Thursday, March 26, 2015

“Efficiencies in Video Production – How to Maximize Your Video Budget”

Not surprisingly, clients today are concerned about costs, even our multi-national corporate clients.
I represent EFX Media. We’ve been a leader in video production for over 30 years, producing both internal and external communication videos for major corporations such as CarFax, ExxonMobil, Orbital, Sodexo, SRA, BAE, Medstar Health, as well as dozens of associations and government agencies.

I’m not going to talk about our $50,000 or costlier projects, but rather concentrate on those with more challenging budgets. Although faced with ever lower-priced competition, we refuse to jeopardize quality by skimping on services. So, we’ve had to be smarter. And, over a few decades of production, we’ve learned a few tricks.
New hardware and software have allowed producers to create compelling motion graphics and animation at a fraction of the cost from even a decade ago. Not just eye-candy for getting viewers attention, motion graphics can deliver information is a succinct manner that’s easy to assimilate, and better tell as story. Graphics can often be a real cost saver.

 Arlington Economic Development wanted location production to show neighborhoods and buildings for their first “virtual tour”. 

We suggested that their money would be better spent by our utilizing motion graphics, adding motion to their wealth of still photos and renderings. 
Since buildings are static, and many of the key developments were yet to be built, sending a location crew didn’t make as much sense as motion graphics. The audience loved it and we’ve since been awarded a 5-year contract.


CarFax tasked us to create a video to share employees’ reaction to winning a “Best Places To Work” award. This meant spending a couple of days in Centreville HQ and in Columbia Missouri interviewing a wide variety of employees.  Since we knew that a recruiting video and a new employee orientation video were in the works, we suggested amortizing the location production resources by having employees respond to a variety of prompts, not just those about the award.  
Shooting green screen allowed for more efficiency in production, more employee reactions were captured, and it minimized the stress on the workplace during shooting. Each sound bite was short, to the point, often humorous and meaningful. The result is that CarFax ended up with a package of videos – recruiting, new employee orientation, and best place to work - on a very efficient budget.

T   This CarFax production package illustrates key factors for budget efficiency 
-    - grouping multiple videos into a package is more efficient,
·       - shorter is better, particularly when using non-professional talent.
·       - good use of technology, such as green-screen, can provide cost efficiency.

Example: CarFax Recruiting 


We often suggest a “variation on a theme approach” to maximize a client’s budget. In our package approach, you spend a bit more on the initial video to allow for style, graphics, effects, and the creative back and forth.
By properly modularizing the approach, ensuing versions of that video can introduce new topics, products, messages, etc. by plugging in new footage into slots. You benefit from a consistent theme and framework and you enforce your branding.


American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges had only a modest amount of money left over after production of a 10-minute anniversary video, but they needed a PSA. Lifting key video shots from the longer video, adding clever pacing and a graphic approach quite pleased their execs and members.

Example: Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges 50th Anniversary PSA
Victor Van Rees
Vice President Sales and Marketing
2300 South Ninth Street
Arlington, VA 22204
Voice 703-486-2303 ext. 310
Cell:   703-447-8950
FAX   703-553-9813

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