In film and video production, cutting corners to compensate for a low budget is a slippery slope. Yes, sometimes it must be done, but if you cut the wrong corners, you could end up spending more money to fix it.
So, how are you supposed to know how to safely save some money without lessening the quality of the work? Well, that’s what this post is all about.
We’ve been in the film and video production industry for a while now and we’ve worked on projects of all kinds, so we thought we’d pass on some of the tips we’ve picked up along the way for keeping costs low and still ending up with a powerful film or video project.
Filter out the unnecessary in pre-production.
First off, you need to sit down early on in the process and start thinking carefully about what the project you’re intending to produce actually requires. You need to start asking yourself what you truly need to accomplish your objectives.
Start with the core essentials. Does the project require a professional script? Actors? If so, how many? Should it be live action or does animated make more sense? How many locations do you need and are there any that can be multi-purposed? What kind of equipment do you require? Do you need to reach out to a film and video production company for help?
You should also consider the possibility of shooting multiple videos at once for a series to save time and make the process more efficient, and don’t underestimate the power of pre-production activities like storyboarding and creating a shot list.
The point is, you can start eliminating a lot of costs right off the bat if you take the time to decide what your project truly needs before jumping into it and if you plan, prepare, and schedule for as efficient a shoot as possible.
For more on what it takes to execute an effective pre-production and why that’s so important, check out this post, Film and Video Pre-Production Tips for Creating a Better Production and Better Project.
Get all involved on the same page.
Whether you find that you need to reach out for assistance to complete your project or you do manage to round up some internal help, you need to understand that film and video production is a collaborative process and communication is extremely important.
And while you may not be an expert in that particular process, you’re the expert in your industry and on your goals and target audience, so you need do as much of your own planning as possible before meeting with those who will be involved in the project and then pass on all important information once you do.
Anything that will help the crew gain a better understanding of the project you’re trying to create must be communicated so that everyone’s on the same page and the production can run efficiently, but that’s not the only way communication can help keep costs low.
Think about it, the more work you save the crew from doing, the less time and money they’ll need. Just remember, while all communication lines should remain open throughout the entire production process, if you do reach out to a film or video production company for help, be careful not to micromanage.
It’s not that you shouldn’t ask questions, voice your concerns, and make any suggestions, but just that you did hire them for a reason and you need to let them do their thing. For more on that, check out this post, 4 Tips for Working with Your Video Production Company.
Look inward for resources.
Look, there are certain things that people who have no experience in the film and video production industry simply won’t be able to find or accomplish themselves, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a good look around for any resources you do have around you that could possibly come in handy during the process.
Whether it’s a certain part or crew position that can be filled by someone you know or an employee or you have a location that would work for a certain scene or shot that wouldn’t cost you a thing, you’ll likely find that you have more to bring to the table than you had thought.
You may even have some photos or footage you could contribute that would work for the project, which would diversify the content within it while also saving you time and money, and on that note, you should consider resources like stock images and photos as well.
While that kind of supplemental content isn’t free either, there are times when it’s far cheaper to go that route than to try to create the content on your own.
The point is, no matter what kind of film or video you’re trying to produce, you’d be surprised how much you or the people and places around you can contribute to the project. You just need to take a good look around and think resourcefully.
Dip your toes in the water first.
The bottom line is that a film or video production is not the kind of thing you want to jump right into without carefully planning and preparing first, and if you’re trying to keep costs low, you’ll probably end up spending more money to fix your mistakes if you rush through those early stages anyway.
So, make sure you take your time in pre-production to filter out anything the project doesn’t absolutely require and to plan and schedule for an efficient production. From there, always be mindful of the importance of communication and make sure you look around you and think resourcefully about anything that could possibly help the project and save you money. You’ll be surprised by what you come up with.
Those aren’t the only ways to save money on a film or video project, but if you’re sensing a pattern, you’re right. Keeping costs low is all about planning carefully, executing efficiently, and thinking resourcefully. Get in that frame of mind, and you’re off to a good start.
About Us: KVibe Productions, a full-service film & video production company in NJ and NY, is equipped to handle every aspect of the production process. Whether it’s a corporate video production, a commercial, a feature film, etc., KVibe creates to inspire.