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HOW-TO FIGURE OUT VIDEO PRODUCTION COST

"IT DEPENDS!"

Have you heard this phrase whenever you have asked for the cost for your video?? If yes, then congratulations.. you have came to the right place to dig deep into this phrase and know the "exact answer".

"IT DEPENDS!"- is obviously not very helpful when you’re planning a budget and trying to figure out your video production costs.

So, let's break it down together.. shall we??

<Spoiler alert> Although you may have to contact me or any other video producer if you have specific questions, my hope is that this article will give you more insight into what goes into producing a video so you know where your money is going.

No. 1- Minimum rate for the tech team and equipment

This is the standard per DAY rate that a production team will charge which includes their own fee (technical/creative crew) and the equipment (Camera/ Lights/ Sound) they are going to bring during the shoot.

Budget may also vary when you want a Red/Arri Camera OR Canon 5D/Fs7 Camera.

We charge by using day rate, $1,200/day. Basically, we figure out how much time will be spent on a project (how many days), then we apply the day rate to come up with our total cost.

I have heard few of my new clients asking me questions like

"How much does it cost for 3min video.. or 60sec video?"
OR

"I believe a 60Sec video may cost less than 3min Video?"
Regardless of the video length, the answer is always…it depends… and here’s why.

Let’s use the 3-minute video as an example. The finished video might be 3-minutes, but each 3-minute video can vary greatly in how long it takes to shoot. We’ve had 3-minute videos that took just a few days to produce costing about $4,000. We’ve also had a 3-minute video take nearly 2-weeks to complete costing over $10,000. It all depends on what has to be shot and how much time we’ll need in post-production.

Allow me to walk you through the various phases of the video production.

No. 2- The Concept

The concept for the video plays very crucial role in closing on the cost for the video. If the concept demands talent - known face - Then obviously the budget will be more as now it includes the talent's fee.

Similarly, if the concept demands a shoot in an exotic or a specific designed location, 3D/2D animation or having specific kind of look for the talent (period look) etc. Then it will impact on the cost for the video.

No.3- Days of Shooting

Regardless of the duration for the video. If the story line/concept demands 4-5 days of shoot then it will impact on the costing. Or if the story can be shot within 4-5 hours then only the minimum daily rate will be given to the crew.

Having said that post production also plays a pivotal role.. which brings me to point

No. 4- Post Production

As you may know till now, that post production is not just cutting and placing the shots to make a seamless video. The number of days in editing, 2D/3D graphics designing, finalizing the video, Voice over and color grading (DI) also play a role.

Normally the basic video editing and color grading may cost somewhere around 200$- 500$.

The universal "IT DEPENDS!" can come again, if you may ask me what about 3D Animation. Reason being, 3D animation offers a wide spectrum in terms of 3D modeling, texturing, lighting etc. Also here the duration for the video plays an important role.

BREAKING DOWN YOUR VIDEO PRODUCTION COST

These basic steps for video production is pretty universal from company to company. Having said that, every video production company prices things in their own way, but that’s how we determine the cost of a video. 

I hope this at least gives you some understanding behind the process.

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