There's one thing that everyone should know, but almost no one talks about, when it comes to starting a video project. Long before you buy expensive videography equipment, before you put together the story of your video, or before you even consider marketing, you need to decide on a scope for your project.
The largest problem organizations face when they first break out into video is not understanding the resources available to them. This leads to rushed projects and wasted money. Follow this guide for planning the scope of your video and you'll be filming in no time.
Money and time should be the two metrics that you used to determine your scope. When it comes down to it, all video projects—whether they are quick internal videos or the next blockbuster movie—strike a balance between the amount of money spent and the time it takes to produce the video.
If the scope of your project has a larger budget, you can get away with working on shorter notice. A larger budget means you'll be able to buy or rent high-end gear, and have professional videographers and graphic artists work on the project with you. This can be a great way to start, but we don't always have this kind of budget for a first video project.
Time is on your side if you plan ahead. You can learn most of the skills you needed to make a quality video if you have the time it takes to learn them. Having more time also helps for practical reasons while filming. If you have more time, you can use one camera on three takes instead of three cameras on one. Give yourself more time to make the video makes up for a tighter budget.
With the big picture out of the way, let's take a look at the specifics.
Another aspect of your scope to consider is the creative talent available to you.
If you have a strong graphic design department, you might already have talented videographers and motion graphic artist on your team. Reach out to the people in your network and see if anyone has experience making videos. You'd be surprised at how many people make videos as a hobby and are more than willing to lend their skills to your next project.
You might find that your creative assets aren't where you wish they were. This doesn't have to be the end of your dream project. Just keep this in mind as you go forward with your plan. Think about the scenes you want to accomplish and how they could be done with simpler effects. You might find that a more minimalist approach is better than cramming in a bunch of fancy computer effects that might not work without expert help.
This is the big one. Videography gear is expensive. This can be a huge barrier to entry, but it doesn't have to be.
As it turns out, you might be reading this on a video-ready camera. Smartphones are a great way to make up for lack of videography gear. Most newer smartphones are fully capable of filming video for online distribution. It's important to keep in mind that most people watch videos either on their smartphones, tablets, or laptops. These devices don't need as high of a resolution as television or cinema. This means that if you're uploading your video to a website or social media, filming on your smartphone is a great budget choice.
Now that you know the number one tip most people wish they knew when they started making videos, you're ready to start your plan. Think about your budget and how much time you have to complete your project, consider the creative resources available to you, and remember that even if you can't afford a high-end camera, your smartphone is more than capable.
Now get out there and start filming!
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