Avoid the cost overruns everyone else talks about.
If keeping to a strict budget matters, this is how.
One of the PLAIN ANSWERS series by Producer Kevin Rossiter
Today we're going to look at 10 ways to push down filming costs and pay less because it's something everybody likes to do.
1. REDUCE THE NUMBER OF DAYS FILMING
Crew costs are high. So less shoot days means the money goes right in your pocket instead of somebody else's.
Video crews don't do half days - you have to remember this. So if your shoot is one and a half days of filming, it'll cost you two days. Aim to film more in less days.
2. BE WELL ORGANIZED
Plan your shoot day schedule meticulously.
Prepare everything - your locations, your times of day, your cast, your props.
Do a visual site inspection first. Go walkabout. Look at everything.
Is there any rubbish that might appear in the background?
Is somebody not wearing the correct PPE?
Check all these things. Inspect it first.
Be sure that nothing is missing or wrong or you might overrun. Or maybe even, you can get three days filming into two days or even two days into one just by being organized.
3. USE A LOCAL VIDEO COMPANY
You'll save immediately on crew travel costs.
Now you need to be sure they're experienced in what you want. A local business video company who doubles as a wedding or events film company - they have got really good camera ops and editors.
They mightn’t have much business experience, but they know their equipment.
Animation companies are less likely.
So find a local video company.
4. DON'T ADD EXTRA FILMING DAYS
This happens with VIP interviews where you’ve got to go to some special place - or some sort of special demo, which needs an extra day of filming.
Don't add days for one special thing or person if you can possibly avoid it. You'll keep your costs down this way.
It's cheaper to bribe a VIP or customer or a group of customers to come to you than to film them each individually.
Same for demos. Organize it.
5. WRITE YOUR OWN SCRIPT
If you write your own script first, you can control the video's length and cost.
So before you get in touch with any video company, write down what you think your script should say.
It doesn't have to be perfect, but I'll tell you why it works for you:
You can reckon every 115 words you write is about a minute of filmed video.
And a day filming produces about five minutes of finished video.
So a 500-word script could be filmed in a day using that rate, but a 700-word script can't.
Get your script lengths as short as possible and then you can figure out how many days filming you need.
Then you go out for a quote.
6. BE YOUR OWN DIRECTOR
Hiring a director is an extra cost. If you can find an experienced camera op you can work with on the filming day, you'll save.
Now they need to be experienced so you might want someone who’s maybe a bit older than younger, but you can trust them to take the shots in the right way.
You need to show them what you want and what you need, and you may want to check their footage, but they will film it properly and you can trust them.
7. REDUCE THE NUMBER OF LOCATIONS FILMED
You want less crew time spent marching from place to place because if that happens it means you've got more time for actual filming.
All that counts on a filming day is when the record button on the camera is being pressed.
Everything else - there's nothing being recorded.
Try and get the least number of locations with the less crew walkabouts between shots and you'll get more filmed.
Film in fewer locations wherever possible and this can avoid an extra day of filming.
8. CUT OUT THE FRILL
Frill means drones, actors, presenters, and animated graphics. Don't use them. They'll all push up your filmed video costs much higher.
Stick to voiceover and captions.
9. USE VOICEOVER AND NOT INTERVIEWS
Interviews are always unpredictable. I've interviewed a thousand people. They're always tricky, they're never predictable - you never know what you're going to get.
And they're also tricky to edit well, and all this takes time and it gives room for error and overruns.
Avoid them and stick to voiceover. Point and shoot.
10. AVOID DRAMA OR RECREATING EVENTS
Stick to point and shoot. It's quicker and easier.
Recreating events, even demos, is more difficult than you'll estimate, and it's more likely to increase your costs.
You won't get overruns if you don't do them. Aim to get more for less.
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That's it. 10 Ways to Push Down Filming Costs and Pay Less.
Okay, back to work.
Author Kevin Rossiter has been producing business video for 30 years, won 14 awards, worked in many countries around the World, and is a regular blogger on business video topics.