6 Reasons to Produce Your Video Resourcefully

Friday, December 02, 2011

(Hint: only one of them is about money. And only sort of.)

What is Resourceful Production?

Resourceful production means fully exploring the resources available to you, instead of simply opening up your wallet.

That involves:

  • Doing things yourself, when you can

  • Learning new skills

  • Looking beyond the obvious sources

  • Asking your communities for help

  • Expanding your network

Clearly, this takes a lot more work than just paying someone else to do it for you. But that effort pays off in so many ways.

So How Does Resourceful Production Pay Off?

1) It saves you money

Obvious, right? Paying less = saving money. But saving money isn't just about your profits; it helps you get more done.

A typical video costs thousands of dollars to produce, which is out of reach for most dancers. But being resourceful can save you enough money to turn your pipe dream into a realistic project.

And when you lower your production costs, you can recoup your investment much sooner. The sooner you break even, the sooner you can make your next video, and get it into the hands of the people who need it.

2) It's empowering

When you produce your video resourcefully, you're going to learn lots of new skills. And new skills are empowering! They give you a great sense of confidence and competence. Even better, once you learn a skill, you can apply it to your next video, or even adapt it to other projects.

And you'd be surprised how broadly those skills can be applied. This year, I learned how to interview a target profile to help me plan my programs. I used some of those same techniques at my mother-in-law's 70th birthday (a room full of people I didn't know), and I was the hit of the party!

(BTW, you'll learn how to interview a target profile in the Resourceful Video Production Guide.)

3) You'll discover new resources

I gave a talk on video production at the MECDA Professional Dance Conference and Retreat this year. (And for those of you I met there, hi!) The most common feedback I received was "wow, I didn't even know that those resources existed".

The world is full of organizations, web sites, and other resources that can help you realize your dream project. And once you discover them, they can help you with many future projects (video or otherwise).

4) It's great networking

As you explore your personal network, you're going to have to talk to people. And that's a great opportunity to build some relationships.

Think about it: if you were a band, which would you find more flattering:

Yet another "like" on your Facebook page?

Or an email saying "I love your music, and I think my viewers would love it as well. Can I license this song for my DVD?"

5) It opens the door for cross-promtion

Those same relationships can come in handy when it's time to promote your DVD. The band may be willing to mention your DVD in their next newsletter. The dancer who did your cover design could post the picture (and a link) on her Facebook page. That can get the attention of many people outside your own circle.

Of course, you should always do the same for them. Don't limit yourself to the credits - if someone helped you out, mention them by name whenever you can. And always include a link!

6) It helps you connect to different communities

Being resourceful often means looking outside of your usual circle. When you do that, you'll discover many new circles to join. For example, I film my DVDs at my public access TV station. The station helped me connect with the local arts community (not just the belly dance scene), which had a huge impact. To this day, I get more students through my local arts council than from any other source.

But I Really Don't Want to Do It All Myself!

Being resourceful doesn't mean that you have to do everything yourself. It just means that you explore all your options, so you can decide whether the savings are worth the effort.

And resourceful production isn't an all-or-nothing method. For example, if you hate video editing, by all means pay someone else to do that part. Being resourceful can still save you a lot of money on other tasks.

Ok, I'm Convinced. But What Do I Do Now?

You'll notice that I used the words "network" and "community" a whole lot in this article. Your local and virtual communities are tremendous resources, so get out there! Go to local dance events (don't forget to actually talk to people). If you use facebook, "like" your favorite dance bands, and let them know how much you like their music.

And if you haven't already, be sure to get your copy of Practice Makes Perfect Videos, my free guide to practicing your video production skills before you begin your dream project.

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