How Much Does a Video Cost?


We hear this question every single day. My favorite answer to this question is another question; "How much does a car cost?"  You can buy a car from $500 to over a $1,000,000.  The real question however is "How do you want to show up to your party?"

Video Production, much like any other product has certain Hard Costs that are required for producing a video such as Cameras, Lighting, Audio, & Editing Systems.  Like cars, the cost for each of these tools can vary greatly.  A video shot on a $500 camera certainly isn't going to be as impressive as one shot on a $50,000 camera.

You also need talented professionals who know how to properly operate those tools, and those people need to be able to earn enough money to support themselves and their families so they can focus on their craft and not be distracted by a "Real Job."  You certainly wouldn't trust a Doctor whose "Real Job" is flipping burgers at the local fast food joint. What if he couldn't get his shift covered when you needed him the most?

Most people have no idea what goes into a video production, so to help you understand we've broken down the 3 Phases of Video Production below. You'll notice that the Pre-Production Phase is almost twice as long as the other two phases. That is because the Pre-Production Phase is the most important (and ironically most overlooked) step in the production process, it's the "Blueprint Phase". Would you buy a house that wasn't built using a pre-designed set of plans? Neither would we.



The Blueprint for Your Project
  • Depending on the scope & budget for your project, Pre-Production time can vary from 1 week to 1 year.
  • Step 1: Define Project Goals

    All videos are not created equal. Many videos are pretty neat, but if they don't create the desired action from the intended viewer then they are just another video floating around in cyberspace. During this phase we reverse engineer your project, starting with the end in mind. Once we know what you want the video to accomplish, then we can begin to lay the foundation for your project.
  • Step 2: Outline the Key Information

    This is where we write out all the most important points you want covered in your video. From here we can build out all the creative ways to convey your message.
  • Step 3: Legal

    Depending on the scope & budget for your project, it may be necessary to obtain certain copywrites and or licenses for matertial to be used in your video.
  • Step 4: Storyboard

    The storyboard is the fun part. This is where your project starts to come alive. Using illustratons & photos, we can build our your video on paper so we can see how it all flows together before rolling camera.
  • Step 5: Location Scouting

    Finding the right location for your project can be daunting, and expensive. We always look for the most cost effective ways to produce your video by sourcing locations owned by yourself, friends, or family. In many cases it is most cost effective to shoot in a studio, and build the sets required for the production.
  • Step 6: Casting

    Casting is one of the more fun parts of producing a video. Here you get to play an active role in selecting the right person to help convey your desired message. It's very tempting to save time and money by using friends and family, and sometimes these are perfect solutions. However, in most cases hiring a professional actor, or spokesmodel will save you time and money in the end by keeping the amount of time it takes to film the video to a minimum. If your project happens to fall under union labor laws, this is especially true.
  • Step 7: Table Read/Rehearsals

    Depending on the scope and budget of your project, the Director may require a Table Read of the script, and rehearsals. This process ensures that the ensemble cast is a good fit or if re-casting a particular part needs to happen. Rehearsals also save time & money during the Prodcution phase by limiting the amount of "takes" needed to accomplish the mission.
  • Step 8: Crew Selection

    Depending on the scope and budget of your project, you may want to hire a Director that has a particular style that compliments your project. Each Director usually selects their own Director of Photography (DP), and the DP usually has their preferred Lighting Designer (Gaffer) Should your budget be modest (Under $50K) a standard team of professionals will be assigned to work on your project.
  • A typical crew consists of the following Department Heads
    1. 1. Field Producer: Responsible for ensuring the client's goals are met during production and within budget
    2. 2. Director: Responsible for talent's performance and overall aesthetic of the production
    3. 3. DP: Ensures that the Director's vision is properly captured through the camera
    4. 4. Gaffer: Responsible for Lighting Design based on DP's direction
    5. 5. Audio Engineer: Responsible for capturing all sound needed during filming
    6. 6. Set Designer: Responsible for all visual elements within a scene; i.e. props & furniture
    7. 7. Hair & Make-Up: Responsible for ensuring all on camera talent "looks" proper during production
    8. 8. Wardrobe: Responsible for all clothing items worn by talent during filming
    9. 9. Craft Services: Responsible for all meals provided during production as well as specific dietary restrictions
    Each department head usually has their own team of people that help them accomplish their missions. These personnel are called GRIP's & PA's.
  • Step 9: Production Schedule

    Once all the players are in place it's time to map out the schedule of production taking into account availabiliy of talent, locations, and project deadlines. Depending on whether you're filming in an area that falls within union labor laws; OVERTIME & MEAL PENALTIES are major factors to consider as these are responsible for most projects going over budget. In addition, weather forcast is also considered when filming On-Location. Keep in mind that the order of filming may not be chronological.
  • Step 10: Transportation

    Depending on the scope & budget for your project, there may be a need to transport talent & crew from location to location. Charter buses, or privately owned vehicles that are covered under the production's insurance should be scheduled and planned out.

    Pre-Production officially ends the moment your project is "Camera's Up".


Capturing Your Project on Camera
  • Depending on the scope & budget for your project, Production time can range anywhere from a Half Day to up to 6 months.
  • Step 1: Crew Call Time

    The Department Heads & their respective teams (known as crew) are the first people to arrive on set. They are responsible for setting up the 1st shot of the day based on their department's role in the production.
  • Step 2: Talent Call Time

    Talent arrives at least an hour before filming begins. During this time they will be working with the Hair & Make-Up Team, Wardobe, and finally meeting with the Director to go over the blocking and any additional notes or changes to the script. Keeping the talent in the right "Mental Space" is vital to their performance, so it's not uncommon for the Director to isolate the talent until after the day's filming is complete. Should the client wish to meet the actor, it is recommended to wait until the Director has released them before approaching. This is for the betterment of your project.
  • Step 3: Camera's Up!

    Once the Director is satisfied with rehearsal, all talent & crew will take their places and the "Action" will begin. Typically, a Director likes to have at least 3 takes to choose from for each shot. Depending on how many angles (or shots) each scene has, a single scene could take hours or even days to accomplish.
  • Step 4: Lunch

    Meal times are regulated by Union Labor Laws and can come with heafty fines if not followed. Even if you're not filming within the jurisdiction of these laws, it is important to make sure your talent and crew are properly fed and hydrated to ensure peak performance during the production.
  • Step 5: Playback & Dailies

    These are the raw, unedited footage shot during that day. Most Director's like to watch these with the producer and/or client before calling "Wrap" on a project in case they want to make any tweaks or adjustments to a shot. It's also useful for spotting Starbucks cups accidentally left in a scene like in Game of Thrones.
  • Step 6: B-Roll

    Once all "Principal Photography" has been completed (shots that require on camera talent) the DP will usually take a skeleton crew to film all "extra" shots needed for the project, i.e. Building Exteriors, Drone shots, Product shots, and other shots that help enhance the message for the editor.
  • Step 7: Pick-Up Shots

    A pick-up is a small, relatively minor shot filmed or recorded after the fact to augment footage already shot. When entire scenes are redone, it is referred to as a re-shoot or additional photography. Both types of shots usually occur after continuity, logic, or quality issues are identified during the film editing process. In other words, such shots occur months after the sets have been struck, the costumes and props have been stored, and all the cast and most of the crew have moved on to other projects. If the issues had been identified during principal photography, the director would simply have asked for another take. Therefore, the director and producer must carefully balance the substantial expense of reuniting key cast and crew members on set against whether pick-ups or re-shoots are absolutely necessary to fix plot holes (or worse) in the final cut.

Post Production

Putting it All Together
  • Depending on the scope & budget of your project, editing can take anywhere from a day to a few weeks to produce a first draft. If you're project involves animation or custom graphical elements, editing time can take months before a first draft is ready to be viewed.
  • Step 1: Scrub Footage

    Our editors have to scrub through all the video clips we plan to incorporate into the sizzle to find the best clips. This process can take hours depending on the amount of footage included in the sizzle.
  • Step 2: Music Selection

    Because most videos look best when the transitions match the music, selecting the proper song for the sizzle is very important and can take hours of sampling different tracks to find that perfect song to match your video. This is why we ask you to approve the music selection prior to the edit whenever possible.
  • Step 3: Assemble Footage

    Next our editors assemble the clips, as well as the selected audio tracks, in an order that conveys the desired message.
  • Step 4: Stylize

    Here our editors add the transitions, supplemental graphics, and style to make your sizzle POP!
  • Step 5: Coloring

    Next our colorist takes the product and balances all the colors and exposure to bring the whole project together.
  • Step 6: Internal Review

    Here our editors submit their work to the project manager to look for mistakes and errors that might have been overlooked in the editing process.
  • Step 7: Client Review

    Export & Upload to Video Review Site: Your video will be sent to you for review using our online revision tool. Here you can make any notes on the initial draft of the project for the editor to change before delivering the final product.
  • Step 8: Final Edit

    1 round of edits are included in every video project so it's important that you take your time when making notes. Once you're finished with the revision notes our editor will make all the changes you requested.
  • Step 9: Final Internal Review

    Once the editor has completed all requested changes, the project manager will go over the video and your notes to ensure all changes have been made.
  • Step 10: Delivery of Final Product

    Your final video will be emailed to you with a downloadable link in the format requested i.e. 1080p/UHD/4K. Additional edits are available at the standard rate of $200/per hour.

What our customers are saying...

"Great job on the music video, it's Bad A**!!!"

-Jerry Dixon - Warrant

"Thank you so much for an amazing job on my Virtual Training Course! You guys really brought the whole thing to life!"

-Nick Santonastasso

"So great getting to work back to back conferences with you and your team. Great job!"

-Gary Vaynerchuk

Frequently Asked Questions