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How Much Does Video Production Cost? May 9, 2012

If this is your first foray into video production, I’m sure you have many questions. “How much will this video cost me?” is usually at the top of the list for most. And it should be, as you want to ensure that you are maximizing your marketing dollars. Here are a few factors to consider as you begin planning and budgeting for your production:

  1. Length – Is your corporate video a one minute talking head or are you shooting an eight minute documentary on your company’s philanthropic activities? Length is directly tied to cost. The longer the video, the more shooting and editing required.
  2. Crew – Do you need a single cameraman or a crew (cameraman, second camera, lighting technician, audio technician, director, make up artist, etc)?
  3. Script – Are you developing a purpose-built script and storyboard or are you shooting unscripted footage of a company spokesperson?
  4. B-Roll – Are you shooting or purchasing extra footage that will be edited in with your main footage to add context and improve the pace and style of the video?
  5. Editing – Are any special effects, complicated edits, animation or other media assets required or is it just a straight edit of an unscripted presentation?
  6. Talent – Do you need to hire professional presenters, actors, models, voiceover artists to improve the quality of your presentation?
  7. Location – Are you shooting in one spot or many? In town or all over the country? Are there contingent factors that have to be considered like the weather, availability of key executives or rental / studio facilities?
  8. Audio – Do you require a professional narration for the video? Are there multilingual/translation considerations?
  9. Licensing – Are you using any media assets or talent that could be subject to ongoing licensing, usage or union fees?
  10. Quality – How important is quality to you? As always, there is a strong positive correlation between price and quality. (Refer to old adage: You get what you pay for)
  11. Direct or Third party – Are you dealing directly with the video production company or are you going through an agency or other middleman? Dealing directly with the production company yourself will save you mark ups that agencies charge.
  12. Delivery/Distribution – What is the final output? How many formats? Who is distributing it and how is it being distributed on the web? How is the video being managed for re-use?

Taking all of the above into consideration you can begin to understand the costs involved.  Depending on the variables mentioned above, a three-minute production can cost from $5,000 to $50,000 and anywhere in between. Like in any other business category, there are a broad range of service providers. From online do-it-yourself tools to the multi-award winning agencies.  Understanding the variables of production and knowing your budget is the first step towards moving in the right direction.

Lauri Oliva

Lauri oversees business development and project management for Digital Cut Productions.

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