Local Authority frightened by High Cost of Video

Q: At the moment, a figure of £8.5k for a 2 day shoot video is frightening. Some of my colleagues are of the opinion they can get it done for £3.5k.

For the video, we plan to have 5 small case studies of local people trying to find their way into worthwhile employment, such as:

> A woman returning to workplace after career break or similar
> A young person going into work or work experience for the first time
> A senior business consultant
> An Asian woman new to the community
> A person who is disabled or experiencing learning difficulties

I believe that a professionally produced video can be used in many ways and will pay for itself many times over. But not all my colleagues share this view.

If you have any ideas that might help me win them over or swing the concept – feel free to let me know.

Local Authority Consultant
South West UK

A: It’s very much a question of “you get what you pay for”.

We do know there are people who can do a cheap job. Wedding video producers, for example, use semi-pro equipment and so have lower costs. Also you may find av technicians moonlighting from a local college. Or a new startup looking for work at any price.

We work to broadcast standards and we know that we are competitive and certainly better value than, say, many London producers.

If you were to simplify the production by having only a single day’s video shoot and no voiceover (so the story is told by the interviewees), we could get our costs to a little below £6000, but that’s as far as we can go while still producing something that people will actually want to watch.

Case studies in particular need considerable subtlety and nuance when shooting and editing.

It requires great skill to:

> Make ordinary subjects look attractive and influential as people

> Deliver the key message points fluently, without rambling

> Sustain audience interest, just like a television news documentary would

I recall an occasion when visiting an education authority in the Midlands, and they showed me their case study video.

It sucked. It rambled. It was precious in tone.

It was a case of “managers making video to show to other managers” – while failing to deliver an effective message to the public, the supposed audience

And I made the mistake of politely telling them this.

Needless to say I wasn’t invited back.

The video was commissioned by people who understood nothing about video production. And it was produced cheaply by people who didn’t really know how to deliver an effective case study production.

But because it had an passably clean look, nobody dared say that it was mostly a waste of money as it influenced no one, and bored the pants off many.

Until I opened my big mouth and got shown the door for the privilege.

So returning to the original question of “should I pay £3,500 instead of £8,500 for a case study video”, my response is that you get what you pay for.

Here are some examples of what good video looks like

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