Top 5 Tips For Creating A Compelling Healthcare Film on A Budget

When people think of filmmaking they often see £££ signs, and for good reason – they can be expensive. But the good news is – you don’t always have to have deep pockets to be able to create a stunning film that captivates your audience. You can create a compelling healthcare film on a budget!

Whether we’re talking about a public awareness film or an international blockbuster – the idea that you have to have huge budgets to create a film that people want to engage with is far from the truth. You only have to look at the likes of Paranormal Activity, and Tangerine – both international hits at the box office – one with a budget of only $15,000 and the other shot on an iPhone – to see that you don’t need to spend excruciating amounts to produce something people want to watch.

That being said, producing films within the healthcare industry does often mean working with extremely limited budgets, and it can feel daunting when you don’t know where to start. There are plenty of things to think about when it comes to creating your video – getting all your ducks in a row beforehand can save you a whole lot of time, effort, and, bottom line – money.  

So here are our top 5 tips for creating a compelling healthcare video on a shoestring budget.

1. Plan your film and stick to it (for the most part!)

Planning is an essential component of filmmaking – even more so when you’re working with smaller budgets. You don’t have the ability to throw things at the wall and see what sticks…. a plan will save you time and money in the long run.

Here are a few things to think about before you even begin to roll camera:

  • What is the message of your film? Who is the audience? Be clear on this – lacking clarity here can mean shifting your focus halfway through resulting in wasted resources
  • Who is writing the script?
  • How many days are you planning on shooting for?
  • What are your locations?
  • How much travelling will be needed?
  • Who is going to be featuring in your film? Do you need to hire actors?
  • What equipment or props do you need?
  • How long will the editing take? Do you have the ability to do this yourself? If not – do you need to hire someone to do this for you?
  • Do you have permission to film in the settings you want to film in?

Thinking about all these things yourself can very quickly become overwhelming. Hiring an experienced film crew that understands the unique challenges you face filming in healthcare settings will take the stress out of this for you. At Healthcare Films by Wildwood we create comprehensive plans and take care of everything. We’ll write the scripts, agree schedules, and edit to an expert finish – all while keeping within your budget.

2. Make use of that which is free!

Just because your film is low budget doesn’t mean it has to look low budget! Before spending money, work out areas you can make use of what’s already available to you.

For instance – one area that can make a film look ‘low-budget’ is lighting. Regardless of how amazing a camera might be, if the lighting is poor, it’s going to be reflected in your shot. And when your budget is limited it’s likely that you’re going to have a high reliance on natural light. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. When it’s good, natural light is quite literally the best lighting there is – and it’s completely free (win!) – but it’s also temperamental – and while we love the sun it can be difficult to work with.

Believe it or not, cloudy, overcast days make for brilliant shooting days so bear this in mind. The clouds create diffused light which equals soft even lighting for your entire scene, whereas bright sunlight can cast strong shadows or have your actors squinting – not a good look!

Top tip: avoid having to buy expensive lighting equipment in favour of more affordable ways of moving that natural light around your set (wherever this might be) – bounce boards, reflectors, and diffusion tools are brilliant for this and come at a much kinder cost!

3. When it comes to equipment, hire, don’t buy

Ideally, you’d be working with a skilled film crew who will use their own professional equipment to produce your film. With a background in cinematic film, at Healthcare Films by Wildwood we use top-spec equipment to make sure the films we produce get the best of best when it comes to visuals and sound. But if you’ve decided to try and film yourself it’s important to be smart when sourcing the equipment you use.

Filming equipment is expensive so, with a limited budget, buying is likely out of the question – it’s also counterintuitive if you’re not going to be using the equipment regularly. Look around at reputable companies who you can rent these pieces from as and when you need them. Check to see if they’re able to offer you a one-day rate if you were to hire over the weekends – lots of companies do this and it’s a great way to cut costs when your budget is low.

4. Repurpose old footage

Film crews generate an abundance of filming material when they’re shooting – a finished video might only be 10 minutes long, but the footage they’ve captured could be several hours’ worth. If you’ve shot previous films, you may have old footage lying around that you could repurpose for your current project. This is a fantastic way to keep costs low and cut down on filming time required. Working with an experienced film crew can help you to identify opportunities to repurpose and optimise your budget. This is something we always recommend to clients we work with.

5. Stock up on stock footage

Shooting your own footage is always best but there may be opportunities to use stock footage to ‘pad out’ your video. If cutaway footage doesn’t need to be specific to your healthcare setting – for instance scenes of hospital equipment or healthcare workers – stock footage could be a great cost saver. Storyblocks is a great place to look for stock video footage.

So there you have our top 5 tips for filming your healthcare video on a shoestring budget. It’s not easy, but with the right know-how, everything is possible.

Support from an expert film crew

We know how much effort goes into planning a film project, especially when budgets are tight. It can very quickly become overwhelming when there’s so much riding on your shoulders. We can take the stress out of it for you. From live streaming conferences to promotional films, training videos, and site tours, at Healthcare Films by Wildwood, we always work closely with your team to maximise your investment.

Our healthcare film projects start from as little as £1,250, and we will work with you to bring your vision to life, within budget.

If you’re looking to film a healthcare video and budget is a concern then book a FREE 30-min project call to discuss your ideas.

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