I know that’s not the easy answer you’re looking for, but trust me “off the shelf” prices don’t work with quality video production.
It’s because your video project is unique – a bespoke product with a individual message or job to do. No one has made your video before.
It will require a unique mix of ingredients including locations, filming days, contributors, music, graphics, presenters – to meet your precise needs.
So, you producers can’t really answer “How Much Does Corporate Video Cost?” until you’ve given them a proper video production brief. Then they’ll come back with a realistic budget. It’s a starting point for discussion. The beginning of a process where you can be involved in informed discussion about matching ambitions with costs. It does take a little effort – but will achieve far better results than if a company tries to shoehorn your idea into a fixed price.
APPROACHING VIDEO PRODUCTION COMPANIES
Once you’ve chosen your shortlist of companies (How to Choose a Video Production Company) – send them your brief and give them a deadline to respond with a proposal and a breakdown of costs. Be prepared to answer additional questions they might have as they prepare their pitch. Remember, it’s a creative process and grey areas like tones, styles and “feels” often need a little bit of exploratory conversation to nail them down. You’ll also get an early sense of what a video producer is like to work with – so it’s time well spent.
COMPARING VIDEO PRODUCTION QUOTES
Don’t be surprised if your carefully crafted brief results in a wide variety of suggested approaches and prices. It’s inevitable in a creative process. Study the briefs that come back and try to understand what each of them are offering. Ask more questions if anything’s unclear.
And… are you sitting down?… Ignore the price! At this stage anyway. I strongly suggest you don’t rule out the company you feel most comfortable with even if they’re the priciest. If you think they bring something special to the table and have a really good grasp of what you’re looking for – this is this kind of connection that’s going to get you the best result.
Be up front. Tell them you’d like to work with them but need to reduce costs. It’s a far more worthwhile exercise than going with a company that may be cheapest on paper, but not in tune with what you’re looking for.
UNDERSTANDING VIDEO PRODUCTION COSTS
The basics of any video production budget include:
- Production staff costs – (the hire of producers, directors, camera operators, sound recordists)
- Video equipment hire (cameras, microphones, lighting, editing suites)
- Production expenses such as travel, accommodation, subsistence.
On top of this, you may need some additional extras….
- Specialist filming equipment – (dollies, tracks, greenscreen technology)
- Presenters, actors or voice over artists
- Animated graphics or special effects
- Music or archive film
The final budget depends on which and how much of these items you need. The complicating issue is the quality factor. Experienced staff cost more than inexperienced ones – though are likely to save you money by doing a quality job and getting things right first time. Animated 3D graphics will cost more than simple 2D ones. Your video production company should be confident enough to be transparent about all this. Make sure you ask for explanations so you can make an informed choice about your video’s specification.
REDUCING VIDEO PRODUCTION COSTS
Start by ring-fencing your essentials – the items you simply can’t live without. Then ask the production company to explain how it would affect your final video if some of the non-essential elements were left out.
A spot of lateral thinking on the logistics of filming could save you money too. It may be good PR to film at every one of your regional offices, but it would be much more cost effective to interview all your regional managers when they’re attending a meeting on one day at HQ.
Also be aware of vanity items! Contracting a well-known TV presenter to front your video will bump up your budget considerably. Just be sure that glamorous items like a famous face are worth what they bring to the project.
As I said, the key is understanding what you are being charged for – and working with a company that is prepared to let you play an informed part in setting the budget. By the way. We do!
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