Video Production

Hi folks,

I wondered what people’s experience of filming talks, editing and publishing them was.

We’ve tried various approaches but costs is high for the ROI we get. Any low-cost services out there for any parts of the process?


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Would love to know peoples’ thoughts on this.

For a couple of talks about a year ago we went full DIY with a tripod and video camera, but I was never adept enough to master lighting conditions and route the audio direct from the mics to the video camera so sound quality on the recordings wasn’t great. On top of that the effort required to edit it into something produceable was again just not worth it for the return we saw. We’ve also paid to have it recorded and produced professionally, but again I don’t think this was worth the ROI.

Possibly Facebook Live/Snapchat are options here for something a bit different?

I guess it boils down to what you want to use the video content for. With a clear objective in mind it would be easier to quantify ROI.

For example, a common scenario would be to want to use video content of a previous event to promote my next. I do a lot of promotion on Facebook where running ads with video content is a lot cheaper that text and image content. So if we could say we spent x on video content but it reduced our cost per ticket sold by x, then we could work out our true ROI.

Sorry went on a bit of a tangent there.

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We find video content really effective, and our sponsors love it!. We usually use footage from the overall event in a promo video that is cut with comments from top level speakers. But more recently have found that private interviews with certain speakers after they have been on stage works well. This is usually topic based but then we also always ask about their experience at the event and cut their positive comments to use in a full promo edit.


How do you produce it Maria? Do you do anything in-house?

We have a few different companies that we hire to film and edit the videos. Usually as a package cost. Let me know if you would like any recommendations!

Recommendations always welcome…

You can message me or post here for everyone :slight_smile:
Thanks in advance.

@mhenley I’d like recommendations please, please do post here!

I’d be interested to know what a ballpark package cost is?

I had a look on Upwork just now and you can hire freelancers from anywhere between £20 - £60 per hour. How does this compare to what you guys have looked at?

Also, on the production side, has anyone used a DIY tool like animoto?

Hi Mark and everyone,

There are a few questions that go with filming. First is the typical you can pick two… fast, good, or cheap trifecta. Each event has it’s own needs for any combination of the three. It sound like cheap is a must. Content is the next big qualifier for the rest of the equation. Is it a static shot or is it a roving camera with man on the street interviews? How in-depth is the edit? Do you just want a clip of the whole event, many little clips for social media or do you want an onsite edit that can be aired the next day?

Nick, those prices seam a bit cheap, do those freelancers come with cameras? If so then that’s as cheap as I have heard. How much experience do they have? Is it worth spending even the few bucks if the quality isn’t worth showing anyone?

The biggest thing to remember is that the edited segment something you can sell either on the front end with a sponsor or back to a client as marketing for the next years event. The ROI math is very different when you leverage it as a tangible item and not just a cost.

If you have more details I can go further.

Hi Angela, thanks for your thoughtful response.

We want to publish some of the talks that we film at our events in their entirety as a benefit to participants and as marketing to non-participants to come to the event in future years.

The requirement is that the talk can be followed by someone watching the video online.

Those Upwork costs are I think for editing rather than filming.


Hey @angela take a look at this freelancer on upwork for reference:

You can see all their reviews, past experience and portfolio etc. He does both filming and editing. From experience i’ve found upwork great for hiring freelancers.

Nick, thank you for that link. I’ve never used upwork. I was lead to believe it was like fiverr. Which is more hobbyist to semi pro looking to build a portfolio. Anthony looks like a great option. I would still wonder if he has his own gear. At that price I would say that he doesn’t. The work he does is good and see his strengths in the editing and motion graphics. Color correction and exposure is a bit off but the end product on the whole is good.

Mark, Anthony seams like a good option. Price is about as low as it goes without going with a kid straight out of collage. I would be sure to find out the cost of him manning one camera. Audio would be a feed from your audio board that feed the PA System. I would also highly recommend getting a wide shot second camera that is unattended. This will beef up the rental cost but will save you in the edit. It will also not bulk up your freelancer cost. I’ve worked with other camera men that don’t mind setting up a second camera, especially if they are the ones that are going to do the edit. Keep in mind some placement for the cameras. I don’t know how big your location is but if it’s to big remember the closer you are to stage the lest money you will spend on wide angle lens too. At least for the manned camera.

If it’s a one day event and a day of editing individual l session clips, I don’t see it being more than $1500.

Anything cheaper and you will be at risk for not capturing what you what. If you really wanted to you could set up a hand full of go pros for a wide and each position on stage. Get the audio department to record the audio. Then pay a pro to edit. In the end you will save some rental money the camera op on show day but you will also be adding in edit time and adding something that you will have to manage on top of all the other event management.

I hope I have helped give you some insight.

Please let me know if I can help further

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This has been very useful, I’m going to check out Upwork! I’m looking to source a 1-2 minute ‘highlights’ video for an evening event that is a couple of hours long, so looks like a freelancer that charges by the hour would be the most suitable option. Ideally, the video would incorporate a few on-site interviews as well as snippets of the presentations and positive comments from speakers. Similar to that described by @mhenley above. @mhenley, do you have any examples that you could post, of the type of video content that you have used? @angela, did you mean $1500 US Dollars or £1500 Pounds Sterling? (not that there is that much difference these days :slight_smile: )

I’m glad I can I can help. I am based in New York but we are in London frequently. The first week in April we have an event at the Tobacco dock. That $1500 is US but for budget padding I would use pounds. In the US our freelancers also base their days on a 10hour day and get time and a half after. So the £40 would be an automatic £400 no mater how short the day. If it’s a union house then forget any relistic budget.

muonabena, the kind of shoot you are describing is easily double the price. The stage has lights and mics. If you start doing interviews away from that staged area you will have to add that into your budget. Are the interviews just getting random people at the event to say something or is it sit down interviews? What we call man in the street interviews which are much cheaper to do because the only lights you should need is a sun gun (a small bright light on the camera). Sit down interviews will need space and a formal lighting package. If they are the executives/sponsors I recommend sit down interviews. You’ll what them looking their best. In either situation you will need an audio freelancer with mics and mixer. You will also need a person asking the questions. It’s a roll that can easily be over looked but one that is vital to get good content. Some camera and audio freelancers will do it but they have their head into the quality of the shot. You would also be surprised how hard it is to listen to the quality of the audio and the content of what is said.

Unfortunately you will also have double the edit budget. It takes no thought to have a clip that is the whole session add a title and fade in and out. When you are talking about highlights the editor has to evaluate and editorialize what has been captured. You will need stock music to pull it together and you may have some revisions after the first cut is complete. When it’s a clip of the whole session a client can’t ask for a different clip.

Good luck… or should I say brake a leg.