23rd April 2012

Cheap Explanatory Videos for a Tight Budget

So you want to make a video, but since you haven’t made a video yet, you’re not rolling in cash. Lucky for you, making a video with little money is very simple and even luckier for you (today must be your day) we’re going to tell you exactly how. We’ll take you through step-by-step of how you can create your very own cheap explanatory videos on a tight budget.

The first thing to do is write a script. We have gone over this in The Importance of Scriptwriting; the idea is to create a persuasive script that keeps the viewer engaged and successfully explains what your product does. You don’t need to be a writer; being able to communicate your passion about your product is enough.
Total Cost: $0

Second, think about what type of video will appeal to your consumer. If it is an animated video, a crisp-sounding voice-over is important. If you have a little money to spend, it may be beneficial to buy a microphone (costing about $100). If you want, you can even hire a professional for about $40-60; you can find them on freelancer.com. But even better, you can use free recording software-here’s a list: Free Audio Editors.
Total Cost: $40-$160

Third, start filming. Surprisingly (or maybe not), you don’t need a $20,000 camera to make your film look nice. It can be as simple as buying a flip camera, the very cheapest of which you can find for $50. You might even use your phone – it’s rumored that parts of the new The Avengers movie were shot on the director’s iPhone. That’s what we call multitasking.
Total Cost: $50

Another method of filming: If your product is software or web-based, you can use a screen capture tool to record the entire video. Using this method, you can simply use a voice-over while showing your product in use. You can easily find free screen capture software for both Macs and PCs. Isn’t the internet sweet?
Total Cost: $0

Fourth, if you want a Motion Graphics Video, options for using this technology are numerous. There are many online resources to create your own graphics, but you can also buy pre-made graphics or even outsource the project to a freelance graphic designer. Animoto is a free service used to do animation where you can upload your photos. For a pre-packaged set of graphics, expect to spend at least $50.
Total Cost: $50

See, that wasn’t so bad? In the end, you can spend as little as $100 to fund your own explainer video. Easy as pie. Now take a look at this video we produced (for a bit more, about $300 with minimal editing). But, sorry folks, $300 is more of a do-it-yourself price than a studio price, but hey a video on a budget can be done!

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About the Author

Anish hails from London and holds a degree in software engineering from the University of Manchester. Following his education, he worked for several years in the financial industry as a platform administrator before founding Revolution Productions in 2008. In addition to over seven years of video production, Anish is seen as an industry professional, adding his insight in publications such as VentureBeat, ReelSEO and Wistia.

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