Budgets are tough. You always want to get the most for your money and you don't always have as much money as you'd like for your video.
We maximize your budget so you get a top quality product for your money. Here are some tips for planning and understanding what goes into a video budget. In no particular order.
1. Have a budget in mind
It's a lot easier if you clearly state what your budget is in the beginning. If you start by explaining everything you want in a video before revealing your budget, it can make it harder to make those expectations a reality. We have had a lot of clients that come and say "I'd like to have x, y, and z" and then when we explain what the will cost, they get really shocked and then think we are trying to rip them off. When we have a client that approaches us with a budget and then says what they are hoping, we can then consult with them about what is realistic within that budget and how we can find workarounds to achieve a similar goal with the same level of professionalism. It can be hard to give a big budget feel with a small budget. But if you indicate early what we have to work with, we can find a way to make it happen.
2. Venue rentals are essential
Often times a video will require renting a space in some capacity. In many cases, you will want to build venue rentals into your budget so that you can have the ideal backdrop for a scene. A real backdrop with be better than a fake green screen version every time.
3. a paid extra is a better extra
When trying to save money, it is always tempting to employ your friends to be extras in your video. Maybe you envision a party scene or live music video, in which case you'll need at least 30-50 people. The caveat is that unpaid workers are highly unreliable and if 30 friends say they'll show up, the likelihood is that only 12 will be ready to go and willing to commit to a long shoot day. Making room in your budget to pay extras will make them more reliable and easier to manage on shoot days which will ultimately save you money in shoot lengths and reshoots.
4. Day rates vs. hourly
There are generally two methods in which videography is charged: day rates or hourly. Hourly is pretty simple, work is charged by the hour. There is an hourly rate for filming and an hourly rate for editing. The other method is day rates which is a flat rate for a full day of shoot (typically 8 hours) and then a flat half day rate (typical 4 hours). When planing your budget and how much time it will take to complete your video, a different method might work better for you.
5. Equipment is expensive
Cameras, lenses, lighting equipment, stands, microphones, music licensing, memory cards, stabilizers, sliders, and accessories are expensive. It requires funds to purchase and maintain the variety of equipment it requires to produce high quality looking videos; especially when new technology is always coming out. The cost to maintain and update gear is typically built into the hourly or daily rates. Please be aware that videographers need to charge not only for their time and skills, but also for the equipment they offer which varies between companies.
A good example is that in order to offer 4K footage, this requires memory cards that are 4x as fast and therefore 4x as expensive. 4K footage creates very large files so it also requires a high-performance computer and additional storage to save your projects.
6. Communication is key
It's not a cliche, it really is necessary to making a good video and setting a budget. Be honest about what you want and how much you have to make it happen. Ask your videographer to tell you what's possible and what is beyond their capabilities. Plan out where funds within the budget will go so that everyone is on the same page and everyone understands who is getting paid, what, and how.