High-End Home Brand Productions on a Low-End Budget

Behind the Scenes

While today’s production budgets are tighter than ever, high-end brands need to use proven strategies to project an upmarket image.

For most brands, the days of $100,000 print shoots or cost-is-no-object film productions are long gone. New media demands a constant stream of content—so even if your budgets are roughly where they were pre-recession, quantity and quality are in constant battle.
Make your web content too sparse and you risk boring your audience. Divide your production budget over 15 web videos and you risk making your high-end brand appear bargain basement. Here are five smart ways to produce brand video and photography without diluting your premium appeal.
1. Don’t try to recreate a million dollar idea on a tight budget. Instead, produce smaller, simpler ideas that are still consistent with your brand. Make sure your concept and your budget are in line before you sign a production estimate.
2. On small productions, concept is everything. Since you don’t have money to throw at splashy film effects or other brand eye candy, make sure you start with a strong idea. Spend only what you need to make the idea shine.
3. Smaller screens mean smaller ideas and simpler graphics. Why invest in big sets or complex lighting set-ups when your audience is viewing on their phone? Focus on what’s important and put your money where it counts.
4. Squeeze budgets, but don’t scrimp on talent. The commercial film industry is fundamentally different today. So-called A-list directors are suddenly willing to work on smaller projects they would have ignored five or ten years ago. Investing in talented filmmakers or photographers can make all the difference to your high-end brand.
5. Digital effects are better than ever and incredibly cost effective. Compared to even a few years ago, CGI (computer-generated imagery) can be a terrific tool for high-end brands. For a fraction of traditional film, you can create realistic interiors and incredible motion graphics that would make any high-end brand proud.
The demand for meaningful digital content for high-end brands will only grow in the future. Photography and video projects that used to take six-figure budgets can be completed at a fraction of the cost today. But only if you focus on great ideas, small screens and new production technologies.

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