Posted on by Kris
9 Steps to Keep Your Video Budget on Track

There’s no doubt that video marketing is all the rage. Modern brands need to know not only what kinds of videos to make, but also how to shoot them without blowing the budget.


Just 10 years ago, online video marketing almost wasn’t worth making the investment. Today, faster internet speeds and mobile devices are built to handle video browsing – which means brands can greatly benefit from producing high quality video content. But if you’re not careful, video can be expensive and time consuming.



One question we often get is: how much does it cost to make a marketing video? And the answer is always: it depends on your company’s business objectives. The cost of video can range from very little to more than you’d ever imagine. In order to help you determine a budget for video marketing, here are a few points to consider:




  1. Pre Production

It’s important to cover as many details as possible before a video shoot. This helps us to build a time and cost proposal for your team, as well as a solid game plan. Without knowing the details of what you’re looking for, it’s nearly impossible to give you an accurate estimate or proposal.


It’s also important to know how many hours or days to plan for a shoot. If you have hundreds of products you need shot, or want to use actors to recreate a scene, this will be a much different cost than a basic interview and B roll setup.


A lack of planning is the number one reason why video marketing costs can get so high. The more planning you do before the cameras start rolling, the more controlled your production will be – which will help minimize your costs. Make a list of everything you’d like in your video, and spend your pre production time discussing budget-conscious options that will meet your brand’s objectives without blowing your budget.





  1. Focus On Your Story

Your budget likely won’t allow for you to shoot everything you’d like to do. The more focused your video is, the less it will cost. Keep your narrative focused on the most interesting and necessary information to deliver your message quickly and keep your audience engaged.


What is something engaging or memorable that you’d like your customers to know about your company? During our pre production meetings, this is something we’ll discuss in depth with you, as it will help determine the framework for your video.


You can also stretch your marketing budget by shooting multiple stories at one time. Plan to create scenes that make sense individually and in context, and then use that footage in multiple lengths and in different edits.


  1. Who Are We Shooting?

Who will be speaking on camera? How many people will be interviewed? You should ideally have people on camera who know your company well and are comfortable speaking without a script.


For interviews, be sure everyone wears complimentary colors and / or company logowear. Be sure to have backgrounds in mind where the interviews can be shot. In general, it takes longer to set up interview shots because the lighting and focus needs to be more precise; after all, we want you to look your best! The subject matter will also need to be miked for sound, and will usually need some light touch-up makeup. All of these details take time to set up.



  1. What is Your B Roll?

During production, you’ll often hear the crew discussing “B roll.” This is simply the backup imagery that is used to help tell a story – or anything that we cut away to when we hear a speaker talking.


What types of B roll will help illustrate your story? Do you need people or company employees to run special equipment or to demonstrate something? Or are you just shooting static product that doesn’t need any manipulation? It’s important to keep in mind any people who will be needed to operate any B roll shots.



  1. Location

Will everything be shot in one location? Or do you have multiple locations that will incur additional travel costs? It’s important for our team to know logistics ahead of time so we can plan for travel time, batteries, memory cards, and craft service.


Discussions about location also include lighting and sound. We love working with natural daylight whenever possible. It’s no wonder you see so many beautiful images online and on TV with that gorgeous golden hue just before sunset; this “golden hour” makes for fantastic lighting that is almost always flattering. For inside shots, we bring our own lighting. It’s also important to have access to overhead lights so we can turn them off and control the lighting whenever possible.


For sound, interviews with people speaking are usually our most critical concern. Will your interviews be shot in an office setting? Keep in mind the basic office sounds of phones ringing, doors slamming, and copy machines running. While these may seem like normal day-to-day details of a busy business atmosphere, these sounds will get picked up on video. Outside interviews also run the risk of street traffic, overhead airplanes, and wildlife that might be active near the shot. If we’re shooting in a factory setting, there might be machinery running or bells and alarms going off that we need to be mindful of. It’s important to be aware of all of these details that may cause a delay in production.

  1. Higher End Production

Do you have products that require extreme closeups? Or some point in your story that would benefit from slow motion to help illustrate a story? These are important details to discuss, as these change the types of cameras and lighting that are used.


For example, the high definition Red camera shoots at 6K, which is 50% larger than the biggest 4K cameras, and 220% larger than standard HD. This is great for super high definition shots, and the individual screen shots can be used for billboards, print ads, and other high res print applications. The downside of the Red camera is that the cartridges are expensive and it takes longer to download and review the footage, which can add time on the backend.

For slow motion or high end lighting shots, we use bigger lenses, different lighting, and it takes longer to set up each shot. Slow motion is “cranked” or shot at a faster speed so that we can slow down the footage for a slow motion effect.


Do you have products or scenes that require overhead shots? We can use a drone camera to capture overhead footage. We can also use a slider or dolly to add a nice, elegant motion to the camera for more interesting shots.


Whatever your project requires, it’s important to discuss what sort of effect you’re looking for with specific shots so we know what equipment to bring. We want to give you the best quality without overshooting your budget.



  1. Do You Need Illustrations or Animation?

Do you need any infographics or explainer graphics to help illustrate a concept or process? Be sure to discuss the overall style you’re looking for, as well as the content. A script will need to be written as well as sketches and storyboards to lay out your story.


Does your logo need to be animated in some way? Or are you looking for additional motion graphics throughout your video? All of these details should be discussed early on.



  1. Day-of Considerations

If you’re shooting in a working environment, you’ll need to be mindful of the limitations of work schedules: start times and closing times, lunch breaks, conference calls, and other deadlines need to be considered. If you need people in your shots to manipulate any B roll, you might need to work around their schedules.


If your project has a lot to cover, we might consider breaking up the shoot into a few separate days. There’s nothing worse than working with a tired crew and trying to squeeze in a few more shots at the end of a 12-hour day. That’s when details get overlooked.

  1. What is Your End Usage?

How are you planning to use your videos? Online? Social media? High definition TV broadcast? These details all factor in to how the video will be shot. We want to give you the highest resolution possible, but if you don’t need the high definition Red camera, that may be overkill for your project.


Video stills: we love to capture as many stillshots as we can when we’re shooting video. These are great to use on social media, websites, and teasers. It’s always fun to take a few quick “behind the scenes” photos that capture the video production including the lighting, camera, producer, and subject matter. People are often surprised to see everything that goes into a production!


As you can see, there are a lot of details that go into video. If you’d like to discuss your next project, give us a call. We’ll be happy to walk you through the steps and get you on your way to a great video production.

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