Making great video content

How to budget for video production

Posted by Katrina Olsen on Oct 11, 2018 3:33:02 PM

Like all projects production requires a solid budget foundation to work from. A production budget allows the client and production company to have a clear understanding of the scope of work and level of production that will be undertaken. It enables both parties to see a clear breakdown of resources and what aspects of production will be covered, and to what degree.

 It is important to consider several factors when developing a budget, and to be aware of how these can affect the overall outcome of your videos. Everyone knows the key elements required, camera, lights, editing – but below are elements often over looked when developing a budget that can have a significant impact on the final product.

  1. Pre-Production
  • Pre-Production is the #1 underutilised aspect of production when it comes to budgeting. It is often the first aspect to be cut/reduced, and often regarded as ‘not required’ – this is a big mistake. Allocating time in pre-production reduces risks during production. Allowing time for concept development, creation of storyboards, location scouts and pre-pro meetings means not only is everyone prepared for the shoot day, but that potential high risk elements are adequately addressed and resolved prior to filming - rather than client and crew attempting to problem solve on the day leading to compromises and loss of shoot time.
  1. Talent
  • The skill of talent is generally directly reflected in their rates. While it might seem like a place to save on costs the old adage ‘you get what you paid for’ has never been more adequate then when it comes to talent. If your production is dependent on performance this is not the place to reduce cost. Check out our post on Talent for more insight into this topic.
  1. TVC Costs
  • If you are new to creating content for television you may not be aware that TVC’s have a few additional costs compared to online/social content. These costs include higher rates for talent, VO artist and music licensing. TVCs are also required to have CAD approval, and are charged despatch costs per network – I go into this further in our blog How To Get Your TVC On Air. To avoid unwelcomed surprises during production these additional costs need to be factored into your budget from the beginning.
  1. Lighting
  • Ensuring you have sufficient lighting can take your production to the next level. While most shots can make do with minimal lighting this is not always the best look that can be achieved. When bumping your lighting package up to the next level it’s important to consider the overall elevation to the production level this will result in. A DP or Producer will suggest bumping up your lighting, and including a Gaffer when they believe these additions will significantly increase the aesthetics of the video and therefore achieve greater results. A little extra budget can go a long way if it means audiences will be more engaged when watching your content.
  1. Sound Design & Music Composition
  • Sound design is another element often over looked in content production, thought of as being of little relevance - this is a common error. Good sound design can lift the quality of a production 100 fold. If your budget can stretch for music composition or even a basic sound design you will not regret it, and you will never leave it off your budget again.

Not all budgets can stretch, and we work with big and small, but the main thing to consider is what elements are KEY in making your content work best. You may have a small budget, but it’s imperative you make it work for you and your goals, so spend the money where it’s needed.

Topics: how to cost video, how much does video cost, production budgets, video budgets

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