Making commercial-quality video doesn’t have to break the bank. The key is to keep your idea simple, so you can execute it to the level of a professional production. To get your video off the ground and onto the screen, these few simple tips will make all the difference.
Create a Solid Plan
A solid plan is the roadmap to success for any professional video set, but especially for small-budget shoots. Staying organized will ensure that everyone comes to set prepared, knowing exactly what they need to do. Going above and beyond to ensure you have an accurate and updated script, shot list, storyboard, contact list, gear list, meal order list, prop list, call sheet, budget, production schedule, and completed insurance and release forms will make all the difference in your budget, and in the efficiency of your shoot. Though it may seem time-consuming to fill out and keep updated so many documents, a thorough plan that is shared with the cast and crew will keep your production running swiftly and smoothly. Not only will your wallet thank you, but going the extra mile in preparedness will also ensure a high-quality corporate video project.
Keep it Simple
Videos with huge budgets can still fail to resonate with their audience if they have a poor script. The key to writing any great story, and especially a budget-friendly one, is to keep it concise. Stay simple, and focus on what will really matter to your audience: what you can deliver, the people involved in the process, and the hook that makes your brand stand out from the rest. You don’t need a green screen or fancy props to make a compelling video. In fact, these could easily distract from the message you’re trying to convey. Give your audience an authentic picture of your brand by shooting on-location and using what you already have for set decoration. This will also allow you to store resources in the space ahead of time, which will cut down on set-up and pack-up time. If you need to use a studio for a video wall or white cyc wall, a video studio company such as Rock Shore will offer inclusive packages to take care of many on-set needs within one convenient space.
Set Yourself Up for Success
Take time to plan where you will shoot each shot on-location, and, if possible, rent your gear out a day in advance. This way, you can test everything for your video production ahead of time, and work out any kinks in your planned shots. Set up your holding area for storage, and double-check your power supply options before your set begins. You can also begin set decoration, set up your first shot’s lighting, and prepare crafty and safety stations to the best of your ability. Also, ensure your meal orders are set up with proper adherence to dietary restrictions, and that you have enough water and crafty to avoid extra runs to the store. We recommend purchasing bulk snacks at wholesale stores to save money.
Furthermore, you don’t need a lot of gear to make a great video. Instead, it’s all in how you use what you have. Use the list below for an idea of the basic gear you should acquire:
- Lighting: three-point lighting set-up, light bounce, sandbags, diffusers, filters and/or gels, ring light (if applicable)
TIP: take advantage of natural lighting options like windows
- Camera: camera, lenses, extra battery packs, tripod, memory cards, ND filter, follow focus, shoulder mount rig (if applicable)
- Sound: lavalier mics, boom pole, shotgun microphone, wind protector, shock mount, headphones, audio recorder, XLR cables
- Other Gear: external hard drive, C-47s, clapboard and markers, clipboards, pens, copies of documents, gaff tape, colored tape, multi-tool, laptop with SD card reader, extra stingers
The Editing Room
Post-production can become an intimidating and expensive part of the video-making process. It is important to keep the editing process in mind during pre-production and video production to keep time spent in the editing room to a minimum. Ensure that you have access to a computer with enough storage and memory to accommodate the editing process, and save your project often in multiple places to avoid costly mishaps. There are several bare-bones editing software available, such as iMovie and Open Shot. Software services like Adobe offer monthly subscriptions, so you can pay when you need the software, and end your subscription when the project is complete. However, if the price of software and/or the skillset required is overwhelming for your brand, you can always hire a reasonably-priced professional video editor to take care of the project.