A picture is worth a thousand words, so it follows that a video can be priceless when promoting your business.
So how much is it going to cost?
Well in this article I will attempt to answer this as concisely as possible. First there are a few details that need to be considered.
What is your budget, and what return do you expect on your investment?
Most production companies pricing structure is based on a day-rate, so we need to estimate the amount of time each stage of the production will take. Like any business we also have overheads and additional costs to factor in, e.g. Premises, insurances any additional crew, specialist lights, actors etc.
Where we differ from other production companies is our focus on the quality and impact your video will have. This is your businesses time to shine and we want you to get a return on your investment.
We will help you understand what you need from the video, not just give you what you want. We will challenge your brief, ask questions that expose that need, and bring our knowledge and experience to make that happen.
With this in mind being up front with your budget from the outset is extremely helpful.
Factors that affect corporate video production costs:
- Experience: We have been making videos for the corporate sector since 2012 and in that time have made over 450 videos for a huge range of clients.
Costs: Our day rate is £150 per crew member. On most shoots we recommend having 2 camera operators and a sound man. However this does not mean much until we can work out how much time a project will take to complete.
- Concept / Script / Storyboard – What do you need the video to do? What measurable business objective are you trying to achieve? How is this video specifically going to achieve your objective? Without a clear purpose or focus on the end result we’d be wasting your money. Any craftsman will tell you how important the planning stage is on any job and it is no different in the production of corporate videos.
Costs: Our initial pricing will always include a pre-production stage. This will cover time spent by us researching your sector, looking at your competition and devising a video that will stand out in a crowd. It will also cover the costs of sending our team to your company to meet you and present our ideas to you as they develop over the course of the pre-production stage
- Length of the Video. A common piece of information we are regularly offered from the initial contact is a guess as to what the duration of the video will be. This is occasionally helpful however, most web videos will tend to be a couple of minutes long though it can vary depending on what the video is intended for. What really makes a difference is the content. A video which runs for 10 minutes filmed from one angle say of a talking head requires only limited editing and so is much cheaper to create than a 30-second TV commercial featuring multiple shots, actors, animation exotic locations, explosions etc. Furthermore one of our most frequent challenges to a given brief is the duration.
Costs: It used to be the case that you would expect to pay £1000 per minute. Technology has moved on now and so this is no longer a relevant figure as the equipment needed is much more affordable and the editing process a lot more streamlined. Furthermore it is ludicrous to price in this way as where is the creativity, the research, the passion, the originality or the brief challenge?
- Editing/Graphics. Editing is where all the pieces of the jigsaw are combined. It is at this stage where a skilled editor can hugely increase the value of your film, particularly an editor who has experience of editing corporate films. The importance of time spent at this stage cannot be overstated. I truly pity the job of the editor when hundred of gigabytes of video are dumped in front of them! This is skilled labour, and time is needed to get it right! To and save money in this stage is a false economy.Most videos benefit from a small amount of graphics work. For example an animated version of the company logo, or some charts and graphs brought to life, assets like text and graphical iconography. Some videos can be completely animated. However if you want high-end 3D animation it can cost thousands of pounds depending on the complexity and skill required in the project.
Costs: Our editing days are charged at £200 per day. Most graphical and animated assets can be created in-house at our day-rate, whilst any high-end 3D animation would be sub-contracted to one of our trusted partners, with us as project managers.
- Actors/Presenters. Does the film need professional presenters, actors or models? Not everyone is good on camera and/or is there a requirement for scripted/acted scenes.
Costs: Presenters, models and actors can range anywhere from £50 per day to £500 per day or more depending on experience, demand and usage costs.
- Camera. The camera that is used to shoot your corporate video can make a huge difference in the finished quality and usage. The technological advancement in film and video is incredible and has opened up huge possibilities for less money. We have number of in house full HD and 4K cameras that we use on most jobs and will not cost you any extra in hire fees. However if specialist cameras are required such as super slow motion cameras or underwater cameras there may well be additional charges.
Costs: The type of camera used in the production would be directly related to the required output, and would be explained and priced accordingly.
- Equipment. We have a wide variety of equipment available for each shoot, which covers camera kit, sound kit, lighting etc. However, with each shoot comes different needs. When there is a need for additional kit, we price it up accurately at the beginning, and would explain why it is needed.
Costs: Additional equipment costs depend on what’s needed. An example could be a camera lens, which would cost £50-£100 per day.
- Crew. Have you ever seen a film set? There are lots of people. Most of whom don’t seem to do anything! Well, most of the corporate videos we create at Aglow Films don’t require a crew of more than 3 people (occasionally 1 is enough) but again it is dependent on the complexity of the shoot and you may require more. Concept videos like commercials will often require many more people to help with the logistics of the shoot.
Costs: As I said at the beginning we charge £150 per day per member of crew. In most cases we find that 3 really is the magic number. This would be 2 camera operators and 1 sound recordist. Any requirement for additional crew will be explained fully at the beginning of the project.
- Locations and production time. Where are you shooting? How long will each scene/interview/shot take? Are you shooting in one location or many? What are the specific requirements and constraints of each location? Are you indoors or outside? If you are shooting outside is weather a factor? If so what happens if it rains? How much set-up time is required? Are the locations close together? The most important factor is the total amount of time required to complete the shoot.
Costs: This cost is simple maths. Two days will be twice as expensive as one day!
- Studio shooting. Do you require the use of a sound stage or studio? Do you need a controlled environment to shoot in? Do you require a green screen? The use of a studio has to be factored into the overall cost of the production one way or another.
Costs: Studio hire can come in at between £100/day and £400/day depending on the size of the studio.
- Set, props, equipment, extras. If its not just a case of us filming you in your place of work. Are there props or pieces of equipment that need to be included as part of the costs? Do we need to rent a van, furniture, hire extras, hire a drone for an aerial shot? These all have to be factored in to the cost of the shoot.
Costs: Varies dependant on requirements.
- Stock footage: As a rule we try to avoid using stock footage. However it is occasionally necessary to use stock footage. For example a previous client had offices all over the world and wanted shots of New York, Hong Kong, Sydney etc… Now obviously it is not worth sending our crew to capture simple cityscapes when you can purchase stock footage that would do the job just fine.
Costs: Stock images can be as cheap as £20 and great quality HD stock footage can cost as little as £100, but for high quality, rare images you will pay considerably more.
- Voice-Over: Does the video need a voice-over to tell your story or drive the video? A lot of professionals will tell you that audio is 50% of your video, and its true. Video is a powerful medium but it is even more powerful if you take full advantage of audio to support what is being shown on screen.
Costs: Lots of voice artists work from home and can produce great work for almost any budget. Minimum fee would be £100, but expect to pay more for more popular VO artists – £300 for a 2 minute video is reasonable depending on the experience and demand for the specific voice artist.
- Music and sound design. Most corporate videos require a music bed, sound effects or other audio supplements. Pre-existing music tracks can be purchased from £100 plus. We provide a bespoke music composition service and genuinely believe having a piece composed specifically for your video that suits your companies identity is often the best way to go.
Costs: Good quality music for video starts as low as £100 for a two or three minute track. Custom music composed by us will cost £250 plus depending on what is required.
- Digitising, transfers, rendering and uploading. Now this is an area where the jargon abounds. None of these things are really of any interest to our clients, as they refer to processes that we go through when taking in, processing and exporting footage. The important thing is we will provide you with your film in the format that you require.
Costs: With Aglow Films, this cost is included in the price.
- Actors Usage Fees & Licencing. Dont be put off by this point. This primarily applies to television more than web videos, as a broadcast production is deemed to reach a far larger audience. Actors are technically paid twice for a job. There is a ‘Studio fee’, which equates to a payment for the actual physical work, time and prep of the service they provide. Then there is the ‘usage fee’. This is calculated based on where the media is broadcast and for how long. Hence, a TV commercial broadcast for 3 months nationwide would command a greater fee than a 1 month TV commercial broadcast in one region. These fees are negotiable with actors’ agents, and are dependent on the budget at your disposal. However actors in the Union will not work below the minimum guideline rates. Nor should they. A good actor will boost your production no-end, and they shouldn’t be undervalued. Music also usually comes with a set licence duration e.g 1 year. If we use any media assets or talent that could be subject to ongoing licensing, usage or union fees then this will be set out in pre-production and budgeted accordingly.
Costs: Varies depending on the project and talent.
How much does Corporate Video production cost?
Now you have seen most of the considerations we have to look at, here’s some hints on how to help us, help you!
Be open about the budget you have. We know telling us your budget goes against every instinct you have. Nonetheless every business has a budget and if you can declare the budget at your disposal, the business objectives you wish to carry out and the return you need, then it prevents the budget guessing game and we can all get on with working out how we can make you a fantastic video. You should not just commission the company that comes back with the lowest quote, or the one that guesses the budget you had in mind. You should be hiring the company that understands what you are trying to achieve, and is capable of achieving it as well as offering good value no matter what budget you have.
A reference video is a great place to start. The best way to get a quick estimate is to have a reference video to compare to. (I.e. “How much would something like ‘this’ cost.”) This allows us to break it down into its elements and easily share with you where the money goes!
Be open minded! Many businesses begin the video development process with: 1. A specific video type in mind 2. A prepared script and/or 3. Specific creative approach in mind. If you think of this as a mere starting point, then imagine the possibilities!