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How Much Does it Cost to Make a Talking Heads Video?

Talking head videos are a rather basic, interview-style video that can be used for a variety of purposes in vlogs, as promotions on social media platforms, on a website, or in a variety of other styles and types of marketing or advertising campaigns. These videos typically capture just the speaking subject matter expert or interviewee from the shoulders up, hence their name “talking head video” which essentially dictates that the video is primarily of someone’s head while they’re talking. They’re easy to produce, versatile, and incredibly powerful, but how much does it cost to make a talking heads video?

This is a question that comes up rather frequently at Beverly Boy Productions, and when it does we tell our clients that the cost to produce a talking head video varies largely based on a number of factors including the video length, the size of the production crew, and several individual details that are specific to each video project. As a general rule of thumb, if you’re planning a talking head video you can expect the cost to be somewhere between about $600 and $3,000 per finished minute.


How Length of Video a Key Factors into Cost

Before any production company will quote you a cost for your talking heads video they’re going to have some immediate questions and considerations to make. First, they’ll want to know how long you want your finished video to be. This is because the total cost estimate is going to be based on the amount of time that it takes to produce the video, which largely depends on the length of the finished video. 

A talking head video that’s 1 minute long, such as a quick customer testimonial style video, will likely cost between $600 and $3,000. Likewise, a case study talking head video that includes a subject matter expert and runs about 5 minutes in total length is going to cost substantially more. Even on the lowest end of the spectrum, as $600 per minute, that 5 minute video is going to be $3,000 and at the highest end of the spectrum, it will be upwards of $15,000.  

How Size & Experience of Crew Factor into Cost

Answering the question, “How much does it cost to make a talking heads video,” quickly shifts focus to the production company. How many professionals will be involved? Is a highly experienced crew necessary or could someone with fewer years of experience potentially do a good job filming the interview? Just like any other industry, the more experience a film production professional has, the higher their rates are for their work.

A larger crew, with more experience, is going to cost more than a small crew, fresh out of film school.  Expect the following potential costs to make a talking heads video:

  • Film Director – >$250 per hour
  • Script Writer – >$150 per hour
  • Cameraman – >$400 per hour
  • Editor – >$175 per hour
  • Actors – >$500 per hour
  • Equipment – up to 100s per hour
  • Studio Shooting – up to $400 per hour
  • Narrator – >$400 per hour
  • Audio Files – up to $1000
  • Video Rendering – up to $75 per hour
  • B-Roll – expect to pay a percentage between 10 and 50% of your total cost
  • Miscellaneous Fees – can cost very little up to 1000s extra

As you can see, talking heads videos require a lot of working professionals through the course of production and post-production editing of the finished project.

Additional Cost Factors to Consider

Another thing that comes up when clients ask, “How much does it cost to make a talking heads video,” is the various costs associated with things like studio or location rental, equipment rental fees, payments to subject matter experts or interviewers, and a host of other concerns. 

Capturing b-roll can have additional costs involved, and if you’re interested in producing a talking head video that has a more cinematic experience for your audience where there’s more live action video involved, these costs are further increased. Below are a few other factors that go into the overall cost of making a talking heads video:

  • Animations including text-animations and graphics
  • Film locations or filming in multiple locations
  • Special effects
  • Props or other set expenses
  • Teleprompter rental or the rental of other equipment
  • Motion graphics or web-based graphics tools
  • Union fees or licensing fees
  • Music licensing 

It’s certainly easy to overlook certain potential costs that come up over the course of producing any video, even talking heads videos which typically have fewer overall technical production needs as compared to more advanced video formats. 

At Beverly Boy Productions, when clients ask us, “How much does it cost to make a talking heads video,” we generally explain that the estimated cost of finished video per minute is between $600 and $3,000 and depending on the total video length, as well as other factors including how complex the video will be and whether there will be any animations or special effects, the cost could be significantly higher for some clients.