Production Cost Guide
So, "How much does a professional video cost?” We get this question a lot! And, the answer usually is “Well, It depends!”
Some videos are short and easier to produce while others are complex and take longer to produce. Some videos need one person and others need several. But how do you predict the cost of a professionally produced video?
We listed some day rates for you to get a good understanding of the cost of video production crew with some context behind what ALL goes into it!
Crew Member Day
Day rates depend on the gear, experience, and complexity of the video project. These day rates were updated in 2021:
Video Production Pricing and Day Rates
◦ Producer/Director: $800-$1,500
◦ DP (Director of Photography): $700-$1,500
◦ Junior Videographer: $400-$600
◦ Senior Videographer/Filmmaker: $500-$1250
◦ Drone Operator: $500-$1,200
◦ Production Assistant: $250-$600
◦ Sound Technician: $300-$700
◦ Lighting Specialist: $300-$700
◦ Gaffer: $200-$500
◦ Grip: $200-$500
Video Post-Production Day Rates
◦ Junior Video Editor: $200-$400
◦ Senior Video Editor: $400-$800
◦ Motion Graphics/Animation Editor: $500-$1400
Depending on the role of a crew member, day rates usually include cost of gear or gear rentals.
Factors that drive cost
The factors vary from job to job. But the following factors are often included in a production process: desired video quality, creative services such as concept development, scriptwriting, pre-production and story boarding. The number of shoot days, crew size, number of locations, and post-production services. Use this guide to begin thinking about your video project. It will prepare you for a meaningful discussion with the video production company. So that they can give you a more accurate price point.
Corporate Video Production requires a quality model
Purchasing decisions are increasingly driven by watching videos. Because consumers prefer learning about their favorite brands and products through video. Studies by Aberdeen and Brightcove illustrate that consumers’ preference for top-quality video is high. Additionally, high-quality videos improve landing page performance by up to 80% according to studies done by Insivia.
Google rankings for pages that include video also improve. High-quality videos age well and create long-term value for your company. You are likely to see a measurable return on investment in your video production within weeks or a few months
On the other hand, studies also illustrate that poor-quality videos leave negative impressions with 60% of consumers. Consumers become reluctant to engage with the brand again after watching low-quality videos. A poor quality video will hurt your brand image.
Invest your money wisely and focus on professionals. Don’t overspend on video productions but don’t skimp out either. Good video is an investment that has a long shelf life and converts significantly better. Quality videos are the most powerful communication medium that your company can invest in.
Creating your video production cost budget
The budget you have drives the type of video you can expect. A modest budget of $1500 or less will probably not get you what you are looking for.
However, a $6000 to $10,000 video should last you at least 3 years. (That’s a cost of $2000 – $3300 per year.) The increased conversion rate of a quality video often pays for the video after only a few weeks or months.
Creative Services & Duration
At Express Your Visions, LLC we produce videos from about $2500, (small business video spots) to about $15,000 or more (corporate brand videos).
Video Style and Quality: Before you begin comparing video production companies, determine the style and quality of video you want. A video with motion graphics and animation is very different from a live-action shoot with people. Because the skills and resources required in these examples are very different and will affect the cost greatly. Researching existing videos on YouTube or Vimeo will help inspire you and help narrow in on a particular style for your video.
Video Objective: Define the result you want from a completed video production. What do you want the video to help you achieve? Where is the video going to be distributed ? What do you want your viewer to do after they've seen the video?
Concept and Creative Development: This is an extremely important part of your video. However, some videos don’t need any concept or creative development. For example, filming an event such as a workshop or seminar requires little concept development.
Other videos involve a lot of early consulting to help you develop a style and concept. Examples are corporate brand videos, demo videos, product or service videos.
Duration: The total duration of a completed video impacts the total cost of the production. The resources required to produce a :30 second vs 2-minute can be somewhat similar. Longer videos take more time in every aspect from concept development to edits and final changes.
Pre-Production: Understanding how pre-production impacts video production cost is important. Pre-production time can vary significantly depending on the style of video you need. Script development, pre-interviews, industry research, obtaining permits, and location scouting all take a lot of time. The importance of pre-production planning and preparation cannot be overstated. Expect to allocate a large portion of the budget (time and money) toward the pre-production process. The larger and more complex the video project the more pre-production is required. The better the preproduction, the better the completed project. At Express Your Visions, we spend a lot of time researching the subject matter, understanding the goals of our clients, conducting pre-interviews, etc. Whether via Zoom or in-person – pre-interview discussions are absolutely essential to our process. We have an in-depth process that we encourage clients to participate in fully. In fact, we believe that 100% of the success of the video will depend on thorough pre-production and planning.
Scripting: Some videos will require a script. Many of our clients develop scripts in-house. On the other hand, many production companies also offer script development as part of their service package.
Scouting locations: Scouting for filming locations takes time and incurs travel expenses. This is one of the cost drivers where working with a local production team is helpful. They usually know where filming is allowed and most suitable.
How crew size & number of shooting days affect video production pricing
Cost of a shoot day: Most projects we work on require us to capture original video footage. The average minimum cost of a 3-minute video that requires original footage will cost at least $3000.
Each project requires a unique number of shoot days. A full shoot day is considered 8 hours, and a half-day is considered 4 hours. (A half-day is the minimum we charge to send a videographer on a video shoot.) However, it costs 75% of what a full day costs for a single team member (Additional staff equals additional cost). This is because the following full-day/half-day aspects are the same – pre-production planning, video gear, lighting, and sound equipment needed for the job. In addition, add at least 2-3 hours for set preparation, gear set up and takedown.
How many crew members are required for a video production?
Crew size: A single videographer can get a lot done on one shoot day, but sometimes projects require two or three videographers for simultaneous filming from different angles. We might also send a production assistant to help the videographer with setup and working the camera gear, and conducting interviews.
Productions need a producer. The video producer organizes and oversees the entire shoot, and typically is the main contact with the client. The entire day is planned by the producer who manages the video production process, overseeing the staff and general procedure. The video producer will also take care of the paperwork, client communications, and the financial aspects of the project.
In many video production companies, the producer is also the director, the person who holds the vision for the project. Such is the case at Express Your Visions. The producer/director directs each shot and the entire feel and flow of the video.
Additionally, some large corporate shoots require a hair/makeup artist, a sound technician, or a lighting specialist. Sometimes shoots require actors or a spokesperson. This adds casting costs and daily rates for actors. In our experience, most shoots require only 2 to 4 people.
The cost of post-production
The factors that drive pre-production costs depend on the complexity of the video project. If the video project is simple and short then editing is easier. If there are several media elements, graphics, or multiple camera elements, several interviews, the project can become more complex. Postproduction varies greatly from project to project. Simple projects (up to 2 minutes run time) may require 1-2 days of postproduction. Large and complex projects (5 minutes or longer) may require 3-10 days of postproduction work. Nearly every aspect of each project is different.
The number of postproduction days doesn’t follow a back-to-back sequence. Typically, client reviews and approvals may take anywhere from a few days to 2-3 weeks. After the client had a chance to review and approve a draft that is when the editor moves on to the next step.
The video production pricing examples are based on our experience. Our video costs are not the lowest and definitely not the highest. Here at Express Your Visions, we make the most of your budget. Because our priority is always to help you achieve the results that you expect from the video.