Video Production On A Small Budget - Yes, It's Possible!

It can’t be said enough - video is important.

Considering that 85% of US consumers watch videos every day, small businesses can benefit from investing in video production as a channel to generate awareness, leads and sales.

But we know it sounds daunting to most, or the cost seems too high.

And we’re here to say (again) it does not have to be.

Whether you are looking to produce your own content, or work with a production company (wink, wink), you can have high-quality video on a low-quality budget.

Beyond just the budget, we know how valuable your time is.

If you’re looking to create quality, useful, AND quick video content to grow your business - it IS possible.

DIY or working with a company, it doesn’t have to be a hassle, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

Equipment on a Budget

Don’t listen to the “have to haves” or “it’s all in the equipment” jargon.

Our biggest tip: USE WHAT YOU HAVE.

Got a phone? You’re good to go!

Every week we film the Kankakee County Chamber of Commerce’s Monday Minute.

What you see:

 

What we see:

 
 

What did we use?

  • iPhone (oldie, cracked screen and all)

  • iRig mic connection, with the iRig iPhone app

  • Rode lavalier / lapel mic, and sennheiser transmitter / receiver. These are the same mics we use for all of our shoots. They do have more options that work more directly / specifically with your phone. Again, no need to break the budget.

  • The same lightening equipment - IKAN LED panel lights - we use for all our shoots. You can use the lights you have, natural light, a selfie ring light, or even clamp lights from any hardware store.

  • Shower curtains as backdrop - clipped to our storage shelves

Tools and Editing on a Budget

Again, you don’t have to have the best software to make amazing videos! In fact, if you are filming with your phone, there are plenty of free and (cheap) paid apps to edit right on your phone.

What do we use?

  • Adobe Rush ($20/ month as a Creative Cloud (CC) subscription): Phone (preferred) and desktop version.

  • Adobe Premiere Pro ($20/ month as a Creative Cloud (CC) subscription or about $800 for CS6, if you don't have an earlier version)

What can you use?

For editing:

  • Tezza: Free and paid version. You can quickly edit videos AND photos on your phone.

  • VSCO: Free and paid version. Same as above, different filters.

  • iMovie: This is available for free on iOS and allows you to easily edit your video.

  • Of course there are other, more expensive programs to invest in: Apple's Final Cut Pro X (about $300 from the Apple Store) or Adobe Premiere Pro ($20/ month as a Creative Cloud (CC) subscription or about $800 for CS6, if you don't have an earlier version)

For filming:

  • FiLMic Pro: Full/DSLR control on settings for your iPhone camera.

Film in BULK and build a Video Content Library.

If you plan to post video on a regular basis, or are looking to keep production costs down, a content library can provide much needed b-roll.

A video content library is a collection of video clips (and brand-related images), stored on a hard drive in the cloud, wherever, and can be accessed for creating content.

This can be done by planning ahead of time and shooting the extra footage while “on set,” or it can be as simple as just using every second of film shot. Repurposing b-roll is easy and is 100% using what you already have - especially when thinking in terms of social media posts. Short, sweet, and visual snips of video go a long way.

More tips for a low budget video production:

  • Plan ahead of time. Shot-lists, scripts, storyboards are so important!

  • Practice off screen ahead of time. We get, it’s hard being in front of the camera. You just want it to be done with. Practice beforehand. Be authentic. You are an expert in your field, share that, be real with it.

  • Know your lighting. Again, if you don’t have the lighting equipment, no worries! Use natural light, avoiding shadows and harsh overhead lights.

  • When filming with your phone, look at the LENS, not yourself on the screen.

  • Landscape always. UNLESS you are filming specifically for Instagram Live / Stories.

  • Use a tripod. Whether phone or camera, there is a tripod solution for you that will make a world of difference in quality.

  • Be smart and realistic with the background you are using. Simple, clean, little to no movement or distraction, and it should not take away from you.

  • If you are filming a video that requires talent, use who you have and who you know.

  • Use your NETWORK! Whether for talent, space, equipment, etc. There is someone you know who can help - just ask.

Here’s the point.

Creating this kind of content for online viewers is extremely powerful in today's digital world. These simple production tips will take a terrible video to a useful piece of content that converts new business.

Working with a small budget may make you feel limited, but the truth is, you can still be creative and produce a video that carries your idea across the finish line without a huge budget.