Part One of the Series: How Much Does it Cost to Make a Video?
10 Questions You Know The Answer To
“How much does a video cost?”
As a video producer I am asked this question with, literally, no other information or context whatsoever. Before classifying this as a “stupid” question I am quick to remember once asking a contractor how much a kitchen remodel would cost.
“Anywhere from $500 to $50,000” He replied.
“Oh. What do I get for $500?” I asked.
Right away he knew I was a cheap clod who did not have $50,000.
I have heard some crazy things floating around the industry pertaining to estimating video costs. “$1,000 a minute!” – I have no idea where that came from, but I can tell you I’ve seen some one minute videos that cost 50 times more than $1,000 and yes, I’ve seen some 10 minute videos that were produced for $500.
The truth is, estimating the cost for any video production takes some doing. A truly dependable quote for a video is based on a script and/or outline that has been developed to represent the desired video. However, if you’re not that far along, a completed treatment form should be enough for a video producer to provide an initial estimate so you know the ballpark you will be in.
Stop me when I start telling you things you already know, but in my experience every treatment form starts with a handful of questions you probably know the answers to.
- Who is going to be watching this video (customers, clients, internal employees)?
- Why is this video important to them?
- What do you want them to walk away thinking about you or your product or your service or your overall business?
- What is the tone (humorous, smart, formal)?
- How long should it be (how long would you watch something from a vendor or partner)?
- Where will they be seeing it (live event, Facebook, website)?
- What “Style” or “Type” of video are you envisioning? (Documentary-style with interviews, Animated, Scripted with an on-camera host, etc)
- Have you seen some videos from competitors or other organizations from outside industries that have appealed to you?
- (If you can find an existing video that is very close to the purpose, look and feel, tone of the video you are envisioning – this may be the most valuable contributor to a solid estimate)
- How many shoot locations may be required and where are they?
- When do you need the video completed?
The answers to these 10 questions are the foundation of a solid video treatment form. This form we established ourselves based on the experience of producing multiple types of videos for the past 10+ years. But If you already use a treatment form that works for you great! The goal is simply to have a written foundation for your video.
HERE is an example of a completed treatment form from the featured VISANOW video above.
To download a free treatment form template click the link below and one will be emailed to you.
Again, an initial estimate should be possible once the treatment is completed, but a thorough quote really comes after the script or outline is finalized. Stay tuned for two more installments to this series that talk a bit more about how to get to a solid quote.
P.S. Our kitchen still has yet to be remodeled.
Written By: Curtis Gilbert – Creative Producer/Owner, p3 mediaworks