HOW VIDEO PRODUCTION WORKS

Concept

Pre-production

Production

Post-production

HOW-TO FIGURE OUT VIDEO PRODUCTION COST

Pricing out is somewhat of a challenge. It really depends on what you are looking for, how much production work goes into the idea and other elements.  I know, that's not very helpful when you’re planning a budget and trying to figure out your video production costs.

Maybe that’s why so many production companies don’t advertise their prices. We at least try to give some ballpark figures. We’re also happy to prepare a quote for you anytime you’re planning a budget. 

While you’ll probably still have to contact us or another video producer if you have specific questions, our hope is that this page will give you more insight into what goes into producing a video so you know where your money is going.

 

 

OUR “DAY RATE”

Before we jump into cost, we feel it's important to explain why we don’t charge by the hour. Often times when asked to do a 1 or 2-hour shoot we have to explain to clients, quality video production is much more than that. There are many pre and post-prodution actions that takes place. This could include: travel time to and from the shoot, color correcting the video, and converting the files into something clients can use. In short, video production takes a lot more than an hour.

We charge by using day rate, $1,200/day, or sometimes a half-day rate of $600 – $800. 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.

The most frequent question we get is how much does a 3-minute video cost or a 60-second video? Regardless of the video length, the answer is always… it depends.

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 produce. We’ve had 3-minute videos that took just a few days to produce costing about $3,000. 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.

 

Let's walk through the process for how we breakdown our time to help you understand it better.

 

 

 

        CONCEPT PLANNING

The first thing is getting an idea of what story the client wants to tell to make sure we’re producing what they need to meet their goals. By this point, we’ve already had an initial client meeting before preparing a video proposal, so concept planning meeting typically only takes about 30-minutes to 1-hour and can be done in-person or over the phone. Then the fun begins with: 

  • -an outline of the approach to the video

  • -a discussion with client on the subject matter and raw video that must appear in the video

  • -a discussion how many on-camera interviews will be conducted; select interviewees and discuss plan for contacting and coordinating each person

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        PRE-PRODUCTION

Next, we start to piece together all the things we’ll need during the shoot. This can take anywhere from 1-2 hours. Preparations include:

  • -create any necessary shot lists (based on the concept meeting)

  • -prepare interview questions (based on the concept meeting)

  • -prepare equipment (checking/testing the camera, lights, media cards, tripod)

  • -setting calendar dates for video shoots

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         VIDEO SHOOT

The day of the video shoot is the most obvious to people because we’re on-site so what we do is on display. This is a big part of the “it depends” aspect of things. How many video shoots will be required to capture what we need for the video? 

It’s talked about and decided in advance when the video proposal is being prepared. Sometimes everything we need to shoot is in a single location and all available on the same day. Perfect.

On the other hand, sometimes there are multiple locations involved, someone critical to the video needs to be interviewed on a different day and so on. All of these things add-up.

As far as the shoot itself, here are some of the things we do:

  • -videographer visits each site to shoot everything on the shot list

  • -videographer also shoots other raw video he/she finds relevant or beneficial

  • -videographer interviews predetermined people

Most of TMP's videos only require a single videographer, but there are cases where additional resources are needed or requested. We have helped coordinate things like additional videographers, sound technicians, an live online streaming coordinator, a teleprompter operator, hair and makeup and so on. Adding professionals like these does increase the production’s cost.

 

 

        POST-PRODUCTION

This is where a lot of the time gets spent that the client never gets to see. It’s the other “it depends” variable. How much time gets spent in post-production varies depending on the amount of raw video there is to sift through and how complicated the story is to tell. It could take anywhere from 2-5 days in most cases. Some of the things that need to be accomplished are:

Logging Raw Video

  • review all the raw video that was shot

  • transcribe sound bites from interviews

Script Creation

  • notes regarding sound bites and raw video are reviewed

  • sound bites are selected, then arranged into story form to create a script

  • script is emailed to client

  • minor changes are discussed by phone, changes requested by client are made

Video Edit

  • edit video according to the approved script

  • relevant graphics are created

  • preview video is provided to client for viewing

  • minor changes are discussed by phone, changes requested by client are made

Wrap

  • digital files are created

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Considering all production phases-concept planning, pre-production, video shoot, and post-production, most projects take 4-5 days to complete, costing about $5,000 – $6,000

Price is always agreed to in advance with our clients, so they know what the cost is before production begins an dare asked to pay a 50% deposit.

 

LOW-COST VIDEOS

We do have a low-cost option for small business owners with smaller marketing budgets. We produce fantastic short videos for about $1,000.

Those videos are all about keeping a very strict production schedule. From beginning to end, the entire production needs to take us less than a day to create the video. We do that with a 1-hour video shoot, during which we ask a string of questions leading to answers that essentially create the script on its own, then we edit everything together.

Basically, these clients relinquish that control to us and trust we will deliver a video that’s on-message. Clients do not get a script to approve or a preview video that allows them to ask for changes in the final video.

This cuts down on a lot of the time it takes us in post-production.

If a client wants editorial control in one of these low-cost videos, they can purchase it for an additional charge. 

 

 

Those basic steps for how the videos are produced should be pretty universal from company to company. Of course, every production company prices things in their own way, but that’s how we determine the cost of a video.