How much does a video production cost?

How much does a house cost? They're all the same right?

We often get asked this first, before getting any details about the project. We’ve made videos from $1k to over $200k and the solution for your video will fall in that range. It’s a big range because every job is unique and what’s included can vary greatly.

To help narrow down more accurately where it might fall within that range I ask you:

How important is the business problem that you’re looking to solve with video?

Big problems generally require big solutions. Smaller problems, smaller solutions. If you need your video to reach a massive audience and wow them into making a purchase, you’re going to need a creative video of equal magnitude to move the needle enough to reach your goal.

That might mean using a well known influencer or celebrity in your video that has a large existing following that you’re trying to reach. Or it may mean you need a video that entails exotic locations or visual effects that’s so eye catching, the viewer can’t help but watch it and share it and then follow your call-to-action.

Let’s look at an example

To use a simplified example that explains what I’m talking about, let’s say your company is B2B and offers professional services of some sort and each new customer results in an average of $10,000 in revenue. And your goal and expectation is that your new promo video will bring in 30 new customers over the first 120 days following the video’s release.

That’s $300,000 in revenue you plan on generating with the video. The question is then, will a $3,000 video get you $300,000 in revenue? Will it take a $15,000 video? $50k?

The answer to that question will vary and be different for each specific situation. My point is you need to think about the size of the problem and ideally address this question during the planning stages before requesting quotes from production companies.

If you’ve identified the size of the problem and the goal of the video, then you can strategically plan and set expectations for how big the solution needs to be in order to get the results you’re seeking vs. arbitrarily deciding that the budget is $5k.

If you haven’t thought of this before contacting us, no worries. It’s one of the questions we ask in the initial ‘discovery’ phase when we’re learning about your project and the problem you’re looking to solve.

Why does video cost what it does?

So you’ve determined how important the problem is you’re trying to solve and have an idea on the size of the solution needed in order to meet your goal. Your next question might be, what can we get for our given budget?

Creating a video is a custom product. Someone needs to write the script. Someone needs to find the actors and locations. A crew needs to film the content. Someone needs to edit the video and create graphics, find the right music and voice over talent for the job and do all the nuts-and-bolts work in between. Equipment is needed, actors have fees, locations and permits cost money and sometimes additional insurance needs to be purchased.

It’s just like building a house. Are you going to make a grass hut or a 10,000 square foot mansion? They are both dwellings but have vastly different costs. The amount of labor, equipment, actors, locations and the other items included in the production determine the cost.

So there are no standards when it comes to video?

Not when it comes to costs, no.

There’s no standard cost for a 2 minute final edited video.

Is it a 2 minute talking head video shot with one camera in your office? Or was the 2 minute video created after many hours of research and brainstorming and from footage shot over multiple days in several cities and on sound stages with big lighting packages and custom sets with elaborate Production Design and with professional actors and all the toys needed to create cool shots like cranes, gimbals, and drones, along with a 40 person crew to operate everything combined with extensive visual effects and 3D animation created in post?

Well that video would cost a lot more than your talking head video shot in your office – but in the end, they’re each just a 2 minute final edited video. The same .mp4/.mov files with the same specs yet not comparable in any way, shape or form.

How do you determine what is needed?

What’s required is dictated by the idea and/or script. If your script is finished or you have a detailed RFP, send it to us and we’ll give you a quote on what it’ll cost to produce your script/RFP.

If the script/RFP can be produced with a 1-person crew with no 3rd party costs then the video will fall near the lower end of the range.

If the idea/script calls for a full production requiring a lot of labor, equipment and other items, then it’ll fall somewhere within the range.

If you have no script, no RFP or no ideas yet for the video then…

It’s best to mold the creative to fit your budget

You know the size of your problem and the approximate budget needed to reach your goal.

To put us in a position to offer you the best creative solution, we need to know what your budget is. If we know what we have to work with, then all brainstorming and energy can be spent on coming up with an idea that can actually be produced for the budget you have.

It doesn’t do anyone anyone any good if we come up with a fantastic idea that’ll need $25k to execute if your budget is $10k. If we have an idea on the budget then we will know what’s possible, creatively and technically. What’s possible with $25k is not possible with a $10k budget. No one likes to spin wheels.

No matter how big or small your budget is, we’re going to make you a professional video that solves your problem, speaks to your audience and looks gorgeous.

Below are some general guidelines to help with what to expect.

$1K to $10K BUDGET

Typically what we do: shoot and edit

Typically what the client provides: creative direction and/or script, on-camera talent, locations.

For budgets from $1k to $10k, usually that means documentary-style corporate profiles, simple tutorials, event videos, behind-the-scenes videos or simple product videos. Either no script, no actors or no stages/locations are needed from us or just one or two of those items may be needed from us. Generally, a large scale production cannot be provided in the $1k to $10k range. We can’t create a video equivalent in quality to the $190 million CGI movie Pacific Rim with a $7k budget (we’ve actually been asked to do that, for that budget!)

Examples in this price range:

$10K to $100k + BUDGET

Typically what we do: research, conceptualize, write, direct, produce, cast actors, scout and secure locations and/or stages, get filming permits, shoot, edit, provide graphics and animation.

A full service video production typically costs over $10k and can certainly cost significantly more.

Providing everything from start to finish means the budget will be going toward development of the script (meetings, research, brainstorming), writing the script, preparing the shot list and/or storyboards, location scouting, casting actors, shooting with a full crew and equipment and finally post-production which includes editing, graphics, color grading, sound mixing, animation and visual effects. This all adds up to many hours of labor and equipment, not to mention the cost of actors, costs to rent sound stages and locations, and if needed, additional insurance above and beyond what we normally carry.

Examples in this price range:

We hope this gives you a general idea on costs. We have no video assembly line. Let’s talk and determine the size of the problem that needs to be solved and then we can come up with a solution that fits your budget.

For brands that need to post social media content on a regular basis, check out our monthly social media production plans.

Video samples and our beautyfashion or lifestyle photography.

Contact us for a custom quote and to see how we can help your brand with video or photography.

Video Samples
Monthly Social Media
Beauty/Cosmetics Photography
Fashion & Commercial Photography
Lifestyle Photography
Bio – Greg McDonad