By Mat Choat

Behind the lens: insider top-tips for smarter video production

May 3rd, 2024
4 min read

Producer and Head of Broadcast, Mat, is again sharing his know-how to make the most out of your video marketing budget.

I recently co-hosted a webinar jam-packed with tips and tricks to squeeze every ounce of value out of your video budget, and I'm back to share some more of the highlights with you in this, the second part of a series of blogs.

In the world of video production, every frame counts, especially when it comes to your budget. So, I've compiled some insider top tips to help you navigate the production planning stage like a pro while maximising value and minimising costs.

From talent wrangling to location scouting, we've got you covered. Let's roll!

Make the most out of your talent

Consider The Number of Actors: Think strategically about the number of actors or models you need for your shoot. By limiting featured talent, you can keep costs down without compromising your creative vision. Whether it's merging roles or streamlining scenes, find ways to balance creativity with budget constraints. Reducing the number of actors can also have benefits in other areas such as wardrobe + costume, make-up, art-dept – and even catering!

Talent Usage Fees: Get it right from the start. Understanding talent usage fees is crucial for budget management. From territories to media and duration of buyouts, clarify expectations upfront to avoid surprises later. By incorporating future needs into talent agreements, you'll also streamline the negotiation process and prevent unnecessary expenses down the line. This can be in the form of a non-binding menu of options if you’re not sure on exactly what you need at the point of engagement.

Get creative with casting

Utilise Online Casting Marketplaces: Embrace the convenience of online casting platforms to find talent remotely. By leveraging these platforms (which have improved massively over the last few years and become an invaluable production tool), you can streamline the casting process, save time, and cut costs associated with traditional methods. However, remember to prioritise talent quality to ensure your production shines. If a natural or convincing performance is the key to your creative concept – it can be a false economy to skimp on the casting.

Choose shoot locations wisely

Location, location, location! Consider limiting the number of locations to avoid unnecessary cost. Can any locations in your script or storyboard be combined? When scouting locations, simplicity is key. Minimise the number of spaces and avoid unnecessary moves to maximise shooting time and efficiency. By reducing disruptions, you'll save both time and money, allowing your crew to focus on capturing captivating footage.

Be efficient on set

Precision and Decision: Wasted time equals wasted money, so be meticulous in your planning. Create detailed storyboards and shot lists to ensure every frame serves a purpose. Avoid shooting unnecessary footage and be decisive on set to stay on schedule and within budget. 

Adapt and Prioritise: Flexibility is essential in video production, but so is staying true to your plan. Know when to adapt to unforeseen circumstances and when to stick to the script. By making informed decisions and prioritising efficiency, you'll keep your production on track and your budget intact. Know when it might be useful to get another back-up shot ‘in the can’ and when it’s necessary to crack on. Finding this sweet spot is key.

Video production support

In the fast-paced world of video production, strategic planning and efficient execution are the keys to success. By implementing these insider tips, you'll not only create compelling content but also maximise the value of every pound spent. So, roll up your sleeves, grab your storyboard, and get ready to bring your vision to life—all while keeping your budget in check. 

Are you ready to take your video production game to the next level? For further insights and guidance, I encourage you to explore the full webinar here.

Thanks for reading – and I’ll be back with another instalment soon. Happy shooting!

Mat Choat

Producer and Head of Broadcast

Mat is an award-winning Producer with 2-decades of experience working in production for advertising and creative agencies. He has produced TV commercials and online video content for hundred of clients.