Budgeting Basics

video production Chicago

Make Video Production in Chicago Work on a Tight Budget

Creatives in video production in Chicago have big dreams, sometimes so big that they forget about the budget. As experts in Chicago’s video production industry, we know how important budget is. Sometimes, resources are limited and the budget is tight. Be realistic about your budget – it needs to be maintained from pre-production, through shooting, to post-production.

So, how do you keep a tight budget in check without compromising on the overall quality of the production? You don’t want to run out of money before the project is complete. Certain aspects of the process are your key to saving a buck, while others need to be prioritized from the beginning.

Get the Essentials Down – You Need an Agency
Putting together a quality video production will necessarily involve hiring an agency and the rental of equipment over the production stage. Most brands or companies are not going to be happy being represented through a smartphone video. This professionalism will help you plan carefully and avoid unforeseen costs later on. If you plan carefully, a good agency will save you money.

Pull on Your Resources
Needless to say, while you could do with some help writing the script, there are plenty online writing platforms that you can use.

Sourcing props is one aspect of the production on which you can definitely save. Do some in-home prop searching before spending a large portion of the budget on props. You’ll need to be creative, but this is definitely something that can be achieved on a tight budget.

Try and be creative with location scouting too. Often there is no need to take a whack out of the budget for travel costs, or studio hire. You might have the perfect space in-house and this is a big save.

Plan Your Shooting Days Carefully
Shooting days should be organized perfectly. During the video production you should be on-hand so that your bill (which is usually charged per hour) does not grow unnecessarily. If you communicate efficiently there should be little room for mistakes that result in more time spent on the production stage. You’ll also want to pinpoint any problems at this time, before reaching the post-production stage, when it’s too late.

Music, stock images, and sound effects are all candidates for licenses that will cost you tens of thousands of dollars, for once-off use. So you might want to decide to choose unlicensed alternatives to save on your budget. Some agencies will help you source what you need for less.

Don’t Forget about the Editing Process
Editing is done during post-production, so it is easily forgotten. Plan for this when you budget. Editing processes are lengthy and can be expensive. Unfortunately, this cannot be avoided since it is at this stage that the final look and feel of the video will be established. It is very important to be realistic during post-production. If your expectations are too high, it’s likely that the changes you want to make can only be achieved by returning to pre-production, which is seldom an option on a tight budget.

Get Insurance
Make sure that you are insured. Mistakes can happen very quickly on-set and if you have to spend the remainder of your budget on an accident that you didn’t prepare for, your production might actually fold. You’ll need to get cover for events such as personal injury, fire damage, videotape insurance and more.


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