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Considering how much video is used to communicate and to market, have you ever wondered what it costs to make a corporate video or hire a corporate video production company? It can seem overwhelming to start because there are lots of things to consider – people, equipment, locations, budget – but the initial phase is worth it when you have a great video to show off afterwards. Today, you are in luck because we will break down what it costs to produce a corporate video along with some advice and insights along the way.

“The biggest cost surprise [for clients] can sometimes be equipment rentals. Between camera lenses, grip, electric, and lighting, things can really add up”, says award-winning filmmaker Adrien Colón from his base in Northern California. He knows what he is talking about. Adrien has worked a fair amount of different jobs on film and television sets, including the show Breaking Bad. Now he mostly directs music videos, short films, and is currently in the development process of his first feature length film. He adds that “usually the biggest expense ends up being cast and crew rates.”

A common question that we get is about the cost of having a corporate video production company create a video for your business. It is a nuanced answer that has to be given when asked. That is because corporate video production is a usually a collaborative effort. We can give loose estimates, but it is not until we know the scope of the project that we can really give a range of figures. Many people don’t know what goes into a corporate video production, and it’s not as easy as point and shoot. Let’s review a few things that must be considered in order to create a quality and professional corporate video. Some areas we go over may be more important in one corporate production than another, however to find out which areas will be most important for your video, please contact us. There are three different categories:

  • Pre-Production
  • Production
  • Post-Production

 PRE-PRODUCTION

Team working out details of upcoming shoot.Story, Script, and Point
This part can be tricky because it is the genesis of the video. What story do you want to tell? How do you want to tell it? Who will tell it? Once you begin asking those questions you realize very quickly that it takes a skilled mind to answer them. A video production company can help you ask the right questions and come up with the answer that best suit your needs. Once you get the answer to those questions, how do you articulate them on-camera?

Scripting is the next step in this process. Scripting a corporate video is another skilled position where there script writer must balance writing words that go well together but don’t sound scripted, are informative, market to consumers, are well-received, and also be entertaining. Scripting isn’t just words, it is also setting the scene. Where does the scene take place? Is it outside or is it inside? Is it day or night? How long does the script need to be? All of those questions can affect the cost of the production. We will go into how

physical space and location come into play during production. It is the script writer(s) who begin creating this world your video will live in. This is where a good corporate video production company can partner with you to get the most out of your time.

A part of this pre-production process is also storyboarding. This is a visual representation of what your corporate video will look like. The best way to describe it is to think of a comic strip with each square showing an individual event or action in the sequence.

What does it cost?
This one can be tricky to answer because of the nature of script writing. While you do want your audience engaged visually, you also want your audience to heed the message or call to action of your video. In this case you’d want to go to a scriptwriter who has a strong marketing background and understands consumers. The cost can be anywhere between $50 – $175 an hour for a marketing script and storyboards to get your corporate video off to a strong start.

Run, Screentime, Run!
Consider the length of your corporate video. Some companies want to create short stories for their brand, while others web content, and all this will determine about how long your video should be. Shorter videos are usually less expensive. To keep the cost down, think of places you don’t absolutely need to have in the script or concept. Have someone else take a look at it and give their feedback. You would hate to get to editing and realize you don’t need a shot in your corporate video that you spent a lot of money and time on to capture.

What does it cost?
Adding more screen time to your corporate video will add more cost. It is not proportionate to the time added. For example, add an additional 35%- 40% more to the cost for doubling the length of your video.

Low Boys, Barn Doors, and C-47’s…Oh My!
Once you know what you want to capture in your corporate video, you need the right equipment to do so. If you have ever stepped onto a video shoot, you will see some familiar equipment, some strange equipment and crew calling it by strange names. Our favorite example is the clothespin. On a set, it is referred to as a “C-47”.

Did you ever think clothespins would be an important part of a corporate video shoot? Probably not. Different equipment serves different functions. What kind of shots are you trying to achieve? Do you want a sweeping cinematic shot and need a crane? Will there be a need for a Steady-Cam setup for handheld shots?

Lighting will also play a big role in how much you will spend. You usually can’t forego some form of lighting. For shooting outside on a bright day, you will still need bounce boards and what is known as a “sail” to diffuse light. Lights come in all shapes and sizes and depending on the complexity of your shoot, you may need different types to accommodate the different setups for shooting. And with lights come a wide variety of gels, filters, and other contraptions that help get the light exactly where it is needed.

Sound equipment is also something that needs to be considered. Microphones, boom pole, and hardware all capture the sound. Will you also need a lavalier, shotgun, or omnidirectional microphones?

What does it cost?
This one is more difficult to nail down because every corporate video shoot is different. The amount of equipment will vary depending on the size of the production. Equipment can be rented by the day or hour. Some equipment houses will even rent you vehicles with standard equipment inside. For a day, these can run you anywhere from $300 to over $500 a day (plus mileage) and this doesn’t include the lights that can go from $25 to $250 a day, per light.

Camera Not Included
The camera does not come with the equipment packages mentioned above. In fact, there are many choices when it comes to cameras. The range can be from your smartphone to types of cameras used in Hollywood that cost over $50,000! For a corporate video production there is usually never a need to go that expensive with a camera, but you also don’t want to bring out the smartphone and yell “action!”.  A good video production company will not sacrifice quality of the final product by being too cheap and not go over the top and get a Hollywood-style camera.

You will also want to think about where this video is going to be shared. No need to rent a high-end camera if the audience can’t appreciate the quality. It would be like getting an HD channel but having a regular definition television. If you believe using actual film in a production is more true to the art form, keep in mind every second you film will be 24 frames. Basically a roll of 24 exposure 35mm film. Insert the emoji with dollar sign eyes and money coming out of its mouth here.

What does it cost?
Renting a camera by day can go from $250 a day, to well over $1500 a day for the higher end models. This usually does not include lenses, storage cards, tripods and monitors to see what the camera is capturing. This can add an additional $300 – $500 a day.

Crew
What good is the camera, lighting and equipment you acquired if you have no one to operate it? This tends to be one of the larger expenses, depending on the size of the production. Obviously, the bigger the production the more crew you will need and vice versa. At minimum, you should expect a crew of about 2-4 people. There is also a balancing on a production because the more people you have, the quicker it will go. You won’t have the camera operator adjusting the lights, but instead you will have someone dedicated to specific tasks. Needless to say, experience plays a big part in this. An inexperienced crew of four can take longer than a well experienced team of two.

What does it cost?
Think of this as you would a mechanic. The labor is usually more expensive than the parts themselves. The same goes for a video production crew-you are paying for their labor and expertise which can cost from between $50-$100/hour. The price may be higher if the crew member is part of a union.

Location! Location. Location?
This factor will also help you save or spend a great deal more. It is dependent on the script, but you should still plan for what you need. When and where does the shoot take place? How long will it take to set up and break down each shoot? Do you have one or two cameras at the ready? The cost of a video production can quickly rise, especially if the crew is bigger and if you have on-camera talent. The longer a production goes, the more it will cost.

Does your video take place in some far off tropical locale? Then count on getting the cast, crew, and equipment to that locale.  If it’s in a big city, you may need permits and the cost to get those can add up. Even in a smaller city, you will need permits or the courage to go and ask the owner of the location if you can cram people, equipment, and hot lights into their place of business for free or a nominal fee, while shooting in a big city can cost 2-3 times as much.

If location scouting isn’t for you, you can opt for a studio. Studio time also costs money and can be expensive, depending on the studio and the amenities . If your video needs a green screen or the environment to be controlled from excessive noise, light or the public, then a studio is a good choice.

What does it cost?
On-location shooting can vary wildly depending on where and when you will shoot. You can count on needing insurance  and permits for filming. The longer you shoot at the location, the more expensive it will be. Studio time can range between $125-$500 an hour.

PRODUCTION

Am I ready for my close-up?close up of camera on film set.If you want to have someone on camera for your video production, it may not be someone who works for your company. We applaud anyone who is not a professional actor standing in front of a camera. It can be stressful knowing people are depending on you to say the lines correctly and perform scripted actions. Location, cre

w, and equipment cost more money the longer you are there. It is a lot to have on your mind as you stand in front of bright lights and try not looking directly at the camera. It’s tougher to do than it looks. If you have someone who can do that for you, hold on tight to them!

Many companies hire outside talent to be in their videos. They can represent your company well because they are professionals at being in front of the camera and it shows. Keep in mind that if you are thinking of a celebrity, big or small, it will cost substantially more than an unknown.

What does it cost?
Hiring a model or actor can feel like an expense up front, but if they are able to land their lines or emit the look and feel that is being expected, than it can make the whole production go more quickly. Talent can range from $50 to $1,000 depending on experience, talent, length of day(s) and if the talent is part of a union. Keep in mind you may also need a hair and makeup professional for a shoot. Having an oily, sweaty, or unkempt person on camera can take the viewers focus away from the message. This can cost you between $25- $100 an hour.

Psst, What’s My Line?
If you decide that someone from the company will do the video, we implore you to get them a teleprompter. Nothing ruins a performance like frustration or inability to perform while others watch. It is such a demoralizing feeling. So, be kind, and please get a teleprompter.

What does it cost?
There are now teleprompting apps and devices for tablets, so this can be relatively inexpensive. There are apps from $5-20 dollars and devices to mount the teleprompter as low as $100, or you can rent a teleprompter and operator from $200 – $700 a day depending on equipment and experience.

Speak up
Maybe the talent is not on camera, but is still a major presence on your corporate video. This comes in the form of the voice-over. Having the right voice recorded in a clear and professional manner will give any video credibility.

What does it cost?
Depending on quality and experience a voice-over can be more affordable than expected with voice professionals having their own home studios that put out quality recordings. Expect to pay anywhere from $150 – $500 for an audio recording between 2-3 minutes.

Does This Dress Look Nice On Me?
Set dressing includes anything that may appear on camera. This can also include extras standing in the background. Does your video take place in a living room? You’ll need to dress the set with items you would find in a living room. Do you need a vehicle to appear on camera? Do you need an aerial shot? Will a drone work or does it need to be a helicopter? All of these things need to be accounted for before rolling the camera.

What does it cost?
This will depend on exactly what you want. Think of ways to reduce costs along the way. Will a drone shot work even though you really wanted a helicopter shot? Decisions like this can make a huge difference in the budget.

“B” more visually stunning
Cutaways, also known as “B-roll” are all the footage that fills in gaps or helps show what the person speaking is talking about. A person talking directly to the camera for three minutes about distilling spirits isn’t very compelling, but cut in footage of the distilling process and equipment used for the process, and it becomes much more interesting to view.

What does it cost?
Some video productions have a 2nd unit, which is another small crew or a single person to film B-roll.  Most productions don’t have a 2nd unit, so expect these shots to cost  about ⅓ to ½ as much as principal photography because of setting up and breaking down equipment.  However, it is not unheard of for an efficient video production company to have a person doing B-roll during principle production saving time and money.

They’re an expert at their craft
You have crew and talent working hard and it is time to break for lunch. You don’t want to send them all away from set to eat. This means you will have to cater a production. Catering is called “craft services” in the film/video industry. Have snacks, water and coffee available, and breakfast, lunch, or dinner for cast and crew.

What does it cost?
Depend on how many you are feeding, what you are feeding them and who is feeding them, it can run from the hundreds to multiple thousands of dollars.

POST-PRODUCTION

Editor working at his computer in post production.Don’t Get Too Attached
Editing is probably just as important as the rest of the production. It is a meticulous and skilled position. A good editor can do wonders with limited footage. Editors can also make the tough choices as to what can get cut out of a video and what stays in. A shot may look really cool, but if it detracts from the overall message, then it should go. Editing is truly an unsung art in the video production process.

What does it cost?
Editing, like most expenses, when it comes to a skilled position, will depend on experience. Editing can cost $50-$60 an hour and upwards of $150 an hour. Some editors may require the use of an editing bay that can cost extra.

May Be of a Graphic Nature
Graphics and animation can add a cool flair to your videos, but to keep costs down use them sparingly. However, if your video is completely 3D animation, costs do go up. Graphics that are not too complicated may be included in the cost of editing, but more complicated graphic and animations will drive up the cost.

What does it cost?
The cost of 3D animation and graphics will depend on experience and quality, and can go from $200-$600 a day.

Pitch Perfect
This one is usually a must for all corporate video. Music! Music adds an emotional layer to your video. It can create inspiration, confidence, and motivate your viewers to action. Don’t just go online and download any song to use, as you may get fined for a large amount. Instead, use music that is licensed specifically for you to use.

What does it cost?
While there is a great deal “free” music, the terms and conditions can get confusing and could wind of costing you more than you bargained for. Good sounding music can start at around $40, or you can hire a musician or producer to create a custom track that can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Which way will it go, George?
Once editing is finished, we have to mold or render our video into the format it will be viewed in. Will it be on TV? Will it be uploaded to the web? Will it be sent out as a DVD to clients? If the answer is all of them, then we will have to render them to different formats. Or does your video need to be edited for a shorter version to fit marketing standards for certain viewings on different platforms? Sometimes the cost of rendering is bundled with the editing, but if it isn’t you can expect to pay for that separately.

What does it cost?
Rendering and formatting will typically run you about $25 – $100 an hour because it is time consuming and takes a lot of computing power or additional light editing.

There are other things you will want to consider as you go through the corporate video production process that are worth mentioning.

  • Walk the Linear: Does your video have any interactivity? Will they be required to interact with the video by selecting different options?
    Additional cost: $20 – $80 an hour
  • Dub-Steps: Does your video require dubbing in a different language for different markets? Will you need captions or subtitles?
    Additional cost: An additional voice-over job or $15-$45 for captioning and subtitle
  • Stocking Isn’t a Crime: Stock footage can add to your video. They are videos that someone else created, and sell to whomever wants to use it in their videos.
    Additional cost: $5 – $500 or higher depending on quality of footage.
  • I’m Going to be Direct With You: Did you hire an agency to obtain a corporate video production company or are you working with the corporate video production company directly?
    Additional cost: The agency will charge a markup for finding a company for you.
  • Host-ist With the Most-ist: Video hosting is where your video lives. Will it be online, on a server or company that hosts videos.
    Additional cost: Some are free, others can be as low as $5-$20 a month.

Video Production is a collection of people who are skilled professionals. Depending on the skill and experience that the crew bring, the cost of a video can vary.  A corporate video production company will charge about $75-$150 an hour for those they work with on a production in the major roles during pre-production, production, and post-production.

There are so many things that go into a video production that is difficult to estimate how much one individual production will cost. There are so many variables, however a good starting point is that a 2-3 minute video can cost between $3,000-$6,000 for most video production companies. The best way to figure the cost is to start with a budget in mind. Knowing how much you can spend will let a corporate video production company know what they can do for you.

Remember, video production professionals are used to solving problems and finding ways to make budgets work.

When we take on a corporate video production, we keep cost and budget in mind. No matter what company you work with, make sure you review their previous work and see if it falls in line with what you had in mind or the quality you expect. With our collective years of experience and expertise, we have built relationships in our industry that allow us to plan, shoot, and edit video with budgets of different sizes.

Contact us today so we can begin planning a professional, quality video for you and your business.

 

 

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