It’s the one question everybody is drawn to when they think about getting a video produced. How much is it going to cost? Well, let’s break down video production cost and talk about how to get your money’s worth!
How much does video production cost?
This is without doubt one of the most common questions asked when a business is considering video marketing.
There’s good news and bad news here. The good news is that video production costs have reduced significantly over the last ten years due to accessibility, creative advancements, education factors etc. The bad news is that with price drops, video production quality has also dropped.
These days, anybody can pick up a camera and label themselves a videographer, and believe us, many do.
The truth is, video production is an extremely in depth industry that requires a breadth of knowledge to be able to do successfully. It takes years of learning before anybody could claim to be an “expert” yet video production websites published last month will be littered with the word.
This directly influences video production prices and if you’ve asked around for quotes already, it won’t be surprising to you to see some big contrasts in pricing.
The best way to look at this is the way we look at many things regarding pricing - you get what you pay for. Video production is absolutely no different.
This is all dependent upon the project itself but typically, video production companies charge a day rate. This is because most of the work is actually done outside of shooting, in the pre-production and post-production stages.
Day rates of course vary depending upon factors like skill level, experience, equipment etc. If we were pushed, you’d be looking at a starting price of £1000 per day for most video production companies.
Ultimately, the price is heavily dependent upon the process your particular project has to go through. Luckily, we’ve already published an article on the video production process to help you understand the stages your project will go through when you commission work with a video team.
It is impossible for anybody to put a definitive price on a video project. There are just too many variables to consider.
For example, commercials commissioned by the likes of Nike, McDonalds and Apple would all cost upwards of the £500,000 mark. Whereas, smaller video projects commissioned by SMEs could cost anywhere from £1,000 - £20,000.
The price for any project will heavily depend on the location, crew, talent, travel, equipment, pre-production and post-production times, sound and more. The best way to get an accurate quote that isn’t complete guesswork is to contact a video production company directly with a detailed brief. They will be able to discuss this through with you and give you a final price.
If you’re reading this now and are still craving some kind of price guide, we found one that we rather like. It sets out three groups for video production with an accompanying price range for each. They are:
Don’t be discouraged here, these prices are just estimates. Those with smaller budgets can easily seek out top videographers for reasonable prices, it just requires a little homework.
We’ve touched upon them briefly, but don’t neglect the logistics. Travel expenses, actors, licensing music - it all adds up.
Usually you’ll find the larger the project, the higher the cost of variables. Nevertheless, it is still worth keeping in mind when trying to calculate how much it is going to cost you.
Video production companies can help you to try and reduce this cost should you be on a budget so be sure to utilise consultation time to discuss your plans thoroughly.
Again, this depends on a few factors. Mainly, your response to the following questions...
Do you know your target audience? Do you have clearly defined goals for your video project? Have you got a strategy in place to achieve your goals?
If your answer to those questions is yes, then a professionally produced video is very much going to be worth it. The benefits of a successfully implemented video are endless. Just ask Crazy Egg, who’s explainer video reportedly helped them bring in an extra $21,000 a month in income!
In terms of doing it yourself, it really depends on what video you want. Vlogging or behind the scenes? Perfect. Promotional, corporate or animated video? Not so much. It’s easy to tell the difference between a professional video and a DIY video. User generated content can be good for your socials but in general, producing your own content with no knowledge of video production is a no no.
If you’re insistent on doing it yourself, just make sure you do some research and buy some basic accessories for your setup (tripod, some lighting, editing software etc). Again, remember that you get what you pay for. This is no different when it comes to equipment.
Animated video is obviously different to live video. However, they do follow a similar path in terms of pricing.
The factors you need to think about when you want an animation video producing is the complexity of the animation (e.g. 2D or 3D), whether you have existing assets available for use or whether they need to be created (e.g. characters) and the total duration of the video.
The price will differ depending upon the skill of the animator and their experience. We’ve said it a number of times already but you get what you pay for, so don’t be put off by an animator quoting high if you like their work. With animation, there’s a huge difference between a professional and an amateur and it can be spotted instantly so choose wisely.
You’re likely to be charged per minute of video here and for safety’s sake I’d follow a similar structure to the one above with the three bands of production. Again, don’t worry too much if you’re on a budget as there will be plenty of good animators who will be within your price range, it just takes some research.
If you’re on a tight budget and you want a quick turnaround, freelancers can be a great option. There are some amazing freelancers out there who’d put a lot of studios to shame with their work and they should never be disregarded.
Saying that though, you have to be particularly meticulous about who you choose because you’re putting your money and efforts into one person alone, which is always somewhat of a risk. Also for as many good freelancers as there are, there’s an equal number of bad freelancers too.
If you plan on going down this route just make sure that you have done all your research, got a number of quotes and are happy with your final selection.
We can’t really comment on what freelancers charge as they will all charge their own rates depending upon what price they value their own work at. They usually charge industry averages but it’s best to contact them directly with your brief and see what they quote you.
We’ve pretty much said the word price as much as we can for one article. Although we’ve got a couple more in us.
Costing is always awkward with creative projects because it always begs the question - what price do you put on creativity?
Hopefully this article has given you some clarity on video production cost as a whole, what quotes you can expect to receive and what prices you would be looking at depending upon your idea.
My final word on this would be - you get what you pay for.
Never let budget hold you back and always explore your options before you shut an idea down. You never know where it might take you!