How Much Does Video Production Cost?

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If you’ve ever considered hiring a professional video production company to create your next promotional video or advertisement, I’m sure you’ve asked yourself the most important question…how much will this cost me? The answer to this is not a straight forward one. It depends on a variety of variables. Hopefully we can provide you with some insight in this article.

What are you producing?

Good production companies will ask you a variety of questions before even agreeing to produce your video. It is extremely important to know all about the company and the purpose of the video before producing it. There are companies out there who will take any pay day and produce a video the client might not even be able to use. Many of our clients come to us with this problem. They paid a good chunk of money to have a video produced, and they cannot use the video or do not like it. The goal for us, is to not only create a quality video that suits our clients’ needs, but to create a relationship with our clients so that they come back to us whenever they need video production. Before understanding what it is we are producing and why we are producing it, we cannot offer a price quote. If a video production company isn’t asking questions such as: What is this video for? Who is your target demographic? Where will this be seen? What is your long term goal for this video? etc. we cannot pinpoint what type of video is needed or how to approach the project. Understanding the project goals and objectives is the first step in providing an accurate quote.

Why are some companies much more expensive than others?

When you call various video production companies, you may find that the price fluctuates and some businesses are more expensive than others.  This is due to several reasons but they all boil down to one…QUALITY.  Make sure you look at sample work from video companies before you decide to hire one.  You will be able to see a distinct difference between a company that produces sub-par work and one that is exceptional.  All videos are not created equal.  You may be able to find someone to produce a video for a small amount of money, but will the end product meet your needs?  When hiring a company, be sure to review the work and that the company can produce what you are imagining or asking for.  Professional companies will have a deep knowledge of how to produce quality videos and will also be able to show you samples.  If you don’t like the samples, chances are, you won’t like your end product.

How is the price determined?

Pricing a video is determined by several factors, but it can be boiled down mostly to the amount of time and man power required to create the video.  The cost is generally determined by factoring in Pre-production, Production, Post-production and licensing.  Pre-production refers to the planning stages of the video creation.  It is most often required for the producers of the video to meet with clients, draft story boards or plans, write scripts, prepare the studio space, or any other type pf pre-planning.  During the production period, the company has to have cinematographers film the event or commercial.  This refers to the time spent actually working with actors, talent or filming.  Post-production is the time required to edit the video.  This is many times the most time consuming aspect of production and if animation is required, it can take a long time.  Licensing is also something to consider.  Professional companies will require licensing for certain projects.  This provides the client with permissions to legally use the video in all of its content to advertise and make money.  All of these things combined is how a production company will determine the price of a project.

How complicated is your project?

There are simple projects, and there are much more robust ones.  To paint this picture, I will describe two examples.  The first is a simple project.  Imagine a self-made, popular, local car salesman who produces hundreds of short commercials.  This may just be him (or her) talking about how great the dealership is in front of a car.  These commercials are cheap, and they look just that…cheap.  There is no production value to them.  They can be produced with a camera and a tripod.  There is relatively no editing involved.  The contrast to this would be a Superbowl commercial.  These take time to produce, may take multiple days to film and take many hours to edit and produce.  These commercials take much more time to create, therefore they are more expensive.  We produce many commercials for clients and one thing that sets them apart from other videos is that we take great care in our productions.  One of the things we do to separate ourselves is we do a great deal of graphic design and animation in our videos (as appropriate).  The animation process is extremely time consuming and can become expensive.  The complexity of the project also has an affect on price.


Any legitimate video production company should have a conversation with their clients about licensing.  This is important because it protects the company and the client from any legal issues that may arise.  There have been many documented instances of people being sued for use of music that has not been licensed.  This can cause unwanted legal trouble or even fines of great magnitude.  Beware of any company that doesn’t provide licensing to music and provide that documentation.  You should also be provided a license to use the video you are contracting for monetary gain.  Understand that the person or company who records an image OWNS that image.  Just because you hired the company to create your video does not mean that you own the images.  The images must be licensed for use by the creator of those images.  If you don’t have a license to use the video, you technically have no rights to it.  Be sure to obtain the proper licensing to any video you will be publishing so you can avoid any legal troubles that may arise.

How much does video production cost?

In returning to the original question of “how much does video production cost”, the answer is…it depends.  What you want to produce will determine the cost.  The more detailed or complicated a project is, the more it will cost.  The reason why you might want to spend more, is because an expensive and elegant commercial will reflect on the company it represents.  When you see cheap advertisements, it reflects upon the company as being cheap.  The tendency is to believe that the company’s products are cheap and/or the services are lesser quality.  Think about what it is you want, and then find a company who can produce it for you in a way that meets your needs.

Unplugged Weddings

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Weddings are joyous occasions meant to celebrate a beautiful moment between two people. Imagine yourself waiting for all of your guests to arrive and the suspense as you are just moments away from walking down the aisle to marry the person you love. Your soon-to-be better half is waiting in anticipation, nervously to see you. The guests wait as you prepare to reveal yourself for the first time to everyone and make your grand entrance with your father or person who will be escorting you to the one you love the most. You cannot wait until the moment comes. Finally, the doors open and you cant wait to see…an ocean of cell phones.

These days almost everyone has a smart phone. I cannot tell you how many weddings I’ve been to where special moments are ruined by iPads, cameras, cell phones and the like. Guests will encroach into the aisle, elbow one another out of the way and muscle each other around to get that perfect shot with their grainy electronic device. There are two major problems with this. Firstly, nothing can ruin a special moment more than being violated by a multitude of devices in your face. Secondly, professional photographers and videographers are expensive and their work cannot be done well with this obstacle in the way.

Live in the moment. Smart phones and digital devices are great, but everything has its place. By viewing such a magnificent moment through a screen, many people miss out on living the experience in real time. It is also distracting to the bride, the groom, and the professionals they hired. I’m sure everyone will be ecstatic that Uncle Tom got his great, center aisle shot of the bride coming down, but do you think she is hoping to see Uncle Tom as she approaches, or perhaps her fiance? If only he had brought his selfie stick to shove in her face as she was walking.

Brides also pay a lot of money to have professional photos and video taken so that they can re-live the day. Do you really want to see this ruined by Aunt Cathy standing in front of the cameras you paid to be there? Maybe if she gets that grainy iPad shot of the first kiss, it will make up for it…unless the photographer misses it because she is in the way. Professional photo and video is expensive. Don’t let be for naught.

So what can be done about this every growing smart phone dilemma? Try having an UNPLUGGED WEDDING. Many people are doing this now and encouraging guests to live in the moment with them by putting their phones and devices away. You can always offer guests copies of the professional photos and video afterwards to encourage them to live with you in that special time. By doing this, you make your day more intimate and also save yourself heart ache by having the best photos and video possible. There are many examples out there of UNPLUGGED WEDDINGS including signage and how to go about executing it. If you still are unsure whether to have an unplugged wedding or not, take a look at the photos in the link below. These are photos from weddings that were not unplugged. When it comes down to it, you must make the decision that is right for you, but as long as you hired top rated photographers and videographers, there is nothing to worry about.


Wedding Photography Buffalo

Should I Hire a Videographer for My Wedding?

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This is a question we hear all the time “Should I hire a videographer for my wedding?” If you are on the fence about hiring a videographer for your wedding day, this article is a must-read. We won’t tell you that you should or shouldn’t but we will rather give you some insight that will help you drive your decision. When it boils down to it, you have to do what’s right for you. So the big question becomes “is wedding videography right for me?” Let’s look at a few insights.

Video production is a relatively new phenomenon in the grand scheme of history. It wasn’t until this past decade that video equipment reached a point in technology where it is portable and produced quality images. Today’s equipment is light-years beyond what it was when your parents or grandparents got married. The videos are much different. They are cinematic and tell a story as opposed to Uncle Bob putting a tape recording camera on a tripod in the back of the church. Now you can get very high quality videos. Photography used to rule the day as well. Before video, it was all about photography. The paradigm is now changing and people haven’t quite caught up to it yet. We are embedded in the custom of hiring a photographer without video, but that’s because video wasn’t a good product in the past. Videos are much better QUALITY than they were in the past.

One of the biggest regrets that we hear over and over again from people who watch our videos is that they regret not getting a videographer. You can read all about this on the Knot or Weddingwire from numerous people who have written about this but the fact remains, it is the number one regret from modern brides. In most cases we find that brides decide much too late in the game that they do want a video, but they have already spent their budget on flowers, chair covers and other items for their wedding. We also find that the only reason most people who do not get a video for their wedding is that they didn’t want to spend the money. Let’s be honest though; if I told you our services were free, would you hire us? The answer is always a resounding YES, but we understand that a budget is set and people cannot always live outside their means. There is VALUE in having a wedding video. If it were FREE, everyone would do it.

Before I got into the wedding video business, I hired a guy I know to film our wedding. I paid him $800 for this video and needless to say we got what we paid for. The video is not very good quality and the audio is far from professional. This video is actually what spring-loaded me into starting Black Horse Videography. The funny thing is, however, that I am extremely grateful I have this $800 video. My Grandfather gave a speech at my wedding. My Grandmother danced with me and told me that she loved me. My wife’s uncle got to share a dance with her. All of these people have passed away (shortly after our wedding) and are no longer with us. Their memory will always live on in that video. Having A video is much better than having NO video.

On your wedding day there will be a lot of people in attendance. There will be many things happening all around you. The day will go by in a blink. There are many things you will not see or experience. Without a video, you will never see your bride’s maids walk down the aisle before you. You won’t see the tears roll down your Husband-to-be’s face as he waits for you in anticipation. You will not see what he is doing before your ceremony or he – you. You won’t remember what was said during the speeches or any other sentimental things that happen. This is why we feel it is important to have a video. Without a videographer, you are left to stress about remembering everything and soak in as much as you can, because the day will fly by. Videographers can offer PEACE OF MIND on your wedding day.

In the end, you will only have two things left after your wedding. You will not have the chair covers, ice sculptures or flowers. You will not remember what was said or how the food you paid for tasted. You will not remember what songs the DJ played on the dance floor. The only two things you will have left after your wedding day are PHOTOS and VIDEO. If you don’t think video is right for you, there is nothing wrong with that. Hopefully this post will help you make an educated decision and help you weigh the value of a wedding video. The paradigm, however, has shifted and where video was once an added extra that people paid for only if they had extra money in their budget, is now becoming the first priority for many modern brides.

Maroon 5 Surprises Brides on their Wedding Day

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A wedding day to a bride and groom is already majestic and magical, but what happens when you add a mega-pop celebrity to the mix?  Adam Levine and Maroon 5 decided to surprise as many brides and their guests as possible in one day while filming their latest music video for the song “Sugar”.  This would certainly be a surprise that no one expected.  This leads us to ask one important question for Adam…are you planning any trips to the Western New York area any time soon?

A City of Innovation

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We are proud to live in Buffalo, New York. For those of you who aren’t from Buffalo, watch this film to learn about our area. For those who are from Buffalo, we’re sure there are some things you didn’t know about your great American city. Buffalo has always been a city of innovation and continues to be one. Next Things Now! Click the finger print to learn more.