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View Full Version : Video Production: In-House or Outsourcing?



The Falcon
07-31-2009, 02:18 PM
I'll try to keep this as sane as possible. I've done video work in the past but have been out of the game for about 3 years now.

My company has charged me with producing product training videos to distribute to sales reps and other companies (they serve dual purposes - to sell a product and to train someone on it within the one message). Nothing big, probably 7 or so initial videos spanning 5-10mins each in length. Our company has never done anything like this nor has anything to it with (equipment-wise).

I want to get a green light on a budget to bring in some Mac computing power so I can do this easily - I've used it before and know the quality product I can produce with it. I'm not familiar with PC editing and my initial bias would probably get the best of me should I be forced into learning. However, I need to present comparisons to help my argument.

With that in mind I have 4 options I need to measure in dollars:
1) Buy Mac and edit in house (already measured)
2) Buy PC and edit in house (already measured)
3) Rent equipment and edit in house
4) Outsource to a local production company to produce entirely

I'm almost positive I can have something Mac and in house for less than $4,500. I've seen weekly rentals starting at that price and I'm sure a company would charge a pretty penny to have them shoot and edit - even if we were able to have it all shot in a couple days.

If anyone has any insight to this it'd be great - I'm making some calls to local companies today - so that may answer my questions - I just wanted to see what the pro's say on this board.

Thanks!

Murlyn
07-31-2009, 08:27 PM
I can put you in contact with my cousin, he could answer all your questions that you might have, plus could probably do whatever work if you wanted to send some his way. He's done work for the seahawks, sean alexander, etc etc so he's quite good at what he does :)

CrimsonRequiem
07-31-2009, 08:34 PM
Depends if you are comfortable doing it yourself, the budget and deadlines.

I would go with number 1, only because I like doing things myself (pun not intended). If you are not comfortable then probably outsourcing. Takes time to find someone though and you need to check the quality of work as well as the cost.

The Falcon
08-04-2009, 03:04 PM
I can put you in contact with my cousin, he could answer all your questions that you might have, plus could probably do whatever work if you wanted to send some his way. He's done work for the seahawks, sean alexander, etc etc so he's quite good at what he does :)

Is your cousin in CA? Or would I be outsourcing to him only for the editing part and I'll shoot what we need?


Depends if you are comfortable doing it yourself, the budget and deadlines.

I would go with number 1, only because I like doing things myself (pun not intended). If you are not comfortable then probably outsourcing. Takes time to find someone though and you need to check the quality of work as well as the cost.

I'd be comfortable doing it all myself, in iMovie - though I'd like to use FC Exp as a stepping stone into FCP - as I've never branched out of my safe little iMovie box. But right now, I think the sticker shock is what the company is not liking. It's a very simplistic video - like the new product walk through vids apple puts up online - and doesn't require any fancy titling, graphics, or transitions - it's all too simple. But I know I'd like to expand on the idea of in-house production more as we grow so I think this would be the best route. If I get us into a Mac Pro, and a year down the line upgrade to 32GB for what will then be <$1000, I'm sure the machine will outlast anything we've ever had (crappy Dell GX520's).

In talking with the Pres. about this more, he's thinking we could to go someone who'd be willing to do it for fun/free, on the side, as it would be their hobby, etc. - but I don't think the final product would come about in a structured manner. I think that would end up too lax, the person wouldn't have much conviction in deliverance, etc. Yet at the same time, I don't want to come off like I'm just trying to get some fancy toy's in the office.

xstep
08-04-2009, 04:38 PM
From your description, "doesn't require any fancy titling, graphics, or transitions - it's all too simple", I don't see why you think you need a very expensive Mac Pro. I suspect an iMac, with discreet graphics, should be fine for in house use. That will lower your entry cost right there.

As far as the free resource, I think that would only be reasonable if you find someone who takes it very seriously. Perhaps someone hoping to break into the profession, or wanting more experience to show off to future clients. They also need to have time on their hands to meet your schedule. ****, I'm tempted to volunteer just out of interest of doing something outside of my box. ;) So you might find someone interested. Is there a local college with a media program.

You have a Mac. You have video experience. Why not put a single sample project together for the company using your own equipment to show them what can be done. From the sounds of it, iMovie would be good enough for at least a proof of concept. If they like it, perhaps that will convince them to do it in house and they can buy the appropriate equipment.

A polished professional look requires experienced & talented people with the right equipment. How does the company want to be presented in these videos.

dr dave
08-05-2009, 01:21 AM
FCE is a ton more flexible than iMovie. That is its strength and its weakness. The learning curve is really steep. One reason is that most of what iMovie does automatically, FCE does not. It makes you make lots of decisions.

You will need Tom Wolsky's book if you want to get up to speed quickly. If time learning FCE is not particularly important, do a OneToOne at the Apple store. For $100 you get one hour a week of personal instruction for a year. Two bucks an hour. You can't beat it.

The Falcon
08-05-2009, 12:52 PM
From your description, "doesn't require any fancy titling, graphics, or transitions - it's all too simple", I don't see why you think you need a very expensive Mac Pro. I suspect an iMac, with discreet graphics, should be fine for in house use. That will lower your entry cost right there.

As far as the free resource, I think that would only be reasonable if you find someone who takes it very seriously. Perhaps someone hoping to break into the profession, or wanting more experience to show off to future clients. They also need to have time on their hands to meet your schedule. ****, I'm tempted to volunteer just out of interest of doing something outside of my box. ;) So you might find someone interested. Is there a local college with a media program.

You have a Mac. You have video experience. Why not put a single sample project together for the company using your own equipment to show them what can be done. From the sounds of it, iMovie would be good enough for at least a proof of concept. If they like it, perhaps that will convince them to do it in house and they can buy the appropriate equipment.

A polished professional look requires experienced & talented people with the right equipment. How does the company want to be presented in these videos.

I agree with in you that an iMac is probably more than ideal for what I need to do (today). Once upgrades are factored in (ram, vid card, etc.) I would be at the same price as a mildly upgrade Mac Pro. Since we have plenty of monitors to go around I don't necessarily need the all-in-one feature of the iMac. I'm sure processor to processor - the Mac Pro is more efficient. And with its expandability to go beyond the iMacs' potential - I think it would pan out more cost effective in the long run.

However, my position in this company is not the in house video editor. As much as I like entertaining the idea of sitting on a computer all day playing with video - I don't see it becoming the revenue generating position I signed on for. Like most of you on the board, video work is a hobby, something we've come to enjoy and partake in when we can.

If I can find someone who has the equipment and the time to dedicate to a project like this as to expand their portfolio - I'd be more than happy to go that route provided I don't get a lazy-vibe from the person fronting the labor.

I'll take a look around here locally and see what I can find in the way of charity work. Unfortunately FSU isn't a media college - mainly Ag, Business, and Crim - so there's not as much potential as there would be most anywhere else.

Thanks for all the input - generating a response to these questions helps clarify what my goals are.


FCE is a ton more flexible than iMovie. That is its strength and its weakness. The learning curve is really steep. One reason is that most of what iMovie does automatically, FCE does not. It makes you make lots of decisions.

You will need Tom Wolsky's book if you want to get up to speed quickly. If time learning FCE is not particularly important, do a OneToOne at the Apple store. For $100 you get one hour a week of personal instruction for a year. Two bucks an hour. You can't beat it.

I didn't know it was that cheap. If I ever get out of this Macbook and into something faster - I may buy into that just to do it on my own.