Short Answer: It Depends
A few months ago I was asked to write on the topic of “how much does a corporate video cost?” for the Globe and Mail (you can read that article here) but while that article touches upon many of the major factors involved, it doesn’t get into the specifics of rates and costs. While I can’t tell you exactly how much a video will cost to produce (because it quite honestly does depend) but asking yourself (and whoever you hire to make your video) these two questions will go a long way to determining how much YOUR video costs.
Question 1: What Kind of Video Am I Making?
The first question you should ask yourself is what type of video do you need? Is it a simple, 60 second testimonial being shot on location at your business in an hour, or a 60 minute informercial being shot in a professional studio for a week? A short testimonial video might cost you as little as $500 where a feature length production can be into the tens (and hundreds) of thousands of dollars.
Figuring out what kind of video you need will help you determine length, location, talent and dozens of other factors that will all add to your final cost. Of the more than 100 videos I’ve produced over the past 4 years, the majority have been 1-2 minute profiles of businesses or people…and many cost less than $5,000 to make.
Question 2: Who’s Producing My Video?
Next to the actual type of video being produced, the most important aspect of determining how much a video costs (and more importantly how it’s going to look) is who is actually making your video. Is it your nephew that just got a camera for his birthday, a recent film school graduate with entry level equipment or a team of top rung professionals with all the bells and whistles?
To put it in perspective, a recent grad might cost around $25-40/hr where a top professional could easily be $200/hr (and up). That’s not to say the recent grad wont make you an awesome video, but you generally get what you pay for. Make sure you see a large sample of completed work before hiring anyone to make your video…it’s the only way to see what you’re really getting quality wise.
The Bottom Line
There are dozens (some would even say hundreds) of factors that need to be considered when determining how much a video will cost to produce. That being said, you probably need a short, simple video to introduce your business and you don’t need it to be made by Michael Bay (Slow motion helicopters at sunset look awesome but won’t help you sell more widgets).
If you need a simple video, 1-2 minutes in length featuring your business and employees, a safe range to consider would be the $2,500-$10,000 range. You can of course find producers that can make you a video for less than that, and you can DEFINITELY find ones that will make you one for more. At the end of the day, you will very much so get what you pay for. When it comes to hiring a company that will handle your image and brand properly, make sure they know how to make you look and sound great.