light source that provides nice soft lighting for your subject. If you can figure out lighting without having to resort to using lights, you can save both time and money by skipping the time it takes to set up. This is also helpful when shooting subjects who are busy and do not have time to wait around, while you get the lighting just so. Many mirrorless cameras, DSLRs, and smartphones have excellent capabilities in low light.
Use In-House Talent
Voiceovers and presenters can quickly become your biggest expense when producing video. By putting your staff in front of the camera you not only save the expense of hiring a professional presenter, but you also add credibility as you show off the expertise at your company. Where possible, find someone capable and confident within your ranks who is willing to appear on camera. Some of the best deliveries come from people who are deeply involved with and invested in your company.
Ditch The Script
In interviews, it can be tempting to write out answers to questions and memorize the answer—or worse, try to read the script directly to camera. It’s almost always more genuine, interesting, and engaging to capture someone’s off-the-cuff response to a question than it is to have them parrot language that they wrote or that was written for them. This also cuts down on the amount of takes as there is less focus on perfecting the delivery and more focus on the messaging.
Audio Is King
As you can see, there are several ways to cut down the cost of your video and still get something great at the end of it. One area that can’t be shortcutted, however, is audio. It’s essential to have voices as clear as possible. To achieve this, invest in and use a sturdy clip-on lavalier microphone and sync the audio to your video footage for excellent sound. This will cut down on background noise and get some clarity from the speaker.
These tips should help you stay on budget and on task with your next video project. Plan well, find a cool location, use natural lighting where possible, use talent at your company, ditch the script, and remember to take great audio. You’ll be on the path to excellent video content before you know it.