Affordable professional video - working to a client budget - Falkon Digital Ltd

Affordable professional video – working to a client budget

By Falkon Digital on November 4, 2019

Historically video was always very expensive to create for small to medium sized businesses. Typically it involved hiring a dedicated video agency which had high production costs, and once created, the costs for distribution and airtime would require a lot of investment. Now of course we’re in an age where the cost of broadcast quality filming equipment is a fraction of the price it used to be, editing suites are now incredible powerful, and with the right strategy, organic traffic alone can drive huge volumes of views through social media.

As such, the door is now open for small businesses to create some really impressive video content that you would normally associate with bigger brands, but with a small company budget. Many of our clients suspected that video would be far outside of their budget, but in most cases we have always found a way to work within it.

Setting video quality expectations

Before approaching a new video project, it’s important to make sure your expectations for the final video are set. The simplest way to do this is through research, looking at similar videos online and deciding on the approach and overall style of the video. There maybe certain things that can only be achieved using studios and sets which would increase the production costs; whereas a slightly different approach can keep you within a limited budget. Working with an agency that understands this is important, and it’s not unlike the approach used by Indie filmmakers when they try to create Hollywood style content on limited budgets.

In the example below for Lifestyle Food Box’d, we quickly found an overall style that we knew would work. The clients only concerns were that their kitchen, while immaculately clean and practical, was perhaps not the most interesting kitchen to see in the video. However with the right framing and shot selection, the focus remained completely on the food and preparation.

Planning the filming

Once the overall expectations, style and format of the video have been agreed, the next most important step is planning. When it comes to saving time/budget, we look for practical ways to increase efficiency and capture what we need as quickly as possible. This ties into both the actual filming, and saving time editing by making sure everything was shot correctly. The right planning and strategy can have a huge impact on costs.

In the example below, the client wanted a brand video to showcase some of her products, but didn’t have a dedicated video budget. We were already planning a photo shoot for her new season, so decided to film the video as a “behind the scenes” style video to double up on the fact that they had already paid for studio hire, models and make-up artists. We included some “just for video” scenes such as the slow motion snow machine spin, but most of the footage was just documenting the day and then editing it into something that improve the brand perception.

In this example, we were filming product videos for a range of hair laser devices. We had a number of set scenes that we needed, so we setup a a virtual conveyor belt to efficiently capture the shots for each product. Filming them all together rather than individually saved huge amounts of time and cost, and also kept the consistency between videos. Although these videos look like they were filmed in a studio, they were actually filmed in our office using some clever lighting techniques – again, for the purposes of keeping the budget small.

Similar to the product videos, a series of interviews needed to be recorded on-location in London. We created a simple setup, and then each speaker had a 30-minute time slot that was arranged so we could create lots of videos in one sitting. It maximised the use of our time, and the client ended up with lots of video content for a just a single day of filming.

In the example below, a lot of planning went into the key scenes that needed to be captured within a small window. We had 4-hours of on-location filming at a hired house, so we had sequence of scenes in our shot list to ensure we captured everything we needed. This had to allow for setup of the lighting, interviews, treatment times with the models and much more.

Editing the videos

Anyone who has been involved in video projects before will know that the filming is often a small part of the process when compared to the editing and publishing. However this process can be made a lot quicker and simpler when the filming is done right. Simple things like using proper lighting, matching white balance and colour profiles between cameras, and framing the shots correctly can make the footage look pretty good straight out of camera.

This saves a lot of time on colour correction and grading when it comes to the final editing. The example video below was filmed with 3 different cameras (Panasonic, Sony and Canon) which natively have different colour profiles, on a day that had highly contrasting lighting conditions.

This was also another example where we had a very strict structure to the day for capturing key scenes, activities, slots for interviews etc. We also scouted out location scenes in advance to get the best angles and framing for the scenes.

We use all the latest Adobe Suite software for editing our videos, which is becoming increasing powerful and really helps us create a very professional and high-end looking video for clients with a small budget.

Are you thinking about video?

If you’re considering how to use video for your business, but you’re not sure on the right approach or whether it’s within your budget, then speak to us here at Falkon. We can help you understand what’s possible within your budget, and what kind of videos would benefit you the most.