Video Production Business Tips – Make More By Doing Less In the Video Production Edit Suite

In your video production business, there are only a few ways to make more money in the edit suite. Charge more per hour, sell more projects or become much more efficient in your editing processes. We’ll ignore the first two for now and focus on the third.

How can you become more efficient in the edit suite resulting in more profit? Here are a few tips:

1.The edit process begins when you are writing the script.

Intentionally write the script to make things easier for you in the edit. A few things to watch out for in the script are areas where you won’t have any video or pictures to use to cover the narration or sound bytes from the person being interviewed. Not having enough b-roll will mean you’ll have to create motion graphic sequences and that can take hours or even days to accomplish.

Instead of relying on graphics to save your tail, work hard to make sure you have enough b-roll, photography or stock footage so that you don’t have to spend a huge chunk of your budget filling holes in the video with time-consuming graphics. If you have control of the scriptwriting process, shame on you if you don’t write it so you can be more profitable in the edit process.

If your client writes the script, demand that you either have the budget necessary to capture enough shots or that they will provide you with stock footage or photography so that you don’t have to spend an inordinate amount of time in the edit process creating graphics to fill the holes. If you stick to your guns, they will either pay you more to create the extra material or they will work harder to get you what you ask for. You win either way.

2. Remember that after your client has selected you to do their project, you are no longer competing with other video production companies.

This means you don’t have to change your style or the way you approach the project. Now you can focus on what you do best along with providing excellent customer service. The client obviously thought the creative work represented on your demo reel was enough to satisfy their needs so now all you really have to do is communicate their message using your current technical and creative abilities. Now is not the time to figure out a new effect or to learn a new piece of software.

Do that in your spare time or when you don’t have any projects to work on. It is certainly noble to give clients more than they expect but you can’t lose money in the process. A client will prefer a technically perfect edit with special effects sprinkled throughout much more than a project that is loaded with special effects but doesn’t do a great job telling their story.

3. Focus more on being technically perfect than on being creatively perfect.

Your clients will appreciate the timing of your edits much more than how fancy you transitioned in and out of a segment. Simple dissolves, fades and cuts still go a long way in pleasing the customer. I will make sure an edit is technically sound before any graphics are added. Then, I’ll take a minimalist approach to adding graphics before showing it to the client for the first time.

I’ll spend a few hours building an open, keep lower thirds and title pages appealing but simple to execute and will recycle these graphics for any other part of the video that requires additional graphics. The closing animation is usually something very similar to the introduction. This does a nice job ending the video and it makes sense in the client’s mind.

4. Embrace third-party graphics packages and template and learn how to incorporate them into your work flow immediately.

The cost to purchase these packages is very affordable considering what you get and the time you will save trying to recreate something similar. Your clients will love how these graphics make their videos look and they won’t care or even know that you didn’t create them from scratch.

5. Finally, get your client involved early in the creative process.

See how they react to a creative treatment that looks good but didn’t take you a long time to create. If they are excited about it, ask them if they’d like you to apply the same treatment the rest of the video. If they say yes, do it! You’ll save a ton of time, which results in more money for each hour you work in the project.

If they aren’t happy, tweak it in their presence until they are happy. It usually doesn’t take much more than you showed them in the first place to make them happy. The only caveat here is that some clients will have a huge expectation as to how the creative visuals will be represented in their video. It’s your job to make that determination early on and to budget accordingly on the front end of the project.

Technical proficiency, great storytelling and enhanced focus on customer service will get you where you want to be faster than out-of-this-world graphic animations or multi-layered composites. Your video production business will benefit more on this process. That’s a fact.