Published July 24, 2012 by Mac Chorlton
We sometimes have people tell us what budget they've established for their video project idea before they tell us about the idea itself. Although we try to work with any size budget, this situation can be very challenging for us, because the client has already decided what they are willing to pay -- before they know how much it might actually cost.
My wife and I are in the process of building a new home. It's our first time building and it's been an eye-opening process. But what has helped us along has been the plan we developed with our builder. The initial estimates our builder gathered for us from his subcontractors were based on information we provided to our him about our lot size, floor plan ideas, square footage, etc. Throughout our building process, those initial budget allowances have provided us with a blueprint for what we can (or cannot) afford in our new house. I've found myself making a lot of recent comparisons between our house plans and the scripts/outlines we create for each of our video productions.
Collaborating with our clients to establish a project outline and develop a budget is an important initial step because many factors (the length of the video, the need for music, graphics, voice over, etc.) can influence the cost of video production. So getting these variables worked out in the planning and scripting phase will help ensure that everything runs smoothly as the production process moves forward. If we told our builder that we had a budget of $100,000 and we wanted to build a 5,000 square foot home, we would have ended up with a huge house with no drywall, no plumbing, no lighting, etc. because that 100K would only get us so far.
So if you have some video ideas, give some thought to creating your own "building blueprint" so you can establish realistic expectations for what you want to create -- before you set the budget.