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Video Costs: Maximizing Your Money

Maximizing your money is important for any project, and we know video is no different. In my last blog entry, which you can find right over here, I discussed what factors go into the price of a video production quote. (TLDR: Hours, Crew, Gear, and how I’m feeling that day. That last one is probably a lie, but I’ll never tell.) But now that you know how the price of a quote is determined, what are some tips I have for maximizing your money and getting the most bang for your buck?

Maximizing Tip #1: Put an Emphasis on the Message, Not the Runtime

Now, more than ever, attention spans are short. So, whenever possible, your message should be, too. Oftentimes, we’ll get a client request that a video “must be 3-6 minutes,” but then when reviewing the information they want to get across, it's clear the message could be told in 30-90 seconds. Sometimes, it’s easy to assume that if you’re going to do a video that you need to get in everything we capture, and to make sure we hit every single checkbox on a list that has some optional items on it. But in most cases, less is more. (And even if we don't use all the footage in one video, we can keep it a video content library for you to use later. See Tip #3!) Plus, as you saw in the previous blog (I’m sure you read that, right?), editing hours are the largest factor when determining a project price. Longer video = longer edit time. So, kill two birds with one stone, and keep it compact.

#2: Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Options

This a two-part tip. First, and this is always helpful for us, let us know if you have a budget number in mind. We are always willing to work with you and find options that fit in your budget and still accomplish your goal. So, never be afraid to give a number upfront! Secondly, and here’s something that comes across my desk all the time: A client wants to do a video that goes through several segments, let’s say three in this example. They want the full-length video, but since there’s three segments, they think it would be a good idea to have not only the full length, but also three breakout videos that are comparable to the main but will require a little re-editing. They don’t have an immediate need for those breakout videos, but they think somewhere down the line they might need them, so they want us to do them all at once. And they want that all in one price. Now, this is totally doable. And we do it often. But with an ask like that, there’s always going to be an increased editing time (and therefore, cost). While it won’t be the same costs as if those three extra videos would be edited from scratch, there’s always time and effort needed to increase the number of deliverables, even if some of them are derivatives of an existing piece. So, how do you do it for less? Well, you could have us include those breakout videos as a separate option, so you can see the price difference and make the call at that point whether you want to proceed or not. Or you could simply do them later. At PEG, we keep your footage essentially forever on our protected, redundant storage arrays (Again, see Tip #3). So there’s nothing stopping you from doing that main video now and if the need arises for the breakouts later, we call always revisit them.

#3: Using Us as a Content Library

We have quite a  few clients at PEG where we handle almost all aspects of their video work. Pre/production shoots, Live Events, Animation, You name it. One of the key advantages there is the fact that we have access to all the raw footage we’ve ever filmed for them. This can be really helpful for maximizing your money. For example, let’s say you wanted to do an interview with a CEO and you wanted b-roll used to break up the video and keep it feeling dynamic. If we’ve done previous shoots for you and you’re on a budget, it’s quite possible that we could use existing b-roll from a previous shoot for the b-roll component. So, instead of it being a day to two day total shoot with the footage review to go along with it, it could potentially be a half day interview/on-cam shoot, with us using existing pre-sorted existing footage for the b-roll component. This can cut costs significantly. We can even use the previously captured footage to create new content pieces all together when a video shoot isn't an option or isn't in the budget. Great examples of this are header videos for your website or a hype piece cut together for a trade show or for social. There are lots of ways to use these elements to create new pieces, even if they content isn't brand new. Our team can assist in other ways with that footage, such as pulling stills. It’s a common request that someone at the client’s company views the video, and realizes we got a shot that they’d like to have a “photo of”. The client can send us timecode from that video, and since we often capture footage at a much larger frame size than the video is created at, we can then take that source frame and create a high-quality still image of it. No extra shoots or coordination required, just a little bit of time to do the process on our end.   Have other questions about video costs or how to maximize your video budget? Let's talk.   

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