Many clients are looking for a quick answer to this question. We understand that cost is a key factor when deciding whether to produce a video, and choosing which video production company to work with.
Budgeting a video project involves many variables, and at YourFilm we pride ourselves on providing accurate quotes. Our clients never get a nasty surprise when the final invoice lands! To help us to accurately build a budget we ask that you:
Have a brief
All briefs start with 3 simple questions: What do you need the video to accomplish? Who is your audience? What key messages do you need them to take from the video? Other helpful information includes background on your organisation, access to videos you’ve produced in the past and of course your preferred time-frame for the project. We’re always happy to help you to build your brief – if you need a steer, just ask.
Be open about your budget
Most clients have a budget (range) in mind but often are reluctant to share it. Our aim is always to deliver the most effective video that your budget will allow. Anyone can commission an agency based on the lowest quote, but we think you should be appointing the people who understand what you are trying to achieve, have proven they can deliver and who can offer good value for money.
Share any reference videos you like
If you’ve seen a video which you like and which is relevant in some way to your new project, sharing it with us can be a great shortcut to producing a quote. “How much would something like ‘this’ cost?” is one of our most common enquiries.
Once we’ve established these basics, we can start to build your quote. Here’s a list of 10 areas which factor into our pricing:
1. Our experience
We have been creating videos and animations for more than 15 years. Our expertise & experience is baked right into our hourly rates.
Pre-production can cover concept generation, script writing, storyboarding, style frames, proof of concept clips, reference photos, location scouts and more. The more time we can spend in pre-production, the smoother the project will run.
3. Filming location
Just some of the questions we need to consider: Where are we shooting? Do we need a studio? A standard studio, or a green screen studio? Are we shooting in one location or many? Are they close together? What are the constraints of each location? Are we indoors or outdoor? If we are outside will weather be a factor? (In the UK, almost always!) How long will each scene, interview or shot take? How much set-up time is required?
We scale our crew depending on the scope of the given production and the types of shots we need to get. So for example, this TV advert was filmed in one day with a crew of two, whereas this one required a crew of more than a dozen working over two days. Key roles can include Director, Producer, Director of Photography, First AD, Camera Assistant, Hair & Makeup, Sound Recordist and Production Assistants.
The camera, lenses and lighting that we use to shoot your video can have a huge impact on the end result. Many production companies will tout their kit as the most important factor in a video’s success. The truth is, it’s horses for courses. We have an extensive kit cupboard, but sometimes additional camera rigs, lighting or special effects are required to make a shoot work. Sometimes the simplest request (“can we make it rain?”) requires a complex solution. We just make sure to use the right tools for the job, and are always transparent about how the kit budget is being spent.
4. Post-production – editing & graphics
This is where all the puzzle pieces are expertly put together. A skilled editor will vastly increase the production value of your film, particularly an editor who is experienced in editing brand films and commercials. The length of a video is often not a factor in the amount of post-production time required, for instance 15-minute B2B sector insight videos can be post-produced in just a couple of days, whereas a more complex 30-second TV advert may take a couple of weeks to complete. The importance of scheduling enough post-production time cannot be underestimated. This is skilled labour and time is needed to get it right.
5. Fees for actors, models and presenters
A great actor, model or presenter will elevate any production, and they should not be undervalued. Talent fees comprise ‘studio fees’ which cover their time on the day of the shoot including any prep and travel, plus a ‘usage fee’ which is calculated based on where the video will be seen and for how long. A national TV advert which runs for a month will usually cost more than a local TV advert which runs for 3 months, for example.
6. Voiceover fees
Voiceover fees are calculated in the same way as other talent, but there is a greater range of variables. For example, the fee for an hour’s worth of voiceover for ‘how to’ videos to be used internally by a company will be dwarfed by the fee for the same artist to record two lines for a nationally-broadcast TV advert.
7. Music & sound design
Almost all videos require a music bed and sound effects, at least. Pre-existing royalty-free music tracks can be licensed for online or broadcast use relatively cheaply, and we use carefully-selected libraries. For projects with bigger budgets a bespoke music track is a great option, and comes with the guarantee that the music will only be associated with your brand.
Licensing a well-known piece of music truly can cost almost anything, depending on the combination of artist, publishing rights-holders and the specific recording. We can’t quote on anything well-known until we speak to the relevant people, but we can often give you a rough idea of what a track might cost.
9. Stock footage
Stock footage can be an ideal and very practical alternative to an overly-costly or time-consuming shoot. For example, one client required some aerial footage of an oil rig. Rather than spend weeks and thousands of pounds putting our crew through safety training, booking them onto a helicopter and hiring camera mounts (or, hiring a specialised aerial filming crew) we found a clip which cost £100 to license.
10. Languages, translations & subtitles
Will your video be seen by non-English speaking audiences? If so, we may need to produce multiple versions of the video with alternative voiceover tracks and different on-screen graphics, and this may involve us having the script translated. Accessibility is also a factor here. Subtitles or closed-captions can be vitally important in connecting with your audience, particularly in a world where a viewer’s first interaction with your video may be it flashing across their eyes, silently, as they scroll through Facebook or Instagram…
We hope this gives you some insight into the major considerations when planning a video project. To speak to use about your specific requirements, please drop us a line.