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At one point or another, we’ve all worked with a business who promised one price then jacked up costs after the goods or services were delivered. It’s easy for this to happen when the consumer doesn’t fully understand the business’s process. We thought we’d share some inside information on how to make sure your video production stays on budget, and we consider ourselves to have [somewhat] expert opinions on the subject. Check out the tips below!

1. Provide precise, consolidated feedback.

One of the biggest misconceptions in video production is how long everything takes. From the amount of time it takes to shoot a video to ‘simply’ changing all graphic text color from blue to brown, many of us don’t realize the time commitment that’s involved because we’ve never been exposed to it. Just a heads up: simple changes take longer than you think. So if you’ve already approved the color of the text in one round, then find out a couple weeks later your CEO doesn’t like the look, you’re probably going to end up paying to have it changed. “Consolidated feedback is a must,” explains SolidLine Media Art Director, Mike Petrik.”It’s extremely important to involve the decision makers early on in the process, before too much work is done. That way, everyone is on the same page with the look of the video, and changes don’t come up when half the work is already completed.” Make sure the feedback is precise and consolidated — even if it takes a couple extra days to get it.

2. Know the production process.

You should never have to ask a production company what their process is; they should tell you on the phone, in person, via e-mail, on their site, and in person again. Making sure clients understand the process is monumental in ensuring a project stays on task and budget. As a consumer, it’s imperative you understand the production process so you know when to expect deliverables. “There’s a process for a reason,” states SolidLine Production Coordinator, Allison Miller. “Think about when you’re painting your dining room and choosing what color to use. You wouldn’t just paint the entire room then decide you don’t like it; you would paint a portion of one wall to determine if you should continue. It’s kind of the same with the production process. We test the waters and wait on approvals before doing all of the work. It saves everyone time and money.” You don’t have to understand how we do what we do, but having a basic understanding of what to expect helps. Take a look at SolidLine’s production process as an example.

3. When in doubt, ask questions.

If there’s something you see in the early stages of the production process that even just slightly bugs you, ask to see an alternate version. Chances are, it’s still going to bother you when the final product is done, so it is best to change anything you’re not happy with if possible. Also, if at any point you don’t really understand why the video production company is doing what they’re doing, just ask. Producers don’t expect their clients to know everything, but sometimes they have to be reminded to take a step back and explain why things are happening the way they are. Asking questions and, therefore, understanding things will definitely make your life easier when producing a video.

For more information on the video production process, check out SolidLine’s 9 Stages of Client Approval.