There is no doubt the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ applies when it comes to filmmaking and video production. While we would never advise a client to skimp on costs when producing a corporate video, there are ways you can be more efficient with your budget. Here are 10 ways to save money on corporate video production, without compromising on quality.
1. Be clear on your business objectives before you develop any creative. Deciding on the creative direction of your video can be fun and exciting. But don’t get attached to a cool idea before having a clear understanding of what your video needs to deliver. What is your message? Who is your audience? What is your call to action? Remember to keep your company’s business objectives – and the purpose of your video – front of mind throughout the entire process. Lose this focus and you will end up with a video that will fail to deliver results. A cool idea is a waste of money unless it helps realise your business objectives.
2. Avoid cost blowouts with thorough planning. The first rule of video production is that everything that can go wrong will. Good planning is the only way to change that. If you don’t dedicate enough time (and budget) to planning you will encounter problems. Delays and oversights during the shoot will result in expensive overtime, the need for additional filming (pick-ups) or additional costs in post. For more info on planning check out our blog about the three most important (neglected) phases of corporate video production.
3. Have your staff help organise aspects of your video production. If you have staff who can support the production team you may be able to reduce the costs associated with producing or crewing your video. Production related administrative tasks, sourcing locations and people – your staff may be able to help with these or other tasks like catering, sourcing props or being a runner on set (The Salvation Army took on many of these tasks when we were producing the Red Shield Appeal TVCs). While helping your crew may be a possibility, be warned that experienced film crew are highly specialised professionals. If they let you help, make sure your staff are attentive, reliable, quick to learn, patient and attentive.
4. Make use of the resources you have. Do you have access to a locations, buildings or other resources that could be suitable for your production company to use for filming? Do you know someone who does? You may be able to avoid paying for a range of expensive resources. If you don’t have access to suitable locations yourself, keep travel to a minimum as it chews up valuable production time.
5. Maximise economies of scale. If you need to produce a number of projects over time, consider developing them together. Working on a series of commercials, educational films or promotional videos simultaneously will save you cash. The resulting products will also benefit from a consistency of look. Think, too, about all the possible uses for your film (shorter versions?). Output multiple versions and formats of your video so you don’t have to come back later and incur additional costs.
6. Make your video short and focussed. Shorter does not necessarily mean cheaper – the most expensive projects we work on are TV and web commercials. However, making your video as short as it can be will mean that you can focus on making your film more watchable. A good corporate video will engage your audience with a story that matters to them. Focus on telling a good story well, rather than trying to say too much and risk losing your audience. Check out the video below as an example of this. This educational film is one of seventeen to-the-point vignettes designed to help oncologists better communicate with CALD cancer patients.
7. Avoid use of animation and limit use of graphics. Ten years ago flashy, animated logos were all-the-rage in corporate video. Today, most companies are looking to appear less corporate, and instead, more personal and approachable. Animation and great graphics will make your video look more sophisticated. But they add significant cost and are rarely essential to the success of your story. To save money, only use them where necessary and focus your spend on developing a powerful story.
8. Be decisive and keep to the agreed plan. Once you have committed to a creative direction your video production company will make thousands of decisions to make that concept a reality. Once things are underway, every change you make will cost you time and money. Be clear from the outset what you need and want from your corporate video. Keep all changes to an absolute minimum.
9. Avoid making your video too timely to ensure it has a long life span. If you don’t need your video to refer to specific events, names or dates, then don’t. Referencing specifics will make it ‘date’ much quicker than necessary. Consider replacing phrases like: “In 2015 we…” with “Last year we…”. Most corporate videos should last a company two years or more before they require a full refresh.
10. Don’t choose your video production company purely on price. What looks like the cheapest quote often ends up costing more when the product you receive doesn’t fulfil its purpose. Choose a production company that can deliver what you need – one that has a proven track record. Why? Video production is a specialised service. Unlike choosing a small car – where you can shop around for the best price on the same product – each video production company offers a different approach and service offering. Work out which one is right for you and your business needs.