There are ex-TV producers out there who see the growth and potential with online video and are offering their services for this new medium but at BIG TV prices. These producers come from an ‘old school’ train of thought where production methods are employed on a TV budget scale. They have a ‘one size fits all’ mentality to video production. These old-school ideals haven’t been able to keep up with the pace of technology, and because of this – some well-meaning business owners may think they are doing the right thing by spending a big budget on their video campaign in order to project a professional ‘look’…. but in most cases, they could have spent a small fraction of that to achieve the same finished product.


Unfortunately, these astronomical fees compared to the much lower, reasonably priced fees of an online video producer muddy the waters for people when they are trying to decide what type of video and price is best for their business.  Many business owners shy away from video for their website because of the pre-conceived idea that they will need to take out a second mortgage on their house to pay for it!

wasting budget dollar

When shopping around for quotes, don’t be put-off professional video production because of some unbelievably high quotes you might get from a video business listed on the first page of Google. You will find a big difference in prices as you dig past the 2nd and 3rd pages.

Use videographers who use portable DSLR-type cameras. Gone are the days of needing a big clunky video recorder to get a beautiful picture. Camera and lens technology has made leaps and bounds in advancements over the last ten years, and because of it, there are a number of add-on tools a videographer can use to achieve professional results no matter how tough the shot.

DLSR cameras are conveniently portable and compact enough to be effortlessly set up anywhere or taken on the go. A ‘glide cam’ is a great example of an accessory used to counter balance the natural shake of an operators hand – easily giving the effect of a smooth glide – typically created with a massive steadicam rigg. The convenience of using compact technology like this makes life easier for the videographer which will keep the overall costs much lower.

Also – make sure you ask if the videographer has a teleprompter and green screen. A teleprompter is an incredibly useful tool which will help you to read through your script in a relaxed, stress-free way. Believe me – trying to remember a script word for word – without any ums and ahs – is a very tricky thing to do! The portable teleprompters available these days sit right in front of the lens of the camera – so you can’t even tell that you are reading the script. So handy! A green screen is also a really useful tool – in case there are no ‘attractive’ backgrounds to shoot in front of – at your location of choice. The editor can then create a customized background in post-production that looks professional and attractive to the eye.

If you are looking for a reasonably priced video for your web page, a smaller production team is the answer. Another thing to note is that it can be advantageous if the video producer is also the editor that will put the footage together. That way any changes you need doing are relayed straight to the person who will be doing the job. Remember – if there is a different person needed to do every different aspect of the job, the production price will quickly add up. It is very beneficial to work with a producer who is able to lend their hand to all aspects of the craft. That way you are able to negotiate a much lower price as the producer has fewer overheads.

When enquiring about the shoot, don’t be afraid to ask how many people will be needed to film the raw footage. One person is enough to set-up professional cameras, lighting and sound. An added bonus of filming with a one-person team is that there is far less pressure on you when shooting an interview or any other speaking or acting parts… you can calmly film re-takes without the embarrassment of a large crew leering over you.

You may be wary of the term ‘jack of all trades – master of none’. This term is true for someone who lends their hand to completely different trades… but isn’t quite the case for someone who knows a lot about one certain topic – such as video production. If unsure, ask to look over the videographers past work, or even ask to talk to a past client. If the video producer is proud of his/her work, they will be more than happy to give examples and references.

You will have an idea in your head how you want your video to turn out, but there are certain ways a sentence can be relayed in order to trigger someone to buy or at least keep them watching. Ad agencies have studied this skill for years… the art of writing killer sales copy is as important as the video itself. So it’s important to ask if the producer if they have any experience in writing. It is important that the content of your video is properly planned out to make sure you portray you the exact business message you want in the best way possible – do not let your producer take this lightly. If you have found a great producer for a great price but he/she lacks sales copy experience, try writing the script yourself, then get it tweaked or re-written by an experienced copywriter from an online freelance website like www.odesk.com or www.elance.com or my even www.fiverr.com. These sites offer really cheap services – some jobs are as low as $5!

By only paying half to start with, you still have leverage on having changes made if you need them.  If you do need changes done, be sure to identify all of them at once. As it takes a lot of work to change a video, then re-render it. Some producers will charge you for every re-edit, so by getting them to make multiple changes at once, you will save money. Some will give you a couple of free edits before they start charging, so be sure to clarify this before you start.When you request a quote be sure to ask them to break the quote down just to make sure there aren’t any unnecessary charges in there… as you may be able to negotiate it out of the final price. While you are at it, make sure to ask if there may be any extra hidden ‘extras’ you might need to pay such as payments for professional voice-overs, music royalty charges, GST… etc.

Now don’t freak out here… it’s not that hard to produce your own videos in some circumstances. As mentioned before, technology is forever changing. Did you know the computer that was used to send a man to the moon in 1969 was weaker than the power of an iPhone? (Yes you can get great results filming with an iPhone). There are products out there that can teach you how to easily produce professional-quality videos. (If you require many simple interview style videos this could be for you).

Here are some of the best D.I.Y instructional products on the market:


  • Create your own animated videos easily – click here
  • Produce your own high-quality videos with your iPhone – click here


There you have it! I hope these tips will help you with your search for the perfect video producer. If you have any further questions on video – or how to increase your sales online, please don’t hesitate to email me on info@webvideosaustralia.com.au – I will promptly answer them!

Good Luck!

Mel Alexander

Corporate Video Sydney