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Video Production Rates: Video Production Costs for Marketers

Many marketers are now eager to use web video for business, but when it come to the video production process, they don’t quite know where to start. Sit back, relax, you’re in the right place! I’ll outline the main corporate video production cost factors below, but first, here is a short clip from Video Marketing expert Dr. Lee Frederiksen from Hinge Marketing, sharing his insights on corporate video production.

This video is intended to demonstrate how to make a basic interview much more engaging than just a talking head.

So, did you notice how you felt more engaged by the editing, music and image quality? (If so please “like ” and subscribe!)  I think you’d agree, if that was shot on my iPhone, it just wouldn’t have the same impact.

To look closer at what’s involved, lets go over some of the main video production cost factors:

Market price: Lets face it, San Francisco is more expensive than Arkansas! You might be able to hire a cameraman in a small town for a sandwich but in San Francisco, you can expect to pay somewhere between $600-$1,500 a day depending on experience, talent, etc.

*Quality level: *There are wide variations in quality and competence. I see three levels of quality that can be applied to each of the below aspects of video production costs. To illustrate, here are the 3 levels of manpower quality:

  • Basic: The most basic fulfillment: a warm body that shows up.
  • Pro: Competence: someone who can do the job to industry standards
  • Premium: (AKA: Experienced and Talented): These people are actually really good at their job. If you want to make stand out content, you probably need this level of resources.

*Manpower costs: *Depending on the basic, pro and premium considerations can be anywhere between minimum wage all the way to thousands per day for a well known actor/director, etc. You can save money by finding people who can do some of these themselves, but beware, if they are doing too much, quality will always suffer. For example, I’m a decent writer and creative and can produce and edit too, but I don’t do all those at once. If your cameraman is doing sound and lights, there’s only so much they can do in a day while keeping quality high.

Here are a few of the roles involved in the video production process:

  • Producer
  • Director
  • Host/Actors
  • Concept Creator/Writer
  • Camera Operator (Director of Photography – or D.P.)
  • Gaffer/Lighting
  • Sound Operator
  • Wardrobe and MUP (Make Up Person)
  • Production/Set Designer, etc.
  • Production Assistant (P.A)
  • Editor
  • Graphic Designer
  • Motion Graphics Animator

Video Production Equipment: Cameras, lights, sound equipment, monitors, tripods, dolly, etc. There are wide ranges in quality but even a decent basic camera kit costs thousands of dollars.

Video Production (shooting): How many days and where/what are you shooting? Customer testimonials shot all around the world or a CEO interview in a conference room? The video production costs are going to vary widely!

Video Post-Production (editing): Need just need a quick 1-day edit? Or a 10-day marathon? That could be the difference between boring and amazing! I firmly believe that the more you put into editing, the more you get out. Give me boring footage and a month and I’ll give you amazing!

*Graphics and Animation: *One of the biggest misconceptions is the talent, time and cost that is required to make many of the stand out graphics and animation examples that clients send along as a reference for what they want to produce. That animated video you love? There’s a reason you love it: it was made by talented pros, who aren’t cheap!

The wild cards: Of course there are other factors at work that will be specific to each project like the complexity of the material, the speed at which the team can work due to weather, location, crowds, field noise, jet lag, etc.

Assets: Another important consideration while determining video production costs is the availability of assets. It’s frequently more challenging that you’d expect just to get a logo and a font from a client! Maybe that wait is eating into available editing time.

*Approvals: *Don’t forget your time cost! On many occasions I’ve sent a review video to a client and they don’t have time to get me feedback for days. With a deadline looming, even if a vendor works round the clock to make up last time, the final product quality ends up suffering.

*Distribution: *Once you have a video, how are you planning on getting people to watch it?! The art of promotion via social networks is a fast changing and complex craft, taking far more time that most professionals have available. I estimate that one must spend 20% of their time to be successful with social networking; can you spare 2 days a week? Or maybe I should ask: can you afford not to?

*The key take-aways: *The key point I’d hope you’d take away is that quality matters and it applies to all the parameters mentioned above. In any complex sale, it’s only natural to want to ‘commoditize’ the solution, but not all video production is equal. If you want to earn views, you have to give your audience something worth their time, worth sharing and commenting on. Respect your audience and you may earn their respect too.

Feel smarter? Please do me a big favor and share this post! I encourage comments on You Tube and please re-Tweet away!

I’m also available for free consultations so contact me with any questions regarding video production costs, video production process or corporate video production projects.

Good luck out there in video production land!

Want to learn more about Online Video? Download our free Online Video Marketing Guide: Learn How to Promote your Business with Video (Free Download)

Dane Frederiksen
Digital Accomplice/Principal

Twitter: @DrDane

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