The Low Down on the Costs of Video
Ah, the age-old question of how much will my video cost? Now, most film companies will respond with a ‘how long is a piece of string’ style answer. The reason being is that films have lots of variables such as kit, production time, post-production time, extras such as actors, voice-overs, location costs and more!
So no one should blame them for shrouding their pricing in mystery. However, what about you guys. As the consumer, you just want a rough ballpark figure so you can work out whether video is viable for you or whether you need to go down the DIY route.
Within the video production world there are 3 main categories of production companies; Freelancer, Small business, Large production house.
Most video companies start out here. 1 or 2 guys or gals who are looking to make a name for themselves. Usually fresh out of University or film schools, these are people who have zero overheads. Typically, young and free, working for the experience and some money to see them through.
The going rate for a Freelancer is around £200 – £350 per day.
This is a fantastic rate for marketers who don’t have a huge budget. So if you’re looking for a cheap avenue then this could be perfect for you.
There are a few things to be aware of though. Freelancers always come with risk. They don’t usually have long track records so be sure to choose someone who perhaps comes with a recommendation. Speaking of risk, always make sure they have the relevant insurances in place. Having a camera op with no insurance is a risk I doubt you want to take.
Also, these guys are cameramen and editors and typically, not much more. I don’t mean that in a negative sense, I just mean that if you’re looking for marketing strategy or even strong interviewing skills, this might not be the right choice for you. Be prepared to do some, if not all of the legwork with regards to producing a shot list, timetable for the day, questions for any interviews etc. Also, whilst this is a great day rate, find out what is and what isn’t included in the price. Do you get a round of changes to the edit or is that charged at another day rate? Are you providing lunch? Can they guarantee a turnaround time? Who is sourcing the music?
Small companies make up the majority of the market and each company will charge a slightly different rate and provide slightly different services.
For a company promotional film, 1-day shoot, we found prices ranged from £1500 – £2500 (some of these were plus VAT).
Ok, so now we’ve got a bit of a step up. What’s included in these prices though?
Re-edits were included in the price. There was always a pre-session before filming which is where most companies take relevant information such as the content of the film and what you’re trying to achieve.
Things to look out for, are they charging any extras such as travel and expenses? Are they helping the content and ideas of the video? Again, who is sourcing the music? Will they have music made for you or will they buy royalty free stuff?
The pros of spending that bit extra are that these companies usually have a great track record (which can be verified via reviews and their own case studies and testimonials) of delivering projects on time, on budget and to standard. Small companies do tend to have a process they follow and if this process isn’t clearly laid out, that should be a bit of a warning sign for you.
Small companies should typically have insurances but more than that, they should have a team. A team means that unlike your one-man band freelancers if something happens on the day of the shoot i.e. someone gets ill, the small company should be able to arrange some cover. If your freelancer suddenly has family problems to deal with, that will directly affect the delivery of your project, and that should just not happen in a small company.
So how do you choose? Ultimately, look at everything that’s included, look at their previous work but additionally, it’s extremely important that you meet them in person. Getting a feel for their personality and whether or not you will get on with them should be a huge deciding factor. You won’t be able to produce a fantastic video if you aren’t able to freely and openly communicate with them and that all stems from building a strong relationship at the start.
Large Production companies
These are the companies doing the coca-cola adverts, the John Lewis adverts and so on.
These companies have a huge wealth of experience in writing, storytelling and big productions. Why’s that important? Well, a big production will consist of lots of variables and having experienced people who know how to manage people, venues, props, costumes etc will actually save you money in the long run. These companies will of course always shoot on the best cameras with the best setups and a lot of the time, they will look to include studio setups.
So do you get a lot for your money? In most cases, you do get what you pay for however, it is worth reviewing the costs to ensure you’re not just paying for a name. Ensure you’re comfortable with the process and make sure you understand what you’re actually paying for.
Keen to get started and fancy chatting it through with our team? Book in a meeting with Sunjay or give us a call on 0117 259 1914.