How Much Should a Video Cost?

20 Dec How Much Should a Video Cost?

I was presenting our company to a law firm last week. They were quite interested in moving forward with a video production for their firm, and wanted to know how much it would cost. I do like to discuss at least a price range, but certainly not right out-of-the-gate, before finding out what their needs are. So to help them understand how difficult it is to quote without all the necessary information, I reversed their question. I said, “let’s suppose I’ve been in an accident, so I call your law firm, and ask how much I’ll get from the settlement and your corresponding fee.” Clearly, they need to know a lot more before they can give you a ballpark.

But here are some of the factors that all contribute to the price of a video:

The length: 1 – 2 minute YouTube video or 5 minute ‘keystone’

The format: usually it’s video, but it could be film…

The people: do you want an inexpensive one-man-show videographer/editor?

OR… do you need something really professional and interesting, yet very effective as a tool to convert prospects into clients? You may need the following…

– a crew: producer, director, shooter, audio, etc
– script: need a writer? An interviewer? Both?
– B-roll: any extra background footage needed for context (to be shot or from a stock video library)
– editing: do you need on-screen graphics, what’s the pacing, need some animation, etc
– talent: pro actors, models, or staff?
– location: are we in one location, or all over town?
– audio: do we need a narrator, a voice actor, staff?
– music: to support emotion, impart personality, own it
– licensing: figure out who owns assets, talent, music, etc
– quality: how important is it for your brand?
– personality: are you out-of-the-box, urban, shoot from the hip style? Or is it more of a quality, trust vibe?
– who: are you working direct or through an agency?
– delivery: is it to be posted online, on dvd or stick – how do you need it?

Plus, there are a number of ‘variables’ in the above factors, but to take a stab at the ballpark, here goes:

A 2 minute web video, shot and edited by a solo videographer, might cost somewhere between $2K and $6K. The same length 2 minute video shot by a professional crew of 8 people (say producer, writer, shooter, grip, editor, composer, voice and talent) might be in the $10K – $20K range. And if it’s a :30 second TV spot shot on 35mm film with a crew of 16, the price can jump to $100K and beyond.

I know what you’re thinking… $2K to $100K… can we narrow it down a bit? Sure. As soon as we sit down and figure out what you need.

Another way of getting a more accurate ballpark is show your video producer an example of a video like the one you want. The producer will figure out what went into your reference video and suggest what something similar might cost. And, as with many other things in life, you tend to get what you pay for.

Mike McCurlie
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