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What Is the Cost of Video Production?

April 25, 2017 by
Borys Specjalski

What Is the Cost of Video Production?

Given that creating a video requires both skills and professionalism, it is definite that for a good one your will have to pay. You might think that the recent improvement in technology has made it easy to produce High definition videos at an affordable cost. However, affordability is relative and depends on many factors, including equipment used, region and nature of production. Quality and urgency of the services are in most cases the most important factors that weight into the cost of the video you want to produce.

What is Video Production?

Even before considering how much a producer would charge, it is essential to understand what the process a video goes through. Some people tend to think that production involves just shooting and editing the contents for viewing. To keep things simple, we can say that the video production process includes these three basic steps:

1 Writing- This involves creating an outline of the activities to capture. The contents in this case include who to interview, the shooting style and the shots to capture during the recording. Depending on the services you choose, this pre-production step is free or chargeable, since it is a consultation step towards quality of the video

2 Shooting- Many people consider this as the most important part of the video production costs. The cost in this case depends on the equipment used, the length of shooting and the charging rates of the production team

3 Editing- In order for a video to have a succession of events, editing is a vital step. In addition, the service provider should remove and combine matching clips, to give the video a smooth flow. A whole day’s shooting could be summarized to a few hours, depending on the agreement.

What Makes Up Video Production Cost

Recently, the quality of videos that a mobile device can produce is among the selling features. For people who choose to record their videos with their cellphones, the costs could even disappear completely. However, recording a corporate video or a testimonial with your own camera could defeat the whole purpose of having those videos at all. Which is to show professionalism. This is why sometimes it is better to get a professional production team that utilizes professional equipment. Depending on what equipment the team has the cost of video production may rise significantly. However, the better the equipment the better the videos. The difference in quality can actually be seen even by people who have nothing to do with video production on a day to day basis. So don’t ever be afraid to ask for video samples taken by different equipment. 

Pre-production Costs

Every event or function has an objective and aim, which the video should reflect. This defines the length of the video to shoot. However, much you would want to exclude these costs, you should rather pay the production company the right amount than have a clueless video. The pre-production costs include the location reconnaissance which allows the production team to determine the lighting requirements as well as the most suitable setup for the equipment and set elements. With the advanced technology in this sector, certain equipment suit different atmospheric conditions such as rain, bright sky, cloudy or even nighttime. The costs here are in the range of $50-150, depending on the expertise of the service provider.

Event Coordination

The more experience the team and most importantly the executive producer the better for the quality of your production. However, at the same time the more experienced an expert is, the higher the rates, since they have assurance of quality and creativity. Based on the level of expertise, the costs range from $25 up to $250, on an hourly basis. Other charges include:

1 Location permits and fees
2 The equipment rentals
3 Transportation cost, especially when the recording moves from place to place
4 Crew cost, which depends on the complexity of the shooting

Talent and post production

Depending on the type of the video you want to produce you might have to hire talents like actors or singers. And again, the more talented your hire is the more it will cost you. What you also have to include in the cost of your video is the range of video assets that you require in your clips. For instance, you have a choice between customized and licensed coverage or free stock footage available for everyone. For animations, you can choose the type (2D, 3D) and you can opt in for free stock animations or order custom made ones. All these services have different pricing based on the expertise required. Generally, the cheapest hourly cost is $55 with top brands charging up to $500 per hour of coverage. The higher the quality of images, the higher the video production cost.


This includes music, color adjustments or any feature added to enhance looks of your video. During the compression and editing, the producer has access to tools that can improve the quality of your clips. In addition to paying for the long hour required to make proper editing of the recorded clips, you will pay for additional tasks done throughout editing like color grading
Miscellaneous Costs

All projects have overhead charges that you cannot ignore. In video shooting and production, these costs include electricity, support equipment such as jibs, stead cams, Teleprompters, and staff who make the recording successful. Insurance covers and location fees can fall under this category, especially when it wasn’t discussed beforehand. It is important to put aside an average of $1000, for emergencies and any emerging events during the day. 

The Actual Video Production Cost

After combining all the above costs, a corporate video would go for an average of $1000 per minute of complete work. The intensity and complexity of the work needed for the clips can raise the cost to $4000 per minute. For many people, the big question is how to determine a reliable and affordable production partner. The simplest way is to create an order that will include clips that reflects what you want and ask for the charges. From this, you will have a range of offers to choose from. Take time to look thought the offers show reels and check what other customers say about them. 
Generally, the cost of video production can in reality depend on how much you want to spend and the quality of the video will follow the cost. However, you should never be intimidated by the cost of video production, even the smallest budget can give you a great video if the idea is right.