Everyone is at a different stage of confidence in working with multimedia and ability/desire to invest in it. But everyone can do something.
FREE - Consume a lot, watch like a producer, and keep a list of the good stuff. This will help you sharpen your critical production faculties, and help you work with producers much more efficiently. Keep a list of all the good things. Then you can show them to a producer and say 'can you make something like *this* please, but that does *this*'.
A good place to check in is the Webby Awards to see who is doing great stuff. But follow lots of filmmakers/photographers/organisations that are pushing things forward. Subscribe to Buzzfeed video,(they started out just making them in the office and they work really well). The School of Life YouTube channel (great at explaining complex concepts in fun/engaging ways). Look for inspiration in strange places. Note down the stuff you like, in Trello, or by liking it on YouTube (will retain a list of 'liked videos' in your account.)
LOW BUDGET - Collaborate - find interesting people who are already making things. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, you can find plenty of media on there. Definitely in the health area. From charismatic experts, to patients vlogging their experiences and symptoms. Contact people, they may be happy for you to embed their content, use a few clips for free, even come and film with you/ film something for you. If you don't want to spend money then you need to offer exposure, and think who BMJ exposure means most to...
LOWISH BUDGET - License - contact professionals who have already made something and see if you can license their content. Not necessarily buying thousands of clips in one go. But being more targeted. We licensed some incredible animations about mental health for £500 for the BMJ Learning website. These aren't very time sensitive so we can give people a longer tail for their content without a huge investment.
LOW BUDGET - DIY - not always the cheapest option if it takes a lot of your time. BUT. It's one of the best ways to learn, improve your skillset and mix up your work. You can use products like iMovie on a mac, or Windows Movie Maker on a PC for free. For a small investment you can pick up 'prosumer' level software like Adobe Photoshop Elements, and Adobe Premiere Elements for under £100.
My personal favourite is Final Cut Pro X - £200 and amazing. You can learn how to use these software packages by going on YouTube and watching tutorials (how I learnt). Or by doing excellent simple structured courses through Lynda.com. You can learn absolutely anything if you take a bit of time and try some projects. If you are a people manager, give people a couple days and a project to learn these skills, you won't regret it.
Work within your limitations, don't have editing skills? Try a one shot film like this
Don't have film skills, do a photo slideshow.
I've got some cool free stock footage from Videvo, often some very cool stuff here, you probably need to credit people, but well worth digging around.
Your phone is a great tool, work around it's limitations and experiment.
Speaking of DIY projects... Don't pick something boring and try to make it interesting. At least not at first... Sharpen your skills on a great story/ fascinating piece of content, very visual piece.
You can do some simple visualisations and animation using a service like Biteable.com. Still pay $99 for an unwatermarked film, but you can prototype for free. You could then use this prototype and send to a pro designer. It will be a lot cheaper if you have done the groundwork. They can focus on making it really snappy with a small budget.
MEDIUM BUDGET -Work with freelancers - bring skills in at the right time, Do as much of the production work as you can, come to them with great ideas/stories/characters. If you can edit, then you can perhaps invest in a good camera person who will get some really interesting shots. Search for freelance filmmakers in your city. Contact people who's work you like and ask what they can do for you for XX budget...
The more information you can go to them with, the better. Think about the following. Try and have answers to these questions, and you'll save a lot of time and money, and the creatives can focus on what they do best, armed with your expertise.
Designing your multimedia - have better conversations with freelancers/production companies. Make sure they are solving the right problems, not trying to work out your target audience/ understand all the complexities of your product.
Examples - Show them examples of things you like. This combined with your ideas about the below can really help discussions of what to make.
Target audience - who is this aimed at, who do we want to reach? Helps you get the tone right.
Objectives - what do we want to achieve, what do we want the audience tosee/think/feel/do after viewing the content? (allows all smaller creative decisions to push towards this goal)
Style - How does the style/theme/ideas support these objectives/audience. Which competitors/parallel industries are making something in a style that fits the platform.
Volume of information - how much can we realistically get across in a video, image, graph, it’s about trade offs. Sometimes best to focus on a couple of messages. Some times we just want a short piece to prove value, quality, and to create a 'curiosity gap'. We can then use links to direct people towards the full content/product/service (potentially 'subscription' content.)
Emotion - does it engage on an emotional level? Does that matter?
Alternative - should this be a video, should this be a picture, should this be text? Why is this the medium?
Budget - How much do we have to spend? People can work to a broad range of budgets. We have to make more of this type of content, make sure you invest in the best great stories.
Defining Success - What would count as a success for this film? 1 billion hits, or ‘this changed my practice’? Perhaps a reduction in calls to customer service, replace valuable staff time. Even just making something creative, experimenting, proving a home at the leading edge, useful, shareable, show a strong quality brand.
Production people from £200-£500 per day.
INVESTMENT BUDGET - Or when you find that awesome story and really want to invest, find a filmmaker, or a production company whose work you like and invest properly in the project!
Make the project seem really interesting and if you are on a low budget, you can appeal to great producers by giving them creative freedom and being cool people to work with.