McLean Corporate Video | Serving Northern Virginia & Washington DC
McLean Corporate Video | Serving Northern Virginia & Washington DC

Video Production: What to Consider

The Cost of Video Production: What to Consider

The cost of video production has always been a mystery. Doesn’t matter whether you run your own shop or are the marketing manager for a large corporation. Everyone has budgets to honor and sometimes the first question is ” How much for a video?” Like buying a car it depends what all you want in it. I’ll use the analogy of car shopping and you’ll quickly see they are much alike.


You get what You pay for

Mercedes cost more than Fords because you’re paying for craftsmanship and workmanship. Same with video production. There’s different styles and quality of cars different models have different prices.

If you’re buying a basic, strip down version you’ll pay an introductory price. If you’re looking to get top of the line wheels then you’ll invest substantially more. There’s a common misconception that all video cost the same and you get what you want, a lot like an all-you-can-eat -buffet. Nope, it doesn’t work like that. You’ll see the same thing happening with videos. For example, a 2 minute video will cost less than a 15 minute video because your paying for possibly longer shooting hours but most likely more seat time in editing. That of course doesn’t include any special effects or graphics that your requesting for the video.

Some company’s charge by the finished minute. A thousand dollars per finished ( edited ) minute of the final video. This practice comes from productions that require large crews and intensive resources and editing. Expect this from Ad agencies with significant overhead. Generally speaking, the smaller size production companies with less overhead can charge less than the $1000/ finished minute template. This leads to the flat rate approach. Pending on the number of locations to shoot at, number of those being interviewed and editing requests for special effects etc, an approved script can bring you a reasonable price at the negotiation table.

The more special effects and animation the more it will cost

Marketing videos - McLean Corporate Video
Photo by Sam McGhee on Unsplash

Here’s a more synonymous look with buying a car. If you want animation in your video or motion graphics that will drive up the price. A lot like asking for a moon roof or a convertible version of the car. So keep in mind, what will attract your potential customer? If they get excited about animation and leads to the email inbox getting full… then it’s a requirement. If not, save money.

                                                         How many people will be interviewed

How many people will be on camera talking? If you have one interviewee can only take so much time so the crew is there a lot less time. The more people on camera the more time it will take to record all of them. Think about it, you don’t want to shoot everyone in the same spot right? So, you’ll have to move the lights and cameras to several locations within the office let’s say, to record the balance of those being interviewed.


In how many locations are we shooting? This refers to locations versus different rooms in one office. The more locations we have to travel, set up and break down the more time it takes. Your video is more likely to be interesting and engaging but with the extra production time and editing time it will cost more , but look better.

Post Production

Motion graphics, animations, and other post production requests though all make the video look killer will cost more. You have to ask yourself, what will resonate with my potential customers? These features cost more because it takes time to build animation and motion graphics sequences.

Construction Videos Richmond                                                                   Length of Video

As you can imagine, the longer the video the more it tends to cost. We’re talking professional videos not a camera, on a tripod in the back of the room… that stuff can be done by anyone with a consumer camera. The longer the video the longer it takes to produce and consequently affects the price. Now a rule I always go by ( and I didn’t come up with it ) if the message is compelling and keeps the viewer drawn in the length of the video is not priority. Now, if you’re not sure about the engagement factor of your video then a default is to keep it under 60 seconds. The more viewers and engagement the videos garner the longer you can make the videos.

                                                                   Try Before You Buy

You can do all the research you want, but you absolutely need to look at samples before making your final decision for a video production company. And don’t just settle for a “sizzle reel” with the company’s best shots. Ask for samples of the type of video you want to produce.