How to Add Production Value without a Large Budget
It’s never been more accessible for videos to incorporate high production values on a streamlined budget. Regardless of the scope or scale of your project, you can still achieve a polished and professional-level video that will reflect your brand’s core values.
More often than not, poor production quality isn’t down to a too-small budget but instead, it is the result of putting resources into the wrong places. For instance, a production might spend a lot of time refining a script but only allocate a very short amount of time to film that content.
When producing video there are countless elements to consider and it is true that regardless of the scale of your project something will always need to be compromised. However, by keeping mind some simple ways you can inject production value across your project end-to-end, you can elevate the quality of your video without going over budget.
Tip 1 Camera Stabilization
Stationary camera shots can feel flat and lack energy in many cases, so adding stabilized camera movement to your video is a great way of increasing the visual quality of your video instantly. The fluidity of the Ronin as shown in the video is one of the simplest ways to add a cinematic feel to your video without the need for cumbersome and costly kit.
Tip 2 Sound Recording
There’s an old adage in video production and it goes like this: audiences will to a certain extent forgive unpolished visuals but bad audio is something that viewers cannot get past. So when producing your video make sure you are paying as much attention to your sound quality as you are to your visual elements. So think about about the acoustics when putting together the following production elements:
It’s always best to have two channels of sound. Not only does it safeguard you from any unforeseen errors but it also allows you to mix the channels for a more dynamic sound recording. A typical sound set up should include lav mics for each speaker and a boom mic.
Most camera operators are adept in recording sound in tandem to capturing the visuals. However, if your production consists of complex camera set ups or large numbers of people in front of the camera, it’s always preferable to hire a sound recordist who is solely dedicated to getting the best sound quality for your video.
When selecting a location for your filming always keep sound in mind before you commit. There’s nothing worse than turning up on the shoot day and realizing that the location is not conducive for recording clean sound. So when scouting locations make a checklist of things to look out for or ask the owner so that you can feel confident that the location is appropriate for filming.
Is the location situated near a lot of noise pollution like the main road or a construction site?
Do you have permission to switch off the air conditioning or fridge if necessary whilst filming?
Is the room properly insulated so that your recording doesn’t sound echoey or tinny?
Are there any events scheduled in or nearby your location that could cause disturbance during your shoot?
This is by no means an exhaustive list of considerations but is a good start when scouting for the right location.
Tip 3 Production Design
The production design is everything your viewer will see in your video and is something that is often overlooked in smaller-scale productions. But it is one of the easiest elements to increase value in your production. For instance, if you are filming an interview with an office backdrop. Make sure your subject is wearing something that compliments the colour palette of your backdrop. Also, pay attention to everything you can see in the frame. Is there a stray empty water bottle that has been left on the table? Is there unnecessary signage in the background that could be distracting to audiences? The production design is painting a picture with your surroundings so be careful only to include the visual elements that help tell your story as they will be difficult to remove at a later stage.
Tip 4 Create Inside Your Budget
In most cases when it comes to producing video it is always preferable to select the approach that you can do to a high standard within your budget than an approach you have to cut corners to achieve to keep within budget. For instance, if you would like a voiceover narrating your video but cannot afford to capture this professionally it’s probably best to choose an alternative like simple text graphics that can help guide you narrative.
Tip 5 Time
Rushed timelines can be more detrimental to projects than limited budgets. Investing in time for your project is one of the best ways of improving your overall production quality without increasing your budget very much. Every video production has four stages and by allowing ample time at each step will give you the best chance of utilising every drop of your projects potential.
This is the stage when your agency will be thinking about how to best interpret your brief and the best creative approach for your project. Giving your agency time to thoroughly think about the best concept is the best way of ensuring you are getting the best quality creative your agency has to offer.
During pre-production time is crucial in allowing your production team to fully brief all those attending or supplying the shoot. Bypassing this stage can cause miscommunication further down the line and missed creative and logistical opportunities that could have been discovered during the prep time.
The shoot is the stage where all the prep you have invested in so far comes to fruition and is gathered by your film crew. Allowing them enough time to capture the elements required for your video is important for a polished and quality finish.
When putting together your post production schedule keep in mind that both you and your agency will need time during this stage. They will need time to put together the edit and you will need time to feedback and provide your amendments. So ensure that you have put in realistic time allowances for you and your stakeholders to feedback within the parameters of your final delivery deadline.
If you follow the above when producing your next video project, these simple but effective considerations will improve your videos production value without making significant increases to your budget.