So you want to shoot some video? No problem.
I have a degree in Television producing, so surely we can figure something out. I know a friend whose parents still smother him with gifts (instead of love) and he just got a new Canon 5D – he probably knows how to use it by now too. While everyone else was studying Economics, another friend and I spent our senior high-school years ‘learning’ Film & TV. He used to have a pirated copy of Final Cut on his laptop, so he can probably edit some stuff to look real sexy.
Yeh, we can make you a video alright. Maybe it’ll even go viral – why not? As for remuneration, just buy us a case of beer and we’ll call it even. Easy.
The art of film is exactly that – an art. Professionals exist for a reason, and have spent years refining their skills in one of the many particular and often excruciatingly specific roles that exist in the industry. You’ll find a guy on set whose only role is to change the focus of the camera during a shot (Focus Puller). Why? Because he is damn good at it.
As Razorfish moves further into the realm of creating great video content for its clients, we must accept that we aren’t traditionally the experts in this area. Luckily, the guys at Thinkbone are.
To set the scene (so to speak) this week Thinkbone’s crew turned our lobby into a live set in order to teach us a thing or two about production, budgets, and the different outcomes you can expect. They were to film the same scene (Pulp Fiction’s famous “$5 Milkshake”) three times – each with a different budget, and thus final product. For the purpose of the exercise, let’s assume each budget is for 60 seconds of final video.
- Low budget: For this we are looking at a stripped back pre-production (logistics, scripts, basically all the organizing), three days of post, a bare minimum crew (Producer/Director, Production Manager, Production Assistant, D.O.P), catering and a basic camera and tripod set-up. Oh, and your mate/Mum/cousin acting. Approximate total: $20,700.
For that you can expect to produce something resembling the quality of video below:
- Medium budget: In addition to the above, we’d be looking to add an Art Department, props, wardrobe, casting, semi-professional Actors, make up, location costs, and a beefed up camera kit. Approximate total: $ 65,200.
And for the extra money and effort you’ll be looking at something of this quality (ignoring travel costs):
- High budget: Let’s add more crew, professional actors, expert lighting, more location costs, more catering, and amongst other things, a better camera, a dolly (the thing on the train tracks), and a dolly operator. Approximate total: $97,000.
Now we are looking at some high-end video production capable of matching, or even improving on the original scene. This isn’t to say you need to spend big for every bit of video you create. Each grade of production serves a purpose, so it depends on the individual project and the objectives as to how much you should be budgeting.