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What Does a Marketing Video Production Cost?

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How much does a house cost to build? They’re all the same right? A grass hut and a 10,000 square foot mansion are both dwellings so they should cost the same to build, correct? Let me answer the price question precisely – it depends.  A marketing video production cost could be $1,000 could be $4,000, $15,000 or it could be $120,000 or more or anywhere in between. Okay, next question!

First before I go on, I’m a firm believer in doing whatever works. If making a homemade video with your cell phone for no money will accomplish your goals, then that’s the solution. Why pay for something you don’t need? When a homemade video won’t work and you need to hire a professional video production company, then read on. 

I know “it depends” can be frustrating for clients looking for an immediate answer but it’s impossible to give an accurate number without knowing what’s needed. We often get asked this first – what does it cost, before getting any details about the project.

The cost entirely depends upon what’s included in the production in terms of labor (crew & actors), equipment, materials and 3rd party costs – a 1-person crew will cost less than a five person crew. Obvious, yes? And how will we know if a 1-person crew will do the trick or if the shooting requirements need a five person crew to get the job done? We don’t unless we get some specifics on the video.

We’ve made videos from around $1k to over $200k. So when asked about price without knowing anything about the video, what number in this range should we quote the caller? 

multi camera corporate profile video behind the scenes

YOU CAN BUY BANANAS BY THE POUND BUT NOT CREATIVE VIDEO

Life would be so much easier for everyone if only custom video were a commodity. But unfortunately it isn’t. By definition, “custom” takes it out of the commodity territory.

Some production companies may come up with packages with set prices that include certain things and that’s fine, but it has nothing to do with what a video costs. It’s marketing, they put packages together because it’s easier to sell; for X amount, you get this, this and this.

The problem with packages is that it’s often a stroke of luck if the package is the answer to the client’s needs

At Gate5 we tried offering packages for a short time and what seemed to happen every time was none of the packages solved the client’s needs exactly. So we were back to creating an estimate based on their needs and not trying to shoehorn them into a pre-defined production package.

Although we’ve found that set production packages don’t really work for one-off projects, we do offer plans for monthly video production subscriptions starting at a very affordable rate. Monthly plans are geared toward for companies that need new content on a weekly or monthly basis.

Please visit our monthly video production plans for more information.

So there are no standards when it comes to video pricing?

Correct! 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 in a couple of hours with basic editing?

Or was the 2 minute video created after many hours of research, brainstorming concepts and scriptwiting, and then filmed over multiple days in several cities including on location and on sound stages with actors, sets and big lighting packages with all the toys needed to create cool shots like cranes, gimbals, and drones, along with a 40 person crew to operate everything and then in post production combined with extensive visual effects and 3D animation?

Well that video would cost a lot more than your talking head video shot in your office with a 1-person crew  – 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.

For more on creating your video, read our post about product video production tips.

fashion model in film dread behind the scenes

What factors affect the price?

As mentioned above, there are many, many factors that affect price. The more the client provides for the video the lower the cost will be. So a general tip for companies looking to lower the cost of a marketing video production is to provide whatever they can. 

The cost can be cut down dramatically if a client provides the script/idea, the location and/or uses their employees as the on-camera talent. I realize often times this is the last thing a client wants or it’s just not feasible. But when possible, it’ll save costs. 

The fewer the items the video production company needs to factor in the quote, the lower it’ll be. That should be obvious. 

Clients should also understand there is a reason why a full service video production costs what it does. 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 normally is required.

Do you have a finished script or clear idea already?

Sometimes you have a completed script or fully (or mostly) fleshed out idea and other times you have no idea at all for the video. We work with clients in both situations.

For the most part it’s a straight forward thing to create an estimate if you have a completed script or idea. In this case, give the script to the production company and they’ll come back with what it’ll cost to produce that specific script.  

If you have no idea, then the best way to get the best work out of the production company is to tell them what the budget is. That way they can come up with a creative solution that fits the budget you have.

It’s a waste of everyone’s time if the production company comes up with an absolutely fantastic idea that will cost $20,000 to produce when the budget is $5,000.  

If the budget is known beforehand, then all the brainstorming energy will be spent on an idea that can be actually be executed and not be lost to the pie in the sky. 

At Gate5, the goal of each video is always our focus when creating and designing a video. No matter what the budget is, we’re going to make a video that speaks to your audience and looks great! 

For more, visit our page on video pricing.

About Gate5, a Los Angeles video production company

Gate5 is a full service video production company in Los Angeles producing engaging and results driven video content for big and small businesses and advertising agencies.

We conceptualize, write scripts, secure locations and permits, cast actors, direct, film and edit viral videos, branded films, product and promotional videos, web and TV commercials, episodic content and live video streaming production.

Click here for our video samples.

Contact us to see how we can help your business with video or photography.

Check out our fashion photography or beauty photography.

For more on Greg McDonald, visit his writing-directing website.