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Q: I’m a student enquiring about a corporate DVD.

The DVD will be around 5 mins long and would need to be sent out to around 500 locations.

The DVD would include a voice over, introductions and possibly a small amount of music.

If applicable can you quote me how much this DVD would costs, and the distribution costs of such amount.

Catholic High School

A: Corporate DVD costs vary with the style of production, and because of this there are different ways to reckon the price.

Lowest Cost Route
The simplest and cheapest sort of production package is if you’re looking for a Talking Heads style of video, which comes out at just over £4,000.

This is the sort of DVD where a number of key individuals, such as head teacher, teachers, governors or the children, talk to camera about the topic. They could present the scope of the services, facilities and results, or perhaps discuss an important new development or initiative, or a combination of both.

Taking the least expensive route, each speaker would be shot in a suitable room. If required, this could be against a green screen so that they could be later dubbed onto footage of the playground, or a graphic, or other corporate/school background.

A teleprompt would allow the subjects to look at the camera and read their pre-prepared script. This works much better than having the subject simply talk to camera, trying to remember what it is they wanted to say without getting any fluffs, coughs or hesitations.

In a typical day’s shoot, the speakers would be shot in the morning, speaking to camera, while in the afternoon, other footage such as classrooms, facilities or activities would be shot. This afternoon footage would be dubbed over the speakers to add visual interest and to illustrate the subject matter of their prepared speeches.

Producing a DVD in this style is very cheap, as the speakers do most of the work, visually supported by suitable video footage.

You can find the technical specification of this style of DVD here

The Medium Cost Route

The original question was for a voiceover-driven DVD. This style of DVD starts from around £5,000.

This costs more than the talking heads style of video above because:

> Voiceover storyboards need more professional planning assistance, otherwise the DVD will end up with “dead spots” where it becomes boring

> Voiceover-driven DVDs require a lot more footage to be shot. And the footage needs to be interesting and have variety as it has to visually bring the voiceover to life.

> The editing also takes longer in a voiceover video, which increases the cost

The Higher Cost Route

For an additional one or two thousand pounds, steadicam can be used. This is a camera mounted on a gyroscopic harness, so the camera operator can walk around the speaker while they talk.

It’s very dynamic and gives a great live feel, which is why it’s used in all the TV breakfast shows.

But you need a more confident kind of speaker for this who can remember their lines. And you need a bigger location as all this camera movement takes more space.

Duplication & Delivery

DVD duplication is something best carried out by a dedicated duplication facility. While a DVD production studio can produce up to, say, 50 copies, for 500 off copies the best deal will be from a dedicated duplicator who buys and sells in bulk.

Approx 30p of this is the on-body print cost, so deduct 30p per copy from the above prices to find out the cost of DVD duplication without print.

Allow around 8p for a video case, or less for plastic sleeves

Hopefully when calculating your school’s corporate DVD production costs you can contrast the three styles:

> Talking heads with teleprompt, which is cheaper

> Voiceover-driven, which needs more footage and more professional help, and so costs more.

> Use of steadicam for more “live feel” and a great look, but costs more again

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