The camera whip pans to the right and into the next scene as the husband playfully smacks a rolled up towel at his wife’s backside as she exits the bathroom in a white Terry cloth robe from eLuxury. She reacts with a jump and looks back at him with furrowed brows, but a playful smile. The camera whip pans again into the final scene of the montage.
We see a wide shot of the empty room completely ransacked missing sheets, mattress top, and pillows. The score slows down. It’s obvious the couple has robbed the room of all eLuxury products except for one pillow. The wife quickly enters the frame from the right, grabs the one lonely pillow still sitting on the bed and runs back out of frame.
In the next scene, the music cuts out completely. All we hear is the natural sound of the couple outside in front of the hotel packing their car with oversized luggage in to their car looking every which way to make sure they are not caught. The newlyweds are not professional thieves and it’s evident. They are wearing sunglasses and trying their best to look inconspicuous, but are failing miserably. They struggle to load their bags in to their vehicle dropping one due to the weight of the overstuffed suitcase. One suitcase has a pillow hanging out of one side because the zipper wouldn’t stayed closed. Another bag pops open revealing a mattress top. The camera cuts to a door man watching the couple with great suspicion. By the look on his face it’s obvious he’s seen this before, but chooses not to ask any questions as the couple makes their getaway.
The next scene is a brief exterior of the couple dragging their numerous bags into their home to show they are at a new location.
Cut to an interior of the couple’s bedroom where we see them unpacking their eLuxury products. The husband pulls a pillow out of a suitcase and throws it playfully at his wife. The wife pulls out the Terry cloth robe and holds it up with a smile.
In the final scene, we see the couple laying in bed. The camera is looking straight down at them from the ceiling. This framing matches the beginning when the wife had her line, “That was a nice bed,” so it’s a visual bookend to the film. The husband says, "This is a nice bed." The image of the couple blurs and the eLuxury logo appears with tagline: "Bring Luxury Home" (legally)
I met with my producer and we broke down an estimated cost. Of course there are a number of costs involved in any production. Locations, talent, crew, rental of equipment, music licensing, and post production (editing and color grading). So I’ll start with the highest option and break down the costs. From there, I’ll do my best to show how we can reduce costs if the initial budget is too high.
From the details I have so far, it looks like we need three actors. Two would be lead actors and one small role for the doorman. This combined talent would be in the cost range of $5,000. This will cover two days of production. We want to make sure we hire experienced professionals that can deliver lines well and not create wasted time on multiple takes. Plus, an additional fee most professional actors charge is to use their likeness for a limited time. We can negotiate a longer run time than a year if needed.
To cut down costs, we will utilize a small crew. I will be the cinematographer and director. We'll also need a producer, gaffer, grip, audio technician and production assistant for two days. This brings the crew costs to $16,000.
We plan to shoot at one location per day. I believe finding a luxury hotel is the toughest and most expensive location. We will also need a a home that we can shoot a nice exterior and interior in. Typically we estimate $1,000 per location for costs. So this may be be $2,000, but if we can find a home that works for the look of the film we can save on budget.
Rental of gear is essential to any production. We plan to rent a grip truck, and we will also carry the appropriate insurance to cover liability and damages. It’s always good to be insured in case there are any accidents during production. We want to make sure we have enough lighting equipment to pull off a high key (bright and clean) look. This requires quality lights that have enough output to generate the look we are going for. This is a total of $7,250.
It will take several days to scout and cast. All this work is done by myself and my producer. Once we narrow down these two crucial elements, I will conference call with you all and get your feedback on what your choices are. Essentially, we are putting in the time of travel, communication and research so your team doesn’t have to invest the time. This is an estimated $5,000.
Mileage, food and accommodations for actors and crew is an estimated $4,400. This amount will vary on where we decide to shoot. If everyone has to travel then costs go up significantly for cast and crew. We’ll do our best to find something in Evansville or Louisville.
Finally, post production costs cover editing, color grading and music licensing. This covers three days of editing and one day of color grading. Music licensing is really a necessity so that we have permission to use the music for as long as the video lives online. This is an estimated $4,300.
So the total, as it stands, is $43,950.
As I mentioned in our meeting, production is scaleable. There are ways to cut costs. We could search for locations that are free for use or less expensive.
We could scale back the crew. We could also simplify the camera moves and eliminate the speed ramping effect and dolly shots.
Shooting at one location would cut costs dramatically. This option would require the script to be modified in a way that all the action takes place at the hotel only. The story would end at the couple stuffing their car with luggage and create some funny reactions between doorman and the couple as the punch line.
With these suggested cuts, the total would be $33,000.
To get this down to a $18,000 budget, I would cast local actors only and find a free location. We would have to cut the script even more, simplify shots and lighting and use a skeleton crew.
There are a lot of unseen elements in film production. With preproduction (the time leading up to the production days) there is location scouting, casting, collecting props, art direction, hiring and scheduling crew. All of these things are taken care of by my team. We will invest the time to bring the best elements to screen. Once we have narrowed down talent and locations, we will do a conference call with your team and get your input on finalizing cast and locations.
We will also be sure to dial in the exact core message you want to convey. We’ll discuss creative elements and nail down key marketing messages.
From there, we’ll draft a detailed script and story boards to showcase and visualize the spot completely. We’ll hop on another conference call to ensure and discuss revisions so that you’re 100% happy with the foundation of this spot.
Finally, once we have moved into post production, we will provide a complete edit including score and color grade. We’ll be sure to meet and discuss any final revisions. We want to you to be completely satisfied with your brand’s message.
As I tell all of my clients, production is scalable when it comes to budget. I've really tried my best to keep the costs as low as possible for the amount of work that is needed to create quality videos. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
Thanks for considering me for this project.