A question we get asked is “Should we film something or present the idea just using graphics, and how much is one versus the other?”. Well, as with most general questions, there are no easy answers. In some cases it’s definitely one or the other, and in a lot of cases, it’s a mix.
These are some questions to take into consideration:
1. Who is the audience? Do you think animation would work better for the demographic, or would filming work out better? The answers need to be taken in conjunction with the next question.
2. What is the subject matter? In some cases, you will have little choice but to use graphics and animation – e.g. the inner workings of a machine, or work abroad where budget does not allow international travel. In some cases, film is definitely better, especially if there are human elements to it – e.g. an apprentices’ promotional piece, encouraging people to apply to the firm, would absolutely need existing apprentices motivating the potential applicants to apply.
3. Cost-wise, they are much of a muchness. Filming would require the shoot itself, editing of the shoot and all the other post production necessities that go with it. This includes colour correction, audio correction, music and the editing itself. Depending on the number of cameras and the amount of footage the edit could take anything from half a day to 2 months. One-camera shoots tend to be a lot quicker to edit than two-camera shoots as a generalisation. Animation requires the 2D graphics to be made by a graphic artist and then this to be animated by the animator/compositor. Again, depending on length and concept, this could take days or a day.
In short, we would say that cost should not bear in this as either can be cost effective or prohibitive. Choose the one that best fits the audience and the subject matter and the message you are trying to portray.