Video production is hands down one of the best ways to stand out from the competition and grab your customer’s attention. Unfortunately, many businesses are still reluctant to embrace video because they aren’t sure what it will cost and feel it may be too expensive.
In fact, the first question we receive when discussing a new video project is usually “How much will it cost?” And the truth is – it depends. There are so many factors that go into pricing a video that it’s hard to answer that question without a deep understanding of all the requirements.
However, we understand that sometimes you just need a ballpark estimate or a menu of options to help with pre-planning and budgeting for the video project your organization may be envisioning.
In this article, we will highlight 8 things to consider when budgeting for a video and provide some ballpark pricing to help you on your way to a successful video project.
1. Level of Production
Videos can come in many styles and range from simple DIY videos that can be filmed on any smart device to television and film grade levels of production. Before you begin planning or even developing a creative concept, it’s a good idea to determine what level of production is right for you.
If you aren’t quite sure what level production you will need, look for an example of a video that is similar to your vision. This will help you visualize what your video may look like and what techniques may be used to best communicate your message. You can also show the same example video to a production company to get a quick and easy ballpark estimate to create something similar.
As a rule of thumb, higher production values are typically seen at the top of the funnel – think commercials, brand films, and branded episodical content. Where lower production values are more common at the middle or bottom of the funnel – Think social media videos, product walkthroughs or one-to-one sales videos.
2. Concept & Strategy
When it comes to realizing your vision for a video production project, arguably the most important step is to plan out the overall concept and strategy of your video. This step requires careful planning as well as creative thinking to put together a polished, streamlined video. When thinking about your video budget, you’ll need to decide if this is something you or your organization can handle internally or if you’ll need help from an agency or video production company.
Here’s a short list of things that need to happen in this stage:
Should the video be professionally produced or will a simple DIY video be suffice?
Who are the people you’re trying to reach and what interests them?
What’s the current market look like? What are your competitors doing?
What type of video will best communicate your message?
What creative treatments will work best?
These are absolutely tasks that can be done in-house by your employees if you’re willing to dedicate the time and resources to their completion, but video production companies also offer these services.
Pricing can vary dramatically depending on the specific project details, but hiring a production company to carry out the creative treatments and planning usually starts around $1,200 to $1,500 for a single short-form video.
3. Filming Requirements
If your video will require filming, here are some things to consider as you plan your budget:
If you’re not using your own location, there may be rental or permit fees required to film at other locations.
If you need to rent a studio, you can expect to pay between $50 – $250+ per hour.
There is a film crew for every type of project, and knowing what you need will help narrow down the price point you can expect to pay for their services.
A solo videograpgher with a basic equipment package will typically cost between $800 – $1,200 per day.
A corporate film crew that includes two or three crew members, multiple cameras and professional sound and lighting equipment usually costs between $2,500 – $4,000 per day.
Commercial film crews are the most expensive option as they typically include larger crews, more equipment, client monitoring systems, and require more time on set. You can expect to pay $5,000+ per day for this type of crew.
Typically, pricing for a video production team is quoted per day, but hourly rates may be available depending on the company you choose to work with.
You’ll need to consider who will appear in your video (real people, employees, clients, actors, etc). Using your own employees is always an option to reduce the cost of hiring actors, but be sure to allow for adequate preparation time as well as consider each person’s comfort level on-camera.
Actors can cost you anywhere from $250 – $1000+ per day, including any time allotted for rehearsals. Expect to spend less money for background roles (extras) and more money for those with active speaking roles.
You can also expect to pay even more for actors with an impressive resume or name recognition.
If ensuring a polished and professional look is important for your video shoot, consider hiring a hair and/or makeup artist to make your on-camera talent look their best.
Pricing for hair and makeup varies greatly depending on the artist’s experience and skill-level, but you can expect to spend anywhere between $500 and $1000 per day. Hourly rates may be available depending on the artist.
If you have a long, tedious script that is critical to adhere to, a teleprompter may be the tool for you. A teleprompter will scroll through your script so that the speaker who is being filmed can read or reference what their next line is. This can also help cut down on the number of retakes or corrections needed later on in the editing process.
A teleprompter package (equipment and operator) will typically range from $600 – $900 per day.
Green screens can be a great option to help you maximize your creative vision or allow you to film in a locations that lack visual appeal.
To add this feature to your production, you can estimate roughly $150 – $250 for the green screen kit and then another $250 – $500 for the additional lighting that’s required for the green screen.
Aerial videography packages tend to range from $800 – $1500 per day.
Note: Drone photography/videography often requires operator certifications or specific permits. Take care to heed your local guidelines when considering drone footage or photography.
Often overlooked, many video productions require props to make the set look it’s best or to help the actor’s do their job.
When budgeting for your project, don’t forget to consider the props or accessories that might be required to make your production shine.
Craft services, sometimes called “crafty,” is responsible for providing snacks and drinks to all crew members on a film set. While this isn’t always necessary, it can be needed when there isn’t enough time for the crew to leave the set to get food.
If you need to get the most out of your filming day, considering adding craft services to your production.
You’re crew will thank you.
Get the most for your money! Film more than one video at once.
Keep in mind that even if you only need a film crew for a couple hours, most production companies will have a minimum charge to cover equipment prep time, travel time, restocking time etc. In fact, many companies will only offer full day rates since they will most likely not be able to take on another job on the same day. Consider filming additional content to get the most out of your investment.
Voiceover work is highly varied in the pricing structure, and is largely based on the caliber and experience of the talent you choose to hire. The pricing can also fluctuate depending on where the final video will be used. For example, a voiceover artist may choose to offer a lower rate for a youtube video project than they might for, say, a TV commercial.
Other factors to consider include the length of the final video as well as the number of scripted words that the voiceover artist will be performing and recording. The longer the video or the script, the higher the price tag will be. Additionally, be sure to clarify whether “pick-ups,” or additional recordings after the original recording, will be included in the initial price, or if those changes will come with their own fees.
The average cost for a 2 minute corporate voiceover (non-union, non-broadcast) is usually between $250 – $550. That price may tick up well over $1,000 for broadcast usage.
Don’t underestimate the power of voiceover.
While recording a script may seem like something that can be easily done in house, consider the time and energy involved in choosing the perfect person on your team, capturing the best take and sound quality, or having to edit together a seamless sound file. We’ve seen it all – trust us – leave the voiceover magic to the professionals.
5. Stock Music & Video
Stock footage is pre-existing video content that you can purchase to incorporate into your own video production.
There are a couple options for you to choose from when you want to use stock content.
Royalty-free stock content is highly flexible in the ways you’re able to use it. Essentially, when you purchase royalty-free content, you’re able to use it for a wide variety of platforms and materials with very few restrictions. The major downside of royalty-free content is that other individuals and organizations are also able to purchase and use the same images or video content.
Rights-managed stock content is more exclusive but much less flexible in its usability. A rights-managed stock photo or video will need to be relicensed for each individual project (a brochure, a video, a business card, etc) and may have a set period of time for useage. However, they can be purchased exclusively to keep others from using the same image or video, unlike royalty-free stock content.
The pricing of the stock footage you may choose to use can depend on a number of factors including the medium of the final video (Broadcast TV, Web, Event, etc.), the length of the stock footage, as well as the quality of the stock content you’re considering.
There are countless stock content website available to purchase from, and typically you’ll have the option to purchase individual clips, bundles of clips, or a subscription for unlimited stock footage from that website. Bear in mind that you’ll see lower prices per clip when you invest in the bundles or subscriptions.
Individual stock clips can range from $25 to $600 per clip and subscriptions can range from $15 to $500 per month.
6. Post Production
Post production work is typically the most difficult production cost to estimate due to the major fluctuations depending on the style, length, amount of footage, revisions, etc. The skill level of your editors also comes into play – the more experienced they are, the quicker they can potentially get through a round of editing, and the higher level of work they’re likely to produce.
The editing and production process can be extremely time consuming, even with just a basic edit. As you add in additional features such as motion graphics, animation, green screen keying, color grading, or sound design, you can expect those services to add significant time to your project, as well as the overall price tag.
So, what will editing run you? We’ve got some reference numbers for you below:
$650 – $800 per finished minute. This is for simple promos, training videos, event recordings or quick demonstrations. For videos that don’t require advanced editing techniques.
$850 – $1,200 per finished minute. This style of editing is for brand films, customer stories or any docu-style video. Typically includes any mix of video footage, on-camera interviews, basic titles, voiceovers, and soundtracks.
$1200 – $1500 per finished minute. This type of editing is more complex and typically required for commercials, corporate videos, hype videos or any video that requires high-end production. Typically includes any mix of video footage, on-camera interviews, motion graphics, voiceovers, and soundtracks.
$3000 to $5000 per finished minute. Animation is a highly skilled and time consuming process. Widely used for explainer videos, infographics, dynamic presentations, event content, animated logos, and more. Typically includes art direction, storyboarding, 2D animation, and sound design.
Distribution is simply where you want your video to be published upon completion. Will it appear online? As a ad? TV? How about social media? You’ll need to consider whether you’d like to invest in paid promotions to reach a larger audience or take your chances with organic sharing.
In addition, most videos will need to be formatted specifically for the platform you’re using. In some cases, this may mean altering the video’s size, designing branded video wrappers, creating shorter cut-downs and adding subtitles or closed captions.
Transcription pricing depends on the length of the video, but you can expect to pay between $1.50 – $5.00 per video minute per language for transcription and usually between $75 to $250 per video for custom formatting.
Have multiple edits created from one video.
Putting together a high quality video is time consuming and pricey – so why not get the most out of it? By creating multiple clips from the final video (30 second clips, 1 minute clips, longer cuts, etc) you’ll get more mileage out of that one video when sharing across social media and other channels.
8. Travel & Logistics
If your shoot will need to take place out-of-state you will need to decide if you’re comfortable finding a local crew or sending your own production team. In many cases it’s a mix of both, where 1 or 2 production leads travel to the location and hire the rest of the crew and equipment locally. Costs associated with this can include:
Video production can be difficult to estimate due to the complexity of each individual project. There are many factors that determine the cost of a video, from creative decisions to the number of filming days and the type of equipment that’s required.
Based on our years of experience, we’ve narrowed down the most common costs associated with producing short-form videos and put them into this easy-to-use “Quote Builder”.
Our DIY quote builder is the perfect tool to help you generate a quick quote for your next video project without ever talking to a salesperson.
Give it a try!