Understanding the cost of a professional video production

The cost of a professional video production depends on two general areas. The first cost area will be determined by the length and quality of the video production you require for your business. The second cost area relates to the resources which the video production company provides e.g. experienced filmmakers, type of equipment, editing skills, script development, voice over narration, and the location(s) of the shoot.

Let’s go through some of these elements in more detail:

Length and run time: For example, if you need a two to three minute marketing video for your company then we generally require a single day of video shoot. A single day shoot generally provides us with enough footage for up to five minutes of a completed marketing video. However, if you require a training video, we typically estimate a full day of shoot for up to 10 minutes of the completed training video. Therefore, if your training video (or videos) is 20-30 minutes in length then we would need two to three days of video shoots.

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Production value: This area relates to the look and feel, the style, and attractiveness of the final video production. The creativity of the production team will play an important role. For example, the creative team should have the ability to take a dry business concept and create an interesting visual communication.

Script development: Many of our video productions require some form of script writing and development. An experienced script writer engages the audience and keeps them listening right to the end of the video.

Storyboard development: During the storyboard development we take the completed script and apply visual images (both video and photo images) to the script. In essence, during this step we are “building” a video book. Typically, the script is written first and then the storyboard development follows. I know some video production companies develop the storyboard first and then write the script but I find that sequence more challenging and we don’t do it at eTown Videos.

Professional voice over narration: Professional voice over narration is sometimes necessary depending on the type of production format that you choose. However, many times voice over narration can add additional impact to the video production and help underscore the message of the video.

Spokespersons and actors: Some video productions benefit from having spokespersons or actors assist in telling your story. You may also use your own employees for the video production, but there are times when professional actors and spokespersons can bring just the right personality and tone to the video production.

Location of the video shoot: Additionally, the number of locations and the distances to those locations needs to be considered. The cost of a single location shoot which is within a two hour drive differs from a shoot where significant travel is involved.

Post production editing: As Michael Sinopoli, our senior filmmaker would say: “Editing is an art.” Editing is indeed an art which is developed though experience and inherent creative talents. There’s is plenty of editing software available on the market today which lets you edit and add clips together. These software packages come preloaded with dozens of visual and audio affects as well as transition and video effects. However, in my experience, truly great editors do not use a lot of effects, they stick to the content of the video footage. Superior editing enlivens a video project in a way that can only come from the experience of handling hundreds of hours of footage, and understanding which scenes to combine and at exactly which frame to begin or end a clip. A great editor is also able to ensure that the final video production is in line with the customer vision and expectations.

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Animation: In some cases, computer graphics animation is needed to assist in illustrating concept which may be difficult or impossible to explain in any other format. Additionally, businesses or organizations may like to add logo animation and special on screen titling for names and job descriptions. In these instances, particular attention must be paid to a coherent style and theme when adding animation to a video production.

Music: In almost all cases, music is added to a video production to compliment the message. Your video production team will work with you to help select a musical piece which will set just the right mood and tempo.

Video Distribution: The completed video production may be delivered by DVD or web-ready formats. In some cases, the video production company offers services to distribute the completed video to major hosting sites, adds a search engine friendly meta tags, and assists your IT department in choosing the best method to display the video on your company website.

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