Budgeting and Costs for Web VIdeo

Re-posted from Dane Frederickson

Part 2: The Costs

Everyone seems to first want to know how much a video will cost without getting into what might be involved. That’s very hard to determine in anything other than general terms because it so scalable (In many ways it’s like building a house: Q: how much is a house? A: Is it a cabin or a mansion?).  Here’s the math involved in two typical scenarios:

Scenario One: A video based on interviews with clients and company representatives with some ‘b-roll’ footage of the offices, shot in one or two days at a few locations. Video crew: a producer, a camera operator, a sound technician, a production assistant and modest but acceptable basic equipment. Lets also assume all the footage was edited together, with some music, maybe with a company logo or two in there,  in 3-5 days by an experienced and talented editor. In order to get all that work done well, without problems, you’ll probably want to work with specialists who do this all the time, which means they probably need to charge somewhere between 500-1,000 a day depending on the skills, experience, talent and seniority of each role. Adding in the equipment rental costs, this type of project would usually run somewhere between 5-20K and will yield a product that is professionally produced with a level of polish on it that clearly stands above what an internally produced video would feel like.

Scenario Two: A video produced, shot, edited and created – all by one person (with a wide variety of experience producing, directing, shooting, editing, graphics, etc.) This person will probably be better at a couple of the traits than others but will likely be professionally competent enough to offer the service with confidence. There will be certain constraints on what this person can do in one day, but they will be far cheaper on a production day in particular than a full crew. Depending on equipment, talent, experience and how quickly this person can plan, produce, edit, design graphics, etc. –  this scenario might cost between 2-8K and will probably have a noticeable difference in quality, still professional, but without the fine layer of polish that typically comes with a collaborative project produced by experts in their individual crafts.

Defining Quality

One of the biggest hurdles in determining the ROI of a project is the somewhat intangible concept of quality. It’s not easy to quantify but bad quality will affect the outcome every time. When videos are planned well, they tend to come out better. When the shots are set up, lit and framed well, you can feel a difference. When the editing is done right, your audience can be convinced, inspired, excited and even spurred to take action. When budgets don’t match up with the business goals, the end results can fall short and affect the video’s potential effectiveness, ‘sharability’ and usefulness. If done correctly, your corporate video can be a source of new business, inspiration or even pride. You want something you can stand behind.

I’ve never heard a client complain their video came out too well!

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