It’s a fair question, but the answer is not so simple. Here is an example of a typical email I receive at least twice a week.
Hi Urban Video,
I want to create a 2-3 minute video for my website. How much will that cost?
A well-meaning, potential client
Every time I receive one of these emails, I have to admit, I do become a bit frustrated, because I immediately have to respond with a request for more details. This isn’t frustrating because I am personally annoyed that I have to reach out to this person, it is more of a frustration knowing from experience that this person usually isn’t ready to talk about the project yet and only wants to gather numbers at this stage.
Yes, there are freelancers and companies out there that will provide you with a quote based only on the length of the video. While, we take this into consideration, we would never quote you on that information alone. In all honesty if quality is important to you, I would be wary of anyone that does this. If they are proposing a one-cost-fits-all solution to their projects, well then I would expect a one-template-fits all final video. Ultimately, it speaks to the person providing the quote’s level of experience.
Simply put, our rates depend on brainpower (hours and days) and equipment required to produce the video at all three stages of production. Below are just some examples of the different types of services we consider when we are quoting.
Pre-Production (The Work Before The Shoot) Hours:
- Are we writing the script, or is it being provided? Is research required? Should we have a Writer’s Room session?
- Is story-boarding required?
- Any pre-interviews? Who is writing the questions and organizing the schedule?
- Are actors and a casting call required? How about location scouting?
Production (The Shoot) Days:
- How many days of shooting are required?
- What equipment is required? (What kind of camera, or cameras? Is this being shot in 4K? Do we need aerial? A jib or stabilizer? What kind of lighting and audio, etc)
- How big of a team do we need?
- Do we need makeup, wardrobe or studio time?
Post-Production (Editing) Hours:
- Are there any graphics or animation such as a logo sting or lower-thirds required?
- Sound design costs can vary on the type of soundtrack, effects or even voice-overs that might be required.
- How many rounds of reviews would you expect and how would you like the final product delivered?
I don’t expect everyone that contacts us to know the answers to all these questions from the get-go. But the more information you provide me, the more accurate estimate I can provide. If you tell me that you’d like a corporate video for your website that includes an interview with the CEO, client testimonials and footage of your team working at two different locations, that tells me that we’ll probably need at least three days of production, likely with one camera, one videographer and a someone to help set up and conduct the interviews. See what I did there?
Hourly rates vary depending on the seniority of the team members involved, and equipment fees vary on the cost of the equipment. Daily fees for a DSLR camera are obviously a lower cost than the Canon C300.
Bottom line, we can always give you a ballpark range for a project, but I know that isn’t very helpful if you’re trying to find dollars in your yearly marketing budget. The more information you can provide, the more detailed and accurate our quote will be.
I hope this is helpful!