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Production office in Sydney, Australia

  • amyb

How much does video really cost?

Do you want a video, but have no idea of the costs involved? Maybe you’ve allocated funds for a video but not sure how far it will stretch? Or are you a business burnt by a previous production experience that failed to deliver and blew the budget?


As a business owner myself, I get it: money matters.


If you invest in video, something else has to give. And you want the biggest bang possible for your buck, whatever level that is.


But finding that sweet spot between what you can afford and the kind of video you want is tricky.


And if you know your budget, it's often hard to know what it will afford you.


Video budgets are a variable beast with many influencing factors, I wont lie. And yes you can make video for next to nothing if you have some in-house people who are skilled and have time.


But if you decide to outsource then being clear about what you want to achieve is an absolutel must. Only then can a professional provider guage the possibilities production wise and help with solutions and affordable options.


So here are some rough budgets and the types of video it may afford you.


BUDGET: Under $100 - Selfie-style vlogs


WHAT: Direct-to-camera tips or educational insights about a subject.

WHERE: Social.

HOW: Shoot low-tech smart phone video yourself in office or on location.

PREP: Create simple bullet point scripts and lock it in before recording

TECH: Smart phone or webcam.

GEAR: Plug-in lapel microphone & tripod to improve sound and picture stability.

EDITING: Keep simple to avoid editing (unless you have skills or time).

+/- An easy and quick way to create authentic and personalized content at volume.

TIPS: Add interest for audience by going live at events & activities or doing team shout out.

If George Negus can do it, then so can you!



BUDGET: $250-$750 - low-fi promotional content


WHAT: Video spruiking your product or service for social or EDM.

WHERE: Social.

HOW: Shoot low-fi content in house (or use low cost stock footage) and engage a freelance

editor or production company to edit. It's much easier than starting from scratch.

PREP: You retain creative control and execution is down to you.

TECH: Smart phone or webcam

GEAR: Plug-in lapel mic & tripod to improve sound and picture stability.

For complex scripts invest in a smart phone teleprompt app and consider an LED

smart phone case to light up your face.

EDITING: Someone else does it.

+/- You will need to manage production. Keeps cost low yet with professional edge.

TIPS: Editors charge an hourly rate so try agree a fixed price. Avoid cost blow out by

preparing an edit script with best takes and time codes to minimize edit time.




BUDGET: $1000-2000 - Professional product or how-to video


WHAT: Promotional video with narration.

WHERE: Social and web.

HOW: Outsource to a freelance videographer or production company to film for half a day

and do a simple no-frills edit. Shoot on your premises and narrate it yourselves.

PREP: Ideation, script & producing is down to you.

TECH: Professional camera and sound equipment;

GEAR: Shooting on location or in a sound proof studio will add cost but guarantee technical

quality and efficiencies such as audible sound and well-lit / styled backdrop.

EDITING: Someone else does it.

+/- You’ll need to come up with concept & manage production, so best for those who’ve

some video experience. Keep

TIPS: Prepare a detailed shooting script to make sure you film all the elements you need.

BUDGET: $2,500 - Professional brand or testimonial story.


WHAT: Professionally produced video that tells your brand story. Features vision of premises,

product, staff and customers and includes short interviews with staff and customers.

WHERE: Social and web.

HOW: Outsource to a production company to ideate, script, plan, shoot, edit & deliver;

PREP: You give the brief and sign off on final video.

TECH: Professional camera and sound equipment;

GEAR: Additional camera gear such as drone may add to cost but lighting usually is included.

EDITING: Prod Co will oversee script and editing for you to revise / sign off.

+/- Takes advantage of external tech, skills and creativity to create evergreen hero content.

You’ll likely get some social content within cost.

TIPS: Create a detailed brief about the purpose of the video to spark ideas. Look on line to

find videos for inspiration.

BUDGET: $3,000 - Event Video


WHAT: Wrap up video of your event including excerpts of presenters, interviews with

stakeholders, vox pops with attendees, footage of key elements of schedule and

general vision across the day.

WHERE: Social, EDM & web.

HOW: Outsource to a production company to ideate, script, plan, shoot, edit & deliver;

PREP: Brief crew, arrange interviewees, approve shooting schedule & oversee edit

TECH: Professional camera and audio equipment

GEAR: Consider more than one camera to capture sessions, workshops & activities..

EDITING: If you capture entire presentations or workshops there will be large volume of material.

Consider what will add value to audience (and your video) and manage filming

accordingly.

+/- Video shot can be repurposed for social or used to promote future events. Recoup

costs by up-selling bespoke video to stakeholders or sponsors.

TIPS: Be strategic about what and when you film to reduce costs.



BUDGET: $4,500 - Advertorial or Informational Video


WHAT: Longer form video (5/10 minutes) of broadcast quality shot in a studio for use on

shopping channel or Commercial network morning show. Good for products

WHERE: TV & web.

HOW: Professional production company

PREP: Brief crew, arrange interviewees, approve shooting schedule & oversee edit

TECH: Professional camera and audio equipment - and studio set up

GEAR: Consider more than one camera to capture sessions, workshops & activities..

EDITING: Two camera shoot edited into a seamless interview

+/- Can be repurposed for socia

TIPS: Be very clear in brief and oversee script before recording for efficiencies.