How To Cost Your Next Video Production

Here’s an easy way to budget for your next video production.

When it comes to Film, TV or Internet marketing,  video production costs are always affected by the following four areas.

1.    Length of the video

2.    Production values desired

3.    How many hours are planned to complete the project

4.    Complexity of the elements (# of talent, days on location, special effects, animation, etc.)

Whether it is a simple internet marketing video or a large, complex production, anyone making a video has to consider these four elements when determining video production costs and how they will impact on what the final outcome.

Bottom-line: You have to decide on what you want the outcome to be.  

Here are examples of three types of productions (lower, medium and higher priced videos) that will these four elements impact your video production costs. 

1. Lower Video Production Costs

  • This video must be short in length.
  • Production values must be realistic for the budget. (lower to medium quality production)
  • The number of hours dedicated to this project must be minimal.
  • The production must not very complex in the number of elements required.

2. Medium Video Production Costs

  • This video can be longer in length, but remember your must hold the audience’s attention, so watch your length.
  • Production values can increase by upping your level of equipment, crew, editor, etc.
  • More hours can be assigned to this project.
  • More elements can be added to increase the retention of the intended audience like more talent, filming days on location, and hours in the studio with the editor.

3. Higher Video Production Costs

  • You can increase the video’s length and maybe even create separate modules. (Great for training)
  • Production values can move up another notch from video to film or film look found on the new higher end digital cameras.
  • A greater number of hours can be added to this project, but remember it all has to fit within the budget.
  • In this case you can look at things like multiple actors, animation, special effects, increased size of crew, etc.


Now considering the above factors, here’s a simple way to budget.

While we have simplified the process for budgeting purposes, here are three charts that can help you cost out your next video production.

Lower Cost Video Production ($6,500)

 Budget  Length  Production  Values  Number of  Hours  Required  Complexity of  Production
 Higher Cost
 Medium Cost  Video (not film)
 Low Cost  2 minutes  65 hours  Not complex

We are assuming you’re not using your nephew and his iPhone for your company’s brand and internet marketing effort. If your video production company charges an average hourly fee of $100 per hour, it is simple to do the math. Let’s dedicate a total of 65 hours to this project taking the budget for this lower cost video to about $6,500. (If your video was super simple – e.g. a 30-second straight shot of a testimonial – then that might take only 10 hours and you can do the math.)

Medium Cost Video Production ($12,500)

 Budget  Length  Production  Values  Number of  Hours  Required  Complexity of  Production
 Higher Cost
 Medium Cost  3-5  Minutes  Video (not film)  Medium  complexity
 Low Cost  125 hours

Higher Cost Video Production ($25,000)

 Budget  Length  Production  Values  Number of  Hours  Required  Complexity of  Production
 Higher Cost  Under 10  minutes  High end video  (looks like film)  250 hours  Fairly complex
 Medium Cost
 Low Cost

For more information on using video for your internet marketing, check out my last post on 17 Reasons To Add Video To Your Website.

Happy shooting!

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