Archive for : March, 2015

Sub 5 Solutions (Part 3)

This series of blog posts focuses on what we call “Sub 5 Solutions”, which are approaches to creating fresh content with a budget of under five thousand dollars. In this post, we are reviewing how to produce a video podcast and avenues to broadcast and/or distribute it.

First, what is a video podcast? Podcasts are commonly audio only, formatted like a typical radio program and inexpensive to produce. Costs can involve creating a script, hiring a professional host and editing the content. Interviewees for the program can be recorded remotely via a phone line, which is a significant cost reduction.

If video is added, then the approach shifts and adding visual content can be more impactful. Participants are on camera. Additionally, graphics and other video can be built into the program to increase the effectiveness of the communication.

With the expense associated with creating content in podcasting, think about producing a series and not just a single program. Each segment is concise and more easily digested by the viewer. Each can be published at once or regularly over time, but when they are all created at once, costs can be spread out.

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The video podcast is typically set up by mimicking a radio studio, with table microphones and the participants wear headsets. A monitor can be added to display visuals during taping. And others can still be included remotely via Skype, Google Hang-out, or via phone (and a still image of that person is used to accompany the voice).

Here is a budget template of under $5 thousand dollars for a series of 5 five-minute podcasts:

Scripting $600
Studio Rental $1,000
Graphics $500
Editing/Post Production $2,200
Talent/Music Licensing $700

Podcasting is a great method of producing fresh content on an ongoing basis for web sites, news releases and training.

Sub 5 Solutions (Part 2)

This series of blog posts focuses on what we call “Sub 5 Solutions”, which are approaches to creating fresh content with a budget of under $5 thousand dollars. In this post, we are investigating how to create a 5-minute promotional video for business or non-profit.

I call it a “blast”. It is a short video that tells a compelling story. It provides an overview. It showcases key people. It captures passion and emotion. It is typically a program that can re-purposed over a variety of platforms or outlets.

Examples include a video to present a product, describes a business or service, or raises support. The video can appear on a web site, be embedded in a PDF eFolio brochure, or be attached to a news release.

People charged with making “live” presentations can utilize that brief video for education and inspiration.

Creating a highly impactful video demands certain features. The script needs to follow classic storytelling techniques. It must contain imagery that is visually stimulating. The narrative should be tightly woven. Sound bites with interview subjects must capture conviction and emotion.

A budget of $5000 or less on a short video can be broken down as follows:

-Script/Creative $600
-Location Production:  Interviews and B-Roll $1200
-Pre-Production: Archive Retrieval $300
-Graphics $800
-Edit/Post Production $1500
-Talent Fees/Music Licenses $600

Two of the most important keys to creating a compelling video are the quality of the script and the interviews. The script follows the proven three-act story structure. It provides an attention grabbing set up. It produces story lines carry viewers through an stimulating ebb and flow. And it comes to a satisfying conclusion, often with a call to action. Secondly, the video presents people whose commentary is concise, sincere and strikes the right emotional chord.

When done well, a video “blast” delivers a return on investment that can be quite significant and ongoing, especially when the content is kept revised and up-to-date, often in the form of a series.

Sub 5 Solutions

This series of blog posts focuses on what we call “Sub 5 Solutions”, which are approaches to creating fresh content with a budget of under $5 thousand dollars. First, we will discuss the :30 TV commercial and public service announcement.

The old advertising adage is get their attention, create an interest, convert the interest to desire and close. Remember too that people are moved by memorable stories that compel them into action.

Yes, storytelling can take place in a half minute.

Commercial messages always begin with a concept. Ideas to convey that should be varied. They are tested before a market sampling. The creative process proceeds with these guidelines and this research intelligence to craft the final product.

A Sub 5 solution breaks out into this typical budget.


TV Ad/PSA Budget

Scripting/Storyboarding $600

A competent and creative copywriter tightens and enlivens the words that are used. Storyboarding a spot is nothing beyond just simple sketching to visualize the flow of the imagery and sound.

Producer/Director Fee $800

This role is critical. Look at the potential hire’s portfolio to find the right match.

Locations $800

This involves shooting original footage either on location or in a studio. Travel costs could bust the budget. Come organized and rehearsed. And, spend less than half a day, getting what you need.

Graphics $600

Spots typically contain graphics. It adds impact to put motion into those graphics.

Licensing/ Talent Fees $700

Music is not free. Neither are stock images. Licensing is required to avoid copyright violations. Professional on-camera and/or voice talent charge a fee (which varies).

Editing/Post Production $1500

Fortunately, shorter length content often requires less time in editing if the producer/director is clear and focused on what the final product should be.

Successful spots don’t necessarily contain all of the bells and whistles, but always the perfect tone and emotion.