Have you ever considered having a video created for your business and then decided that it may be expensive and overpriced? Well, you’re not alone. Many business owners often share the common misconception that high-quality video is very expensive. Long before smartphones, flip cameras and YouTube became mainstream, if you wanted a video for your business, you were looking at an investment upwards of £10,000. But with advancements in technology, the lowering costs of camera equipment, editing software and the increased popularity of video hosting sites you can now grab an iPhone, shoot some video an upload it for free. Or you can hire Steven Spielberg, where you would be looking at a budget close to half a billion pounds. Both options would result in a finished video but you’d probably want to watch the more expensive version at a state of the art cinema chain.
Many of the factors that affect the price of video production have been going down over the last few years, so owning a video for your business or brand has never been more affordable. So your most probably asking yourself, “Is video production far too expensive?” and “Will it cost me tens of thousands of pounds?” Or you may be thinking a video is nothing more than pressing the record button on a camera, throwing the footage into a computer and out comes a finished video.
Well I’m here to tell you that having a professional done video doesn’t have to cost an arm an a leg. However, there are many different associated costs of video production. One of the single biggest reasons individuals perceive video to be over priced is simply down to them not understanding the true return on investment video can provide. A well thought out and correctly professionally produced video has a very high chance of literally being able to change your business in a matter of days, or even overnight.
But can’t I just make a budget video myself?
Yes, you can. However, do you your skills, equipment and production methods really allow you to produce something that is going to be effective? For 90% of individuals, the answer is no, at the end of the day you are almost certainly great at your job, whether it be marketing, sales or even business development. However chances are you haven’t spent multiple years producing business video, nor is it your everyday profession.
A poor quality budget video is only going to damage your reputation, this is the last thing you want. Your business and company are reflected in whatever videos you post so you need to make sure that your video reflects your brand.
Whatever profession you care to mention, experience and expertise matter more than any other factor and, all things being equal, you do tend to get what you pay for. There are many, many moving parts in the creation of a video but at the end of the day, you are paying for the expertise and experience of the key people responsible for your video.
Costs: You could expect to spend between £25/hour for a film school graduate or £200/hour or more for a top flight video veteran. On average most production companies will charge between £60/hour and £120/hour for the people involved in key activities such as shooting, editing and directing a corporate video. (TV commercials are an exception where A-list professionals can be an order of magnitude more expensive depending on the budget.)
Doing a video for the sake of video is a waste of money. What measurable business objective are you trying to achieve? How is this video specifically going to achieve that objective? And of greatest importance, do the people creating your video have the experience or guidance to create a video that will help move your business forward? Like companies that spend £10,000 on website development and little or no money on content for the site, many companies waste a lot of money on a beautifully shot but otherwise meaningless video.
Costs: You could expect to spend between £50 an hour to £120 an hour for an experienced script writer to create a video concept, storyboard and script for your video.
Not everyone is good on camera. Hiring an actor or presenter might be the necessary steps in increasing the impact of your message. Even in a corporate video, you may decide that hiring outside talent is the best decision.
Costs: You could expect to spend between £40/hour to £400/hour or (lot’s) more depending on experience, demand and union costs.
The quality and flexibility of the camera you shoot with can make a considerable difference in the finished quality and editing options for your video. Are you shooting on a £200 iPhone, £400 DV camera, a £2,000 DSLR, a £8,000 Full feature HD camera, a £20,000 RED, a £45,000 ARRI or are you shooting on a 360 camera or on Film? The features and capabilities of cameras are changing weekly and there is a big difference in the final output quality in more expensive cameras.
Costs: You could expect to spend between £80 to £1600 a day.
A variety of tools and equipment may be needed on hand for each shoot. Do you need a track dolly or a jib-arm to create a shot with movement? Do you need a field monitor to know exactly what you are getting as you shoot? Do you need audio equipment to capture an interview or testimonial, (lavaliere, direction mics, booms etc.) Lighting and framing are everything in the video. Will you need lights? Lots of different lights accommodate a wide variety of shooting scenarios. You may also need a variety of camera lenses to create the specific feel you are after. Wide angle, fixed focal length or Cine lenses for narrow depth of field, etc? Do you need a teleprompter?
Costs. Equipment cost can run anywhere from £25/day to £800 a day.
Most business web video productions don’t require more than two people but depending on the complexity of the shoot you may require a crew of three or more. Key personnel such as the Director, Director of Photography (DP) and Editor typically earn from £60 to £150 an hour. Sound professionals with their own equipment usually earn between £40 and £75 an hour while Lighting Professionals usually earn between £25 and £40 an hour. You may need a hair and makeup expert to help ensure your subjects look great on camera. A reasonable range is from £25/hr to £60 per hour.
B-Roll / Cut-away shots.
Most videos benefit from the addition of footage that supplements what is being said on screen. If you are interviewing a business owner who is talking about their products then it is recommended to show cut away shots as they speak. Showing the viewer what is being described in the video is more informative and also keep your video engaging.
Costs: The length of time and equipment used to capture the b-roll will increase production costs. You can add anywhere from 15% to 50% of the total shooting costs if you need to supplement interview footage with b-roll footage.
Where are you shooting? How long will each scene/interview/shot take? Are you shooting in one location or many? Are you indoors or outside? If you are shooting outside is weather a factor? If so what happens if it rains? Do you need a controlled environment to shoot in? Are you shooting a green screen? How much set-up time is required? Are the locations close together? The most important factor is the total amount of time required. Two days of shooting is twice as expensive as one day.
Costs: Factor in between £100/hour and £300/hour depending on the size of the studio.
Do you require supplemental footage or images to support your video? There are many websites that sell high-quality free stills and video footage.
Costs: Stock images can be as cheap as £3 and HD stock footage can cost as little as £30, but for high quality images and 4K footage you will pay considerably more.
Video is a powerful medium but it is even more powerful if you take full advantage of audio to support what is being shown on screen. Many voice artists work from home and can produce great work for almost any budget. £80 – £300 for a 2 minute video is reasonable depending on the experience and demand for the specific voice artist.
Music Audio Files.
Do you require a music bed, special sound effects or other audio to supplement your video?
Costs: Good quality music for video starts as low as £45 for a two or three minute track. Custom audio can cost £1000 or more depending on the experience of the audio engineer and what is required.
Your video may require simple graphics and others that are entirely animated. Prices range from £60 to £200 an hour for basic editing. However, special effects could easily cost £75 to more than £250 an hour. The cost of high quality 3D animation depends on the experience of the animator and complexity of the project.
Video Rendering and Compression Time.
There are many file formats that you could shoot in during the filming process. Someone has to transfer footage to a format that works in for the editing system. After editing, the video must be rendered to a format of presentation (for the web, for broadcast, etc.) and you may have to upload it depending on where it’s going (your web server, YouTube, etc.). How many different formats does your video have to be rendered in? Where is it going to be seen? Do you need a short version (editing down) and a long version? Adapting multiple formats for a video could add 5% to 10% to the cost of the job depending on how much editing is required. This all takes time on the computer and depending on the company’s rate structure, these costs can be included with other services such as editing or they are included as an hourly charge on the budget.
Costs: In the range of £20 to £60 an hour.
Language and translation.
Do you need close captions? Do you need language versioning? Do you need onscreen text to change per language? Do you need to dub in different narration for different markets? Language versioning can add 15% to 25% to the overall cost of the job. Editing and proofing of different languages is usually much more time intensive than one language alone and translation fees come into play. Translation fees may cost as much as £8 per video minute.
Working with high-quality video professionals makes you realise that what you are really paying for is the experience. As a general guideline for budgeting, it usually costs from £2000 for a 2 minute professionally produced, web-based business video.
Video production is a perfect case in point of a massive amount of processes that need to be married perfectly in order for each production to work effectively. When you’re looking into hiring a video production company, a quick and easy way to get an estimate is to have a reference video to compare it with. (How much would something like ‘this’ cost?) Every business has a budget. I’ve always had better results when I said ‘Here’s my budget, here are my business objectives, what can you do for me?” If you don’t declare a budget then the video producer will have to guess at a budget. And they might be giving you a quote for a video that you could have done on a much smaller budget, had you only given them a budget range before they sent you a proposal.
We hope that this blog has been of some benefit to you in your decision to look into video as a means of getting your message across in the most effective manner.
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