What does a corporate web video cost?

This question is often the first question that a new client will ask.  They always want to know what it costs to have a corporate web video made.  As an owner of a Charlotte video production company, this question feels similar to me asking a real estate agent how much it costs to buy a house.  Just as with any home, there are many features that affect it’s value.  The same is true about a video. But, with that said, there are some guidelines that should help you to figure out a reasonable budget for your project.

1.) Corporate Video Production Expertise.  As with many different types of professionals (mechanics, dentists, lawyers), you often pay a higher rate for more experienced people.  This is true with a video production staff.  Experience ranges from the $25 per hour for a recent college graduate to $250 or more for the most seasoned videographer.  The level of experience that you need really depends on your project.  Besides the expensive video equipment, you are really paying for the talent and expertise of the video production team.  Typically, video production companies will charge between $75 to $150 per hour for their core team (producers, cameramen, editors).

2.) Concept Development/Project Management.  Before a video crew shows up to shoot a video, a lot of work goes into the planning of the video.  You often need someone that can help translate your goals into top quality video content.  My favorite question to ask my clients is “What do you want the viewer to understand when they are done watching this video?”  This always helps us to develop the content of the video.  Since our videos are documentary-style in nature, we often develop the interview questions around the goals of the video.  Then, we let the interviewees do the talking.  I just had a client say to me, “Sarah, they could not have said anything more perfect than if we had hired actors and had written a script!”  This being said, you need to find someone who can take your ideas and help translate them into concrete video concepts.  Once the concepts are finalized, the video production company can begin planning the video shoot.  You can expect to pay between $50 and $150 per hour for someone who can help develop your video marketing strategy.

3.) Crew.  Most of our video projects take two people to handle the video shoot.  One person is there as the producer who is managing the client, the people that will be in the interview and the location details.  The second person is the cameraperson who is responsible for setting up the lighting, camera and audio equipment.  On some of our shoots, we do have a third person who can help out with some of the equipment especially if we are using specialized equipment to get some moving shots with a dolly or jib.  On larger video shoots, hiring lighting directors, audio recordist, makeup artists, etc, can help obtain and even more polished look.  But, for a typical corporate video shoot, you can expect to pay $50 to $75 per hour for the producer and $80 to $150 per hour for the camera person.

4.) Equipment.  It is really important to match the quality of the equipment to the purpose of the project.  When the ice bucket challenge was first started for ALS, no one was required to make their videos with an expensive camera.  An iPhone camera worked just fine and accomplished the organization’s goal of raising more than $20 million for research.  Cameras range from a $500 iPhone, a $2,500 DSLR camera, a $10,000 full feature HD camera to a $25,000 RED camera.  It really depends on where you plan on showing the video.  If it’s on the web, then the expensive RED camera is overkill.  If you plan on showing it at a presentation, then clearly the iPhone footage would not work.    In addition to the camera, we use expensive lighting kits, professional audio equipment and sound recorders, jibs, dollys, etc.  You can expect to pay between $200 to $1,000 per day for equipment rental.

5.) Editing/Graphics.  This is where the magic happens.  This is where you take all of the raw footage and create the style and substance of your video.  Good editors are highly skilled people.  You can pay very little for an editor but end up with a poorly put together video that fails to accomplish its goal.  A good editor can take the raw footage and edit together the best and most powerful message possible.  Add to this great story line some beautiful graphics and animations and you end up with a beautiful and meaningful video that really connects with your target audience.  Typical editing cost range from $70 per hour to $150 per hour.

6.) Music.  Music adds a lot to the feel of a video.  There are several royalty free websites where you can often find good music that can cost as little as $3 per song.  With luck, you can find something that works with your video.  If not, then you might have to pay a little more for a song or even have a song written for your project.  But, on average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $3 to $50 per song.

In my experience, I would say that the typical two minute corporate web video cost $2,500 to make.  However, we have made videos for as little as $600 to as much as $40,000. Each project is unique with unique requirements.  I hope that these factors can help you predict and understand the costs involved in creating a great corporate web video.  We would be glad to help you come up with a budget for your video project.  Please give us a call at (336) 403-9273 to speak with a Charlotte Video Production company, or fill out our contact form.