We are always trying to help our clients save a buck. One way to do this is to employ a smaller crew during filming. So, on occasion, we will just send out our camera guy and sound person to film with the client, without me there as producer. (In the video world, the “producer” is equivalent to the “director” for a film.) The two of them have enjoyed that – “Guess you’re unnecessary, eh Geoff?”
This begs the question: “Can I just hire a single camera guy to film this video for me?” You can, of course, though there are strong reasons to have more manpower at your disposal. But let’s say your needs aren’t complicated – you just want, for example, to record a presentation that you are giving. There’s not a lot of direction that a producer is going to offer in a situation like that beyond telling the camera guy where to place his equipment.
But what are the implications if the video has a few more moving parts? Overall, the results have not been disastrous for those clients who have chosen to self-produce. We can attribute this, in part, to the fact that we give the client and our crew some serious direction in advance, so they have a good idea what they need to accomplish with us in absentia.
Even so, we typically see a couple of small glitches in the outcome that suggest there could have been more serious implications if the project had been a little more complex. Here are just a couple things that can be easily overlooked by clients who self-produce:
Basically, the producer brings value because he knows what he needs and knows how to avoid pitfalls. If a client wants to self-produce and doesn’t have a lot of obstacles to navigate, usually things won’t go too far off course. But, of course, the more navigation that’s needed, the higher the risks of self-producing. As with everything in life, it requires a cost-benefit analysis!