How much does a professional video cost?

How much does a professional video cost?

Date: 28th May 2020 | By: Steve Bollschweiler
Pricing in the creative industries can be complicated. With so many variables around duration and specific requirements from project to project it is difficult to give a definite answer to the question 'what will it cost me to have a video made for my business?' without a more in depth discussion. However, it is possible to get a better idea of what things will affect the costs.
As you will see below, every step can be heavily influenced by decisions made in previous steps all the way back to the strategy/planning stage. This means that whether shooting just one video or a series of videos across months or a year, in depth planning is key to maximising use of your budget. Great planning will also impact the overall success of your video marketing efforts and ultimately the return on your investment. It is also important to note that below are just the most common cost affecting things to consider – depending on your project there may be more options that are not listed here.


Strategy – The most important part of video marketing, this is an unavoidable part of the process.

What is the variable?

The amount of time our video strategist will spend on this part of the process. This can be anywhere from one day for small one-off video projects to five days for larger organisations who want an in depth, 12 month video strategy.

Concept – Development of ideas for a specific video/series of videos.

What is the variable?

Complexity of the project. A simple video concept will require less preparation time with regards to storyboarding, shot-lists and logistics.

Consider these two examples -

A video based solely in the offices of your business which features your employees on camera talking about the company's values and culture.

A brand insight video that features one employee's story about how they came to work for your business and how it has enriched their life. It follows them from their home, documents their life-style and shows their daily work routine.

The second idea clearly has a lot more to think about in the way of logistics, story-telling and locations – a more complicated concept takes more planning and will therefore increase costs.

By the way – both of these examples would be well placed at the top of your sales funnel in the awareness stage!

Script development – If you're creating an explainer video or perhaps a product advert you'll likely use a voice-over.

What are the variables?

Length of script – longer scripts will take longer to develop and write therefore increasing the price.

Amount of back and forth between script writer and client – once a draft has been written it is usual practise to get it signed off by the client. At this point, the client may request changes. To keep costs down it is important to be as in depth and detailed in the first round of changes as possible to avoid too many subsequent change requests.

Expertise of script writer – As with any service there are different levels of expertise that will all come at different prices. You could hire a script writer with 30 years experience and has worked for worldwide brands, or you could hire a script writer fresh out of college with some great ideas and knowledge, but less real-world experience. Clearly there will be a difference in price here – which one you go for depends on budget, size of project and your brand positioning.

At Insight Video Marketing we can develop and write scripts for different types of video, but sometimes it is necessary to outsource.

Find out how to get the most out of pre-production with this handy guide.


Amount of shoot days – how long it will actually take to capture all the content required to make the video achieve its goals.

What are the variables?

The amount of days needed is very closely related to the concept/complexity of the project discussed in pre-production.

The number of shoot days is affected by amount of locations, contributors and/or actors involved. It is important to take time with camera setups to ensure the best possible quality, so trying to cram too much filming into one day can be detrimental to a video production.

To keep costs down, consider keeping locations to a minimum, or having a limited number of on camera contributors/interviewees.

Amount of crew – Depending on the complexity of the project and amount of content required, you may need more than one person on the shoot at any given time.

What are the variables?

Director/Shooter combo – My personal preference is to have at least a two person crew. This leaves me free to direct a shoot, liaise with the client and keep everything on track. Working as a team also allows a little more creativity – the ability to discuss ideas, shots and lighting gets the creative process flowing a little more.

The type of video – An event at a huge location with hundreds of attendees and speakers on stage will need at least a crew of three in order to capture the content sufficiently. Equally, a very involved shoot for a high-end product or brand will need a producer, director, camera operator and director of photography – at the very least! A small business landing page video has a lot less need for that many crew and could easily be shot by a one person crew.

Other considerations could even be down to the sensitivity of a subject. For example, imagine you're a mental health charity making a film about someone who has benefited from your services. That person is unlikely to want to be interviewed/filmed in front of a large crew of people – so in order to get the best answers from them, a small one person crew would be essential.

Aerial Filming – The use of drones has become very prevalent over the last few years and it certainly can add a lot of production value to a video.

What are the variables?

Abilities of the drone/operator – consider what you need the drone to do, what sort of performance does it need to have? A simple aerial shot of your facilities/surrounding area can be achieved by a low-end drone, this will keep the costs down. However, if your shoot requires the drone to follow a car at speed, operate in adverse/windy conditions or you need a super high quality camera mounted to the drone, the costs can drastically increase.

For more information about our video production service - head on over to this page

Post Production

Number of days required for editing – Once all the footage has been captured it of course needs to be edited into the final film – this is where the story is really honed and all the hard work beforehand comes together visually for the first time.

What are the variables?

Amount of interviews – An interview with one person can last anywhere between two minutes and an hour (or more!) and it is the job of the editor to go through that interview footage and pick the best and most relevant answers that help tell the story and enforce the key messages for the video.

To keep costs down – only interview key people during production, the fewer the interviews, the less time it will take to piece together the interview footage, which is often the backbone of a video. Also consider having a crew member/staff member taking notes throughout the interviews, so that the editor has a document to reference after the shoot.

Amount of footage shot over-all – The less you shoot, the less time you have to spend selecting footage to put in the final video. If you shoot with 3 cameras you'll end up with up to 3 times more footage. Remember, it will sometimes be necessary to have more cameras on a production, or indeed more days – but it is worth knowing that the more time you spend shooting the more time it will take to put together in post-production.

Motion Graphics – a great way to add an extra level of dynamics to video content and make it more engaging, but even the most simple animation can quickly become expensive.

What are the variables?

Complexity – A simple intro/outro logo animation with your company name and perhaps a simple lower third comes as standard in all of our videos. Sometimes however, it is necessary to support the key messages with some animation, and the more complex that animation becomes the pricier it gets.

For example, lets say you have a shot of a cyclist pedalling and you want to visualise the amount of energy the cyclist uses with each pedal. You could achieve this by animating graphics that match the motion of the cyclists leg and the number of calories burnt go up over time. This is moderately complex. Now imagine the camera is panning up from the road to the cyclist – not only does your animation need to match the motion of the cyclists leg, but also the movement of the camera. This adds another element of complexity, expertise and, ultimately cost.

Amount of motion graphics throughout a video – Is it just one portion of the video that needs animation, or is it required multiple times throughout the video?

To keep costs down consider how necessary it is to include motion graphics. If it is required then try to keep it as simple as possible without losing production value.

Voice-over – If your video requires a voice-over it is important to cast the artist correctly. It will need to fit with the look and feel of your video, as well as resonate with your target market. A video promoting the benefits of a bank account aimed at 16 years olds probably wouldn't do too well if the voice-over was recorded by a 70 year old man!

What are the variables?

Experience – As with script-writers, voice-over artists come at a variety of levels of experience. While a more experienced artist could cost more, they will also give better results with minimal direction, so may be a good choice in the long run.

Length of script – the longer the voice-over the higher the cost will be. How much the price increases from artist to artist is always different.

Shop around to find a happy medium between experience, quality and price. Websites like Fiverr are great to get an idea of what you can get for your money.

Additional edits – Once you're happy that your video is done, it is often possible to use the content in other ways. You could take snippets of the video to create shorter versions, go back to the interview footage and see if there's any other subject matters that were covered that could make a compelling video.

Distribution – To get the best possible performance out of video content, you need to make sure it gets in front of the right audience, on the right platforms at the right times. Distributing and optimising your video content helps with that.

What are the variables?

Platforms – Some video hosting platforms can cost money, some are free. There are benefits to both – the most popular and best base platform for most cases is YouTube, which is of course free.

Amount of videos to optimise – the more videos that need optimising and monitoring the more time is required to do so.

Distribution strategy – It goes without saying paid advertising costs more than free advertising, some content suits paid advertising, some doesn't. It is important to bare in mind budgets for promoting your video content after delivery if paid advertising is a route you need to go down.

To keep costs down, discuss whether or not paid advertising is absolutely necessary, are there other options? Also, put some time in to learn the key indicators of a videos success and how you can optimise your video content internally, rather than relying on a company like Insight Video Marketing to do it for you!

Well, that's it for now – if you made it this far, very well done! I hope this has given you an idea of what can affect the price of a video production. This re-enforces the importance of working with a video marketing company with the right experience to recommend specific packages that fit your budget and will help you achieve your marketing goals. If you decide to work with us at Insight Video Marketing, we will make sure you understand why we've suggested the solutions we think are best for you.

Video content is an investment – we strongly recommend coming at any form of marketing content from the perspective of “what content do I need to achieve my business goals and how can we make that happen” rather than a 'price first' mentality. Cutting corners and going for the cheapest may be a good short-term solution, but may well come back to bite you further down the line. Investing in quality and experience will give you results to be proud of far into the future.