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What’s the Average Cost for a 5 Min Interview Documentary Video?

The interviews that you capture for a documentary make up the foundation of the story and drive the direction or vision overall. Each documentary is typically made up of several interviews or at least 1 or 2 long interviews that includes key information about the background or history behind the story, the story itself, and the opinions of those involved as well as the opinions of those creating the documentary. If you’re thinking about producing a documentary that includes interviews, budget is naturally going to be a key element of your planning. You’re probably wondering, “What’s the average cost for a 5 min interview documentary video?”

 The reality is, video costs can range significantly based on who produces the video, how long the video is, what types of effects of special equipment is included in the production process, and when, where and how the video is produced. At Beverly Boy Productions, we frequently get asked, “What’s the average cost for a 5 minute interview documentary video?” and we tell our clients or prospective clients that the cost really depends on various factors. Ultimately, you can expect to spend somewhere between about $1,000 and $10,000 per finished minute of documentary interview footage.

Cost for a 5 Min Interview Documentary Video

Figuring out the expected cost for 5 minutes of video can be challenging. With a price range of between $1,000 and $10,000 per minute, you’re looking at a range of somewhere between about $5,000 and $50,000. We realize that a range of $45K can certainly be difficult to budget for. How do you plan? What can you tell your CEO, CFO or boss? Isn’t there some way that you can get a better idea of what to expect?

Fortunately, there is an answer to all of these questions. Planning a video requires first determining what your budget is and whether or not you can produce a video that will fall within that budget. Fortunately, producing an interview documentary video isn’t nearly as expensive as things like live-action videos, commercials, and movies. In fact, an interview is one of the simpler styles of film to produce that has a lower overall anticipated cost for a few reasons:

  • An interview video typically involves just 1-2 cameras, sometimes 3. 
  • The interview can generally be produced in virtually any location.
  • There isn’t a lot of fancy equipment involved nor is there any need for things like special effects or animations which can be quite costly.

Filming a Testimonial interview on a FS7

While the average cost of video production is between $1,000 and  $10,000 per finished minute, the cost for a 5 min interview documentary video can be estimated quite lower than the maximum of $10,000 per minute. You can expect to pay somewhere between about $1,000 and probably $3,000 o4 $4,000 per finished minute for a documentary interview video, bringing the total estimated cost for a 5 minute video somewhere between about $5,000 and $20,000 at most!

How to Minimize the Average Cost of a 5 Min Interview Documentary Video

If you’re thinking that $20,000 is high, it’s okay! This is likely the highest you can expect to pay for your video, but even so, there are many steps that you can take upfront to reduce the potential cost of your video. For example, consider the following tips to keep costs low:

  • Be sure to prepare your questions ahead of time and make sure that your interviewee is prepared, has had a chance to prepare his or her answers to your questions, and isn’t put “on the spot,” as doing so could increase production time.
  • Request the documentary interview be filmed with a 2 camera setup. One camera can be on the interviewee from an angle, and the other from the front. There is no need to film the interviewer unless they’ll be included in the video.
  • Plan for the interview to take place at your home, office, or somewhere that will not require an upfront fee for using the location to film in. Studio costs and permit costs for filming at locations that are not owned by you can quickly add up.
  • Consider filming the video footage yourself, with a professional drop kit, and then working with a film production company to edit the final footage. 

Video Camera

There are also ways that you can limit cost for a 5 min interview documentary video by minimizing the resources that are required to produce the video. Below is a look at the potential costs for each professional that will be involved in the production of your documentary interview. Keep in mind that you can get lower rates by hiring someone with less experience but you may end up with less than professional work so you have to carefully consider whether or not the trade is worth it to you.

  • 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, there are a variety of costs involved when it comes to producing an interview. If you’re interested in finding out the cost for a 5 min interview documentary video that Beverly Boy Productions produces, give us a call!