With so many pro newspaper and magazines trying to create video on their own web sites, it is a good time to visit how much does it cost? Over the years our Journalism department has morphed into a Media department as we have added a TV program, a web site and now a video program. I now have a yearbook, newspaper, video, web design and television program.
How much does all this cost? Just like pros, we have to deal with all the issues of cost.
As a media teacher or principal who is trying to decide how much to budget, first you have to decide if you are going to go first class, budget or somewhere in between.
I’m going to go with numbers based on a 20-seat lab with 2-student crews for video/broadcast.
Computers: Mac mini with 120 GB HD, 1GB RAM & Superdrive $800/Dell Insprion 531 250GB HD 1GB RAM & DVD/CDR Plus 1394 Card and DVD buner @$700
Cameras: Canon ZR800 – one of the last mini DV cameras with a mic input. $200-350 plus a 4 pin to 6 pin 1394 (firewire) cable.
Software: iMovie or Moviemaker (free with OS)
Tripods: Canon Tripods $40 ea.
Computers: same as above, but could upgrade to better processors.
Software: Adobe Premiere Elements $99 per seat, Final Cut Express $99 per seat
Cameras: HV20 Canon $1000
Computers: 24 in iMac 500 GB HD, 2GB RAM, superdrive ($2299) or Dell XPS 420 500 GB HD, 3GB RAM DVDR Drive ($1699)
Software: Adobe Premiere Pro ($3000 Lab Pack), Final Cut Studio ($14,000)
Camera: Canon XL2 $2500 ea.
This doesn’t even cover any kind of studio or remote shoot capability or disposables and extras like tapes, mics, etc. So to do video right will cost a minimum of $20,000 to $80,000 to do right.
Now, of course some of these items you might already have or have supplied by your district – like the computers.
Now, other programs are not so intensive to set up, but a Newspaper or Yearbook class is still going to need MS Office (@1,200 lab pack) and Adobe InDesign CS3 (@$3,000 lab pack). Plus of course computers, printers, etc. It would also do well to have a few cameras (Canon Powershot A560 $140) plus one or two good pro SLR cameras for sports (with a long lens 70-300mm). (Canon Rebel EOS Digital $500 plus $400 lens).
Web design is similar, but I would recommend a CMS (content management system program like Adobe Contribute $99 a seat) plus a solid web design application like Adobe GoLive ($3,000 for a lab pack). You will also need FTP (file transfer application) and an application like MS Word or a simple text app to write HTML and CSS files. You will also need a web browser, but Safari and Explorer are free and so is Firefox.
And for all of these programs, you should have Adobe Photoshop CS3 ($3,000 for a lab pack).
So, you can see that Media is not cheap. It is very computer and software/hardware intensive. There are some Open Source (free) alternatives, but they are not as polished as pro products and have no tech support. Plus there is no substitute for using industry standard software and equipment.