We rarely get the budget we'd like to have to achieve the end result we can picture in our heads. As a result you can end up just making a programme 'by the book' with no experimentation.
It's great still to aim to achieve something special within a production. If you can budget for a simple achievable approach for most of the production, it's good to try to keep at least one small part of the budget for an experiment or risky element. You do it knowing it might not come off, and the team knows that there won't be an inquest if it fails - it's a great way to learn. When it does work out, it can be a real buzz.
On different occasions it might be different members of the team who get the chance to use the 'experiment' cash - it might be that a camera operator is really keen to hire an extra piece of kit for a day, or a producer wants to bring in an extra person from elsewhere in the country, or a director wants to try an extra graphics effect. Often it needn't take any extra cash to experiment - but on occasions it can help !
By Olwyn Hocking
Senior Producer, BBC English Regions New Media