We are currently working with a small non-profit with a smaller budget needing a powerful video for an upcoming live event. While there may be a disconnect between their needs and means, we have figured out a way to make it work for both of us and I thought that experience would make for a worthy blog. When working with a video production company, how can you (the client) get the most bang for your buck? Here are some tips:

Know exactly what you need. Do you need a single sit-down interview or twenty?  Do you need B-Roll (non-interview shots) or will existing photographs do the trick? Do you need any graphics or animation? These are important distinctions which will determine how much you will need to spend to get what you need. Remember, video production crews charge based on their time, typically by 1/2 day or full day for shooting,  and typically by the hour to transcribe, write, and edit your video. Communicate these details clearly and there is the potential to save a lot of money. Don’t pay for what you don’t need.

How will your video be used? Will your video be broadcast or end up online? Like our non-profit, maybe the video will only be played at an event. Again, these are important details because a reputable video production company will match you with the right people and gear to meet your needs. If the video will be played at an event, there is no reason for you to pay for a 4K camera and operator. If the video will be broadcast however, you can expect to pay more for equipment and crews to pull off what you need. Most productions fall somewhere in the middle.

Be an efficient planner. Because crews charge based on time, the better you are at scheduling and planning, the more you can conceivably get for your money. I always tell clients to do their best to schedule interviews back to back, and to try to shorten the distance between shoot locations, because we can get more done for them in the time we have budgeted. This DOES NOT mean to pack in as much as you can. It is entirely possible to cram so much in that the quality of the production drops.

If you are reasonable and efficient, you will be very pleased with your return on investment.