As with most video production companies, we have common inquiries from startup companies or individuals who want to create nice videos for tiny budgets. Many times, we have to turn away the smallest potential clients because we cannot do justice to their video for the funds they have, but we always try to come up with creative solutions that could work to create a professional video on a small budget. Low budget work doesn’t have to mean low quality work, but managing expectations is important as is coming up with a proper concept. The biggest issue is when companies want to create a Hollywood-style video on a smaller budget, because many times it will just become hokey or simply be impossible to execute, often leaving the company with no video at all.
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One of the best recommendations we have made for our clients is to consider a video using voiceover, stock footage, and brand / product photos they have, sometimes in combination with motion graphics templates we already own or that can be acquired inexpensively. Many motion graphics templates look fantastic and high-end, so just because they’re not “custom made” doesn’t mean the final product has to suffer. By focusing on clever text effects, motion graphics, stock footage, stock music, and voiceover, a company can eliminate the production portion of the video production and achieve significant cost savings while still producing a professional, informative video that relies on creative editing and messaging to succeed.
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While many times shooting video footage and recording interviews is absolutely necessary, a basic video incorporating more stock elements is still better than having no video at all. The key is to keep the video short and to the point, normally no longer than 90 seconds, and often around the 60 second range. With the main cost being the editor’s time, most production companies including our own can create low cost videos that still look and feel fully professional and engaging to viewers. Many clients like using kinetic typography, which means moving, animated text that comes to life, rather than simple words on a screen like this blog entry. Using kinetic text can also be a way to avoid the cost of voiceover as well, or it can supplement the voiceover to deliver the most important messages visually while the voiceover expands upon the text.
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Some companies have created entire videos based solely around a motion graphics template to deliver compelling information to viewers in a fun way, which still provides an interesting visual marketing material but without the higher cost of a full production. If recording an interview is absolutely essential, low budget videos can still be created around the company owner / a spokesperson speaking to the camera or talking about a product or service in combination with motion graphics templates, kinetic text, stock photo or footage elements, and even minimal B-roll. In such cases, the production element of the shoot can be confined to 2-3 hours with a single videographer to save costs. While the video will still cost more than a pure editing job, the overall cost is lower than a full production with a team of professionals at every step.