Top 10 tips for managing your television and video production costs

Television commercial production continues to be a significant investment for marketers and advertising. At the same time lower cost solutions are being embraced to create content for the online environments. And it’s technical and complex nature means that many advertisers continue to be confused and baffled by the conflicting costs. But there are a number of basic project management tips that can help you take control of this expenditure.

1. Before briefing the agency, specify as many aspects of the production as possible; the media, campaign and spot duration and life expectancy of the execution, to ensure economies of scale.

2. When briefing the agency, provide an indicative production budget to create a guideline within which the creative team can operate.

(Honda Cog is considered by many as the most expensive television commercial ever made, but I doubt it. There are no talent fees here. But the issue is making sure you are getting value for money)

3. Ask the agency to prepare an overall production schedule to ensure enough time is allowed in the creative and production process.

4. Before research or approval, ask the agency to supply a ballpark production estimate to ensure the concepts can be achieved for the budget.

5. On approval of one of the concepts, ensure the agency presents the directors’ show reels as part of the selection process to determine which production companies are to quote.

6. Ask the agency to provide you with not just their estimate, but also the film company breakdown, which usually contributes to 60% – 70% of the total budget.

7. Request that the agency also supply you the director’s treatments from the three competitive companies. This will give you an idea of the enthusiasm and vision of the director.

8. Unless otherwise agreed, on approval of the estimate you should be invoiced on 50% of the film company fee and 100% of the talent fees, not 50% of the total production cost.

9. Make sure the pre-production meeting is held at least 3 working days before the shoot to accommodate any unforeseen last minute changes.

10. Contact TrinityP3 as we can provide assessment, auditing, negotiation and training services to ensure ultimate transparency and accountability and keep your production costs under control.

What is your biggest issue when managing television and video productions and what solutions have worked for you?