FAQ: How Much Should My Corporate Video Cost?

The variables you need to know.

Video Cost: The beautiful thing about corporate video is that it can cost as little or as much as you want to spend.  You can pay your nephew with the video camera he got for Christmas $50 to do an interview with you and post it on YouTube.  Or you can hire Quentin Tarantino (I hear he’s not making his most recent script, so he might be looking for work) to shoot an epic 3 minute video that hundreds of thousands of people are going to watch.  Most of us like something in the middle, but that middle area is a vast and lonely place, so how much should you be spending on your corporate video?  We broke down some of the costs for you.  And because we like concrete examples, we gave you three budgets for one car dealership commercial, that could go on both broadcast TV and YouTube.

1. Script and Creative

Strange as it sounds, the first priority for your corporate video should not be the camera or actors or amazing special effects.  Your corporate video will be far more effective if you sit down with an experienced marketer and discuss a few key components.  Talk to your video producer and marketers, and seriously consider the end goal for your video.  Think about who your audience is and what kind of video content will appeal to them.  This will give you an excellent starting point for your script and will springboard more creative ideas to make your corporate video appealing to your audience.

$5,000 budget: This budget will give your video marketer enough time to look at the commercials the dealership has done in the past and some example videos, suggest some changes, and write a script that goes something like “Hi!  Come on down and check out the great deals we have! Call or visit!”

$10,000 budget: This budget is a little roomier.  With more money to budget towards creative, your video marketer can think about who your audience is – if you’re target audience is college students, your video marketer will script something more humorous and sexy than they would for a target audience of adults with children.  but this gives them time to make a distinction between your car dealership and your competition.

$15,000 budget: Not only can your video marketer do more research about your target audience and your competition, they have more money to put onto the screen and increase production value.  This in turn can translate to more creative opportunities in the script writing process.  If you have enough money for two shoot days instead of one, the opportunity to drive one of the cars arises, or even hire an actor that can better help tell your story.  Right around this budget mark, corporate videos steer from run of the mill informational to more creative and entertaining.

2. Editing and Graphics

</>A wise producer once said ‘You are always in post-production.’  Post-production is the stage of filmmaking that occurs after the actual production and filming stage.  A video editor will stitch together the footage into coherent and engaging masterpiece.  Hopefully that masterpiece will be under 2.5 minutes to keep your viewers engaged.  And then comes the graphic polish.  As simple as some graphics may look, the reality is that anything beyond a simple logo on a background is time-consuming. Even a 9-second After Effects template can take hours to customize for a particular client or video. But the end result is worth it because it adds an additional level of polish that only compliments your brand.

$5,000: In this tight budget, and with video editors costing anywhere between $75 and $200 per hour, the best your corporate video can afford is a animated logo with some text.

$10,000: With this budget, your video editor can afford to spend more time custom-crafting graphics and animations for your corporate video.  This can mean an animation at the beginning to grab your viewer’s attention, and an animation at the end to add an extra level of polish.

$15,000: Some video marketing companies might take this opportunity to hire a dedicated animation or motion graphics artist to really increase production value.  This opens ups a realm of opportunities far beyond mere animated logos and can provide more of that creativity the budget provided upfront to shine on the screen.

3. Crew, Cast, and Camera

A good crew typically consists of a director/producer, a Director of Photography (the person with the camera), the camera assistant, and a sound operator.  With budget sizes, this crew can expand or shrink down, but usually three crew members is pushing the bare minimum.  As for cast, the same rules apply.  If no budget for casting exists, it’s usually the business owner or marketing director – whomever is willing to be on camera.  And as for the camera itself – you can shoot on a $500 HDV camera, a $3,000 DSLR rig, a fully-equipped full feature $10,000 HD camera, or even a $25,000 RED (which is in the same family as the camera they shot The Hobbit on, so that should give you some idea of quality).  Your video’s final destination should be taken into account when choosing cameras because it will affect the quality of the work produced.  Web videos don’t need a full-frame HD camera because people watch them on computers and phones.  But you notice it when low-quality video shows up on your HD television.

$5,000:  Usually in this realm, crews are slimmed down to the bare minimum, the camera is usually a DSLR, and the cast is whatever volunteer the producer and business owner could bribe to be on camera.

$10,000: This opens up options for camera rentals as well as a comfortable crew.  Typically those $10,000 cameras can be rented for a few hundred dollars a day, and the upgraded quality makes it easier for the video to go from web to broadcast.  This also might allow for a local model to pose or narrate with the cars, as well as some more inventive camera moves.

$15,000: This budget could allow for almost any camera you need, or even two quality cameras to double the amount of footage you get out of a day of shooting.  It also allows the crew to expand into a more efficient unit of people that don’t need to multi-task.  And it could open up the opportunities for talent – maybe a certain level of local celebrity or corporate sponsorship to expand your audience reach.

So there you have it.  A variety of budget options that will allow you to make an informed choice about your corporate video budget and needs.  For more information on what kind of factors go into your pricing, click here.