How much will the video cost?

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Not surprisingly, it’s a question we’re asked a lot as a visual content agency. The short answer is it will depend on what you need to achieve from your video and the number of variables it takes to make it happen.

Creating premium video content has been relatively expensive in the past due to a number of factors like technology, equipment, industry ‘norms’ and complex processes. This has been changing for a while, but now more than ever, the range in price for a video can seem confusing and frustrating, so I’m going to give it a go and break it down.

The big factors that impact the cost of video production are:

  1. Production days: how many days will it take to shoot your video?
  2. The Crew: How  many people will be required to give you the level of control you require?
  3. Talent: Do you want George Clooney or can you use someone from the office?
  4. Location: How many locations do you need and how big are they?
  5. Editing: How many cut downs, social videos or different aspect ratios do you need?
  6. Music: Are we getting Beyonce’s latest track, creating something custom or will a library track do?
  7. Project Management - How much of the project will you manage vs. the video agency?

(It’s not an exact science so please treat the below brackets as a general guide…)

Low: $5k and below

This might be your first video, a small social video or an event and you’re planning to do a lot of the strategy and organisation yourself but you need someone to bring it to life.

You’re most likely going to have to provide your own talent and locations to keep costs to a minimum. We recommend sourcing talent from either the office or friends that love the camera. We’re going to be smart with the location and shoot somewhere where the locations costs aren’t going to break the budget, like a home or the office.

We would approach this with an agile mindset with a very small crew with multiple responsibilities and a very top line shoot schedule to ensure we’re super flexible when challenges arise, and they do!

Medium: $5k -$30k

This is where more planning and creativity is required and a higher level of production value is expected. A higher level of quality and greater control on the final video translates to greater variation in each of the 7 factors mentioned above.

The largest impact to cost in this bracket is the number of days on the shoot and the number of crew required to get the best output. We still need to be agile but we’ll need to add a few extra set of hands to make everything run smoothly on the day. Jobs are more specialised which drives a higher output e.g. having both a director and cinematographer rather than just a videographer.

Talent that can perform on camera is required, not to say your staff can’t act but they’re not quitting their day job for Hollywood anytime soon. The bigger the budget, the better the talent gets which in turn creates a better result and time saved getting the perfect take. There's nothing worse than watching a talent do 30 takes and burning through the day and budget.

Post-production also takes a big jump here as we would have more time in the edit room to create more outputs and introduce things like a colour grade and sound design to take it to the next level.

Large: $30k +

We’re now in campaign and TV commercial territory where there are a large number of outputs and a bigger creative idea. The variables are endless and the skies the limit.

With an estimated $5 million per Super Bowl spot and a star-studded cast, what do you think Amazon spent on their video?

We hope this breakdown helps clear up why video content production has such a large cost variance. If you’d like to chat to us about your upcoming video project, we’d love to hear from you.