Updated: Sep 6, 2022
A few years ago, members of our team were invited to visit the set of a large television commercial production for a big brand. An impressively large crew filled the location, with equipment strewn out everywhere. On close inspection our team noticed that the camera, lighting, and grip equipment was no different to the gear we operate with on our own productions, but that there was simply more of it laying about on the ground. 50 meters from the camera was a tent setup with chairs and a 42" flatscreen TV for the clients to view the shots coming out of the camera. Beside that was a large cafe style coffee machine on wheels, with a professional barista to make coffees throughout the day. At midday, the crew broke for lunch where an enormous banquet of food set up by a catering service awaited. This wasn't just a film shoot, it was an event! And it was clear the client was paying handsomely for it.
During the day the productions' First Assistant Director explained all that was going on around us. He informed us that the production budget was in excess of $100,000 and that the lighting and grip gear that was strewn out all over the set wasn't actually being used but was laid out purely for looks. He said if they don't bring the gear out of the truck, the client will think they're not getting what they paid for.
Video production can be a lot of things, but least of all should it be a waste of money. For the most part, a quality video production is made by skilled people, over a period of time with good equipment. All of which attract costs. From our clients perspectives, corporate and commercial video production is an investment in their business, so these costs need to create value. If the cost is greater than the value it creates, the video should not proceed. This is why our goal is to place as much value as we can on screen, rather than see it be wasted behind the scenes.
From the outset, our process is to determine the most cost efficient way to create the video. Quality of the production and audience engagement is always top of mind, so in the quoting stage of the video we discuss the project with our client in detail, listen to their expectations, and then determine a budget based on what they aim to achieve with the minimum necessary cost. We present our recommendations for cast, crew, props, location and equipment and discuss which costs exactly are going to end up on screen. If a cost doesn't present in the final video, it needs to be highly justified, or else cut.
A cost such as catering isn't necessarily a wasteful thing. It exists to help keep the production schedule on track by eliminating the need for personnel to leave set at meal times. Therefore so long as its budgeted modestly, catering can be asset to the production. By keeping the production on schedule, we're able to meet our shoot goals on time and on budget. Likewise, specialty gear that we may have to hire in for the shoot is also thoughtfully considered and not hired simply to sit around looking good.
When it comes to our production crew, we prefer to work with smaller teams, utilising only the necessary personnel. We find working in smaller production teams enables our productions to move more quickly and nimbly.
The bottom line is, we never compromise on quality. We assess all that is needed and the value it brings to the screen to deliver a more cost efficient production for our clients. When it comes to costing out a production, we ask our clients to nominate a budget range they're comfortable with. From there, our goal is to demonstrate exactly how much value we can provide for their budget. We always put our best foot forward and then we ask our clients to decide if what we can offer is represents good value to them. With numerous glowing reviews from our clients, we're certain receive quality craftsmanship and a product of value that they can use to support their business and marketing goals.
That's a Wrap!
Thanks for reading. We hope you enjoyed this insight into how we put value on screen for our clients. If you have any questions or would like to discuss your next video production, please get in touch with us here. We'd love to chat!