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.