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Video Production Budget: Get the biggest bang for your production buck.

 

movie-money-film-reel.ju_.09Part One: Time is Money

There is a plethora of research touting the benefits, value and trend toward video marketing. Marketers are churning out online video content at an unprecedented rate.

According to EMarketer, online video was the fastest growing ad format in 2012 with a nearly 55 percent growth rate1. Still, some marketers are struggling to develop quality video content, stating time and cost as the most common barriers.

It is true that writing, shooting and editing quality video programming requires a lot of time, but the effort pays off. According to MediaPost, 57 percent of consumers say that product videos make them more confident in a purchase and less likely to return an item2. So producing video content can be time and money well spent. But here’s the caveat: Be mindful of how you approach production–or you risk wasting both.

In effort to save money, companies often attempt to take production into their own hands, only to be frustrated with the results, or—more likely—lack of results.  Unless there is a dedicated, in-house production team or at least a project manager with production expertise, the clock may tick ever so slowly and often the end product suffers.

The good news is there’s an easy solution that will get your project done in a timely manner. Hire a professional.

Production is truly an area where outsourcing to an expert pays dividends. Besides freeing you up to conquer other tasks, hiring an outside contractor provides a fresh perspective and an objective eye on your products and services.

As an independent producer with full-service production capabilities, I travel all over the world to help corporations produce broadcast-quality programming, often becoming an integral part of their marketing team. I have worked with some clients for well over a decade. Why? My clients say they enjoy working with our team because they can trust us to work in autonomy to delivery a turn-key product on time and within budget.

They’ve discovered through trial and error that they really can’t achieve the same quality results faster, better or cheaper on their own (or through their agency of record, which typically outsources production and marks it up at cost plus a hefty agency charge).

So what’s the best approach to procure a high-quality, well-produced, cost-effective production with added value? A good way to start is by talking to an independent producer – whether it’s me or someone else – about your needs, budget and timeline.

An independent producer, can help you determine your production needs, then work with you to meet your budget and timeline—delivering a high-quality finished product for your company. And with careful planning, can help you save on future project costs—bringing added value to your company.

With a pipeline of fresh video content, your company’s investment in production will pay dividends to your bottom line.

About the Author:

Kristin A. Pelletier is an award-winning writer and executive producer with more then 20-years of experience in script-to-air television production and is the president of Blue Truck Media, Inc. Blue Truck specializes in the writing and creative development of original screenplays, television programming and books, and offers customized marketing and video production services to corporations, worldwide.

Next Month: Part Two, “The Lean Production Philosophy.”
Sources:
 1EMarketer (2012). Video Top Asset Created for Content Marketing. Retrieved May 8, 2014 from http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Video-Top-Asset-Created-Content-Marketing/1008927
 2MediaPost (2013). 57% of Consumers Rely on Product Videos by Daisy Whitney. Retrieved May 7, 2014 from http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/196791/57-of-consumers-rely-on-product-videos.html#axzz2OmAzPtJQ


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This is article two in my content development series entitled, The Big Picture.  In the first article I suggested three critical questions that can help you to define and understand your audience in order to craft targeted, effective video content.  Now that you have a good understanding of your audience, it’s time to pull out your keyboard and start pecking away your first draft script.  Or is it?  Novice or not, before putting pen to page, first consider the raw tools of the trade: the elements of production.  At a top level, that is sight, sound, and motion.

Sight Sound Motion

Before I ever begin to write, I start to form the big picture: how the program  will look, sound, and feel.  What is the message and what are the various production elements that can help convey that content in a dynamic and memorable way?  Of course, in the end, the specific elements will be somewhat dictated by the script content itself (and of course budget), but considering the production elements can help broaden the creative process in how you bring substance to the screen. The perfect mix of sight, sound, and motion all come together to form the big picture. But each of these elements also plays a critical and independent role, so dissecting them is a worthwhile endeavor.

Sight, what will be seen. 

Give some thought to how the program will look. As the old saying goes, there are many ways to skin a cat. Fact is, there are even more ways to tell a vision. Will you incorporate on-camera interviews; use a host or moderator; incorporate actors; voice-over talent; photographs; tell the story completely with animated graphics; or use a combination of styles to create your own unique look?  Consider examples of videos that you like. What captures you about the way they are built?  Great. Now break the mold.  Use unique sets, environments, lighting, and composition to bring a fresh view.

Sound, like a plan. 

Never underestimate the power of audio.  Movies have it right.  The music and sound tracks are one of, if not the most important production elements responsible for how your program will feel.  Just try editing a serious piece of content with the circus music.  Or, put elevator music under a marketing video. You’ll immediately hear the obvious difference.  In planning your script, make notes about how you want the audience to feel throughout the program. Later when you’re selecting music tracks, use these key words to guide you in customizing the perfect music bed for your content to rest comfortably.

Motion, what moves you. 

What goes up must come down. What it comes down to on the screen is emotion. Motion evokes emotion. The way the program is edited is the motion behind the emotional footprint the program leaves on its viewer.  The pace and duration of the images and the use of transitions (dissolves or cuts, for example) all affect the motion of the program.  You can have a thirty-minute program that drags on and feels like an hour, or you can have the same length program that feels like its only fifteen minutes.  That’s the difference been “real time” and “feel time.”  No matter the content or the length, with the shortening attention span of today’s audience, you never want a program to feel like it drags on.  Before writing, think about how you will keep the pace – the motion – moving in order to bring your audience along for the entire ride.

Preplanning the sight, sound, and motion of your program prior to scripting is all part of The Big Picture in crafting engaging content.