“How much for a video?”
Often times, we get calls from prospective clients asking “how much for a video”? It’s one of those questions that doesn’t have an easy answer. There is so much that goes behind video production. Length, location, quality, delivery format, graphics, music and so many other elements can significantly affect the price of video production.
“How much for a house?”
The best analogy I’ve heard in a meeting that answered the question, how much for a video was using housing pricing. How much for a house? Most people have a pretty clear idea about house prices. You can buy houses with tens of thousands or millions of dollars. It call depends on location, size, quality and so on. Video production works pretty much the same way. There is no flat price on a 60 second or 3 minute video.
“Pricing a video per finished minute?”
So what should you look for when going through variety of different quotes from different video production companies? First of all, if they have a per minute or per hour of finished video pricing, keep looking. There is no way to price video per minute. There are countless websites on line that claim to do this, but they will not be customizing the video for your needs in anyway. Why? Because let’s say your video production requires an interview with two people and requires three cameras and you want high broadcast quality with customized music. That will require a 3-person camera crew, audio tech, producer and lighting team a composer. But what if your video is just a talking head but requires fancy graphics. You get the point. Those two things are completely different. Just as two houses located in Detroit or Beverly Hills can vary significantly in price, the same rule applies here.
There is a video product for nearly any budget.
The good news is, there is pretty much a video production solution for variety of budgets. For example, we can create a music video for $2000 all the way up to $200,000. So when a client asks how much does a music video cost, it all depends of what they want. Is it a simple performance captured by one camera or is it several days of production requiring elegant sets and a large production crew.
Find a sample you like.
It is often a good idea to provide a sample online when asking for a quote. This can help the production company get an idea for the quality and style you are going after. I can really help narrow down the production crew needed as well as quality of video camera, accessories and other elements such as edit time and graphic requirements.
Ask for a detailed quote.
So when looking through a production quote, ask for details. What’s included? Are they just sending one guy with a camera to shoot your video? Is that sufficient for the quality you are going after? If budget is your main concern, this can be a solution, but often times, video production requires multiple person crew such as a dedicated camera operator, dedicated sound person, experienced director and lighting crew. The type of camera also changes the entire look of the video. They may be shooting your video with an $800 camera when for your desired look, they should be using a $40,000 camera. Experience producers know exactly what gear should be quoted for a specific project. A $40,000 camera is probably not the right fit for your Youtube video.
Don’t forget Pre-Production time.
Just like anything, video production takes some planning and creative strategy. By having an experience director or producer in this stage, it will save you a lot of headache and time. No company can simply send over a crew based on a few emails and get your message across clearly without pre-production planning. This can vary from a few hours to several days depending on the final video. Even if you have clear idea about what you want for your video, it’s a good idea to work through those ideas with a director before production starts to make sure the crew will be on the same page on production day.
What about graphics?
Most video don’t require graphics, but some can really benefit from a few to spice up the message. Graphics is another area that can change the overall price of the video. Between 2D to 3D to text based graphic or templates, there are many many options available. A good idea again is finding a sample of graphics you think will fit your message or ask for help from the director you are working with to help with the selection. A cooking show or a marketing video for a law firm will require completely different graphics both in quality and message.
Ask questions. Choose wisely.
If you are shopping around, you may be getting all kinds of quotes widely ranging in price. It is critical to look through them and not simply choosing the cheapest option. Unlike a house, a quote can be deceptive. In most cases, you can see the house in person and see if it fits the price that. But with video, you can’t tell until it’s too late. So see if the companies are offering the same type of crew, equipment and overall time. If budget is a concern, ask the other companies to provide a solution that fits within that budget. If you see a cheap quote that seems like a good deal, ask the competitors to provide a solution that fits within that budget.
At New Slate Films, we provide quotes on a daily basis for variety of different video production needs. They are all customized and all put together by producer or director that will directly work on the project. They vary significantly from project to project. At the same time, we always let the client know that the quote is based on our understanding of the project’s needs and our recommendation of what is needed to accomplish the task as we understand it. This is based on years of experience and it’s usually pretty accurate. However, we also let them know if budget is a concern, we can always fit our production within those budgets. There are cases where client’s expectations can’t be met based on their budget. This can be clearly explained to the client. But in most cases, a solution can be found. Contact us to see how we can provide you the most competitive and customized video production in Chicago and around the country.