Typical Video Production Costs

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The first question we normally get asked by someone considering a corporate marketing video is, “how much will it cost?” Whilst the short answer is obviously, “it depends”, we’re going to try to explain some of the cost drivers and give you a rough price range below. You can also see some of our recent videos here.

As a rough guide, a very simple film that can be shot in a day or less, on your premises, with basic music and no animations or other special treatment could cost c. £1,000-£2,000 whereas a more complex film shot over a multiple days, on land requiring filming permit fees, with animations, a voiceover and a good music track etc could easily be many times that cost.

Like any project, the best way to start is by breaking it down into manageable parts. There are three basic steps to making a film – pre-production, production and post-production. All the figures below are exclusive of VAT.

Think of this as a menu. Not every meal is a three-course meal in the same way that not every film requires every step below. A simple corporate promo may not require many of the steps below – so please don’t get scared off by the list. We’ll help you pick out the necessary activities to best communicate your messages and fit your budget. Why not talk to us ?  You’ve got nothing to lose.

  • Pre-production – the preparation stage
    • Gather requirements
      • We’ll work with you to identify and refine the key messages you want to get across.
      • Once you’ve decided on your target audience we’ll help you work out the best style and medium to reach that audience.
      • If appropriate, and there’s budget available, we’d storyboard the film. That’s an iterative process; more complex films will usually take a few versions before everyone’s happy – whereas a simple film may not need a storyboard at all!
    • Planning
      • Once we’ve worked through the desired content, we’ll identify the number of shooting days required and the best locations.
      • We’d also identify post-production requirements including edit time, any graphics or animation and colour grading required. Grading (the ‘look and feel’) is a really important step as it can give a more polished, stylised look to your film and it can also ensure a more cohesive look to archive materials etc.
      • We’ll then work through all the resource and kit required and calculate the budget along including any expenses such as travel costs.
      • We’ll also build in any third party licence costs, if, for example you need a music track or archive / stock footage etc.
      • If filming permits are required (e.g. for filming on local government land, NHS or National Trust property etc), we’ll identify any land owner fees and build them into the budget.
      • We’d normally apply for permits as soon as a client has agreed to costs as some permits can take a while to be granted by councils or other land owners.
      • When we apply for permits (which usually includes Risk Assessment / Method Statements – RAMS), the land owner may insist we conduct site recces and complete extra paperwork. Obviously if we’re just shooting at your premises, it’s much simpler!
    • Finance Management
      • We’d scope and agree the overall budget with you at this stage.
      • We’ll also identify any areas of uncertainty and build in contingency if necessary.
    • By the end of the pre-production phase, we’d have an agreed storyboard (if one is necessary) and budget. If the video and the messages are very simple then we could skip a full storyboard, thus reducing the budget.
    • Before production begins, our customers know what they’ll get, when they’d get it and how much it would cost. Pre-production is often the most variable of all the phases. Depending on the complexity of the project, whether storyboarding is required and whether site recces are necessary for RAMS, this phase could require anything from half a day to 2 or more days effort. Pre-production could typically cost £250-£1,000 excluding any third party location fees.
  • Production – making it happen
    • Filming
      • Depending on the crew size required, a typical two person crew comprising a camera operator and producer would cost around £1,100 per shooting day plus any expenses. That includes camera and also standard lighting / sound equipment.
      • If sound will be complex or constantly changing (e.g. shooting in a noisy industrial environment or sports arena etc), we’d add a dedicated sound engineer to constantly monitor the sound and ensure the best quality results. A three person crew (camera operator, producer and sound engineer) would cost around £1,500 per shooting day plus expenses.
      • If there are multiple locations (where kit will need to be moved around), equipment cannot be left in a secure location or there are filming releases to be managed, we’d add one or more ‘runners’ to make the day more efficient. Typically a runner would be c. £120 per runner per day plus any expenses.
      • Also, depending on your requirements there may be other costs such as models / actors, hair and make up, catering etc.
    • Overall, by the end of the production phase, we’ll have all the assets required to complete the edit. Many simple corporate films can be shot in one general location (e.g. your office) in one day. We may even be able to shoot a very simple film in half a day and if you’re local to us, we may be able to offer a half-day crew rate.
    • As a rule of thumb, assuming the film isn’t too complicated and requires 1-2 days shooting, you could be looking at a cost of c. £1,500 – £3,000 for production. It may even be possibly less if you’re local to us and it’s a simple production for which we can offer a half day rate.
  • Post-production – pulling it all together
    • Once all the footage is prepared, we’d then log it to identify the exact clips required and edit them together along with any music and other assets (e.g. stock footage / still images etc).
      • A typical, simple corporate promo would take approximately 1-2 days effort to log, edit and make any tweaks you may want.
      • A good, appropriate music track can really lift a film. Music licences can range from an average £30-50 for a cheap track to £200-£400 for a better, more expensive track depending on your taste, budget and intended usage. There are some good cheaper tracks available but in general, you get what you pay for when it comes to music!
      • If there’s a voiceover to be added, we’d do this once the first cut of the edit has been completed and signed off.
      • If there any graphics or animations to be added, we’d also include them at this stage.
      • The final stage is ‘colour grading’. This involves trying to make the footage look as good as possible and perhaps applying any particular ‘look and feel’ that you wanted to achieve.
      • Once the edit is complete and signed off, we’d then deliver it in the agreed technical format.
    • Costs for this stage could vary from c. £400-£1,000 depending on the complexity and crucially the desired level of music quality.

Hopefully this has given you a flavour of the cost drivers when we price a corporate marketing film. If you’d like to talk to us about a potential project, please do just contact us for an initial, no obligation chat. You’ve got nothing to lose and we’ll always try to help where we can. We work out the budgets at the start of all our projects and then we stick to them – we have lots of satisfied clients to prove it!