This HDPros.net video tip answers a question we get a lot. How much does it cost to get a video produced? Well, the short answer is – it depends. The budget for a video, much like in motion pictures, is dictated by the time and resources needed to complete the project. I cover many of those factors in this episode.
“How much does a video cost?” is an open ended question. Kind of like “How much does a house cost?” Well, what kind of house? A split level ranch? A condo in midtown? A mansion with two pools and a fountain? See where I’m going here?
Video production is the same. Take feature films. Most are about two hours long. But one can cost a couple million, or, like the movie Avatar, one can cost several hundred million. Why is one film 100 times more expensive? It is all about what it took to create that two or so hours of film.
There are many things that affect the budget for your video project. However, THE most important factors that will determine cost are the time it will take and the resources needed. Another way to put it, is how complex will it be to create your vision?
What makes things complex? Things like shooting on multiple locations. Or using complex equipment like film dollies, a crane, Steadicam, or even a helicopter. Post production can be complex if your video is heavy with special effects, 3D models, or animation.
Complex setups most often include things you don’t see on camera, just like in Hollywood movies. But all this effort, lighting and camera equipment will make the images in your video more like a movie, or as we say “cinematic”. This increase the emotional impact your video has on the viewer. Also just like in Hollywood movies.
Before you dismiss making your video cinematic to lower your cost, keep in mind that we utilize these Hollywood techniques to make you video more engaging to the viewer. Engaged viewers write checks. Bored viewers click the back button and go to watch a video that gets them engaged and wanting to buy.
Given the unknowns of your project, unless you are dealing with a production company that has a cookie cutter approach and films all of their projects the same, most professional companies, like mine, don’t know what your video will cost until they sit down with you and discuss your needs. Much like an architect would do if you were designing a house. Then after helping you figure out what you require they will be able to determine what it will cost based upon the time to film and edit, and also the resources that will be required to film and edit.
Another factor to keep in mind is who you hire. A fellow with a camera and a tripod working out of his Prius is going to cost significantly less than a professional company with cinematic equipment. But the final product will look nothing alike. For the most part you do get what you pay for in this business.
So I’m sorry if you thought if you thought I was going to be able to give you the Holy Grail answer to how much a video will cost, because the answer is: It depends. So call me, or another video professional and discuss your needs. If you don’t know how to choose one, we have a video for that too!
Cinematographer & HD Pro