COST CUTTING TIPS FOR YOUR PROJECT
are some guidelines for keeping production costs down without
sacrificing the quality and effectiveness of your video
Use the talent you have.
Professional actors command high
fees. Unless theyíre willing to volunteer their services,
professionals are out of the question for a low-budget
program. Depending on the content of your program, you may be
able to use non-actors. A good director should be able to get
effective and realistic footage using members of your staff
Keep locations to a minimum.
Shooting is the most expensive
element in a video production. Many scriptwriters,
nevertheless, make the mistake of writing programs that call
for dozens of locations. A script calling for ďa fast-paced
sequence of the high rises of Downtown Los Angeles, Chinatown,
the Sunset Strip, Santa Monica Pier,ď would require at least
a day to shoot and would use up the entire budget.
To keep costs down, limit the number of times you need
to move the camera.
Use only the frills you need.
A lot of production companies will
tell you that no one will watch a straightforward video
program anymore. They will tell you that you absolutely must
have fast cuts and fancy effects. Remember, however, that your
program is designed, in the end, to get a massage across. An
excess of frills will detract from that message. Also, most
frills are expensive. You donít want it to look as if you
spent the organizationís entire annual budget on a video.
That will offend the viewers and turn them off to your
message. Fortunately, there are a number of cheap frills that
can make even a low-budget program look snazzy. Computer
animation, for example, and good quality music can add a lot
to a low-budget production at little extra cost.
Make several programs at once.
To save money when producing a
video, consider doing two or three programs at a time. If you
plan ahead, you can produce a training video, a marketing
program, and an employee communication program all at the same
time. Itís much easier to plan and shoot several programs at
once than to shoot one program and then re-edit it to fit a
Put time into the script.
Yes, itís possible to start with
existing footage and develop a video from that. Most people,
though, are disappointed with the results. While the most
expensive element of a video production is shooting, the least
expensive element is scripting. Script first, script
carefully, and script thoroughly, and shooting costs will be
greatly reduced. Keep in mind that shorter programs are more
effective than longer ones. No one wants to sit through a
program thatís longer than twenty minutes.
If you canít afford to produce a
program on your own, consider working with others who might
benefit from the same program. For example, a nonprofit health
care organization wanting a video on home care might pool
resources with other area clinics to produce one video program
that meets all their needs. While looking for groups with
which you can pool resources, remember that you donít have
to make only one program. A nonprofit agency providing health
services for people with AIDS, for example, could work with an
agency providing meals for people with AIDS or one providing
health services for the elderly. With careful planning, you
could make two videos for the price of one and a half.
#7: Know what color
clothes will make you look best on video.
Stay away from bright yellow or red
because they bleed on video.
White and black are also bad, especially if it
contrasts with your skin tone.
For example, dark-skinned people should not wear white,
or light-skinned people should not wear black, because the
camera iris adjusts itself according to the lighting level so
the darkest portions look even darker on video.
All other colors are fine as long as they have medium
brightness and not too much contrast with accompanying colors.
You should also be conservative in the use of jewelry,
for example, donít wear very large and too shiny earrings
that may reflect the lighting and interfere with the shooting.
Your clothes should be styled in proportion with your
body shape, for example, if you have a short neck then you
should not wear clothes that have tight collars Ė
open-necked tops will make your neck look longer.
#8: Make-up and
hairstyle should be conservative.
In addition to the clothes, hair
and make-up are also very important.
For example, hairstyles that show your hair with a lot
of volume, especially in proportion to you body shape will not
improve your appearance on video and may distract from the
subject of your video. It
is recommended that you consult with professionals when
creating your look for the camera. Make-up is essential for everyone who will appear on video,
no matter how well their complexion and natural facial tone
are. Because of
the cameraís video signal response you may appear very
different on screen. For example if you have wrinkles, they may appear darker on
screen, or if your complexion is oily that portion of your
face will appear very shiny.
Your make-up should be light and use soft tones, to
blend with your natural color. It should enhance your natural appearance.