How Much Does Video Production Cost?
July 20, 2016
My team and I shoot a lot of business videos.
And I can honestly say that no two-business videos are alike.
We love doing them.
We love finding creative ways to max out our clients’ budgets so that they get the most value for their dollar.
We love watching our clients’ faces light up when they see the finished product, and it surpasses what they imagined.
We love when our clients see the returns on their investment.
I wish we could just fast-forward to all these good parts when I first meet with a prospective client. Because – and I hate admitting this – there’s a part of the initial meeting that I don’t really look forward to. It’s nothing personal. It’s just that, I know what’s coming up right after the initial introductions and standard small talk…
The BIG, inevitable question on everyone’s minds: “How much is it going to cost?”
And then I have to respond with the big disappointing question that no one likes to hear: “It depends.”
Look, I know every prospective client wants a real answer at this point, but the honest truth is, I can’t answer that question right away. That is, I can’t answer that question without first getting answers to a lot of other questions.
It’s like asking, “How much does a house cost?” It depends. You can’t answer this question unless you know where the house is located, how large the house is, the quality of the materials, how fast you need it built… see what I mean?
It’s the same concept when you’re putting together a business video or video commercial for a client.
Many factors contribute to the cost of a professionally produced business video.
Here are the questions a professional video production crew needs to address before they can realistically tell you how much your business video or video commercial is going to cost.
You can’t make a professional business video without hiring professionals.
Two main factors come into play when budgeting for a professional video crew: the size of the crew needed to complete the shoot effectively, and their level of experience.
Who you hire matters more than anything else when it comes to putting together a quality production.
You can have the best high-end cameras, be equipped with all the right lights and gear in the most beautiful and exotic location, but in the wrong hands, you’ll end up with terrible footage.
Conversely, an amazing crew can do wonders even if they have limited resources. And they’re only even better when they are properly equipped.
Speaking of equipment…
What equipment is required?
Be very clear about what you want your final business video to look like and in what capacity it’s going to be used.
If you intend on playing your video on large, high-definition screens, for example, you will want to make sure that your professional video production crew uses broadcast quality high-definition equipment.
Your lighting, set, and props cannot be substandard.
Equipment goes beyond just cameras. They also need all the required peripherals, lighting, lenses, audio recording devices, cables, backdrops, and extras that are required when shooting a professional video.
Depending on your production’s requirements, you most likely will need a grip/lighting vehicle to transport all this gear to a desirable location.
My clients are often surprised at the sheer volume of gear we bring on set. I make it a point to continually invest in equipment upgrades (it’s not just because I like playing with new toys… although that’s part of it). Having the right equipment means I can get better results for my clients. Besides, I like to be prepared for anything. Better safe than sorry!
Is a studio space required?
You may or may not require a studio space in which to shoot your business video.
But if you do require a controlled, isolated environment to shoot your business video, you’re going to need a studio.
Studio rental needs to be factored into your video production budget. Some video production companies have a studio, some don’t. Depending on your specific needs, your crew might need to rent a larger space than they have available. Regardless, this needs to be factored into your costs.
How many days of shooting are involved?
Depending on the complexity of your video shoot, you may need to shoot over the course of several days.
Every extra day on set means added expenses: it means you need to hire crew for an extra day, rent equipment for an extra day, rent studio space for an extra day… time is money when it comes to video production.
An experienced and organized crew will know how to plan a shoot during the pre-production phase so that everything is scheduled tightly and efficiently, as a means to cut down on needless expenses.
What are your post-production needs?
You can’t forget about post-production – that’s where the magic happens!
Post-production is basically all the work that goes into your video commercial after the shooting is done. Again, depending on the complexity of your business video production, post-production can be quite involved.
Post-production includes the editing together of the footage, as well as creating and adding any animation, special effects, graphics, sound design, and music required for the final product.
What’s your budget?
On a more practical level, it’s really not a bad idea to come into the conversation with a budget or price range in mind.
Again, it’s like shopping for a house: you would have some budget or range in mind before shopping for a house, wouldn’t you?
I can often scale a production to meet a realistic budget, as would most video producers.
Having a budget to work with can help me manage expectations and maybe educate the client on what needs to happen in order to get the results they want from their video commercial.
If anything, at the very least, it’s a good starting point to get the ball rolling.
If you are in the Pittsburgh area and looking for a production company to shoot your business video, contact Josh Birt at Josh Birt Media Productions today. We can travel to other states as well.