Cheap Interactive Video Productions Without Outsourcing
(Or Just A Little)

“It’s going to be too expensive to make videos!” and “How would we be able to afford it if we have to have our own video productions?”

These are phrases we hear a lot when it comes to pitching the idea of interactive video. And we get it, you like the idea of interactive videos, but you can’t find the right video for what you want to do. The best solution would be to make your own, but making a video is such an expensive ordeal!


Well, it’s not anymore!

Our founder, Anton, often spends a bit of his time at fairs. There he tends to meet many people who have the same concerns.

That’s why Anton often demonstrates how easy it is, right there and then, at the fair. He records a short video, uploads it to YouTube, loads it into HiHaHo and starts making it interactive right away.

You can almost hear that penny drop in the minds of the people watching.

Your mindset might be a tad dated

But you might still have that same idea in mind, that making a video is going to cost a lot of money.

And until I had to make video productions on a budget, I would’ve said the same thing. And ten years ago, it would’ve been true!

But nowadays, you too can produce interactive videos for much less money than you think.

Of course, I can just tell you how easy it is, but you still wouldn’t know where to start. So today, I’ll get you started.

Determine your budget

What you need to do first is to establish what your budget is for creating these interactive videos. To have that as a fact will help you determine where you can cut expenses.

You don’t have to roll out the red carpet, bring in food trucks for catering, and hire expensive actors for being in your video.

Boil the production down to the essentials

Even if there’s no budget at all, you can come a long way.

A video production can be as low-budget as you want it to be, if you boil it down to just the essentials. Writing a script for your video and shooting and editing the video are not things you have to outsource per se.

Write your own scripts, you’re an expert

How, you may ask.

Well, consider this: the people that work at your company or school are experts in what you’re selling or what you want to achieve with these interactive videos. Write the scripts yourselves!

But then, there you are staring at the blank page. How do you even write a script?

Column Five has listed 8 steps for writing an awesome video script and Video Brewery can explain you how to write a great explanation video.

And to top it off, here’s an explanation by Wistia about their own scripting process and how that could work for you.

Smartphones are a good replacement

Filming is also something that is often outsourced. But with an OK camera, you can produce proper videos.

Even phones have excellent cameras these days, so evaluate the future use of your videos and see whether you have to invest in camera equipment.

If you can’t invest in camera equipment, using a smartphone can do the trick. Smartphones are better than most common cameras from a few years back. VTREP gives 7 tips for achieving a better quality with your smartphone.

Nowadays, you can easily shoot extremely professional videos with your smartphone, as Cinema 5D explains in their article.

MakeUseOf also gives some simple tricks to elevate your smartphone camera tricks with ten easy tips.

Production value won’t necessarily be groundbreaking. But if that is not necessary for the goal of your video, why would you allow that to be an influencing factor for your budget?

How to get good lighting

Things can get pretty heated when you have too many lights.

But it is something that can up the ante of your production without having to cost much. Proper lighting lifts any video from being a home video to being a video production. Yet again, this can be fairly simplistic.

Wistia explains how you can get proper lighting on the fly and how the lighting setup doesn’t have to be equally as bright as the sun.

Also, Lifehacker gives a clear introduction to the basics of lighting and explains what to keep in mind when setting up lights.

Tech-savvy employees are all around

Not outsourcing editing can be tough if no one is experienced with these things in your company.

But you have a creative and tech-savvy employee walking around somewhere. They might be able to pick up the editing faster than you think.

Besides, editing becomes way easier when you think about how you want to edit the video before you shoot it. Wistia has some great tips for shooting for the editing.

Moreover, more and more youngins these days have experience with editing. Online videos are a booming business, and people interact with that way more than ten years ago.

Often people tend to just edit within their social media, such as Instagram or YouTube (to learn how, check out YouTube’s Help page).

Free or low-fee software will do

If you want to edit the video, edit in programs that often come free or at a low fee with your computer.

Windows and Apple, for example, provide Windows Movie Maker and Apple iMovie. These are fine if you can’t afford buying other editing tools.

Do what you can do within the boundaries of your budget.

Don’t make all the footage yourself

No, I’m not talking about outsourcing, but about footage. You can easily buy stock footage these days, both videos and photos.

Websites such as Videohive and Footcrate offer original footage and intros for free or a fee.

Many are natural actors

The acting can also be an inside job. A lot of people have some experience in front of a camera or on the stage. And some are really just naturals.

I wouldn’t advise you to put employees in the spotlight who don’t want to. Nor would I advise you to work with employees that might end up looking like a deer in headlights.

But work with what you’ve got.

For all new actors, here are a few tips from Mashable for how you can ensure that you look great on camera.

Invest in the right things

If you do have a slightly larger budget, the first thing you want to invest in is the camera equipment. Learn About Film has compiled a list of things you need for low-budget filmmaking, which might come in handy if you don’t know where to start.

Besides that, I would invest in proper editing programs. Programs such as After Effects, Adobe Premiere, Sony Vegas, Final Cut, and Pinnacle Studios will get you extremely far.

They work for beginners in editing and you can use them on a professional level, even. Of course, you’ll have to evaluate which products would work for you. And for your budget.

Luckily, whenever you’re at a loss with editing, YouTube creators offer plenty of tutorials for these programs.

Outsourcing without it ending in bankruptcy

So far, I’ve basically only been telling you how to avoid outsourcing. But, obviously, if you want to outsource or you just don’t have the capacity to do all this work yourself, outsource it.

Freelancers are the way to go. There are many people who work as a video producer, camera operator, writer, and actor as a side hustle.

Upwork is a great place to find freelancers. You can check websites such as Freelancer or Dutch Freelancer. In addition, Kevin Muldoon lists the best places to find freelancers.

For example, you could outsource the filming (and often even the editing) by hiring a cameraman or a camerawoman. There are many people who work as a video producer or camera operator as a side hustle.

They often have better equipment and a good eye for how you can elevate the look of your production. Besides, they will bring the right equipment for the job, so you don’t have to worry about that yourself.

It’s a small step from your phone to HiHaHo

We always say it’s easy, but it actually is! As soon as you have your video ready, upload it to YouTube and link it to your HiHaHo enrich environment.

If you don’t have to edit your video, you can upload it directly from your phone to YouTube in a matter of minutes and start enriching.

You’ll have to spend some time editing if you’re working with larger videos, but even then, once you’re finished, you can upload it and get going.

Match effort and budget with your end goal

While you’re processing all this information, do realize the core message of this article.

If you want to make a brief interactive video that you’re only going to use in your classroom or office, there’s no need for a Hollywood production.

The reality of the situation is that if you don’t have the money, you shouldn’t spend it. If you can’t get the funding, don’t spend it.

Get started

Video productions aren’t what they used to be in this day and age. So now that the worries about your finances are out of the way, get started! There is no excuse to postpone any longer.

How do or will you record your videos for interactive videos? Or do you only use existing video materials from the internet?

Ferdinand Dillema




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