Creating a fitness DVD is a great way to generate additional income. However, making a DVD is also a time-consuming venture that requires a lot of planning.

Step 1: Prepare a Production Plan

The first step in bringing your DVD to life is to develop a production plan. Your plan should include the following:

  • what type of video you want to create
  • who your audience will be
  • what type of equipment you’ll need, how much you’ll need and where you’ll get it
  • what “extras” you’ll need, such as models/exercisers, music (and licenses), background items or props
  • how long you want the program to be

Next, you’ll need to decide what you want the overall product to look like—and plan accordingly.
For example, if there is a lot of speaking in your program, you will need to write a script or outline to keep you on track. A workout video will require selecting the exercises, choreography and background music.

Step 2: Find a Production Company

Once you have created your plan, ask a production company to provide you with an estimated cost, based on your requirements. Most reputable production companies will charge $12,000-$18,000 for a straightforward production that involves filming, editing and packaging your program. The charge for making a DVD program (referred to as “production costs”) does not include the cost of obtaining copies for resale or distribution (referred to as “reproduction costs”). Therefore, you should factor reproduction costs into your overall project budget.

Step 3: Prepare to Shoot

On the shoot day, confirm that you have with you all necessary props and equipment, the script and a scene schedule for your camera person.

Do a brief run-through of the program. Set up the filming area as you want it and double-check timing, lighting, camera angle(s) and movements to make certain that everything is as you want it. Do a few takes of each segment of the program so you can have extra footage available, if required, for the editing stage.

Step 4: Edit the Material

Your production company will provide you with a copy of all the usable footage for you to review. You will have to watch the footage and inform the video editor what takes, shots and camera angles to use in the DVD.

The video editor will “weave” the designated content into a first draft of the program. You will subsequently review the draft and provide feedback on the edited program. When the editing process is complete, and you have given your final approval for both the program and packaging, you can place an order for copies and start selling your new product.

Step 5: Distribute the DVD

Selling your DVD through your own studio or website is the most profitable option, but unless you have an enormous marketing list you are going to want some help. Seek out distributors in the industry who have catalogs or websites that already sell products in your genre. Although your profit margin will not be as great as if you sold the DVDs on your own, distributors will be able to make your products available on a large enough scale to turn a profit.

For more information, please see the complete article, “Creating Your Own Educational DVD,” in the online IDEA Library or in the February 2011 issue of IDEA Trainer Success. If you do not currently receive this e-newsletter and would like to, contact IDEA member services at [email protected] to find out about upgrading your membership.