How to produce video on a shoestring budget

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Producing videos can easily cost thousands but creating a multiplatform media package doesn’t always have to be a costly venture. Rob Freedman, manager of multimedia communications for the National Association of Realtors, shared thoughts at the 2014 ASBPE conference I recently attended on how to create videos on a “shoestring budget.” When creating a video, it’s great it is to get involvement from multiple members of your organization or company, but this can be time-consuming or cost prohibitive, especially if they are located in different locations. However, Freedman offered some great tips that help you accomplish your goal in a cost-effective way:

Get non-local team members to participate via Skype. Take the footage you get, edit it and incorporate into a video.

Extract footage from a public domain video. Extract sound bites and fold into your video.

Use video from testimony. If the video you are producing involves anything legislative related to your product or organization’s service, grab live stream or archived video from House or Senate proceedings and then fold into your video.

Use videos from others – with permission, of course. Call up producer and ask if you can use portions of it and make sure to give credit at the end of the video.

Use video footage from others that is provided exclusively to you. Send questions to someone and ask a video to be sent in. These options might not be as polished as a super high-tech video filmed on location, but Freedman says that what the sources are saying is more important than the actual quality of the video.

Use Creative Commons video. There are different levels of Creative Commons’ licensing that allow the videos to be used and modified but not for commercial purpose. All levels ask/requires you to credit the source and link to the original work. Videos can also be created from still photos. Flickr is still the best source for Creative Commons stills, Freedman says. The video can also be enhanced through music and editing. Subscriptions, licensing and software can be expensive for editing and music. However, there are also options to keep costs down. Freedman recommended the following:

  • SnapzProX (about $70). This program allows anything to be recorded onscreen and be saved as a QuickTime movie or screenshot that can be e-mailed, posted to the web, etc. However, Freedman cautions that the quality will not be great.
  • Music Bakery (about $35+ per track, $1.98 per sound effect)
  • Final Cut Express or Pro ($80-$175).
  • Brightcove ($99-$500 per month). This allows for videos to be swapped out, no forced ad, thumbnail flexibility. However, this is a closed platform and has problems with Flash.
  • YouTube: A free platform, but swapping out videos is a problem and there is not a choice with the thumbnail shown.
  • WD My Passport hard drive: Video consumes a lot of memory. This can help keep your computer from getting overloaded.

Now you can have your video – and your budget, too.  

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