How much does video cost? Corporate branded video is more affordable than you think, although it depends on who you ask! Large old school agencies tend to over-engineer even the simplest of video projects, bumping the cost up by using expensive equipment, huge crews and charging for things like story-board development. At Film Haus we pride ourselves on being lean, innovative and creative to ensure you get great video production quality for an affordable price – try us with your next brief.
There are a number of factors to consider and it really does depend on what you include in your brief, like where and how you plan to use the video. In this blog we talk you through some points to consider that will affect the cost.
First of all, lets address this: These days anyone with an iphone can be their own film director, right? Yes, new technology is making video quality better and better, but will you notice the difference between something you’ve shot and edited yourself and something a professional has touched? Absolutely! Plus, the end quality of your video affects your brand perception, the messages your audience receives (or not) and even peoples willingness to sit through the video.
So let’s assume that you want to engage the viewer, make your product and business look professional and achieve your promotional goals – be that lead generation, converting audience advocates or educating them to the benefits of your service. In that case, you want a corporate video produced by a professional company (… Film Haus, cough cough), which naturally takes equipment, and technical skill that is worth investing in.
When budgeting for a project, or reviewing a quote from an agency, here are a few factors to consider:
Equipment: Cameras, Sound and Lighting
The quality of camera and lighting equipment is important and will have a big impact on your final production. We use pro cameras from the likes of Canon and Sony with bigger sensors, better picture control, and the ability to swap high quality lenses to get the shot. However, the latest DSLR cameras from these brands offer excellent video output at a fraction of the cost of the equipment you’d needed for HD TV or big screen, so when your film is mainly for digital and social media channels, we keep cost down and quality high by selecting the best kit for the job.
The same goes for lighting and sound, once we have understood where and how you want to use your video, we’ll use the equipment that is right for your video and budget. We opt for modern high performing smaller units that allow us to keep kit and cost lean. We’re not worried about prestigious brands only getting great results for our clients.
Make sure your agency isn’t trying to turn your CEO interview video, for web, into a Hollywood blockbuster and charging you for an over-engineered end-product.
Where you want to shoot your video and what you want to be seen in it (back-drops, locations etc) will also have an impact on cost? Again, where a larger agency would charge for a Location Scout, Film Haus include this in our service. We can help find, negotiate costs and check the suitability of a location. However, you can help yourself and your budget by not choosing Buckingham Palace to shoot a staff training video.
Going overseas, or to remote locations is obviously more expensive. But if you are planning on shooting in the Caribbean, please call. Especially in the winter months.
Also remember that adding multiple locations to your video carries not only more hire cost, but also time to set up the scene and camera, lighting and sound. We try to look for creative ways to make the same location look different e.g. shoot in different parts of the building, or different angles and proximity to achieve more for less.
Make sure your agency do the same and be creative – not costly.
If an aspect of your message needs acting out, someone needs to speak to camera or a person is needed to demonstrate your product, then it can be wise to bring in a pro. Don’t invest the time and cash in professional video production and then let Maureen in HR ‘have a go’, because she once played shepherd number two in a community hall nativity – sorry Maureen!
We advocate using staff if you can – it saves money, but first interview them on phone or small camera to ensure they are charismatic, natural and are really good enough to grip a viewer. Plus make sure you get them to sign a consent form confirming you have the rights to use the footage. We can take care of this for you, if we get to work together.
Otherwise, using an experienced presenter or voiceover artist will always produce more polished results. It doesn’t have to be George Clooney and if you’re working with an experienced production company (guess who), they will have some affordable options for you.
Bad weather, working with animals and pets, not getting authority to shoot somewhere and other (sometimes) avoidable situations add delay and cost.
So when story-boarding and planning try to schedule and organise as thoroughly as possible so you don’t have film crews, actors and your team standing around – time is money.
Additional elements like text, images, motion graphic design, or animations intercut with or overlaid on the camera footage look great - we use them all the time.
Lower third text, illustrations, or interesting title sequences, will set your video apart and make your audience associate the professional end result with your brand and product (or service).
When it comes to graphics, anything is possible, but cost can spiral. So again be specific with what you’d like and agree your story-board, the effects to be included and a budget upfront to understand what is realistic.
Our skilled editors can transform the captured footage into a polished, exciting video promotion. Not only that, but the quality of different shots can be enhanced by adjusting the on-screen colors and grading the footage for consistency, or a distinctive look that reflects your brand guidelines, giving it that indefinable visual “polish”.
It is also at this post-production stage that we enhance the sound by adding the voice-over, sound effects and music.
I know I sound like a stuck record but by defining what your video is for, how and where it will be used upfront you can avoid a video agency trying to add colour correction specialists, sound designers and post-production sound editors.
There is a cost to any professional corporate video production but be aware that not all agencies are created (or are charging) equally, some will apply the same production set-up for a web and social media format video as they would a big budget TV ad production. We’ve had a client tell Film Haus about quotes of £19,000 for a project we charged £4,500 to complete and they were thrilled with the result.
A little knowledge goes a long way and being aware of the elements that add cost will help you plan and story-board a great video without frivolous unnecessary charges, as well as hold your agency to account. Remember to be creative – not costly.
Also, try to batch your filming to get better value. If you have a series of videos ask your agency about the possibility of filming them in one session rather than all separately. For simple but effective videos, like interviews, testimonials, explainers, demos, instructional, tours etc, this can prove great value.
Film Haus rates start from £850, which is for a camera operator for the day and some post production editing, but honestly all projects are different and we’d need to discuss your full requirements. Just know that we always quote honestly and transparently, breaking down the various costs for you to see and we never change the quote unless you change the brief – so what we quote is what you pay.
Our commitment to great value has never and will never mean that we compromise on quality, we simply use our knowledge of equipment, creativity, a lean structure and talented people to make your budget go further - your video will be great.