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How to Keep Your Video Production Costs Under Control

This is of course a joint responsibility between the client and the production company and a mutually respectful relationship will enable you to keep the lid on costs. So let’s revisit some of the key cost drivers highlighted in the blogpost ‘How much does a corporate video cost?’

Complexity and running time are the big drivers of cost to look out for.

A complex production involving many locations, props, people or special effects will require a lot more time in pre-production, planning and scheduling. So ask yourself – do we really need this complexity? What is really going to get the results we’re looking for? Be honest with yourself about your demands – what do you really need to have in your film and what you’d like to have in it may be very different things. Understanding this difference will help ensure you control your costs successfully. and this gives you an area of control.

The good news is that great ideas don’t need to be complex. Often the simplest of concepts can be the most effective. And if you can rule out items in the list like studio time, actors or CGI, then this will inevitably lower production costs.

By all means enjoy creative discussions and generating wonderful ideas, but at some point, you will have to get real and ask yourself if the budget will stretch to that pink elephant in a space suit landing the rocket at Buckingham Palace.

Running time – clearly, the longer the running time for your video, the greater the shoot days and time spent in post-production editing and the more likely costs are going to run away with you.

So, ask yourself if you really need a 20 min video or can you reduce this to a three minute running time conveying the most important points, with the viewer directed to your website or a PDF document for the details.

We have produced many videos with a duration of 30 – 60 mins. These are invariably for training or coaching purposes and they really couldn’t be any shorter. But these are the exceptions. For the most part, corporate communications, whether internal or external, tend to fall somewhere between 2 – 5 mins and this is most likely where you should contain your thoughts to keep costs down.

But there is another side to this. Once you have contained costs, how about getting more for your money? I don’t mean screwing the production company for a free day’s shoot (though you can try) – I mean generating maximum impact for your investment.

And this is where you can make a real difference…