First things first, let me get this straight, cutting your production budget does not always mean compromising on quality. More often than not, cost of production rises due to bad planning and the lack of foresight. If you are facing a budgeting roadblock and need to further reduce your production expenditure to achieve healthier profit margins, read on to find out how.
1. Avoid running overtime
Do you know what people dislike more than working overtime? Having to pay for overtime. When your shoot runs overtime, it is often a reflection of bad planning, and you definitely do not want your hard work to be discounted under such circumstances. Plan your shoots and ensure that you buffer enough time for set up, tear down, and safe-takes. A ‘call sheet’ should be prepared ahead of the shoot, with a breakdown of each scene, location, and the time needed to set-up, shoot, and tear down. Always follow the call sheet as closely as you can, and be prepared to make certain adjustments to the scenes when you notice that you may risk running overtime. Overtime rates are chargeable at 1.5 times of the standard rate. This can potentially increase your production spending significantly.
2. Shoot at locations that are public space/permits are free
While most public spaces require a permit from the authorities for production purposes, many of them come at zero cost. Location rental fees can be very expensive. Therefore, sourcing for locations as early as you can allows you to secure places for free.
In the case where the location you intend to shoot at is not a public space, e.g. a restaurant, try negotiating with the restaurant owner to promote his restaurant or give a special mention in your video in exchange for the venue instead of paying them cash.
3. Do not indulge in ‘equipment overkill’
Too much of a good thing can sometimes be a bad thing, and this is especially true in video production. Renting too many equipment is not only expensive, but also a hassle to transport from one location to the next. Basically, it is a financial and logistics nightmare you need to avoid.
Match your gears to the video requirements. It doesn’t benefit your production to over-compensate with gears that are excessive and do not add value to your overall video.
4. Leaner teams are meaner teams
Having too many hands on set actually increases cost and creates more inconveniences. When there are too many people on set, it is harder to navigate, set-up, and many a times, clients feel uncomfortable in an overcrowded set. At the same time, we do not want to give our clients the impression that all their money is going into paying for all these ‘extra’ help. With a leaner team, everyone pulls their weight and focuses on getting the job done, minimising hindrances caused by redundancy.