Four Tips to Keeping Commercial Production Costs Low

Commercial production costs can easily spiral out of control if they're not managed properly. Of course you need to spend money to make a great commercial, but if you spend without control then you're going to end up being way over budget. Here are four tips to keep costs down.

Find the Perfect Location

When you book your crew you're agreeing to pay them a guaranteed rate for at least 10 or 12 hours of work. After that time has passed they're in overtime, and that can quickly kill your budget. One way to avoid this is to find one perfect location that you can stay in all day long. When a film crew arrives at a location they need to unload all their gear from a truck and then reload it when they're done. If you need to travel to multiple places in one day then "company moves" are going to kill a lot of the time you have. Taking the time to find the perfect location can save you a lot of money.

Shoot Video Over Film

With cameras like the Red you can shoot on video and have it look just as good as film. This will save you a ton of money because you don't have to pay for film stock, film processing, telecine and a negative cutter anymore. 

Shoot Non-Union

If you're trying to keep costs low then you should consider shooting it non-union. There are plenty of non union crew members out there who are qualified and you don't have to worry about paying union minimums. You can set whatever rate you can afford. You also have some room to negotiate with on stuff like overtime and meal penalties because there isn't a union contract to abide to. Another benefit to going non-union is that you don't need to hire teamsters to drive your vehicles.

Know What You Want

The best way to keep the day moving smoothly is to go into it with a clear plan that you will stick to. This way everyone knows what they're doing and no time is wasted on deciding what to do next. Remember, in production time is money so use it wisely.