Stretch Your Production Budget & Maximize Your Effectiveness
Overview For New Clients



Whether you’re a Fortune 500 or a not-for-profit oganization, you’ll want to maximize
your budget and effectiveness. A basic understanding of how video production works will
help you save time and money and will increase theprobability that you’ll achieve
the results you’re looking for.

The television and video production industry has changed dramatically over the last
decade and there are many new technologies on the horizon that will improve quality,
reduce costs and offer new ways to display and share your videos.

The move to digital video has made it possible to have the same capabilities that
were once reserved for the televi-sion and film industry right on your laptop.
The video quality of many new reasonably priced cameras are the equal of cameras
that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a few years ago.

Along with new capabilties...


Many video professionals appreciate clients that call at the last minute and with
little planning or preparation book a video shoot. More times than not, their poor
planning will result in a more significant budget. Unfortunately, more money does not
automatically equal a better presentation.

The first thing you will want to develop is a clear understanding of your audience and
your objectives. The more specific your are with these expectations, the greater the
probability of success. It’s rare that one video will speak to clients, customers, staff and
board members at the same time. Be specific in determining your audience. Be specific
in determining your objectives.


From an organizational standpoint, assigning one person to serve as a project
coordinator will streamline the communication process. Nothing is more frustrating or
cost ineffective than producing a project by committee. Yes committees often need to
approve budgets, scripts and productions but they should not participate in to day to day
production decisions.


One of the most difficult issues for new clients is determining the initial budget.
In some cases, a thirty second commercial can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars
while another commercial can costs hundreds of dollars. It all depends on the style,
creative approach and production elements required.

Typically a scripted production is much more cost efficient than a documentary style
presentation. With a scripted production, everyone is aware of what is needed in advance
while documentaries are developed throughout the process.

It can be useful for new clients to find some point of reference from which to start. Is
there a similar video that you’ve seen that is of the attitude and style that will work in
your situation?

Do you have a maximum budget you can make available?

Having a sense of budget will drive the creative process. If your budget is limited, a
suitable creative strategy can be developed. On the other hand if you have more
significant resources, you’ll want to consider any and all creative strategies that may
enhance you presentation.


Depending on the nature of a production and the budget, production crews vary in size
considerably. Of course with feature films, a scene could require dozens of technical
staff. It’s not out of the ordinary for a documentary project to have six to ten people in the

Alternatively, some news broadcasters like City-TV have carved out a unique position by
utilizing videographers. One person crews that will shoot, write, direct and perform on
camera for a particular story.

Productions with larger budgets will utilize more crew and will have higher production
values. That’s not to say that higher production values will result in a greater impact. It
all depends on the audience and the objectives.

It’s also important to understand how production resources and professionals bill for their
services. The entire industry works on the basis of daily contracts. So productions that are
scheduled on a full day basis are much more cost effective than those that schedule
numerous part days. Whether it’s audio technicians, camera operators, teleprompter
operators or any other technician, you will get better bang for your buck organizing
production schedules for full days.

Camera’s capable of high definition have also made an impact on production strategies.
With a little attention to detail around basic lighting and audio recording techniques, it’s
possible to achieve very high production values with a small technical crew.

Unless a production is targeted for broadcast, many of our clients prefer a small and
intimate crew on their projects. We’ve assembled a tremendous production team capable
of acquiring very high quality video on an efficient budget.


Post production or the editing process is where everything comes together. Video,
whether it is recorded on tape, digital cards or hard drives are captured and logged in to
the editing suite.

Typically, post production is handled by a couple of technicians and the director.
Depending on budget, music tracks can be written specifically for the project or in cases
where budgets are limited, stock music can be edited to length.

It’s in post production where the shots are organized and sequenced, where the image
details are enhanced, narration and music is added, titles and graphics are created and the
whole presentation is polished for delivery.


Once post production has been completed, you are left with a master video that can be
manioulated for many different purposes. Digital files can be compressed and can be
shared and distributed online. Even at broadcast levels, many commercials are distributed
to television stations via online services.

It’s possible to compress videos for distribution on DVD or to compress them for web
applications, for use in PowerPoint presentations and for use on mobile devices.

How productions are compressed and for which purposes should be part of the original
planning and distribution strategy.

At the very end, it’s important that productions are archived appropriately. Not long ago
this involved mastering a DVD or master tape and storing them securely. Over the past
year, as costs for hard drives have dropped, we are providing our clients with a hard drive
that contains the master production, all of the captured footage and production elements
such as graphics, music or backgrounds. These hard drives can be used with any future or
new projects so that these production elements can be included efficiently if need be.


It’s an exciting time to work in the video production field as there are many new
production strategies being developed, new opportunities for creative projects and new
methods of distributing completed projects and reaching key audiences.

With that is a growing appreciation for the power of the stories and their ability to instill
passion in an audience. As a medium, videos produced by Parashoot can help any
organization communicate more effectively and engage their stakeholders on a deeper
and more passionate level.

For more information contact Jeff Dobbin –