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How Much Does Video Production Cost?

Brad Argo

By Brad Argo

01/04/2016

The perfect gooey and delicious chocolate brownie is an art that takes time to perfect. Many will argue that they have the best recipe, and some bakers have secret ingredients that make their brownies better than the rest. But there is a large spectrum when it comes to brownie quality.

On one end, you’ve got a Betty Crocker boxed mix that just takes a few minutes to whip together. And on the other side of the spectrum, you’ve got an artisan brownie, baked on a 100-year-old baking stone, made with fair trade cocoa and fresh vanilla bean. The Betty Crocker brownie mix is pretty cheap, and you get a lot of brownies. The artisan baker brownie is more expensive for just one brownie, but it tastes darn good. And, when you bought it, you got to visit a bakery downtown, the smell of warm brownies hitting you as you open the door and step up to the bakery case. You can see the bakers with their white uniforms on slinging dough in the back. It’s an experience.

You get what you pay for not only in the world of baked goods but also in the world of video production.

When you’re thinking about your marketing budget for the year, you usually try to decide what your “must haves” are and what you can go without. When you think about what elements could take your marketing to the next level, a video comes to mind. The only problem is, you have no idea how to account for a video. How much money does it actually cost?

When people ask the question “how much does video production cost?” the answer varies. As a general guideline, if you want a video that will be a memorable marketing tool, you will need to spend a minimum $10,000. Now, that being said, no two projects are the same. It’s not possible to make a blanket statement on how much your video will cost without knowing all of the details. Identical projects for a small nonprofit compared to a retail giant like Target would have completely different budgets and needs. Many companies and large brands will budget well into the 6 figures for their video needs.

The warm chocolatey center of the matter (or batter) is that there is no simple equation to calculate how much your video will cost. Different production companies choose to have their way of estimating the cost and budget for videos. At Flying Hippo, we base our cost off of our hourly rates. To find the estimation of how much time an individual project will take, we consider a lot of different elements. Mainly, the cost revolves around the concept. Will it require extensive scriptwriting and storyboarding? Do we have to travel for the location? How long will the video be? And do we need any special equipment to execute it?

Just like baking that artisan, gourmet brownie, making something really good takes time. One of the big differences between a well-done video and a video that obviously has lower production value are all of the elements (or ingredients) that go into it. It takes time to strategize and make sure it’s done right. It takes money to get the best talent, location, continuity, shooting, and editing. You may not realize how many professionals it takes to produce a high-quality marketing video- one person’s job is dedicated to just listening to the audio!

You may think, “Hey I have a buddy who has a pretty nice camera. Maybe he could shoot the video.” And he definitely could shoot it, but the result will be more like a Betty Crocker brownie when an effective marketing tool for your company is more like that gourmet brownie we’ve been talking about. You want your video to elicit an emotional response, just like the feeling you get when you eat an amazing baked good and you immediately want to share it with your friends or have them buy one themselves.

The best thing you can do to figure the cost of video? Have a solid idea of the concept and purpose of your video, and start the conversation with a credible production company. Oh, and don’t forget to preheat the oven.

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