Why is video production so expensive?
Even though we live in a world where video creation is more accessible than it has ever been, the production of quality video content is mostly still a rather large investment. This is because most of the cost in video production is accumulated by the daily rates of the crew. And with productions taking more time than you might think, this is where the cash flows.
“Why is that so expensive?!”
When peotential clients ask how much a video will cost, they are often shocked by the amout on money needed. This is a common issue. Some factors just go unseen by people who are not into the matter. We understand that it's hard to calculate what a video production might cost when you're not into the subject. Often, it's the little things that get overlooked but make the change in a budget.
It takes experienced video producers to know what is possible with how much cash. Good producers give incentives on how to avoid cost traps. We want to clear the air around confusing budget scales by showing you which cost factors you will have to expect per crewmember.
To get a feeling for how much a filming crew charges, we listed some average rates as an overview for each production stage. But keep in mind: these rates can vary extremely depending on the project. The numbers' solely purpose is to give you a feeling.
Nevertheless, all projects and the expenses linked to video production can be divided into three parts. Pre-production (planning), production (shooting), and postproduction (editing).
Keep in mind that crew members are paid based on daily rates, so even if you only need them for a few hours, you pay the whole day.
The Pre-Production of videos is often underestimated. Planning includes scriptwriting, location scouting, scheduling shoots, gaining permits, and many other tasks that often go unseen but still increase the overall cost. The pre-production team is often smaller than the crew for the shoot itself. So even though the planning phase takes longer, the costs in the pre-production phase add up to less than for the shoot itself.
Changes in plan and adjusting to requirements later on in the production process can be way more expensive. Good production companies know how to plan in order to keep the changes very low later on. This is why you should invest time and money early on in the pre-production to cheaply cut down the expenses in later stages.
- Producer: from 500€ per day
- Production Assistant: from 400€ per day
Filming a video is a lot of work, which takes a lot of time. And time being money, this is where the cash goes. There are more people involved in a shoot than one might think. These are some examples of costs that you can expect. Please remember that equipment like cameras are always excluded in the daily rates.
- Director of Photography (DOP): from 600€ per day
- 1st Assistant Camera (1st AC): from 500€ per day
- 2nd AC: from 350€ per day
- Runner: from 200€ per day
- Sound: from 500€ per day
Postproduction is where the magic happens. The story that was planned before is put together and polished in this phase. But editing, sounddesign, colorgrading, and adding subtitles are lengthy processes and just need time. More time than you might think.
At Those Youngbloods we usually expect the postproduction to take 2x to 3x of the shooting time. So a project with 2 shooting days usually takes 4 - 6 days of work in postproduction.
- Editor: from 450€ per day
- Colordgrading: from 100€ per hour
Specialist vs. Allrounder
It's easy to see that the team taking care of the video makes up a minimum of 50% of the total production cost. If you want to save some cash on this note, try to gather a smaller crew consisting of fewer specialists and more all-rounders. This can be applied to all phases of a production. We give you more tips on saving video production costs in our other article on this topic.
All in All
Saving money will probably mean that your clip won't be an award winning commercial. But that's okay. As long as the content is professionally shot and serves your strategy, your business will benefit from it.