TMCnet Feature
December 23, 2020

Ways to Save Money on Your Video Marketing Strategy

To make a video, you have to go through three stages: pre-production - preparation, production - shooting, and post-production - editing and graphics. Each stage needs to be smartly organized so that you don't overpay for your video.

Any video requires preparation - it does not matter how you need to shoot it: a reportage, a vlog, educational or a staged video in the studio. The result depends half on how prepared you are for the shoot.

During pre-production, you will:

  • formulate the idea and format as accurately as possible,
  • look for characters and locations,
  • prepare the script and storyboard,
  • rent equipment and look for props,
  • assemble a team of performers, master the location,
  • do a million other little things depending on your task.

How to save money in preproduction

Choose a format that does not require a lot of expenses

A staged video with multiple characters shot in different locations is a pretty expensive format.

A good solution ma be telling interesting stories is through documentary videos. This is cheaper than staged videos because you don't spend money on a studio or actors.

No one can tell the hero's story better than the hero himself. Your actors are ordinary people, and locations are where they live. All you need is two cameramen with cameras and sound equipment, or a sound engineer.

Complicating the projects a little bit, I came to a staged version of the documentary videos: the story is honest, it is told by the hero himself, but the visuals are staged. Finally, the mockumentary may be a solution for your goals.

If you can't make a storyboard or see the location in advance, take 20 minutes and write down on a sheet what your video should contain, point by point. Make a structure of what you want to tell about, think about what you will shoot and how you will shoot it. This will help you not to waste your time during production.

Invite interns and newcomers.

Almost all of the professionals you need during productions are paid per shift.

Lots of young cameramen, directors, editors, sound designers, motion designers, and animators would love to work with you. They want experience and a portfolio, and you want an inexpensive specialist. This is an ideal collaboration.

I advise to look first of all in film schools. Here, people are energized and inspired by the production of video content - and this is what you need.

With novice performers, you shouldn't expect Hollywood quality. But you don't need it to try the format, because what looks expensive doesn't necessarily cost that much.


The main thing you can advise at this stage is to spend your resources wisely. Money, time and people will always be in short supply, no matter what is your budget and timeline. If something went wrong, don't panic and don't try to start all over again. Don't give up on a project when you've already shot half of it. The best thing you can do for your video in this situation is to finish it. Next time there will be another project and you won't repeat past mistakes.

     Shoot everything in one day.

Almost everyone involved in filming - cameramen, sound designers, directors, lighting crews - get paid per shift. Equipment is rented for the day, too. A shift is eight working hours. If the budget is limited, you have to squeeze the maximum out of that day. Shooting for two days is twice as expensive.

Organize your shooting so that you can do everything in a day: negotiate with the characters, collect props. If you have several heroes, plan everything so that they shoot one after the other.

     Shoot several clips at a time.

If you shoot in groups of several clips - seasons - in one day you'll have content to publish for weeks, if not months. Each subsequent episode will be in the same style as the previous one, and they'll look like a series.

     Shoot in the same location.

It doesn't matter where, in the studio, office or outdoors, most of the time on set is spent unloading, setting up and setting up equipment, and then packing and loading it. Shooting at multiple locations is very time-consuming.

     Use a universal lighting scheme

If you're shooting indoors, set the light at the beginning of the shoot so you don't have to change it later. You can move only objects in the frame and the camera itself on several axes, but it's faster and easier than moving lighting equipment.

If your story is centered around props and not characters, the rules don't change. Just get everything in one place and shoot.

     Take two cameras

There's always no time on a shoot. On documentary shoots, there's even less time: the hero needs to leave, the location closes, the weather goes bad, one camera doesn't work and needs to be fixed on location - and a million other reasons. The second camera comes in handy. It also helps you get more footage at the same time and add dynamics to your video: you can change the plans, even if you shoot one object.


Post-production is the next step in video production. Shooting is over, and you've given a few hundred gigabytes (at best) of footage to edit.

Post-production often takes the longest time in video production. And it's not just the timing of the final video. An hour-long interview can take two days, and a 15-second animation can take several weeks.

Post-production should be treated like this: you can cut down a tree in a couple of hours, but it will take you several days to make a chair out of it.

During editing, the best shots are selected from the source. Then they need to be glued to the narrative. Then, together with the director/editor to review and put together so that there was nothing unnecessary, but that conceived the story was told. Then color correction and sound. If you need graphics, they will be added at this stage.

Graphics and work in After Effects always take a lot of time and are expensive. Good professionals are hard to find, the work is painstaking and difficult: you need to draw, animate objects and distribute motion. If you want to make a graphic often, it is better to hire a motion designer. It will be more economical.

How to save on graphics

     Use ready to use graphic elements

If you draw or animate something from scratch, the video will come out more expensive than if you use ready-made pictures and graphics - for example, those that you have already used on the site, in banners or advertising campaigns. You may easily edit them with the help of an online video editor. If you have already accumulated a package of such elements - take care of it. You might need it for promo and animation.

     Make 2D instead of 3D

3D models look spectacular, but it's harder and longer to make them than 2D - a whole dimension is added. Simplifying visuals is in trend right now, so simple flat geometric elements are used more often. Plus, 3D requires a lot of memory, so you need a powerful hardware. And also disk space. Your computer can render a 15-second clip for several hours, so unless you have NASA computers, get ready to wait.

     Use your video/photo as a base for graphics and animation

Graphics and animation almost always take longer than just shooting and editing. On some projects, it makes sense to combine these techniques. For example, to take a video or photo with a tripod, statically, and to animate it during editing: cut out some elements and use them in other frames or videos. This comes in handy if you need to make an animation of an object that is difficult to draw, or if you need to use a live background or element in the video.


You can outsource to start with, and then consider creating the production in-house. You have to try, shoot, edit, do more, make mistakes and try again and again. It's not a fact that you can find your niche instantly. You might try several formats to perfect your style and ideology. Maybe you find that you spend too much or too little, or you make too much video to the detriment of quality, or maybe you decide that you make too little video for your purposes. But either way, video is a very flexible tool that can serve as a great complement to your content and a potentially lucrative business. Don't stop and experiment.

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