The Cost of Video for Business: 3 Main Contributors

WONDER WHAT VIDEO YOU CAN GET FOR YOUR BUDGET?

Video production costs can vary GREATLY from one production to another (Consider Chanel’s most expensive commercial ever made at $33 million with Nicole Kidman, to Dollar Shave Clubs (DSC) $4500 viral video, where DSC CEO cast himself, wrote it with a buddy and had a buddy direct it for him). Heck, it can even vary within the same production depending on what tradeoffs you do or don’t make and what you want to accomplish.

This is a big concern for many small businesses, therefore familiarizing yourself with the different costs associated with video production is necessary to know before for planning out the concept and hiring a production company. Knowing production costs will help you decide what you can get accomplished with your budget, where you can make tradeoffs during production, and what to plan for when coming up with a great script.

Let’s take a look at the main contributors of cost when making videos.

1. TIME IS MONEY

Time = Money is no more true than when producing video. Anything that increases the time spent on any stage of video production will in turn increase costs, plain and simple. Here are the time sensitive areas in production to consider when planning your video.

Filming Days: Filming days can be a beast when considering production costs. Each shooting day for video or film can require equipment, crew, actors, production insurance, craft services, makeup, and locations costs. Since each day of production entails so much, the longer your video takes to shoot means the more money it will cost. The time needed to shoot a video is directly affected by the number of locations your script is trying to cover. This is the case even if you are not switching geographical locations, but are simply switching setups from one area of the location to another. Setup and breakdown of lights, camera, and set are the main time-consuming part of most productions. Keeping your setups to a minimum is important for keeping costs down.

Postproduction: Editing is another time = money scenario. Editors are generally paid by the hour, or they will give you a fixed rate quote based on how long they estimate it will take to edit a video. The longer and more graphically complex your end video is, then the more money you will spend. More complex graphics take longer to create. Luckily, video is a great medium for quickly communicating a desired message or emotion. A good video producer can fit a big message in a short video by creating a concise script and using the creative medium to its fullest. Since increased editing time means increased costs, it is important to make sure you are starting with a well thought out script and storyboard before getting to editing. It is more effective to address issues before filming than to trying to fix them in editing. Also, changes with the editor can quickly add up. Clear communication and pre production planning can assure the editor knows your exact vision and can prevent time-consuming back and forth re-edits.

2. VIDEO QUALITY

The good, the bad and the ugly. Yes, video quality can vary and what you put into it will directly affect what you get out. Many aspects that affect the quality of video also affect the costs associated, including equipment and on screen performance.

Lights, Camera, Action. Yes, lights and cameras do make a difference on the quality of video… .and let’s not forget sound in that equation. Does good equipment make for better end results? Typically, yes it does, and the price tag can range depending on how much quality you want (cameras alone can range from thousands a day all the way down to a couple hundred). Luckily, most marketing or training videos are delivered online and Hollywood grade cinema cameras are not necessary. However, you still have a wide range in costs when looking at reasonably priced video or DSLR cameras, and each choice can affect quality. The video production company you hire should be able to advise you on costs associated with each camera, and the quality you can expect. Lights, audio, and types of shots (i.e. aerial) can affect costs as well. Proper lighting and audio are necessary for every video to achieve a minimum quality standard expected by audiences, fancy aerial or expensive jib shots are not.

Performance: Your decision on whether or not to use talent will also affect costs. Dollar Shave Club saved a lot of money by using the CEO as the onscreen talent, and he did quite well since he dabbled in sketch comedy. If you are capable on screen then you can save money in this area. If not, then just remember when writing your script that each character you create will increase the costs if actors need to be hired. The performance quality and recognition of the actor will also increase the price.

3. SCRIPTWRITING/ PREPRODUCTION

The script is a big part of your production, and you want it done well. Most production companies offer varying levels of support for this as well. How much support you need in the scriptwriting and preproduction process will determine your costs (i.e. full script writing vs. script modifications and guidance). The length of the script will also affect costs, where the longer the script means the greater the cost. This falls back into the time-money scenario. Having a well written and planned out script is important for anticipating production costs and eliminating unnecessary post production costs. If you work directly with a video production company at this stage of the process, then they can help guide you toward making sure your script is written in a way that helps keep costs down. This is really the stage that dictates the rest of the production.

The best way to determine the cost of your next video project is to contact a production company for a quote, communicate your budget and what you are hoping to achieve. Quotes are usually easiest to back into since costs vary so much. This means that if a video producer knows your budget and goals ahead of time, they can determine the best approach to maximize quality and end result based on budget. Producers know the best way to manage trade-offs without losing too much quality or message, so use them to your advantage.

Rose Colored Production can help you determine costs of your next video. Contact us for a quote today! 🙂

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