While many agree that the benefits of a good video are enough to compensate the initial investment, not every company has the means for a ‘go big or go home’ video budget. And although it may feel like there are a lot of options closed off from you if you don’t have the money to pay for them, this isn’t necessarily true. You can produce high-quality videos on a tight budget—even when working with Los Angeles video production companies. You just need to know the right hacks.
Film on Location
Here’s the thing; sets cost money. Even a basic setup requires a lot of free space and a lot of construction. While a lot of Los Angeles video production companies provide their own set, some of the smaller ones may not have what you’re looking for. What’s more, not every production company includes the use of the set in their overall fee. They might charge extra for it, and they might charge by the hour.
If you want a cheaper alternative, you can always request filming on location. Most public spaces are free or require very little to “rent” for an hour or two. You might need a permit for a park or government-owned property, so make sure to double-check. Either way, it won’t cost as much as renting a set for an hour.
Just remember that you will have to deal with certain uncontrollable factors during the shoot, like noise levels and weather. Background traffic (people and transport) can also ruin your shot if they wander too close or end up in-frame. Always have contingency plans and alternatives if you’re planning to shoot outside.
If your video requires an indoor set (like a living room or a bedroom), use the real thing. Volunteer your own home or apartment for the shoot. If space is an issue, use your connections. Find a friend with a sizable house and promise compensation (whether in cash or in kind) or visit the public libraries and community centers and find out how much it is to rent their rooms for an hour or two.
As with outdoor shooting, there should also be backup plans to account for independent factors indoors. The material of the floor and walls, for instance, can affect your acoustics. Lower ceilings might make boom mics impossible to keep out of frame. Even with rented rooms, background noises and noise levels have to be regulated. Your takeaway here is to just be prepared.
Don’t Be Afraid of Stock Footage
Some production companies in Los Angeles actually have rights or subscriptions to stock footage providers. Tubular Insights recommends taking advantage of this; instead of scouting for another location or renting another room, add stock video clips instead. While you do have to pay a certain fee to “buy” the video clips, it won’t cost as much as going out and filming the scene from scratch.
Watch Your Script
According to ABZ Creative Partners, 75-80 spoken words are equivalent to roughly 30 seconds of video. 150 to 160 words can take up roughly a full 60 seconds. If you can’t afford longer than a minute of video, clean your script to the best of your ability. Cut out every unnecessary word. Opt for succinct and straight to the point instead of flowery and poetic. You can still be creative, but make sure your message is delivered in the first 10 to 15 seconds.
A lot of Los Angeles video production companies usually charge according to the scope of the project, which is why you want to keep everything as short and sweet as possible. There are some production companies in LA that charge per hour or per day of production, but by and large you’re still paying based on the length of your video.