The statistics consistently show video is one of the most impactful ways to tell your company's brand or product story. But producing them can be logistically difficult and time-consuming which is why many companies partner with a video production company, like Talus Films, to help guide them through the process and take on the heavy lifting.
Inevitably, one of the first conversations with have with folks covers two main topics - our process and the answer to the question, "how much does video production cost?"
The honest answer to that second question is it varies. Which we know can be frustrating to hear. We like to think of it in car terms. A car is a car, right? It's made of metal, has 4 wheels and an engine, and gets you from your home to the grocery store (or wherever you're headed). This is true of a Honda Civic or of a Porsche 911. But the difference is the costs and the reasons for those costs. The Honda is known for its reliability and longevity. It's tried and true - getting you dependably from point A to point B. It gets the job done and done well without flash or extra bells and whistles - thus being an affordable investment. The Porsche, on the other hand, also gets the job done but with the addition of luxury, prestige, and eye-catching good looks. And the investment reflects these attributes.
Video production is very similar in that each video is uniquely customized and produced for the specific client and project. No two videos - even if they are the same video type - are exactly the same. The end product is always dependent on the client's budget and marketing/business goals for the video. Once we lock in a project's investment cost with a client, we won't go over budget unless explicitly discussed and approved by the client. Live action video investments are based on complexity rather than length. Professional video budgets typically begin in the couple thousand dollar range, average out in the tens of thousands dollar range, and continue to increase from there for large, more complex video projects.
Let's dig in...what do we mean by Complexity
When we're putting together a project proposal for a client, we'll begin by discussing your video wants, needs, and goals to determine complexity. And then with your budget and goals in mind, we'll provide options and solutions that will craft the best possible video within scope.
When we evaluate the complexity of a project, here are some of the categories we consider and questions we attempt to answer in order to craft an accurate proposal and investment estimate:
do you already have a vision for your video or would you like video development guidance from our team?
Some clients come with a video vision already mapped out. They know what type of video they want and they know how they want it to look, feel, and flow. In these cases, the cost of development is low because that work has already been done. We can take the existing ideas and hit the ground running with production. But in many cases, clients are looking to invest in additional expertise and guidance when it comes to actually developing the idea for their video and then producing it. At Talus Films, we love these types of projects so much that we've created our own unique Video Development Workshop that is built to walk clients through the development process and provide a full treatment that maps out the video project from beginning to end diving deep into the story that will be told, the look, the feel, the approach, the characters, the music, and the intended audience.
how hard or easy will this project be to produce?
what kind of equipment will we need to capture our footage?
how many filming days will we need to capture our footage?
how many crew members will we need throughout the process?
how long do we estimate the end video will be?
will we need to capture drone or special footage?
It stands to reason that the more logistically challenging a project is (ie: more filming days, more crew members, unique footage requests, specialized camera requirements, etc) the more it'll cost to execute. An interview based video often requires less time, equipment, and on-set personnel to produce and is, therefore, less of an investment than a full narrative storytelling video which takes longer to develop, script, project manage, and film while requiring more crew and on-screen talent. The more complex project will require more investment. Also, we'll take a look at any special needs of the video (ie: stunts, drone footage, trained animals, special effects, etc).
how quickly will the project need to be completed?
Just as we're able to work with a whole host of budget ranges, we're also able to work within a myriad of timelines. Typically, we like to say video production takes about 3 months (give or take) from idea development through final delivery. However, we're definitely able to expedite this timeline to serve the project's goals and needs. However, quick turnarounds come with additional investment because they take more time, energy, and resources. Think about it in terms of shipping a package - it costs far less to ship something "Ground" vs. "Next Day Air" due to the extra effort required to get the package to its destination quicker.
will we need to rent or secure a filming location?
how many locations will be featured?
will we need to travel to our filming location(s)?
If we plan to film at a location we already have access to (ie: a client's office or owned/rented space, someone's home or workspace, etc) then cost might remain relatively low here. But cost will be impacted if we plan to spend money to secure our filming location (ie: rented studio space, rented apartment/home, public permitted locations like streets or parks, etc). Also, the number of locations we'll be filming at impacts cost as well. Moving from location to location requires time and logistics so the more moves the more hours/days of filming might be required. We'll also take into account any travel costs associated with each location (ie: parking costs, gas and mileage, flights, hotel stays, etc).
Another thing we keep in mind for location, is the amount of customization it'll need. Will we need to bring in/purchase/craft specific items to tell our story or will we be able to utilize the space as is without much work? The more we customize the space to meet specific needs (ie: a blue wall, a mid-century modern couch, a purple rug, specialty light fixtures, etc) or need to transform it from one thing to another (ie: the corner of a gym into a kindergarten classroom or a blank sound stage into the inside of a spaceship) the more we'll need to invest to bring the world to life authentically.
who will be featured on-screen?
will we need to cast talent and how many?
We have many options when it comes to featuring folks in your video. We could feature the owner/founder of a company, employees, customers, family/friends or - if the video takes a more narrative approach - actors who we've hired to play specific on-screen roles. We could even use voice over talent to tell your story in lieu of showing specific people. All these options come with different price tags. When we feature folks from the company or the client themselves, we can keep costs relatively low if those folks are open to volunteering their time. However, if we go the route of hiring voice over or actor talent, costs increase based on the number of folks we're aiming to hire and feature.
how complex will the post-production editing process be?
will we need to create animations or motion graphics?
will we need to use special effects?
what kind of music will be used for the project?
In addition to assessing how complex the production phase of a project will be, we also take a look at what kind of time, energy, and resources will be needed to edit, color, sound design, and finish your video in post-production. Some things that might increase the cost of post-production would be a complicated edit where we'd spend more time than usual cutting your video together or making revisions, hiring a music composer to create a one-of-a-kind score for your video, or creating motion graphics, special effects, or animations to enhance your video.
VIDEO MARKETING & DISTRIBUTION
do you already have a marketing and distribution strategy for your completed video or would you like strategy help here too?
Some clients work with their in-house teams or marketing folks and already know exactly how they'll distribute and use their new video in their marketing strategies. And others are seeking more guidance with their strategy and are looking to invest in our services here as well. We'll gladly come alongside your team to ensure your video is reaching its intended audience.
I'd like an Investment Estimate...how do I start?
We're so glad you asked! Great news, project Investment Estimates are always free and so is your initial 30-min Explore Call where we'll meet each other, dig into your project ideas, and start thinking through all of these questions.
Click here to GET STARTED on your project with Talus Films today!