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Video Budgeting

The general rules of thumb for budgeting educational outreach videos apply to any kind of video production:

  • As you would with any other professional production, strive for high quality.
  • Define and develop the concept, production process, and production team roles as precisely as you can.
  • To keep a budget on track, target specific formal financial review dates from the outset to see where the project needs to go and if there is money for what you think the project needs. Changes to the project will alter your budget. For example, let's say your budget is $90K, but as the production phase winds down, you discover you need to add a couple of shoot days. The money for your extra shoot days will have to come from another part of the budget or some other source (unless you have built in a contingency).
  • Be aware of underlying rights of broadcast material. These may be an additional and significant cost in your budget. Also, budget the time necessary for the three review loops and realistic response times to each review.
  • Think ahead about clearing rights for educational outreach elements when you budget your broadcast project. Clear for as many derivatives as you can up front (educational outreach, re-versioning, broadcast, companion Web sites, etc.). Rates are often better for multiple uses, and clearing "add-ons" rights later tends to be expensive.
  • Structure your talent contracts and advisor agreements for derivatives as broadly as possible.

There are some particulars to keep in mind for budgeting professional development videos:

  • Identifying shoot locations always takes longer than you think. Budget enough time and money for this process.
  • Two or three cameras are more expensive, but often more efficient and effective than one.
  • Don't skimp on audio. Without professional audible audio, you won't have a show. For example, try to use a wireless microphone on the educator so she can move around the room; or prepare the children so they know to wait for the boom mike to arrive before they talk.
  • Build edit time for review and revision. Professional development video projects work best when there is plenty of review time and input from advisors.

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