20 Factors that Influence Corporate Video Production Costs
Corporate video production costs can range greatly depending on many factors beyond simply the size and scope of your project. In fact, it’s safe to say that costs for corporate videos can be about as low, or as high as your budget allows. These 20 factors that influence corporate video production costs are a starting point to look into if you’re seeking opportunities to save or potentially cut corners.
Follow along to learn more about how various factors influence the overall average cost of corporate video production in the end.
Much like you would shop around before hiring a realtor or a physician or an attorney, you should shop around before hiring the cinematographers and any other crew involved in the production of your corporate video.
Corporate video production rates can vary greatly based on the expertise of the crew that you hire to see the project through. While you likely won’t need dozens of professionals to see your corporate video project through from start to finish, at a bare minimum you will need a director, cameramen, and editor.
Cost of Expertise
What you pay for the experts that produce your corporate video can be as low as $25 per hour or as high as several hundred dollars per hour. The average cost for corporate video production experts such as a director or film editor is about $150 per hour.
#2 Scriptwriting and Storyboarding
The creative concepts that make up the beginning stages of your corporate video production are absolutely vital to the success of your project–do NOT skip these! The scriptwriting, storyboard creation, and early stages of planning your content objectives and style will help you to build a video that is not only produced wonderfully, but that performs wonderfully too.
Cost of Scriptwriting and Storyboarding: what you pay for the creative scriptwriting and storyboarding for your video production generally average about $100 per hour. For a less experienced scriptwriter or storyboard artist, you may be able to get the work completed for $60-75 per hour. More experience may result in fees upwards of $150 per hour or more.
#3 Post-production Editing
Post-production editing that pulls the creative contents of your corporate video together and sequences the footage into a clear and cohesive story is another vital element of a successful video. In fact, editing is so important that one would imagine it would cost significantly more than it generally does.
The amount of editing required, the graphics and animation that are included (or not) and various other factors go into determining average editing costs for corporate videos.
Cost of Editing in Post-Production: what you pay for editing post-production is generally lower than scriptwriting. Most will pay about $75 per hour for these services unless complex 3D or motion graphics are included in which case costs for a professional graphic animator can be upwards of $200 per hour on average.
#4 Professional Actors
Do you need the hottest actors to make your corporate video production project a success? The actors or presenters that you hire to represent your company in front of the camera can add significant costs to the production budget.
Likewise, failure to have a professional presenter represent your brand on camera could result in a horrible video. Chances are, you need to land somewhere in the middle which would mean hiring a presenter or actor that has a professional background in talking on camera but not necessarily hiring a celebrity.
Cost of Actors or Presenters
Most actors or presenters cost $100 per hour but celebrities can cost $500 per hour or more depending on several factors. Expert talent in this field can easily be one of your greatest line items on the corporate video production budget.
#5 Camera Crew
You can’t shoot the film yourself. The camera and camera crew that you hire to shoot the corporate video will add additional costs to your production that simply cannot be avoided. Low-quality camera shots lead to low-quality films. More expensive cameras will lead to a higher quality finished product.
Camera features and the technology of these devices really can make a difference in your video so be sure you budget in enough to hire a camera crew that will use quality equipment.
Cost of Camera Crew
Average cost associated with a digital camera package is $100 to $400 per hour. The lowest quality cameras may be used for less than that but remember that the quality will directly impact the finished product.
#6 Lighting and Audio Equipment
Most corporations don’t have filmmaking equipment just hanging around the office. Therefore, there will be a lot of equipment that you must borrow for the production of the film.
Higher quality production companies will have an array of equipment that can be used throughout the production of your corporate video to improve the end quality of the film. Equipment charges can include things like a track dolly, lav mics, booms, lighting, and various lenses to produce the best scene shots.
Cost of Lighting and Audio Equipment
What you pay for the equipment used in the production of your corporate video will range on several factors including the type of equipment, the time needed, and quality. On the low end, the equipment can run $25 per hour. More expensive equipment can be several hundred dollars per hour.
#7 Crew Members
In addition to the expert crew members such as the director that was listed in the first section, your corporate video production costs will be influenced by any additional crew members that are required to see the film through to the final cut. In most cases, you won’t need more than 2 or 3 people to produce the film.
This would consist of the cameraman, sound man, and director. More complex corporate videos, such as commercials, will require additional crew members to ensure the logistics of the shoot are all appropriately covered. In such situations, you may need lighting and audio technicians as well as support crew.
Cost of Additional Crew Members
What you pay for the additional crew is dependent on who those crew members are. Lighting and sound technicians are generally $25 to $50 per hour. Some of the more experienced crew members may charge $75 per hour or more.
#8 Hair & Makeup
Not all corporate productions require hair and makeup expenses. In fact, this is one area that can easily be reduced or eliminated altogether for a corporate video if you simply do not have the budget to cover the costs. However, if you can afford hair and makeup then doing so will help your talent to appear his or her best and will likely build their confidence too.
Cost of Hair and Makeup: what you pay for hair and makeup is dependent on the needs and the amount of time your cosmetician is on the set. Most of the time hair and makeup specialists charge per hour with fees ranging around $50 unless there is a complex need for hair and makeup improvements such as is the case in weddings and other major events where looks are everything.
Many corporate video production budgets do not account for B-roll which is a BIG mistake. B-roll footage adds a layer of depth and creativity to your video while providing the viewer with more information visually rather than verbally. B-roll is especially important to those who have short attention spans when it comes to listening.
Cost of B-Roll Footage: The costs you pay for B-roll footage include the cameramen and any equipment they need to obtain the best footage to compliment your film. You should expect to spend an additional 10% or more of the total shooting cost on B-roll footage.
#10 Location and / or Studio
Where you shoot the film will play a significant role in the total production cost. Locations that are popular and well known for commercial film production will likely cost more than those that are lesser-known. Likewise, shooting in a studio versus shooting outside may be more costly.
Additionally, if you intend to shoot for 1 day versus 2 or 3 days, you can guess that you will save a lot of money. The amount of time you spend shooting, the amount of time it takes to set-up and break down a shoot, and where the shoot takes place will all figure into the final cost of corporate production.
Cost of Location or Studio: what you may for the location or the studio to shoot in will vary and is impossible to define an average for. Just remember that these elements come into play and if you’re seeking a budget-friendly corporate production you can consider shooting on your own property to save money.
Does your film production require props or other special equipment to make the set appear the way you or the director intends? If you need props or other items to bring the creative ideas of the director to life then you can expect to pay for all of them. This includes things like furniture, accessories, vehicles, and any other items that are required to make your shoot happen.
Cost of Props
What you pay for props really depends on the items. Some can be rented, others can be purchased for less than it would cost to rent. A great production company will have local references that they can source for props that are required to make your corporate video production a success.
If you need a narrator or any sort of voice-over to complete the storytelling portion of your corporate video, you must include these costs in your budget. The voiceover that you choose will play a significant role in how viewers perceive your film.
Cost of Voice-over: what you pay here is dependent on the expertise of the narrator. Many voice artists will charge a flat rate for their service rather than an hourly rate. Expect to pay about $200 to $400 for a corporate video voiceover of 2-3 minutes.
#13 Original Audio
Is there music in your film? If you intend to have any audio outside of the narration, you need to budget for these production costs. Original audio files can add a significant amount to the bottom line. Failure to include your own original audio can lead to costly suits regarding audio property rights.
Cost of Original Audio: what you pay for original audio files associated with your corporate video will range based on the style, the length, and any creative expertise that goes into creating the audio.
Expect to spend about $50 or more on audio for a 2-minute corporate video. Custom audio tracks that are produced by an expert musician may cost you significantly more. In situations like this, you may pay upwards of $1000.
#14 Teleprompter Operator
Does your talent know the script like the back of their hand? If not you will need a teleprompter and someone to operate the equipment for you. A teleprompter can greatly improve the quality of your film, especially if you choose to use employees as your talent.
Cost of Teleprompter Operator: the cost to rent the teleprompter equipment and for an experienced operator will generally be charged by the day. Half-day averages are in the range of $400 and up.
Is your corporate video going to be shared in other locations around the world? If so you will need to have it translated and have captions added to make the content useful around the globe. Not all corporate videos require this, especially if your business is local and doesn’t really operate or do sales outside your country.
Cost of Translation: what you pay for translation of your video will typically be a percentage of the total cost. Most of the time 15% should be budgeted in for translation and closed captioning per language.
#16 Video Length
The length of the video is definitely going to play a role in the final production costs that you pay. Longer videos require more time to shoot, more expertise to coordinate, and simply cost more. Shorter videos are generally much more affordable.
The longer the video is, the more substantially you can expect costs to be influenced and not in a 1 to 1 ratio. The type of video will certainly impact the price in this case.
Cost of Video Length
What you pay for the length of the video will range based on all sorts of factors. There’s no real rule of thumb here or industry average. If the extra length is short (such as a minute) and is planned into the budget and filming process, it may only cost a fraction more such as 10%. However, if the length runs over due to other circumstances costs could go up significantly.
#17 Asset Licensing
Are you intending to use any assets for the film? If you are working with a union member or intend to use other assets that include licensing fees you need to include those in your budget. Although licensing fees are not substantial, they can add to the total production costs.
Cost of Asset Licensing: These costs will vary based on the type of asset or talent and the licensing required. Generally, these fees will not be too substantial.
#18 Agency Fees
Are you working with an agency that doesn’t have its own crew members or production team? Unless they are handling creative and concept, generally you will pay less if you work directly with a film production company versus working with an agency that will hire the production help for you and tack on added fees.
Deal with an outfit that has vetted boots on the ground and is ready at a momenta notice, it will make your life easier in the long run. Not only will it be beneficial to your budget, but also to the finished project as working with a production company directly ensures a better understanding of your business and the goals of the video.
Where will you host the finished video? Hosting fees vary based on several factors including the host and the length of the video or how much server space it takes up. If you host the video on various servers such as Youtube and your own website as well as business portals or similar hosts you can expect to pay monthly fees that are generally affordable.
Cost of Hosting
What you pay for hosting depends on the bandwidth that is used by your video and the host itself. These fees are usually very affordable and range from nothing to about $10 per month.
Your corporate video will not magically be in the format that you need for every location you intend to share it. Formatting is another important video production cost that simply cannot be overlooked.
Failure to format into the usable file types that you need and at lengths that are appropriate for your use will render you a video that is useless. Formatting a longer video into short clips for sharing on social will generally add a percentage cost to the final production.
Cost of Formatting
What you pay for formatting will generally depend on the formats you need and how much labor is involved. Typical costs range from about 5-10% of the total cost of production. Labor intensive editing for various formats could add more to the total bill.