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Video Production Cost: 8 Factors to Consider When Calculating Costs


Video is one of the best ways to communicate a message to your audience. So whether you’re trying to recruit new employees or promote the launch of a new product, allocating a budget towards video production costs is essential.

So how much should you expect to pay for quality video production? Well, there’s not one simple answer, so we’re going to help you understand the different factors to consider when calculating production costs to give you a better idea of what the video production cost of your next video will be.

Within each level of production, there are different variables and costs to consider. We’ll break down some of the cost factors to consider for:

  • Pre-production
  • Principal production
  • Post-production

Video Production Costs to Consider

There are three main stages of video production: pre-production, production, and post-production. Each stage comes with different cost considerations, which we’ll break down below.

Pre-Production Cost Factors

This is the stage where video ideas are formed, concepts are developed, and scripts are written. If the video is going to be outside of a studio, different locations will need to be scouted for potential sets as well. Depending on the complexity of your video concept, production rates can shift.

🔭 Scope – Before you get started with any other detail, what is the scope of your project? Is it a full-length feature film that you intend to submit to festivals around the world? Budget tens of thousands of dollars. Or is it a short and simple product demonstration video? Then you can probably get by with a couple of hundred dollars.

stingline videographers filming at big venue

✍️ Scripting – Do you need help writing the script for your video? You may be able to save some money if you’ve written your own script, but if you need your video production company to write it for you, that will factor into the cost.

When deciding between these options, keep in mind that a clear and concise script can make or break your production. Having the ability to communicate your ideas clearly to your audience will ensure you get the most value from your production.

📍 Location Scouting – If you already have a set location for your video, such as your office or another company property, you don’t need to worry about this. But if your video concept includes a different setting, your video production crew will need to scout multiple different locations, which can add to the cost.

🎭 Casting and Auditions – Are you going to be hiring actors for the video? Of course, actors will need to be paid, and finding the best ones can cost money as well if you want your production team to find the talent for you.

Principal Production Cost Factors

Production (or principal photography) is where the actual recording of your video happens. In general, your production rate will depend on the complexity and style of your video. Some factors that may increase your production rates are:

🎥 Equipment – Video production equipment is a standard requirement for all shoots. Equipment starts with the camera, lights, and microphones, along with a wide variety of other equipment. If you are working with a video production company, they will handle all of the necessary equipment to ensure your shoot goes smoothly.

stringline videographers use equipment to film

The only time this can be more complicated is if you are planning on doing your project in-house. If this is the case, you will need to rent or purchase the necessary equipment, which can rack up your total cost quickly.

🪑 Set Design – Construction of a set takes time and money. You can guarantee that the more elaborate you get with the concept of your video, the more work, time, and money it will take to pull off. So before you plan on shooting a video with a monkey riding a jet ski, consider the set design costs!

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Video Crew Size – How large will your video crew need to be in order to shoot the video? To get an idea, consider the type of video you’re shooting. For example, if it’s a testimonial video with one interviewee, it may only require one to two people for cameras and an audio person. On the other end of the spectrum, shooting a commercial with multiple scenes and shots will increase the amount of crew needed and costs.

Post-Production Cost Factors

After production is wrapped up, your video production company will need to edit and piece together the content to create your video. Some factors that will contribute to how much you’ll pay for post-production include:

  • Editing time
  • Animation
  • Audio
  • Graphics

Other factors include:

🎨 Graphics and Animation – This is generally above and beyond what standard post-production costs would include. Animating characters or objects to overlay or interact with your video can add depth to the experience, but it does require additional time and resources.

🎶 Music Licensing – Music is a must-have in just about all types of video content. In order to use most music in your video, you will need to have a license which will add to your total cost.

Licensing music can range anywhere from a general subscription to a licensing company like Sound Stripe to having a custom music composition made for your video. The pricing also will range depending on the intended use of the video. If you plan on using it for advertising, you can expect to pay a significant amount more in licensing fees.

If your budget allows for it, custom music can be a wonderful addition to a video to help set the tone. Some video production companies will offer music composition as an additional service within post-production.

🧑‍💻 Changes to the Final Video – If you’re working with a quality video production company, they’ll happily take your editing notes and make minor changes and adjustments for no extra cost. With that being said, major changes to the structure of the video are often time-consuming and costly. These costs can be eliminated when you work with a video production agency that communicates expectations clearly throughout the entire process.

videographers working with minnesota vikings content

⏰ Time and Talent – At the end of the day, the biggest contributing factors can be broken down into time and talent. The longer and more complex the video, the more time it will take to complete. This is why it is important to hire talented individuals to trust with your video production. A team of professionals will ensure your video is made quickly with the highest level of quality possible.

The Benefits of Hiring a Production Team

It’s clear that video production costs can add up quickly, especially if you don’t already own all the necessary equipment, props, or editing software. If you want to get a high-quality result without blowing your budget out of the water, consider hiring a production team to produce your video from start to finish.

Some of the benefits of hiring a video production company include:

  • High-quality equipment
  • Skilled practitioners
  • Connection with local talent agencies/rosters of local talent
  • Every step, from scripting to final edits, is covered by one team
  • Faster production process
  • You save costs by not purchasing expensive equipment

Starting Your Production

The variety of video production costs can cause stress and uncertainty with so many different factors to consider, but don’t let that stop you! You deserve to work with a video production agency that’s excited about your vision and will alleviate that stress by making the process simple.

At Stringline Pictures, we take pride in our ability to turn your ideas into high-quality video, with the cost being communicated clearly from pre-production to the final edits. We’d love to talk through your video ideas and help you bring them to life. Reach out to us today for a free consultation.