How much does video production cost?
Demystifying how video production companies budget and a few helpful tips
What’s that phrase? “If you have to ask, then you can’t afford it!” – we, in video production, and the creative industries are probably the only sector where that’s not exactly true, but we understand why not having prices easily visible on our websites can be off-putting.
So, for those wanting to know “how much does video production cost?” this blog is for you.
So the first admission is – we don’t have prices instantly visible online because they would be hugely misleading without us first understanding a brief. The reason for this is that the resources we need both in terms of time and equipment will often change from one project to another. You’re looking for a company who works professionally, and so we call on our years of experience to know how to efficiently map out a project.
Our rate card is pretty extensive, and looks like a really unfriendly and off-putting matrix of resources and costs that most people wouldn’t be able to fill in themselves, but that should be our job if we’re doing it correctly. We should provide the guidance and options to make quoting as simple and understandable as it can be.
Some companies will provide options, which give you a different result at different price points. This can be really helpful as it then passes you, the client, back some control so that you can fit the spend back into your budget.
Tips for getting accurate filming quotes:
One tip before approaching a video production company for a quote on your new project is to have as much of a brief in place as possible so that your producer can work out how many days, what size crew, and how complex your edit may be.
Our next tip is to have an idea of what your overall spend should be. You may have a pot aside to start your side hustle, or your project may be funded from a yearly marketing budget. It can be really helpful to share this amount, as it’ll get you to your end point faster and your producer will be able to budget towards that cost as a target. If you’re starting from scratch and have no idea over your spending power, you’re then best to ask for options at different price points, perhaps giving a max amount that you know you can’t exceed.
Our top tip for getting the most accurate video production cost is to provide a sample video, or a reference video that’s similar in style and design to what you’d like created. The producer will then have a much better idea of what looks good to you, being able to remove those grey areas that exist when you’re trying to describe something in text or in speech.
So how does the process work?
Video production companies will use the initial consultation time to work out how much pre-production time is needed to adequately script, storyboard, source models, actors, locations, props etc – a process that can take days to achieve. It’s a mistake to skip this part or rush it, as inadequate planning usually means that you’ll pay for it later. That’s not a threat! But that time often means that something takes longer to shoot, or may need extra time in post.
Production is where you’ll find most of the options: which cameras, how many cameras, do we need assistants, how much lighting, studios, make up artists, it goes on – and then we work out over how many days we need these things. We’ll do this largely from your initial brief and will fill in the gaps where we can in the first instance.
Next is post production, which we’ve always found is the hardest function to estimate. Commonly, edit days are priced individually, but how many days we need is tricky to know. This is where that reference video comes in useful, as we can deconstruct that to provide a foundation. Through the edit process we’ll have to review and organise all of the footage, collate the best shots into an assembly, and then start to edit. You’ll usually have a number of reviews allowed, where higher budgets usually afford a greater number of revisions. Lastly, the finishing stage. Here, we polish the audio to make sure that we’ve reduced background sound and balance music with voice and sound effects. We’ll then polish the video in what’s called a ‘grade’ where we ensure optimal reflection of the video in terms of brightness, contrast, colour balance and the finished ‘look’ – which may be bright and vibrant or dark and dramatic.
All of this takes time, and different types of projects will take more or less depending on the needs of the brief, the audience, and how the video is being used.
Hopefully this has given you a little more information on how much video production companies charge, and have added a little useful information around the process ready for your next project.
Drop us a mail if you have any questions, we’re here to help.
Steven Mayatt, Creative Director
“I worked with Steven and his Pocket Creatives team to create a recipe video, and I couldn’t recommend their services enough! From the ideation stage, through to filming and editing the finished product, at every stage, the whole team were first-class, going above and beyond to create a compelling, high-quality recipe video that generated heaps of engagement. I would definitely work them again.”
Ben Cullen, OLIO
“The guys at Pocket Creatives were super knowledgeable and helpful – I definitely felt as though our video project was in safe hands! They were flexible and adaptable to what we needed and the content they produced for us was fantastic!”
Alice Morgan, The Telegraph
“Fun, innovative and unflappable. Pocket creatives are great to work with – whether it’s finding the perfect lighting for trifle to capturing GoPro footage on a whisk, they always approach every situation with a steady yet game-changing attitude. I see the whole team as trusted creative partners to make great content together.”
Kitty Aldis, River Group