By Bruce Freeman The Small Business Professor.
Q: I have a small video production company and my budget is tight, but I'm considering investing in new technology to "keep me in the game." What do you suggest?
A: According to Tony Nguyen, CEO and program director at UMii Corp., you don't have to go "high-end" to get the job done. Nguyen says that many small businesses are considering new technology that is already available. Instead of purchasing a high-end camera, a small film company can use a smartphone.
Video equipment quickly becomes obsolete, so small businesses can save money by using something they already have for a fraction of the investment and operational cost of purchasing new equipment.
Plenty of amateur videos have been shot using smartphones. Plus, there is inexpensive software available that can update your videos to ultra-high definition.
Many companies are offering add-ons to increase smartphone memory, which increases the recording time. Add to this a good video app, and your smartphone will perform like any $10,000 camera.
Elliot Grove, founder of the film festival/film school company Raindance, believes that feature length films can be made on a "catering budget," if you follow a few simple steps.
-Find a good story or screenplay. According to Grove, you need to weave together four elements to achieve this: a specific goal for your characters, a setting, actions of the main characters and strong dialogue.
-Eliminate or reduce the number of location moves.
-All digital cameras generate the same signal, which means your budget should focus more on the quality of the lenses than spending big bucks on a digital rig.
-Good sound can make even the most low-end video images look great.
-Get cheap or free film scores or write the music yourself.
- Make sure everything you need is within reach.
-Hire actors from local theater companies or acting schools. Avoid using friends that can't act.
-Use social media to promote your film and build exposure by commenting on relevant articles on various websites.
-Register your domain name for your production company or the title of the film. ___ ABOUT THE WRITER Bruce Freeman, an adjunct professor and co-author of "Birthing the Elephant" (Random House), is president of ProLine Communications.