This post to help you understand what actually goes into a professional corporate video shoot, so you can make informed choices and know exactly where your money goes.
When is it worth spending more? And how can you save?
Number of crew
You can do a marketing video shoot with 1 crew member.
- just 1 Camera Operator.
But this is not advisable - unless you are doing some small, simple shots - without actors or dialogue.
A professional Camera Op will have a good eye for shots, but a director at their side will help to make sure all shots are covered - making sure they relate to your key business messages.
Generally at least 2 Camera Operators and a Director are considered a good minimum for a high quality corporate video.
Though a professional sound engineer may also be included for speaking parts.
Using 2 camera operators on a video shoot is especially good for interviews - it means that the editor can cut between them to make for a more dynamic edit.
And you’ll also have a much wider variety of shots, so the final video is much more rich and varied.
Experience of crew
Junior staff or part time freelancers are cheaper, though more of a risk to use.
If they’re cheaper, it generally means they have less experience.
And obviously, a well seasoned director or camera operator will be more expensive, but will provide far more reliable results.
It’s a careful balance between experience and cost.
An experienced director will be able to manage any actors and staff members effectively.
So no time is wasted!
Where the use of junior staff members is recommended, is for ‘pick up shots’.
For example, if you’ve done the main amount of shooting for the video, but you need a few extra shots of the building and office
- but don’t need to capture any dialogue, or film special equipment.
A junior camera operator will be capable of filming this.
You need to figure if it’s worth spending less, will the video be as good in the end? Will it earn you as much as you were hoping.
Actors are dedicated to giving a professional performance for the full day.
An experienced actor can instantly jump into any scene, deliver dialogue, express the right emotions and gesture perfectly.
Trying to do this with your own staff usually ends up with a poor result.
Unless you get lucky, and your staff are particularly engaging and confident on the filming day - using staff for central roles usually show as a weak spot in the video.
Actors may seem like a high cost, but when you need to tell a story - they are worth the money!
They’ll be more relatable to the audience and represent your brand to it’s fullest potential.
An expert limited with just a camera and tripod can’t get stunning, impactful shots.
But by using a full crew, you have the flexibility to use a wider range of equipment and capture a greater range of shots.
Typical examples of special effects shots could be:
> Multi-camera shoots
> Camera crane
> Timelapse cameras
> Aerial camera drone
> Moving camera interviews
These all cost more, and a crew with all this kind of equipment usually doesn’t come cheap, but the results are far better than a standard point and shoot.
For example, with camera drones you can grab previously impossible shots from the sky - to create the feeling of gently gliding through any environment.
There’s a lot to consider for aerial camera work - even flight permission and a license - but not to worry these things are covered by a pro crew!
Steadicam can create the same ‘flying feeling’ - but can be used indoors where it wouldn’t be practical to fly a drone - for example your office or factory.
Multiple camera shoots including moving interviews, take time and prep to get perfect - but the pay-off is a dynamic moving talking heads video.
Travel & Expenses
There is usually a small cost to transport a crew from their location to your location.
But this isn’t the only factor involved.
Typically, crews located in London will ask for a much higher fee than other regional crews.
So bringing in a crew from somewhere else in the UK may still come out as less, even with travel!
Often it’s worth bringing out a UK team to another country for a high quality shoot.
- Even if there is more travel costs involved.
If you trust a camera crew, and you want a consistently high standard, then don’t let it drop for an overseas shoot.
Number of locations
If you’re planning to film in more than place - think are they close to each other, or far away?
Do the crew need to stay overnight to reach all of the locations?
If possible, aim to have locations close to each other.
This is where you can save a bit of money, without having too much impact on the final video.
Number of days shooting
This generally depends on the proposed length of the video. As a rough guide - you can film up to 5 minutes of final runtime in a day.
So if you have a 15 min video in mind - allow at least 3 days.
Hopefully this’ll give you a good idea of what actually goes into a shoot - and the main factors that affect cost.
There are some where you can save, ie choosing close locations, or less shoot days - but with many things, think of the bigger picture.
If you spend less on the shoot and production, it’s likely the quality of the final video may not be as good!
Click for examples of Corporate Marketing Videos with high quality filming