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Monday, June 15, 2015

How to make small budget corporate film?

Are you, looking out to make a corporate film on a shoe string budget? 

Well, you are in luck !

Check out some corporate videos on our website: Digital Studio.  
There are various ways and means of achieving your goal.

What are the budget limitations? 

In many companies, there may a certain budget allocated for marketing purpose. This is especially true of many Indian companies, who are penny wise and pound foolish! They  spend enormous amounts of money to participate in international / national trade shows or exhibitions, yet when it comes to presenting their companies in top notch, world class manner, they start cutting corners! There are several advantages of having a corporate film, that you can read here.

As professional film makers, we make certain that the best possible content is delivered within the allotted budgets and deliver a high quality business AV presentation. Although, there several advantages of a corporate film, many companies do not invest in their own marketing.

Hence, it is important to get as much information on the scope of the project and the message that will be conveyed by the AV to the target audience.

Tips for low budget business videos:
Tips for making Small budget Corporate videos
Infographic: Tips for making Small budget Corporate videos

Example of a small budget corporate video: 

Here is the break down of all components that go into a corporate film:

1. Brief on the corporate film: 

Get the complete requirements of the project from client. In most cases, the marketing department will be in-charge of the film making project. Work closely with the client, so that you can get the best possible idea of the scope of the project. List down the locations where the shoot has to be undertake, the number of people who will be interviewed.

Get the details of the company brief, profile, corporate communications guidelines etc.
Hold meetings with client for film brief
Hold meetings with client for film brief

2. Scope of the Project: 

Decide clearly the scope of the project. The pre-production, production and post production (editing) phases have to be clearly delineated and time allotted for the same.

3. Pre-production: 

Once the brief has been received from the client, work on the script. The script may be of two types, one for the flow of the video and second one for the voice over. Depending on the budget, there may be no scope for the voice over recording! This saves, times money and efforts and many of the business videos do not have VO (Voice Over). There is no need to have a draft script from the client, script writer, voice over sample approval, dummy recording followed by actual professional recording in an audio recording studio.

Script wiring: As there is not much scope for hiring a professional script writer, it would be a good idea to DIY. Get the draft script from the client and then work with the client's marketing team to fine tune the script.

Be ready to go thru 2-3 iterations before finalization of the script. 

The director will be  good choice for writing a script for a small budget business video

Audio recording - May not be part of a small budget business video

4. Production: 

Since the entire project is on show string budgets, there is no way to employ / hire 4K video camera equipment! In most of the cases only DSLR like a Canon 6D or Canon 5D Mark II / Mark III is used for the video shooting. The audio may be recorded in-camera or in a external media like a Zoom system.

Multiple camera setup - Just not possible for small budget corporate video project.

Tip 1: Take photographs!

One of the best methods to make a low budget corporate video is to take photographs of the machines / people / processes / buildings / factories etc. Later, in the post production phase, you can always add these photographs with footage captured. 

Add photography as value added service

Tip 2: Use One DSLR!

Yes, there will be only camera man, who will double up as a director also! One assitant will be required to arrange the lights and audio equipment. With one cameraman, there will be need to take multiple takes and re-takes! The cameraman will have to take the long, mid and close-up shots of the people / machines as required.

There are several good Canon cameras that allow corporate film makers to shoot videos, that do not require high end solutions.

The most popular Canon DSLR cameras for video shoot are:

  • Canon 5D Mark II
  • Canon 5D Mark III
  • Canon 6D
DSLR Camera top dial for settings
One of the most popular Canon lens for video: Canon 24mm-70mm f/2.8 IS
Another good lens for video shooting- Canon 24mm-105mm f/4 IS USM with AF

One Cameraman shoot

Tip 3: Travel light! 

Use high power lights, which will be good enough for the shoot to be done with lowest possible ISO settings. Porta lights are  inexpensive and each of them has 1000W output. Use at-least two of these along with umbrellas, so that there is lots of diffused light and no hard shadows.

Porta Light - 1000W-230V-3600K
Porta light with umbrella - for diffused light

Capturing Audio: 

One of the critical aspects of a business video is to shoot the client testimonial/s or mission/vision of the company being shared by the CEO or one of the Managing Directors.

There are two ways in which to capture the audio:

Wireless microphone: 

These are generally more expensive than the wired version. There are many available and in most of the cases the audio is stored in a separate memory card.

The audio and video are then synchronized during the post processing stage. 

Wired microphone:

These are simpler to use and generally cost much less than the wireless version. Mono or stereo recording of the audio takes takes in the same memory card as the video. This makes the process of editing much simpler  and faster.

For recording speech mono recording is adequate. In video editing software  like Adobe Premier Pro, you can duplicate the left channel to the right!

External microphone for capturing speech and testimonials
Lapel microphone for simple audio recording of speaker

5. Post Production: 

This is the most critical stage, as this there all the magic can happen. A good video editor can make / break a corporate film, irrespective of the budgets and other constraints from time and deadlines etc.  

In the pre-production phase, be sure to collect previously captured photographs / video footage. These combined with stock photographs and video clips, as create a substantial base for a business video.  There are several international and Indian stock selling websites, from where high resolution photographs and full HD video clips can be purchased.
Another manner to work on low budget film is by using images from royalty free websites. 

Here are some of them, there are really good and allow the users to download, decent quality images: 

Pixabay - a repository for stunning public domain pictures. Your source for free vectors, free drawings and free photos. You can use any Pixabay image without attribution in digital and printed form, even for commercial applications.

Search morgueFile for free reference images. Yes, they're all completely free. whether you're an illustrator, art director, instructor or looking to add a defining visual to a presentation.

Public Domain is a repository for free public domain images. Download high quality HD photos or upload your own. Make money from your hobby, gain popularity and improve your photographic and graphic skills.

Editing Phase - The Key to successful small budget corporate video

Editing is generally on the industry standard software like Apple Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premier. 

Background music:  

Always use copyright music or Royalty free one.

One of the largest collection of royalty free background music and sound effects is hosted by Google's Youtube. You can download them from here:

BTW, Youtube, also has free basic level video editor: You can add your own videos, add video from the Creative Commons, add text,  transitions, images and background music. Once, you have completed adding the content and other effects, you can save the video.


After all the efforts, it is show time ! Make sure that the final full HD (1920 by 1080) video is shown to the top management on their projector and with full speakers.

Use a projector to showcase your final work!


The delivery of video can be in any of the following formats and sizes:

a. Full HD - 1920 by 1080 version in a DVD or pendrive
b. You Tube version, which is much smaller that HD
c. WhatsApp version! This is the smallest and lightest video, that should be used by the company to promote their goods and services.


As mentioned above, there are many ways and means to make a decent corporate video on a small or low budgets. Make it very clear to the end users (your clients) that NOT to expect getting a luxury  car in the price of a hatchback!

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