Video excellence - Made With Purpose

How much does a corporate video cost?It is easy to get frustrated with a video production company when you ask: ‘how much corporate video production cost?’ and their answer is: ‘well, it depends’. Frustrating because you just want an answer but also because it really does depend on so many factors.

 

In this article, I will provide a comprehensive guide to the elements of corporate video production that have implications upon how much you can expect to pay. It will be packed with tips to help you on your journey with corporate video production – including how to work with production companies to get the most out of the experience.

 

It goes without saying that video is cheaper and easier to create than ever before. You could shoot a video on your iPhone, edit it on an app on your iPhone and publish to YouTube via your iPhone. If that method captures the look and feel you are after, and communicates your message perfectly, then why not.

 

Despite how accessible video recording technology has become, it doesn’t make everyone an expert. It is easy to see the difference between a video with experience and thought behind it, and it’s amateur counterpart. This post is for those of you who want a polished end product and understand that working with a professional production company is the best way to achieve this.

 

Costs of planning a corporate video production

 

Corporate video plan and set up costings

*Please bear in mind that most productions do not require all of the above. Please see main table below.

 

Even before we get to pre-production, some thought and planning for the whole production has to take place.

 

Concept & treatment development

An Account Director will be allocated to your project to work with you on developing a video concept that meets your aims. This process will conclude with a treatment that is an overview of a) your aims and objectives b) the desired video content.

 

Project planning

At this stage, preparations are also made in terms of project management. Any imminent deadlines will be discussed so that they can be incorporated into the project plan. The Account Director will begin forecasting how much work the video might require (e.g. how many days filming and editing) and can start drafting a budget so that you understand the costs associated with your requirements so far.

 

*KEY POINT: The costs associated with this stage will depend on the scope of your project and the amount of support you need to define what the goals of your video are and how these goals will be reached.

 

Costs of corporate video pre-production

 

corporate video pre-production costings

*Please bear in mind that most productions do not require all of the above. Please see main table below.

 

The pre-production process is multi-faceted – there are the creative elements and there are the organizational elements. What both elements have in common is that if you don’t put the effort in at this stage, you are likely to waste a lot of time and money in the production and post-production stages of the project.

 

Storyboard design & illustrations

Storyboards are vital. They are an early opportunity to generate a visual of the video, scene by scene, so that you and the video production company can be sure you are on the same page. Looking at a storyboard can help you and the production company to anticipate potential problems with the flow of the ‘story’. The storyboard can also help you identify any gaps or omissions in your message.

 

This storyboard is from an animation we produced for a client:

corporate video production storyboard costings

Here is the video that the storyboard became:

 

The development between the two is clear to see.

 

Ultimately, storyboards are about expectations. Rather than blindly entering the production process, you have a visual reference for what you are setting out to achieve.

 

The skills of the Director (and sometimes Concept Artist) are essential at this stage. Their experience will enable them to identify the key elements from your treatment that can be translated visually to get your message across.

 

*KEY POINT: the fees for pre-production will be set in the early stages. It is the production company’s responsibility to keep to budget while creating the perfect blueprint for your video. A feedback process will be written into the project plan so that you can comment on the storyboard – appropriate amends will then be made.

 

Graphics design & visualisations

If your video is going to include any graphics, this needs to be discussed and planned for in pre-production. It may be that you have pre-existing graphics of appropriate size and quality that can be incorporated into your video. However, there is also a chance that you will need custom graphics to be designed for your video.

 

At this stage, the graphic designer will produce some graphic options for you, so that you can understand your options and decide what look and feel you would like for your video.

 

*KEY POINT: Whilst ‘editing’ and ‘graphics’ are not the same thing, they are charged at similar daily rates and are intertwined in terms of process. Some high quality 3D graphics take more expertise and will be charged at different rates – depending on requirements.

 

*KEY POINT: If you want to cut corners by providing your own graphics, be sure that they are of a high enough quality/resolution for HD video – low quality graphics look cheap and nasty.

 

Costs of casting for a corporate video production

corporate video production actor costs

If your video is going to include any ‘talent’ e.g. a presenter, actors or a voiceover artist for narration, we will support you to cast for the best person/people for the job. This obviously has to take place in pre-production so that the right people are ready for your shoot dates.

 

Casting involves putting out a casting call to attract interest from talent who meet your specific criteria. As an example, you might be looking for “a mature male presenter with an authoritative tone”. Jobs like this get a lot of interest and so a Casting Director will have to filter through many applications to narrow them down to the most appropriate.

 

Casting sessions

Casting sessions are essentially auditions. The most appropriate applicants will be invited into the studio (or other location) to read through your (draft) script. This will be recorded so that you can watch it back and make a decision as to who is most appropriate for your video.

 

Casting takes time – but it can be worth it is if means that you find the faces/voices that best represent your business.

 

Known talent

The other option is to approach talent who you are already aware of and want for your video. Costs will therefore depend on what the talent (or their agency) normally charges. Some actors/presenters charge different amounts depending on usage – i.e. where the video will be shown. These are costs that you won’t necessarily know when you embark on the video production process – but that you should be prepared for.

 

*KEY POINT: The cost of any actors, presenters and voiceover artists really does depend on their experience, the usage and how in demand they are. However, more expensive doesn’t always mean better. If you are trying to keep costs down, look in-house. There may be some great talent in your staffing team…We created the video below for Safestore UK. They used their staff to present their videos and the result is great – authentic performances by approachable and likeable people:

 

Costs of corporate video production planning

 

Whilst all of the creative magic is happening, the Project Manager or Production Manager will be planning the logistics of the next stage of the process – production. The key areas that have to be organized are:

 

a) Times and dates
b) Places (locations)
c) People (crew, talent, clients)
d) Gear (filming equipment)
e) Costume and props
f) Facilities (food, drink, W.C’s)
g) Permissions
h) Plan B’s (for when things might go wrong)
i) Communicating all of the above with call sheets/schedules

 

When displayed in a list like this, it seems so easy. But realistically, the process of organizing for a shoot is actually time consuming and complicated. It is about getting a team of people together, with all of the things they need to do their jobs properly, at the same time and place, with the same idea in their heads about what will be happening.

 

The Project Manager (or Production Manager) line in the budget is therefore essential to guarantee an organized and professionally run shoot.

 

*KEY POINT: More days filming naturally means more days planning (and more to pay).

 

Costs of a corporate video production

 

Corporate video production studio costs

*Please bear in mind that most productions do not require all of the above and often only require a few hours of studio time which means that the costs are greatly reduced. Please see main table below.

 

When budgeting for production, it is easiest to break up the budget into days. You will see in the budget template above that this is a budget for a day of production in the studio.

 

Here is another version for a day of production on location:

 

corporate video producton location costs

*Please bear in mind that most productions do not require all of the above. See main table below.

 

Costs of a video production shot on location

You can see that the main difference between the two is the studio fee and the location fee. The studio will generally be more expensive, but that does depend on the location. Filming at Brighton Pavilion wouldn’t be free, for example, but shooting at your own premises probably would be.

 

Crew & equipment

The number and nature of crew needed may vary depending on what you are filming at the studio or on location. How many cameras are needed (and therefore camera people) will obviously have an impact. Lighting can also impact your bottom line to different extents, depending on requirements.

 

Number of days filming

It is clear that the number of days required for filming has a massive impact on the budget. Not only because of the costs associated per day, but also because this will impact upon the amount of footage to be looked at and cut for the edit.

 

This video will give you a sense of the amount of activity that can take place in a studio in the space of a day:

 

*KEY POINT: Production costs really do depend on what is required. Studio or location, how many cameras, how many crew, green screen or other environment… the list isn’t endless but it is long. These elements will be established by the Director and Project Manager in the pre-production phase of the project.

 

Costs of corporate video post production

Corporate video post production costs

 

 

*Please bear in mind that most productions do not require all of the above. See main table below.

 

The post-production stage is when all of the pieces are assembled to create a video that resembles the plan agreed in pre-production. Post-production costs will be kept to budget if the pre-production and production phases have been conducted professionally. The value of a professional approach is undeniable here. Amateur videographers are more likely to capture reams of useless footage (“just in case”) in the production phase. This means that the editor will have a job sifting through the footage to find the best bits in order to piece some kind of coherent video together. This is not fun and will also not result in the best final product.

 

Editing & ‘extras’

As well as the core editing costs associated with a project, there is also the potential for ‘extras’, depending on your brief. As mentioned in the pre-production section, graphics are likely to be an additional element in your video. You will have seen some early visualisations of the graphics in pre-production, when making your selection. Post-production is when these graphics are created in full – customized to your video content.

 

Other ‘extras’ to consider are any animation, music/sound effects, and voiceover. The costs associated with these features with vary, but if you have worked with a good video production company, they shouldn’t come as a surprise and should have been planned for in pre-production.

 

*KEY POINT: Costs for digitizing, rendering, uploading and exporting to different formats may be hidden in the editing costs, or they may be added as an extra line item. It will be discussed early on in the project what formats you would like your finished video to come in. Another cost associated with this is for hosting. You may want to host your video yourself, or you may want the video production company to host it for you.

 

Additional corporate video production budget elements

 

corporate video production miscellaneous costs

 

There will always be that section in the budget for ‘miscellaneous’. There may also be other video production costs that we haven’t covered in our budget template. Here are some of the possibilities:

 

  • Language/translation – if you need your video to be translated, or need to have different versions in different languages, you are looking at significant additional costs. Again, it all depends on the length of your video and the length of the text to be translated. If this includes having presenters who speak the different languages, you are looking at additional costs again – anything between £100-£500, depending on the presenter and the language. If you have to shoot the video multiple times to account for different languages, you could be looking at adding up to 80% of the original fee.
  • Subtitles/closed captions – if you will be hosting your video on your own YouTube channel, this is something you can do yourself. If you want the subtitles embedded in the actual video file, you are looking at £100-£300 depending on the length of your video.
  • Licensing fees – fees can apply to talent (actors, presenters etc, as mentioned above) but also to music. You/the production company can source and buy the rights to very high quality tracks from sites such as AudioNetwork and iStock Music. Prices can range from £30-£300.
  • Stock footage – if you require stock images or footage for your videos then these will also need to be sourced and paid for. Prices vary and can range from between £5-£100.
  • Original music composition – if you can’t find stock music, or have very specific requirements, you may opt to have music composed especially for your video. Prices will depend on the composer and your requirements but you are looking at starting prices of £600 plus.

What you can expect to pay for different types of video

In the table below, we have provided ranges for the total you can expect to pay for three of the most popular video types – a web presenter video, a corporate video and a video animation.

 

Before you zoom into the figures, take note of the following.

 

Cost of web presenter type videos

The figures below are for standard web presenter videos: a 30-60 second web presenter video with script writing support, and the potential for some customized features such as music and graphics. There are special effects that can added to a standard web presenter video which would incur additional costs.

 

You can view examples of web presenter videos here.

 

Cost of corporate video production

The figures below are based on a corporate video production, which involves one full day of filming with a crew of four. It also includes a day of editing with additional graphics and music/sound effects. You can see that there are elements that you can take or leave – e.g. a make up artist.

 

The Safestore video above is a good example of a corporate video that fits into this category. Another example is the video below that we made for Maybelline:

 

Cost of animated explainer videos

The price ranges are for an animated explainer corporate video production, which is between one and two minutes long (obviously the length of the video will determine how much actual animation has to be created). These figures are based on having one voiceover artist for the video and also music. Also, note that the main costs have fallen under post-production (as, besides the voiceover, graphic animation takes place in front of a computer using post-production facilities).

 

Here is an example of an animation that has the core features outlined in the budget breakdown:

 

video production price range table

Please note that all of the prices in this table are intended as a guide. Each video we work on is unique, as are our clients, and we will work with you and your budget to maximize the potential for your corporate video production ideas. We have offered price ranges on popular video types, but the range of videos that can be created is endless. If you have a question about a specific video idea, please contact us or call us on +44 (0)845 003 8359 and we will work with you to create a bespoke quote based on your requirements.

 

How you can help the production company get you some answers around costs…

 

collaborating with a video production company

 

So, I have bombarded you will all of the detail, and you are still wondering how you can find out how much it will cost you, precisely, to make a 3 minute video. Here are some tips to help you get quicker answer:

 

1) Share a comparative example

Find a video, similar to what you would like, and ask the production company to give you a price on that basis.

 

2) Be transparent about your budget

If the corporate video production company knows what you can spend, they can tell you what the possibilities and limitations are for your video. They can also work to fit into your budget.

 

3) Keep an open mind

Don’t limit the possibilities for your corporate video production by being closed-minded about what you want. Seriously, let a few ‘creatives’ get their hands on your project and you are likely to have your mind-blown.

Looking for a company to help you create a great corporate video? We’d love to help – take a look at our services and get in touch!