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How Much Does Video Production Cost?



The Wolf of Wall Street holding some money

So let's get down to brass tax shall we?


If you've ever enquired with a video production agency or videographer before you may well have emailed them with a question that looks something like this:



"Hi there.


I need a video to use on my website homepage. It only needs to be very short, 1.5 - 2 minutes long.


How much does something like that cost?"



... but I can almost guarantee that none of you have ever received a straight answer. And there are a number of reasons this might be.



It Depends What You're Looking For.


It might sound obvious but you'd be surprised how often this element gets overlooked.


To use an extreme example, if your 2 minute video requires a trip to Antigua and a luxury 65ft catamaran then it's probably going to cost a fair bit more than a talking head for firm of accountants.


There is a HUGE scope of possibility when it comes to video production and without knowing what it is you have in mind it's simply impossible to even estimate the potential costs. The number of shoot days, edit days, crew, cast, equipment requirements, miles travelled etc etc all go towards the final cost of your project, and so expecting a videographer or production agency to throw a figure at you from nowhere is both unfair on them and unlikely to produce any form of useful information for you either.


Personally, instead of disregarding companies that hesitate to cost too quickly, I would be wary of those who are willing to provide you with a figure out of the blue. With a cookie cutter estimate you're more than likely going to get a cookie cutter video and in a very crowded marketplace you want to make sure you're videography spend hits the mark and stands out or you could find you've wasted your time.



What Problem Are You Trying To Solve?


If you could go to your doctor and say, "I needs some pills", and they just gave them to you because that's what you asked for the world would be in very sorry state.


We mustn't underestimate the value of first diagnosing the problem. Like a mechanic for a car, or a doctor for a person, or a sommelier for the fish course, a video marketing agency should first take the time to understand the problem you're trying to solve.


You may think a nice video for your website homepage sounds like a great idea for your local pub business, but through the process of forming a proper brand and video strategy it may well turn out that a social media campaign highlighting your amazing food and local beers will have a much greater impact on your business.


A video marketer should be there to help you work out what is best for your business and your customer and be willing to tell you that they disagree with your conclusions.


Again, those who just take your word for it and bite your hand off to make your vision for you may not have your best interest at heart. Sometimes it's best to let the doctor suggest how best to treat your problem, which may cost a little more, but a good return on a bigger investment is far better than no return on a slightly smaller one.



Are You Buying Time Or Value?


The truth is, not all video marketing and production companies are cut from the same cloth. You're buying a piece of art. You're buying someone's creativity and experience thinking outside of the box, and how they chose to charge for their services can differ massively.


Broadly speaking there are 3 schools of thought.


Price Per Hour.

Fixed Prices.

Value Based Pricing.


Price per hour is as it sounds. The videographer will tot up how long it will take to achieve the agreed task, multiply that by their hourly rate, add expenses, and Bob's your uncle, you have a price. On the surface this would seem to be a functional way to price things, but there are some issues.


By this methodology, an editor, starting out, who takes a year and a day to edit your video together will cost you way more in hours than an experienced veteran who has got his art down to a well oiled process. Which doesn't make sense. Equally, video production is not data entry. It's a creative process that, to a degree takes as long as it takes. Therefore, pricing this way can result in the client paying more than they expected to when an edit takes longer than estimated. So all in all this is a poor way to price anything in the creative sphere.


Fixed prices have their place in certain fields. For instance, wedding (and events in general really) are a fairly formulaic area of filmmaking that fit this pricing model well. You may be presented with a selection of fixed price options to choose from and each will come with certain features depending on the spend. Fantastic.


But where I don't think this model holds water is when you need something created from scratch to fit your brand and solve a problem. Like I alluded to earlier, this cookie cutter mentality will not lead to a finished product that specifically meets the needs of YOUR brand. You're either going to be overspending where something less ambitious and more utilitarian may have sufficed, or missing out on a level of creativity in the strategy and ideas phase because the provider you have chosen cannot achieve the production quality of a larger idea later in the process because the budget doesn't allow for it.


Value based pricing is how most reputable agencies work. And simply put this means that the budget spent on fixing the problem should reflect a percentage of the perceived value of the desired outcome if successful.


If it happened today, the designer of the Nike logo would charged a lot more than the designer of your local hairdresser's rebrand. Why? Because the value of the effect of the finished product proportionately reflects the cost of its inception.


If your desired outcome of a marketing effort is to generate £100,000 more revenue over the next 12 months, you are unlikely to achieve that by spending £2000. Or else we'd all be millionaires.


Do not forget that when you hire a creative you are not simply paying for their time, but for their ideas and their intellectual property, and this is most commonly priced relative to the value those ideas can create for the end user.



So... How Much Does Video Production Cost?


Well that depends... (sorry)


But I can give you some ball park figures to work with. Just to keep you from getting cross with me!



Corporate videos - the polished face of your brand, start from around £5,000 for something concise and effective. But if you’re aiming for a grander scale with more bells and whistles, the costs could easily stretch to £20,000 or beyond.



Promotional videos - They sit at an average of £8,000 - £10,000. This can again fluctuate based on your project’s specifics, ranging from around £5,000 to £18,000, aligning with the level of customisation you’re after.



Commercial videos - think TV or high-impact online ads – start at roughly the £30,000 mark. But the sky is really the limit depending on the scope of your ambition. A significant investment, but one that can pay dividends in the right contexts.



Explainer videos - the answer to “So, what do you do?” begin at roughly £2,000 for a simple one-minute video. As with all things, more detail, longer duration, and higher quality mean a higher price tag.



Social media content - This all depends on the scope of the ideas you have, the quantity/regularity, and the amount of editing required. Get your piece to camera down in singles takes, with minimal editing and you can be looking at about £2000 for a day’s worth of iPhone shooting and processing. Need to cut together more complex material or build sets etc you can be looking at £5000 + for a handful of edits for use across multiple platforms.



Obviously these are rough figures and you will undoubtably find providers who fall outside theses estimates, but if these numbers have really shocked you then it’s not a bad idea to make that clear before you spend too long in meetings with creatives only to find yourself having an awkward conversation when the quote drops into your inbox.



There you have it!


I hope that's helpful. And if you have any questions about any of this please feel free to get in touch via our chat or email contact@pluckyfilms.co.uk and we'll get back to you.





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