5 Video Production Mistakes That Will Cost You (Literally)

March 2, 2021
Published by
Keyy Productions Team

When it comes to video production even the smallest mistakes, oversights and inefficiencies can cost you BIG.

Now, during the production process, there’s a chance you can encounter some easily-solvable “problems" like your model not loving the shade of her lipstick or a smudged lens that needs a quick wipedown. Then there are problems. And it’s these problems that hit you right where it hurts, the budget.

While every project is unique and will have its own particular hurdles, we've collated our experience of working on hundreds of projects of all shapes and sizes to identify the five most common, and most destructive, problems that will affect your video production and cost you money.

1. "LET'S WING IT"

It's a simple phrase, a phrase that under normal circumstances can conjure up adventurous, carefree joy. But let me tell you "let's wing it" will make any member of the Keyy Productions team run screaming for the hills.

Dramatic? Maybe. But we've seen first hand the damage that a "wing it" attitude during production can have. The message here is that creativity and spontaneity are not mutually exclusive; in fact, the creative process will find a huge ally in a well-planned shoot with clear intentions and goals.

Our advice is to pour a lot of effort into the pre-production process [at Keyy Productions, we actually do this for you, so the effort is ours, not yours… even better!]. Ensure that not only is your shoot day planned and scheduled, but a clear creative brief is developed. Your wallets will thank us later.

 

2. FREE-RANGE TEAM

Some problems can be identified and resolved relatively quickly. Miscommunication or an uninformed or misaligned production team is not one of these problems. It's a bigg-un.

On set, nothing wreaks havoc faster than a whole team of people going "free-range"; that is, going about their own business and creative process without aligning to the bigger picture or goals of the production. The result will be a time-consuming and messy production that can genuinely affect not only the shoot itself but the quality of the content.

The fix to this common problem is relatively easy. At the start of every shoot, hold a briefing for the entire team, including the client. In the brief, discuss and clearly outline every person's role, when and where they need to be, and unite the team with common goals and clear expectations. Small miscommunications will often balloon into expensive problems, but a little bit of leadership will get you well in front of the issue!

3. EXTRAS, EXTRAS, EXTRAS

Before you ask, no we're not talking about the talent hired for the production, we're talking about the extra, unexpected costs that often pop up and snowball until your whole budget collapses like a matchstick cabin in an avalanche.

Extra costs can include everything from talent fees and scouting, location scouting, location hire, permits, travel, props... the list goes on, and on and on. We've often seen budgets grow well beyond the original scope because extras haven't been considered early in the process.

Now you may be thinking to yourself 'how will it be MY mistake if there are unexpected project extras'? The mistake that many people make is not that they didn't account for every little possibility, it's that they didn't establish their project scope and stick to it early in the process. Most unforeseen extras will pop up because of last-minute changes or inefficiencies, rather than bad luck.

How to overcome this? At the start of the process, the production team should provide a thorough insight into all the possible extras. They might genuinely not be able to account for every cost through no fault of their own, but they should be able to give you a clear idea of expected extras that you can factor into your budget from the beginning.

 

4. "WHILE WE'RE HERE CAN WE JUST..."

Picture this, it's halfway through a production day that has been 2 months in the making. Everything is going well, you're on schedule and the content is looking out of this world so you ask the production team, "while we're here can we just...?"

This is a very common, innocent request that can cause big disruptions. Pre-production planning and that carefully, neurotically constructed production brief in your hot little hands was thoughtfully created to meet specific goals. The schedule and shot list is usually set in stone to maximise efficiency and keep a tight hold on your budget.

Last-minute additions can be a totally reasonable request, and please don't feel discouraged from asking, but expect the production team to say no or at least draw a very clear line in the sand. Adding an extra scene or making a big design change in the moment will have run-on effects that normally result in the shelling out of cold, hard cash.

 

5. "FIX IT IN POST"

An easy assumption to make if you haven't worked much with video in the past is that fixing mistakes like a make-up smudge under the eye, an out-of-focus product, a coffee cup left in the background of a shot (*cough Game of Thrones cough*) is something that can be "fixed in post-production".

In reality, one of two things will happen if you rely on post-production to solve problems during filming: 1. It will require many additional hours of work; 2. It won't actually be possible to fix and you'll be left with the issue.

Most production projects will include either a fixed number or an allocated range of post-production hours to get your video content looking tip-top. Many clients would be shocked by how much cost an extended post-production process will add to the budget.

Luckily, you should never have to make the choice between an unexpected price spike or content that doesn't look as you want it to. All you need to do is focus on attention to detail during filming and always keep in mind what you want to achieve for the final product rather than something that is 'fine at the time'.

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The truth is that very few of us will have a limitless budget to spend on video production (no matter how much we wish otherwise). By being conscious of the common and expensive production mistakes outlined here you can be five steps ahead of any costly video errors.


If you're thinking about creating video content for your business, contact us for a simple, no-surprises approach to video production.

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