We often get asked: "how much does a video cost?". Sometimes, it's even the first question that we get asked. Normally, we can't answer this with just a figure (well, at least not straight away). Wthout knowing more information, the best we can give is a vague answer of between £3,000 - £100,000.
We have always said that we are an insight-led creative agency. By this, we mean that we take the time to understand you as a client. We want to get to know how you see the company, what your short and long term goals are, and what your audience is. We like to have a conversation with you to understand these points because, whilst the information is normally there on the website or available on other platforms, sometimes you get a different steer by speaking to the owner and employees of a company directly.
Then, at this stage, we like to find out one crucial thing: what do you want to achieve with a video? Does your objective align with current business goals? Or does it set out new one's? Then we will ask you what ideas you have. Sometimes, the ideas that our clients are the best ones. We're not saying this because we're lazy, but because clients know better than anyone how they want their business represented.
In this whole insight gathering process, we like to challenge thoughts and ask probing questions to give us the best insight. Finally, we like to ask what budget bracket you are working with. This isn't about us trying to make the most money for the job. It's about us trying to work out what works best within your budget. We often propose ideas in a lower budget bracket, even when the top value is higher, because this allows us to produce ideas that work. We have always wanted to be seen as an extension of our clients team, and want to build rapport and trust, and with that we want our videos to provide actual value for you. So it might, for example, be that your budget bracket actually allows for a series of videos. Ultimately, we want and need to know your budget so we can push the ideas to the best level for you.
Once we have got this insight, we like to take the time to process it and discuss creative options amongst our team before presenting our ideas to you. And whilst the client often has the best idea, we will always give you alternatives as well. You can see in the above how much thought goes into a quote. But the insight leads the creative idea and that really does affect the quote.
So let's try and break down some of the costs of a video.
The level of pre-production does vary depending on the film, but costs might be needed for:
casting, scriptwriting, location scouting, and pre-production management (including risk assessments and call sheets). Allow £450 a day for pre-production and per speciality.
One day of filming with an experienced camera operator, using a professional broadcast camera, with no advanced lighting set ups costs between £750 - £1800 per day. This cost depends on the camera being used. It is worth noting that this person normally has spent years understanding what makes a great shot and how to light for different moods. In short, the price for their camerawork reflects their talent.
One day of a Producer / Director ranges from £550 - £1500, depending on style of the film and how the film will be used. The price will automatically be higher for a tv advert, as we pay our crew and freelancers APA rates. (APA = Advertising Producers Association). Depending on the shoot, we will combine the role. However, this isn't always possible due to logistics and the needs of the shoot. A Producer Director combined roles is broken down well on https://www.screenskills.com/job-profiles/browse/unscripted-tv/editorial/producer-director/
Again, depending on the shoot, we might also needs a range of camera assistants/focus pullers to speed up the filming process and also improve the quality of the filming. These will be between £350 - £550 with kit per day. Then, we often work with runners who will help with all aspects of production; allowing us to develop crew into other roles. We encourage our runners to ask questions on set. These are priced at between £100 - £205 per day.
Depending on the complexity of the shoot, we might also have a lighting crew, whose sole job is to look after lights. We might also use sound recordists and boom operators and data wranglers. These come at a cost of £350 - 600 with kit included.
After the shoot we have post-production, where the film comes together. Prices for editing, colour grading and animation vary on the type of film and where it is being used, but allow £450 - £750 per day based on the skill set. All prices listed above are subject to a production fee of 25% and VAT. Please be aware that these are not fixed prices and that, as time goes on, they are likely to change.