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If you want to buy the equipment yourself, that’s fine and all, but again, going pro would be a wise investment.

If there’s only one videographer in your area, why not look at other areas? Heck, if you pay for the airfare and a place to stay while we’re filming, My production team could come down from Minneapolis and do it for you and it would still cost but a fraction of what it would cost if you did it yourself.

I work in the nonprofit industry. One of the reasons I do pro video is because my current job, aiding the disabled and elderly in central MN, does’t pay enought to put food on the table. Plus, I acutally get to use my eqipment to produce promo videos for my organization and othe local nonprofits. But I still remember one time, when I was volunteering at a Habitat for Humanity site in Omaha, the town I’m originally from.

Because Omaha is a big town, they can usually get 4 or 5 crews on a house on the same day. One particular day, I was there with a team of other quasi-talented builders to do some rough carpentry. About the same time we got to the jobsite, two other trucks pulled up. In one truck, there was an older, scraggly gent with a few buckets of beat up, old tools. In the other truck, the "handsome carpenter" arrived, with all of his brand new tools, all of which were name brand DeWalt, craftsman, etc…

During the day, I noticed something interesting. The scraggly guy with the beat up tools could work circles around the younger guy with all the newest equipment. Well, Habitat in Omaha divides the day in half. You can either stay the whole day or work half a day. At lunch, the guy with the neat tools left, and I asked the one with the beat up tools about how he could get so much done than the guy with better tools.

His response was simply "All the fancy tools in the world won’t make up for not being in your element."

Having said that, I am sure that having done video in the past, you would probably know what you’re doing. The problem is that ultimately, there will be people on your crew, and situations where everyone will be out of their element. Good videographers can make this sort of thing fly smoothly and easily, where for your team, aside from having important other tasks you can’t get away from, you’d also have to contend with learning/relearning a lot of the field.

I think your company should consider hiring a videographer. Even if yu have to fly somebody in from out of town, it will be financially reasonable. And in charity work, it’s essential that you get the best value.

Besides that, on your budget you’d be hard pressed to get all the equipment you need. a couple nice cameras and tripods, a lighting rig, a good editing machine, and some wireless microphones, and your entire budget is spent. That might sound alright, because that’s all you asked about, but keep in mind that you will need more than just those elements. You’ll probably also want a digital recorder to capture audio, a shotgun mic and potentially a boom pole (if needed), media for recording, lens adapters and filters, batteries, cables, and all the little things that add up fast. When we got started, I set aside $2000 for the little things. Honestly, I wish I’d have had more than that.

If you want a plan based off your budget, I’d gladly draw one up, but ultimately, you’d save money by having a pro do it. If you fly someone in, they could probably even shoot footage for several videos at once, so that if you wanted to do more productions wit them in the future, you wouldn’t need to fly them out there for as long, if at all, to get extra footage. Just a thought

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