Trying to create a video for your crowdfunding campaign but boxed in by budget constraints? It’s not as big a deal as you think it is. Most Los Angeles video production companies can easily put together a video for you for around $3,000. If that much money isn’t in the cards either, there’s always the DIY option. Here’s how you can save cash during your own Kickstarter video production process.
Shorter is Sweeter
Although the “ideal length” of a video is subjective and hugely dependent on the content (and how well it’s presented and produced), a good rule of thumb is to adopt the “shorter is sweeter” mindset for Kickstarter video production. If you’re on a budget, shorter videos can be more cost-effective. They won’t require as many resources as longer, more complicated videos.
Krystine Therriault from CrowdfundingPR points out that you really only have about ten seconds to grab your audience’s attention, given the 8-second average attention span right now. If you’re on a budget, better to be succinct and persuasive rather than elaborate.
Audio Should Be Priority
Digital Marketing Institute suggests reconsidering your priorities when it comes to equipment. To quote their article, you should “invest in a good camera and a great microphone.” Most of the time, people switch it around. They want crisp, high-definition pictures, and they figure scenes in 4k should more than make up for sub-par audio quality.
This is where most Kickstarter video production fails. Only a fraction of your audience will appreciate the 1080p resolution, but all of them will be turned away by crappy, tinny, or awkwardly-canned audio. The difference between a professional Kickstarter video and a cheap one is, in fact, the sound. Unnecessarily loud background noises, strained audio levels, or too much white noise can completely ruin a video’s vibe.
If you’re strapped for cash, focus on getting an affordable external microphone before you start shopping for video cameras. In fact, you can shoot your video right off your iPhone. The number of people watching daily vlogs (video blogs) and live streams shot on-spot using camera phones suggests that most viewers aren’t much bothered by the difference between 480p and 1080p.
Natural Light Is Your Friend
Now that you’ve spent most of your equipment budget on a great microphone and a decent camera, you don’t need to fret over additional equipment like tripods and lighting rigs. For tripods, any table or solid surface should do the trick. You can even use an office chair to adjust height and move the camera around.
And in terms of lighting, why not shoot near a window? Therriault recommends filming outside or near a window (not directly in front of it) to give your video a clean, natural light. There are several problems you may run into when shooting inside using artificial lights. For one, the whiteout can be harsh and bright, which means you’ll have to soften all your clips during post-production editing. The shadows can also work against you under fluorescent bulbs. You’ll have to find at least two or three more light sources (like desk lamps or floor lamps) to cancel out the harsh contrast.
Shooting outside or near a window gives you more light to work with and less problems to fix with editing. Natural light also looks softer, cleaner, and brighter compared to artificial lights. You can always adjust the brightness during capture without the risk of warping the quality or discoloring the clips.
Use Your Own Space
One of the best ways to save on costs during film production is to use your own space for shooting. In a “How Do You Do…” video posted on Kickstarter, “Superior” director Erin Vassilopoulos suggests shooting in your own apartment to save on location costs. Doing this also gives you the advantage of complete control over the environment, which means you can move stuff around, redecorate, and basically rework the whole space to suit your video needs.
Shooting in public locations or even rentable spaces (like conference rooms or ballrooms) won’t give you the same amount of freedom, but they are also viable locations if your personal space is too small. For Kickstarter video production, as long as your surroundings jive with your message, you should be good to go. For instance, Coffee Joulie’s Kickstarter video, for instance, stays true to its product—most (if not all) of the scenes are shot inside a coffee shop.