How To Create a Video Production Strategy That Doesn't Break The Budget

00:28:50 | March 23, 2015

Kieran Farr and Libby Cooper sit down and discuss how to create a video production strategy that doesn't break the budget. Expect to learn not only the strategy behind your video production, but the tools that will help you execute your strategy.

The biggest take away: Budget can be directly correlated with quality video content, but effective video content does not correlate with budget.

To learn more about any of the solutions mentioned in this webinar click the links below:


Good morning and welcome to our webinar today on this Thursday, sunny morning here in San Francisco. I'm pleased to be presenting to you guys today the webinar on how to create a video production strategy that doesn't break the bank. So let's get started. And I'd like to introduce myself. My name's Kieran Farr. I am the co-founder and CEO of Vidcaster. And I'm pleased to introduce our guest today, Libby Cooper from Videopixie. Hi, Libby. Hi. This is a great day to be doing this webinar. So a just little bit about myself, I have a background in video production before joining Videopixie. And I started out as a storyboard artist and moved into more art direction. So I have worked on projects big and small. Awesome. And a little bit of history on myself. Before I started Vidcaster, I came from the world of video production. So I've done local TV sports, local TV news. And when I started Vidcaster, we were doing lots of partnerships with local media companies like the San Francisco Chronicle. So I've been around the block. I've seen templatized video production. Libby and I are excited today to present a lot of our experience working in industry and how that can apply to your company and organization, especially around video training, which is a category we're seeing growing very quickly here at Vidcaster. So we have a lot on the agenda. And let's go ahead and share that with you. First, we're going to start off by talking about some of the misconceptions that we hear at Vidcaster around video production. You know, lots has changed around both the technology and services available for production. And these misconceptions are somewhat outdated. We should also chat today about how do you think about the content that you should be making. So how do you plan for that? How do you think about the content that's going to meet your objectives? And then we're going get into the cool production tools. And I separated these out into two categories. There's DIY tools. Stuff you can use on your own. And then we have the do it not yourself by working with organizations like Videopixie. And Libby's going to go through a presentation about what they do as well. Finally, we're going to introduce the concept of production as a service. And then we'll have available Q&A a for the end of the presentation. Great, so let's start off with misconceptions. What are those things that people think about video they just are flat out not true? So I've been doing this for awhile, and we talk to people every day and hear these things. And so this is kind of the list that I've compiled. Often people think that video is super expensive. They're concerned that video is way too difficult to produce. Their concerned that it's going to take a long time-- weeks to create one video. I hear people are really concerned they may not have the budget to produce something that's high enough quality. And the one that makes me the saddest is when I hear people say, well, video's not going to have any results. It's just going to sit on my YouTube page. Why am I going to take the effort to do it. So before we go into all this other stuff, let's be really clear that the world has changed. These things are no longer true. Of course, if you want to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on creating awesome video and films and most pictures, you can do it. And there are people out there that are willing to take your money. But the reality is that thanks to technology and cool new services that have come up recently, the whole world of video production is changing rapidly. So it's really a changed landscape. It doesn't have to be super expensive anymore. The tools I'm about to show you. Some of them are free. It doesn't have to be difficult. Some of the tools I'm going to show you are easy. And they're actually fun to use. It doesn't have to be time consuming. In fact, the whole idea here is that we help you create a video strategy that's going to take just a few minutes of your time every day or a couple hours per week. Quality-- so we have been trained over the past few decades of watching television. Everything looks beautiful on broadcast TV. And there's this fear of if I produce training content, I want to make sure it looks as good as TV. And while there is a correlation between the cost of production and the quality of the production, surprisingly, there's a very little correlation between the cost of production and the effectiveness of that video content. And that's really important to understand that you can create stuff that may not look like it's Hollywood, but it's still going to get the job done. And that's the most important part. And finally, video does produce results. And using platforms like Vidcaster or other learning and video systems, we can actually prove those results by driving engagement and measuring that engagement over time. And what's interesting as I look at the results of this is that honestly it's quite across the board. The largest category of respondents that we're seeing is that folks are looking at creating content for their existing customers. This is one of the quickest areas of growth that we're seeing in online video right now. And this has all couple benefits. Producing good quality training or onboarding material can significantly reduce the expenses of your existing customer success or account management team. It's something that we use here at Vidcaster. And we take very seriously. And we've seen the benefit to save our sanity as we start to automate a lot of the training programs we do with video for our customers. But there's also a lot of folks who've answered the questions that are looking to train prospects, so non-current customers, employees, and distributed workforces. And I think this is a testament to the fact of video is becoming so pervasive that it can be used across the organization for all these different functions. So what are some considerations to think about, before we get into some of these cool tools, about how to produce this content? In order to think about that question, I like to present what I call The Circle of Life (for video). And so it sounds a little cheesy, but it's a concept that I believe in. And the reason I present it this way is that video is not produced in a vacuum. So we're going to be creating this content. But that's just a first step of the journey of video content for your organization. The next step is that we're going to distribute this content. So we're going to make it available either in a private video portal or maybe a public video portal for everyone to see, or even different levels of access so some people have access to some constant and not other. This content will then we have time for engagement. So not only do you want people to view this content, but you want to be able to present it in an environment that's going to drive specific actions. And we'll talk a little bit more about what those actions might be. Finally, you're going to measure the effectiveness of this. Did people actually take the actions you wanted them to take? And the results of this Circle of Life is what then informs creating additional context. So again, I like to present this in this form, so we understand that we're not creating video one time, putting it out there and hope it works. We're actually doing this over and over again. This should be an iterative process, where we learn what works, what doesn't. And this is something that's different for every organization. And this is why we need to think about this as a continuous process, not just a one time thing. So obviously, today we're going to be focusing mostly on the create side. Of course, Vidcaster as a software platform helps with all parts of this process. And we have tons of material on our blog, et cetera, to learn more about what we do as a company. But today, we're going to be focusing just on the creation side of what we do. So before we jump into the tools, we have a couple questions to consider before we jump into how you're going to create it. The number one question I ask our prospects-- and I remind our current customers-- is what does that measurable result that you're looking to achieve with this video content? We call this at Vidcaster our video victory. But really it's just coming up with a very clear objective that's measurable for your video content. So some examples of this would be things like I want to drive a certain number sales. I'd like to have a certain number of inbound leads. I'd like to certify x number of [? valuated ?] resellers. I'd like to trade x number of my employees. You'll see in the examples I'm giving that we're trying to find something that's measurable and testable, so that we can see whether or not this is working. And then further iterations of our content strategy can then adjust to figure out what we should double down on whenever it's effective. Other questions you want to ask relate to that Circle of Life. So how are people going to watch this content? Public or private? What sort of calls to action is going to be in this content to help drive the objectives you are looking for? Once you've answered these questions, now we get to the question of how we produce the content. And for me, this is a lot of the fun stuff. So again, coming from the world of production, I love all the different tools that are coming out enabled by our computers and mobile devices that make it super easy to produce super cool content. So the first one I'm going to start with is a tool that if you're using a Macintosh computer you have today, right now, already on your computer. So it's a tool called Quicktime. And it's in your Applications folder. And the few most recent versions of OS X, if you go to the File menu, you can just simply click New screen recording. And it will open up this nice little window. It looks very innocent. And the only thing you can do is press Record. And it is one of the most simple but effective tools that we have at our fingertips today. I use this personally all the time-- almost every day. So I'll use this when we're having conversations with a prospect, and they'd like to get access to the sales presentation afterwards. I'll use this to work with our engineering team to show examples of different features or bugs that need to be fixed. I'll just show them. So you can imagine all the different ways this could be used. And it's free out of the box if you have a Macintosh computer. There are other tools you can look for on Google that work for PCs. Once you've mastered some of the free tools, then you can graduate to some of the more advanced tools for doing screen capturing. One of our favorites is a company's product called ScreenFlow made by Telestream. And what's nice about this is that it takes that concept of screen recording to the next level and provides basic editing tools. So all within this one application you can create a very polished piece that will create an asset that can use without any further editing. Now, we're going to start talking about some of the online tools that are available. There's a really cool partner of Vidcaster called GoAnimate. This is a cloud-based tool. So it's something you would use in your browser using your own web browser internet connection. And GoAnimate lets you create animated videos from your computer. It's amazingly powerful. And one of things that makes them unique is that inside of their application, they have a library of tens of thousands of objects and assets that you can use to create a story that's custom for your organization. Of course, given that training is one of the biggest categories in online video, they have tons of different objects that are specifically for training and office environment. So you can create pretty much anything that you can imagine. There are all sorts of new mobile applications that are launching. One of these from one of our partners is called Videolicous. This is such a cool application because it allows you to edit live while you're talking, adding in bits and pieces that highlight or show B roll-- it's a production term-- of the content that you're discussing. This is one of the applications that's available through Vidcaster. It's an add-on to your plan. Or you can purchase the software directly through your mobile device. Another example of a really cool mobile application is a company called Videokits. This is an example of what I like to call templatized video production. And as you can see in these screenshots, it shows you a storyboard. Each one of the storyboard pictures is clickable. When you click on one, it starts to give you instructions on how to shoot that scene. This for me is really kind of the next era of video, where that pre-production process is built into the application. I love in this example how it also shows instructions like rotate the device, so we don't get vertical video syndrome, and we use the proper framing of the subject. Once you rotate it, this application even gives you tips about audio and lighting and how to answer the question in a concise manner. Once you're done, it edits this automatically. And it's ready to share. And this is yet another application that's integrated directly with Vidcaster. Now, finally, if you want to be able to bring all this stuff together, there's a web-based video editor called WeVideo. It's very unique in that it's available inside of your browser. And it allows you to connect different video pieces that are online. Or you can upload it from your mobile device. And it's a great alternative to complicated or expensive desktop editors that you may be familiar with. This is also, of course, integrated with Vidcaster. You can export your finished project directly into your Vidcaster account. So now, I'd like to hand it over to Libby, who's going to start talking a bit more about what are the options if you want to have other folks help consult and create this content for you. So Libby, I'll let you take it away. Great, thank you. So I would get this question a lot-- what is Videopixie? And the best answer is we help you hire the best video professional for your video project. We're a community of thousands of video creators available for on-demand work without the hefty agency fee. We make videos for businesses that want pitches, explainer videos, demo videos, product launch videos. But we're also very broad. You could say, hey, I want my kid's first birthday party footage edited so I can show my friends and family on Facebook. So it's productions small and large, professional and personal. So basically how it works you want to post your project. So you go to a home page. You click the big Get Started button. You get asked a few questions, which is building your creative brief, which is an industry term. And then you post your project live to the community. This notifies the thousands of creators who can bid on your project. You select the best bid. And from there on out, our staff provides excellent services. We want to make sure that you're happy. We want to be there for you 24/7. So it's basically like having a super professional creative team and production team on staff at all times. So here's the thing. Engagement matters. If you want to use the technology yourself that Kieren was just explaining, it's great. I've used the software a lot. You know, I also use ScreenFlow. But internal audiences are just like public audiences. They have a really short attention span. And today engagement really matters. So if you want to take your video to the next level, sometimes you do need to hire professionals that are skilled in very specific things. And training videos are an opportunity to define your voice and image as a company. Brand is really important. And the professionals that are on Videopixie are well equipped to keep your brands in mind. Online video tools are designed for creating training experiences. And the goal is to making engaging video content frequently and economically. So let's talk about video production for a second. Sure, you can take out your camera. It could be your smartphone, DSLR. You could set it up on a tripod, film yourself talking, and upload. You've got a video. But if we break it down, video production has very specific roles. The first roll is pre-production. These are the creators. They're going to be your scriptwriters, your storyboarders, people that brainstorm a fantastic narrative. The second category is production. So these are cameramen, directors of photography, everybody who's going to be on set the day of your shoot. And then post-production is the final category. And these editors, animators, color graders who make your footage look beautiful. So if you do want to take your footage to the next level, but you filmed it yourself you could hire just pre-production-- post-production people, not pre-production. But say actually, if you do want to just hire pre-production people, and you say, you know what? I can do this myself. I'm just not a whiz at writing scripts. You could hire someone just to write your script. So there are all skills and equipment required for these things, mics, cameras, lights. And then you're going to post it-- editing software, animation software. Sometimes as the client you just don't have time to pick these things up yourself or you don't have the budget to go rent these things yourself. So hiring the professionals can be really useful. So how do you avoid breaking your budget? Budget is really important. So we've got some tips to produce video efficiently without breaking the bank. The first tip, which is key, is shoot several videos in one day. A production day can be up to 14 hours. These are long days. But these professionals are used to it. So you can pack in 10, 20 videos a day. It's going to be pretty quick. It's going to be tight. But it's going to be a really great cost savings. The next tip is work directly with video creators. This is what Videopixie is really great at. We cut out the agency fee. So if you're trying to hire a really great production team, you're hiring the people directly. There's no overhead for the account manager or maybe for the studio's rental space. It's all done online. And then the other tip is understanding the production process so that you avoid surprises. Surprises can be everything from making sure you lock down the script and storyboard in pre-production so that upper management isn't surprised. Get everybody to buy into the script. The other surprise, sometimes people don't realize how long equipment setup time can take. So day of the shoot, equipment setup time can take a couple hours. I mean, this might be happening at 6:00 AM, 7:00 AM. But the crew is going to be prepared. Also, the other tip that's a surprise, so you should know this ahead of time, is multiple takes aren't just something that happens in the movies. It's OK to make mistakes on set. Multiple takes are totally normal. So don't get flustered about it. Post-production takes about a week to three weeks. We typically see production happening in a day or two. And then post-production can be lot longer. So that's often a surprise to people. But if know going into it that production is quick, post-production is long, you won't be worried. So there are shortcuts even passed those tips that will save you a lot of money. And the number one shortcut that I tell people is write the script yourself. Pre-production creatives cost a lot of money. And I used to work in pre-production. So I know that's time and expensive and you're hiring people that are really, really skilled. So if you want to take that huge chunk of money out to the equation, if you can write the script yourself, you're golden. The other tip after that is once you've written the script, you should storyboard it. And people sort of make a face of this point. You don't have to be a drawing whiz. Stick figures are OK. If you will it just handing off a piece of paper that are words, it still doesn't create the same vision as laying out scene by scene what you have pictured in your brain. Simple is better than nothing. And then other shortcuts, stock footage is really great when you can't get a certain shot in a day. But word of caution here, you know, stock footage is expensive. We highly recommend They're excellent. Other sites are also Shuttestock, Getty Images, Pawn five. But building an entire video out of stock footage, it can cost thousands of dollars. Each clip is about 10 to 15 seconds long and will cost you starting at $85. That's going to add up very quickly. And we're not even talking about the cost of an editor at that point. The other really great shortcut is making dull footage more interesting with animation. Even just simple text on screen can work wonders. Great. Thanks, Libby. So we're nearing the final part of this presentation. And I wanted to bring this back to the Circle of Life. So how does this content creation service of Videopixie relate to the rest of the equation? And in our partnership with Videopixie over the past few months, we've learned a lot of things. And one of the things that we're now introducing based on this learnings is what we're calling Production as a Service. So this is an exclusive option available through our partnership with both Vidcaster and Videopixie. And the concept here is that we want to help you create an ongoing video strategy. And video is not just a one time thing. You don't produce one video and throw it over the fence and say you're done. That the reality is that you're going to be creating content ongoing for your organization, both as things change in your organization, but also to figure out what is the content that is going to be right and work for you. So what we help our customers do is come up with a combination for all of their video needs, from the production to the post-production to the distribution, using a service like Vidcaster and even the use of third party systems for marketing automation or HCM, Human Capital Management, or other employee training tools. So the goal here is to come up with what is it good quarterly plan to be able to produce this content in an ongoing basis. And what we're showing here on the screen is just an example of what we call our quarterly starter plan. This includes five videos per quarter. And they're very basic, introductory types of videos. And you're familiar with these types. There's an explainer video. There's a set of interview videos, where you actually have someone from your organization or even a customer serving as a testimonial. And then there's also product videos, the ability to have showing actually your product or service off on screen. One of the ways that we helped with this and why this is such an attractive option is that we can help save significant costs compared to doing one video at a time by bundling this together. And so what we help you do is basically take a lot of the shortcuts that Libby just explained. So we'll work with you to make sure that we're bundling and we're batching together the creation of this content to use the videographer's time most effectively. The awesome part of this is that everything's included. So the whole entire video strategy is really taken care of with one or two partners. And we guide you through that process. So we've been excited to see the early success of this. And we're looking forward to continuing that partnership with Videopixie. And if you're interested in learning more about the bundled option, go to to schedule and intro call with our video strategy team. And then if you are wondering a little bit about what these different projects could look like, I encourage everybody to go to this link that Videopixie has provided. These are examples in every category. I've only listed here screencast, animation, live action, and live action plus some light motion graphic. But if you follow through the website you'll see some more examples. And these all really effective, excellent. I encourage everybody to watch them. Great. Well, this concludes the basic part of our presentation, almost exactly on 30 minutes as had scheduled. So we're not going to open it up to some Q&A from folks out there who are watching this presentation. So Eric is going up for me the list of questions. The first one we have is which video production type is the best for each use case? So I'm assuming that means like training versus marketing, et cetera. Maybe I'll actually let Libby answer this question. So Libby, as folks ask you, if I'm making a marketing video to show off my product, is there a different production type than if I'm doing training content for my organization? How do I figure that out? Yeah, it's definitely a case by case basis. I would say in a situation like this, the client would probably give me a call. And we would just talk about their needs and figure out the best audience for the project. Video production type, I mean, it's a broad category. But I would say if you're looking for a explainer video, you're looking at either kinetic typography, animation styles. Maybe you're looking at 2D animation character design. If you want to be really crazy, you could do 3D animation. But I think personally that's a little over kill. It could also be live action. So that would be a discussion. There isn't sort of a cut and dry production type for each use case. Got it. We have another question. And we get this-- we actually have two people asking kind of basically the same question. They're asking how much does it cost? And I would step in and answer that as well. How much does it cost is the number one question that Videopixie gets. Originally, we would just answer this question whether it was over chat support or over the phone. And we realized that we really needed to build some sort of price guidance tool. So this is actually built into our system. So you answer a few questions. We suggest a price for you. And it's called the small choice. And you can actually push it higher or lower based on what your budget was previously decided upon by your team. Now, Videopixie works on budget ranges. So you are the person who's choosing how much you're going to spend. So it's really a great tool. Asking how much does it cost is kind of like asking how long is a piece of string. So again, it's case by case basis. And we try to give you as much guidance as possible through our web application. But it's always best to have a personal conversation over the phone. Wonderful. Well, thank you, everyone, for attending. Thank you, Libby, for joining us today. We're going to wrap this up here at exactly the 30 minute mark. And go ahead and go to so we can chat with you and find a time to help your video strategy today. Thanks a lot. Bye.