Film Production Rates

Updated: Nov 12, 2019

Shopping for the right video production company can be a tireless endeavor. And when it comes to video content pricing, we know it can be overwhelming.

Have you noticed that most production companies do NOT advertise their pricing up front? I don't blame them... With so many variables in this industry it is hard to nail down a specific hourly rate that is appropriate for EVERY project. However, I personally dislike it when I can’t find pricing on a website so we want to help with this as much as we can.


We’re more than happy to custom quote you anytime you’re planning with a specific cost in mind, so please feel free to write or call if you have a target budget we can shoot at. I’d say 9 times out of 10 we are able to find a solution for the budget conscious that makes everyone happy. We will try and hit that target for you! As far as our standard rate however, I’d like to break this down a little so you can see specifically where that figure comes from.

One of the most frequent questions we hear is, “How much for a two minute video? I am here to break it down. 😊



So, you want to shoot a video. Your target length is two minutes. It would be SO nice to say that a two minute video will only take two minutes to produce, but in reality there is SO much more that goes into it.


Our hourly rate for full service video production is $250 per hour. We also have a discounted rate specifically for business owners who choose to work exclusively with us for photo and video content.


We’ve shot two minute videos that took almost no planning, one single camera, and a bare bones edit, and we’ve also shot a two minute video that took nearly two weeks to complete and cost over $10,000 to produce. It all depends on what has to be shot and how much time we’ll need in post-production. Let me walk you through the process of how we breakdown our time to help you understand it.


CONCEPT CREATION

The first thing is to simply get on the same page with the client to make sure we’re producing what they need to meet their goals.

At this point, we’ve likely already met with our client to prepare the proposal and go over budgets, so this concept meeting typically only takes about 30 minutes and can be done in-person or over the telephone. Concept creation is to outline the approach to the video, discuss the subject matter and raw content that must appear in the video, discuss how many on-camera interviews will be conducted, select interviewees, and discuss plan for how the final edit will look.

PRE-PRODUCTION

Next, we'll start to assemble all the things we’ll need for the shoot. This can take anywhere from 1-2 hours for a two minute video.

Preparations include: creating necessary shot lists, preparing interview questions, prepare equipment such as cameras, lens selections, lighting, props, memory, and other gear needed for the shoot.





VIDEO SHOOT!

The day of the actual video shoot is the most obvious step because we’re on-location, so the work we do is on display. Sometimes, everything we need to shoot is in a single location and all available on the same day. Perfect! However, often times there are multiple locations involved, or different onscreen personalities will be available on different days, etc.


Another big variable is the crew required for each shooting day. For larger shoots we typically assemble a crew that includes a director, 1-2 camera operators, a sound technician, a lighting technician, hair and makeup, and a set design person (who makes sure everything looks nice in the video). However, often on smaller shoots we can get by with a single camera operator and a single director, and then split other duties like set design, lighting and audio between us two.


POST-PRODUCTION

Is another huge variable. Post-pro is where the majority of the time gets spent in most cases. How much time is spent in post-production depends on the amount of raw video there is to go through and how complicated the story is to tell. It could take anywhere from 2-5 days in most cases. Some of the things that occur during post is logging raw video, syncing any audio, transcribing the sound bites from interviews, script creation and approval by client, sound bite selection, arranging it all into story form, editing the film, color correcting and color grading, creating any special effects, adding titles and lower thirds, creating any graphics needed, rendering, submitting a rough cut to the client, performing revisions as directed by the client, final rendering, and creating the appropriate digital files for the finished product.


Taking into consideration each of those phases… concept planning, pre-production, video shoot, and post-production… the simple two minute video project takes somewhere around 40 hours to complete! Which now doesn’t seem so simple, yet still doesn’t account for the cost of the crew, equipment wear, licensing for music or stock footage, or transportation to and from each location.


LOW-COST VIDEOS

We do produce low cost videos for business owners with small marketing budgets for $1,000 flat.


These videos are all about keeping a very strict production schedule. From start to finish, the entire production needs to take less than one day. We do that with a simple pre-production meeting, a 1-3 hour video shoot with two cameras and a single operator who also acts as a director, lighting tech, audio tech, and a set designer.


These clients also relinquish creative control and trust we will deliver a video that’s on point with the message they want to tell. We do not provide a script for these, and revisions are limited if provided at all.


This cuts down on a lot of the time it takes us in post-production. And honestly, our clients who have purchased our low cost video option have been thrilled with the end result and of course the savings!


I hope this helps in your search and provides guidance to what sort of budget you’ll need to come up with. But again, we can find solutions for almost any budget! All you need to do is ask, the worst that can happen is we wont be a good fit… however, even then you at least walk away knowing what to expect!

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