The Basics 2 – Levels of Video Production:
We’d all love Hollywood-level video production on our websites, but that’s not practical for most businesses. To give you a sense of what you might pay for a business or corporate video (and to help you develop a realistic budget) we’ve broken your options down into five categories, from very basic to highly sophisticated, and I’ve included cost ranges for each.
Using basic consumer video equipment, you shoot and edit your own video. The sound and lighting won’t be great, but for situations where quality isn’t important it gets the job done. The danger, of course, is that if you use it in the wrong situations it can damage your brand image.
Cost for a 2–3 minute video: Free (not including equipment)
A videographer (non-professional) with some experience, maybe your brother-in-law or a friend of your son, etc; who might be doing this as a hobby or part-time using a prosumer camera and editing software, may produce decent video. The results can vary greatly, however, depending on the operator’s skill and available time. And the final product, while competent, usually lacks polish and is less interesting to watch than a professional video production. This type of video can be useful for video blog posts, recording events, and internal training. It’s typically not high enough quality to feature prominently on your website.
Cost for a 2–3 minute video: Free – $1,000
Lower Level Professional
At this level, you get a team of professionals who work full or part-time with video production using professional-level equipment. They won’t have the experience of the next level or spend as much time on the project as premium pros, and they won’t bring premium talent to the job, but they will produce crisp, credible video. Many of these people have a “day job” and do this for extra cash. It may not elicit cheers, but it won’t embarrass you, either. This type of video is most appropriate for people speaking on camera in their office, profiles and simple descriptions of services.
Cost for a 2–3 minute video: $1000 – $10,000
Premium video production combines top talent and high-end tools. The team has more experience and spends more time planning and editing, producing an end product that generates excitement and buzz. This is potentially award-winning material that tells a compelling story and really engages the viewer with a good pace that just feels right. You’ll have options of tele-prompters, make-up technicians, specialized lighting and sound, animations, compelling graphics and more. Invest in premium video when you want to grab people’s attention, tell your company’s story, produce professional well-lit interviews, present engaging case studies, market or train effectively or make your product or service stand out in a competitive environment.
Cost for a 2–3 minute video: $3,000 – $50,000
5. Hollywood — You don’t have to live in Hollywood to create top-notch video. You just need money. This is video at its very best, and only large global firms are likely to be able to afford it. This level typically can incorporate extensive planning, creative concept development, well known actors or spokespeople, a script and concept that really engages,the best production equipment such as; cameras, lighting, studio rental, set design, global travel, and graphics and effects by talented designers. This will incorporate specialists for every aspect of the crew, and trucks of equipment. If you have the budget, use it for high-end advertising, viral campaigns or as a signature piece about your firm.
Cost for a 2–3 minute video: $100,000 – $1,000,000+
The categories above are arbitrary and there is gray area between each. What can often happen is that as talent and equipment improve, the same people can upgrade the category of what they provide. Because a video project is like selecting a car with many options, the price ranges for your project can be at either end of the range.
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