How much does a video production cost?

One of the most common questions presented to videographers is “How much does a video cost?” “Well, it depends.” We know it’s not exactly the answer prospective clients want to hear. Before we explain why, rephrase the question to; “How much does an automobile cost?” 

Well, it depends. Is it a car, truck, SUV, or motorcycle? What’s the make, model, or sub-model? What year was it built? Is it new or used? How many miles are on it? What color? What style of trim? Does it come with optional appearance, performance, or technology upgrades? 

Similar considerations affect pricing of a video production. We’ve done simple productions that cost $200. Others around $500. Some longer and more intensive productions can cost $1,000 or $2,000. We’ve done $15,000 projects as well. So… it depends…

In a world where everything is online and advertised with a set price, many consumers have difficulty understanding the pricing structure in video production. Most companies don’t publish their prices and there’s certainly a reason why… every project is different! 

At Tampa Bay Video Service, we believe in being transparent with our customers. With that, comes with educating the customer on why their project costs what it costs. Like with cars, there are numerous considerations that affect the price of your production…

How much prep time is needed? How much time will be spent reviewing the script, storyboarding, planning and logistics, evaluating the shoot location, learning about the subject matter, hiring and scheduling staff, and prepping the gear?

How much gear is needed? Do you need multiple cameras, multiple microphones, a steadicam, jib or crane, sliders, supports, drones, cabling, lights, backgrounds, or tents. Does any gear need to be rented for this shoot? 

Where is the location and when? Is it in a controlled environment such as a studio or in public? Is it in an open business, public street, or empty field? Is the location easy to transport gear and crew to? What about time of day or weather? Are there any hazards?

How long will the shoot be? Will it take an hour, two hours, four hours, eight or more? Multiple days? How long is set up and break down going to take? Will the crew need a lunch break? Is the shooting location flexible with overtime or reshoots? 

How many crew members are needed? Will the production require a second camera operator, audio recordist, production assistant, separate editor, voice over, or even actors or a host?

How long will it take to edit? How much footage was captured? How many cuts or transitions needed? Are graphics, music, or stock media needed? Are custom animations needed? How long do you want the final video to be? When is the deadline? 

Where is the final product going to be viewed? Is it on your website, social media, or privately viewed? What about on television or large screen? Are their specific encoding or file format specifications? Any legal or licensing considerations? 

Who are you as the customer? Are you an individual, small business, medium business, large business, or non-profit? Are you a new customer or returning customer? Have you referred another customer to us or reviewed us? What is your budget? 

Who is your video production company? What rates video production companies set may depend on their experience, reputation, workload, quality of gear, and overhead. A production directed by Quentin Tarantino will cost more than a recent college graduate. 

Only after the video production company has an understanding of what you want out of your video, they can provide you a ball park of how much this will cost. It not so much that companies “make it up” as they go along, it’s that every project is “made to order.”

Keep in mind that any requests or change in specifications made by a customer may result in added cost to the project if they weren’t requested before a price was agreed to. Even simple requests could add hours in editing time for a project. 

Ultimately, make sure you discuss the project in writing and provide the videographer an example of what you’re looking for, if available. That way, both of you are on the same page and you receive the most accurate quote possible!