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Video Production Cost Guide – An Insightful Cost Encyclopedia

video production cost
Learn how much does video production cost. Explore what factors affect the cost and how you can estimate your project cost-efficiently.

Crafting a video, whether it’s live-action or animated, requires resources, time, and money. The best practice for video production is to evaluate all three before beginning with production.

Of course, you have time because video production is important for your objectives, and resources can be decided only once you are clear with your budget.

For any video production, budget evaluation is necessary to know what video type, production company, video duration, and resource quantity you can use for your video production.

In this article, we will tell you about the importance of the video, the cost factors in video production, and the effective video production cost calculation.

If you are about, to begin with, video production, then give this article a quick read for better cost estimation.

P.S: Planning of producing a video but have no idea about video production? Worry not! Here is our video production guide that will help you in every step of video production.

Importance of Video in Business

In the past few years, videos have become common in our daily life. People watch videos to learn, explore, entertain, and much more. Most companies think of video content as their ultimate marketing asset and use them to market their business to the world.

Due to various video-sharing and social media platforms, video has become an integral part of our internet surfing.

Want to buy clothes? Watch video.

Want to purchase a gadget? Watch video.

Interested in a car? Stream a video.

Video is everywhere!

If you are a manufacturing company and interested in a profitable business, here are some statistics that might help you pick the right marketing medium for your brand – video, that is!

  • 94% of marketers have reported that video content has improved consumer comprehension of their services and products.
  • More than 50% of e-Store buyers claim that the online videos help them determine what product to buy from what brand.
  • 84% of customers were convinced to buy a service or product from a particular brand after watching their product video.
  • 58% of marketers use videos to promote their services, products, and brands.
  • 69% of the audience prefer to watch videos to learn about a product.

These statistics are massive!

Now, you know why video is so vital for business and to reach out to new customers.

Factors That Affect the Animated Video Production Cost

Animation is the new and frequently used video marketing trend that has been adopted by various companies throughout the globe for better marketing adaptation.

If you opt for animation over live-action, here are six factors that will affect your video production cost.

  • Pre-production
  • Custom video animation
  • Online software-based animation
  • Motion graphics (online tools) animation
  • Motion graphics (desktop tools) animation
  • Voice-over

To study these factors in detail, read our article about the factors analysis that help determine the video production costs.

Video Production Time Cost: 30-seconds, 60-seconds, & 120-seconds

Time plays a vital role in cost estimation. Generally, people prefer 30 to 120-seconds when it comes to animated marketing videos. Following are the video animation styles along with their costs that are broadly used for marketing purposes:

Animation Style Explainer Video Whiteboard Animation Motion Graphics 2D Animation 3D Animation
30-Seconds 2-3 weeks: $800-$1000 2-3 weeks: $800-$1000 2-3 weeks: $800-$1000 2-3 weeks: $800-$1000 4-6 weeks: $2000-$2500
60-Seconds 3-4 weeks: $1000-$1500 3-4 weeks: $1000-$1500 3-4 weeks: $1000-$1500 3-4 weeks: $1000-$1500 6-8 weeks: $2500-$3000
120-Seconds 4-6 weeks: $1500-$2000 4-6 weeks: $1500-$2000 4-6 weeks: $1500-$2000 4-6 weeks: $1500-$2000 8-10 weeks: $4000-$7000

For live-action videos, the duration starts from 60-seconds to as long as you want, and the cost will also vary. The initial cost for a live-action video is $500 approx., and as many seconds or minutes you add to your video, the cost increases.

Video Production Resource Cost: Freelancer Vs. Professional Producer

The resource is important for video project completion and also helps in identifying the overall production cost.

First of all, you need to understand your budget because it will help you recognize the quality and the quantity of the resources that you can afford. Majorly, there are three options for you to produce a video:

DIY Video Production

If you have video production experts in your company or if you are qualified enough to create a video on your own, then this option is best for you.

For DIY video production, all you need is a silent space, some video and audio recording equipment, and video editing software.

The first DIY video project will cost you around $200-$500 to buy equipment, upgrade the machine, and license the software. It is a lifetime investment until something breaks or gets outdated. Otherwise, you are good to go.

P.S: If you are willing to establish a home studio for DIY projects, check out our guide about DIY home video recording studios and video editing setup.

Employ a Freelancer

Surf on the internet, and you will learn how many talented individuals are there to craft a video for you. Fiverr, UpWork, Bark, Dribble, and Freelancer are the platforms where you can find an ideal video creator for your motive.

Usually, freelanced video production costs you around $600-$10,000. If you are looking for a smooth and stressless video production, then this option is not for you. Most people complain about delays in project deadlines, poor quality, and low communication when they employ a freelancer.

People hire one to two freelancers for one job, and as video production is a combination of various tasks, it requires a group of the workforce; in this scenario, keeping all the resources on the same page gets harder.

In our expert opinion, project quality always comes over cost-efficiency. If you have a sufficient budget and can afford a collective workforce (video production company), then don’t freelance your project.

P.S: If you are a freelancer and looking for a video production tools instruction manual, read our guide about video production equipment & software.

Hire a Video Production Company

Recruiting a video production agency can be a little expensive for many companies, but if you want a quality video project, then surely opt for this option.

Various video production and animation companies are out there to facilitate you with their top-notch video production services, but finding the best is quite a task.

An animated video production company costs you between $900 and $3,000 approx., which includes animated explainers, whiteboard animation, motion graphics, and 2D animation, but if you go for 3D animation, it will cost you around $3500-$7,000.

The traditional live-action video will cost you around $6,000-$11,000, but for accurate cost estimation, we have breakdown the video production cost into core production factors.

P.S: Living in New York and looking for a video production company? Here are the top video production companies in New York City that you should consider for your video project.

Video Production Factors and Cost Analysis

Every project is a collection of multiple tasks that the team has to execute. We have breakdown the video production cost according to each task and its complexity.

1. Project Management Cost

The project manager plays an administrative role in video production. He ensures that production costs should not overflow your budget. The project manager or coordinator also manages the video production timeline to keep track of every resource and their allotted deadlines.

He also manages that every resource follows its timeline, and the expected video quality should be achieved. A beginner-level fresh graduate project manager in the video production team will charge you $25 an hour and $250 an hour for a professional project coordinator.

2. Script Writing Cost

Some videos need scriptwriting, and some don’t, but you have to evaluate the video script necessity for your production. If your project requires a script, then you have to recruit a scriptwriter that varies from expertise to expertise, duration to duration, and narration to narration.

If you hire a scriptwriter for a 30-seconds video, a beginner-level scriptwriter will cost you $50-$100 an hour, and a professional writer will cost $100-$150 an hour.

There are two kinds of scripts: narration and screenplay. Narration is a complete written script that the off-screen artists (voice-over) use to narrate the story, and screenplay is a script that provides the on-screen artists (actors) instructions about movement, expression, actions, and dialogue.

The scriptwriting cost also depends on script type and video duration. The longer the video, the longer the script will be, and the higher will be the cost.

3. Artists’ Hiring Cost

Every video requires some on-screen and off-screen talent to help it reach success. The video production team hires voice-over artists, models, and actors for the video to play specific parts in the video.

We have been discussing that the cost majorly depends upon the expertise of the resource; the same goes with the artist hiring process. An average actor and voice-over artists cost you between $60 and $600 an hour, and if you go for the professional, the cost will start from $70-$700 per hour.

4. Video’s Visual Assets Cost

In video production, there are two types of shots: B-roll or cut-away shots. For instance, if it’s a product or service demonstration video you are making, then you will need cut-away shots to capture the working of the product and service.

Showing the audience what is being described in the video helps keep the attention of the viewer and also is more informative. Explaining what your product does and how it will be beneficial for the targeted audience engages the audience and build their interest in your products.

Video production cost is incomplete without calculating visual assets costs. Here are some elements that help you identify the cost:

  • Stock photos (royalty free)
  • Static images
  • Licensed photos
  • Custom photography & videography
  • Stock video (royalty free)
  • 3D models Purchase
  • Stock & Custom illustrations
  • Custom & Licensed video
  • Illustrations/3D Elements

Online stock photos and videos are usually available and are quite affordable as compared to customized assets. The drawback of using stock images is that they are available for everyone, and anyone can use them, which compromises your video’s individuality and uniqueness.

You can get stock images at $5 and high-quality stock footage at $10. B-roll and cut-away shots take 10% to 40% of the video production budget, which depends on the footage time and camera type.

5. VFX and Special Effects Cost

Some video projects require animations, special effects, motion graphics, or typography, which automatically at some cost to your video production budget.

The animated video costs you around $800-$2400, and the video editing will cost you between $600 and $1000 (depending on the animation or video complexity). However, VFX and special effects cost you from $95 to $300+ per hour. The cost of 3D animation depends upon the animator’s expertise and deadline.

6. The Location Cost

The location matters a lot when it comes to video production. An ideal location according to the visual requirement is important for the desired results. Here are some questions that you must consider:

  • Where are you shooting?
  • Is your video shooting requiring an indoor or outdoor setup?
  • Do you require a studio?
  • Do you need multiple locations for your video shoot?
  • Is your video need a green screen?

After the questions, there are some rents that you need to take care of:

  • The studio’s rent
  • The location’s permit and fee.
  • The travel cost.
  • The location cost. (i.e., building, studio, landscape)

The thing that helps in determining the video production cost is efficient cost-planning. You need to understand your budget and the location cost.

Suppose, if you have a location that is costing you hundreds of dollars and on the other hand, if you have a location that costs you almost half and gives you the exact ambiance, then going with the second option helps your video get done efficiently.

7. Music Licensing Cost

The video is incomplete without music and sound. There are so many projects that require special sound effects and require sound customization.

There are some websites that provide you with license-free sounds, but you must check the fines prints before using the music in your video. There are three music options when it comes to video production:

  • Custom sound, music, and audio
  • Stock music (royalty free)
  • Licensed music

2 to 3 minutes of royalty-free music cost starts from $11. If you hire an audio engineer or music composer, the audio customization will cost you $500 to $1,000+ (depending on the resources capabilities and project requirement).

8. Video Production Crew Cost

Knowing the number of people involve in your video production project is good, but understanding how much it will cost you to pay each is important. Following are the people who complete your video production crew:

  • Producer, project manager, or project coordinator
  • Director of videography (DV)
  • Director of photography (DP)
  • Sound team
  • Lighting team
  • Makeup/hair team
  • Camera team
  • Dress and costume team
  • Editor team
  • Designer and animation team.

The crew quantity depends on the project complexity, video length, shooting duration, and budget. The animated video does not require a director, camera team, lighting team, makeup team, and costume team. The director, directors, and editors earn from $100 to $200 an hour. The sound team (with equipment) earns between $50 and $80 an hour, and the lighting team earns between $30 and $55 an hour.

9. Video Rendering & Compression Time

Video rendering and compression are parts of the video production process. In fact, most of the time, the costs for video rendering and compression are covered by eating expenses.

It will cost you from $25 to $75 an hour, depending on the computer speed.

10. Video Production Overhead Cost

Video production crew require various equipment like lights, cameras, sound, computers, studio, and software. Insurance is also important in liability and workers’ compensation.

If you are making a video on a smartphone, it will cost you around $200, and if you shoot the video with a camera, it will cost you approx. $25,000.

The Final Video Production Price List

Here is a summary of all the costs we covered in this post:

Project management cost: $25 to $250 an hour

Scriptwriting cost: $100 to $150 an hour

On-screen & off-screen cost: $60 to $600 an hour

Visual assets cost: 10% to 40% of the video production cost

VFX & special effects cost: $95 to $300+ an hour

The location costs: $100 to $500 an hour or depending on the location.

The music licensing costs: $500 to $1,000+.

Video production crew cost: $100 to $200 an hour.

Video rendering & compression time cost: $25 to $75 an hour.

Video production overhead costs: $200 to $25,000.

The Recap

We have included all the costs that will be needed to create a video. You surely need to focus on the budget, time, and resources.

Before beginning with the project, you need to understand why video production is important for your business and how it can affect your sales graph.

If you are into animated video production, you need to understand the factors that can affect your video animation production budgeting like pre-production, custom video animation, online software-based animation, motion graphics (online tools) animation, motion graphics (desktop tools) animation, voice-over, scriptwriting, and post-production.

Divide your video production cost between time and resource, and identify the cost accordingly. Identify the video duration and hire the resource as needed. In video production, you get two types of resources that you have to choose, manage, and pay for according to your project budget.

Video production is divided into ten tasks where you have to invest your money smartly. If you follow our article religiously, then you will never face any challenges with video production money.

You can even hire an accountant for budgeting who will estimate a budget plan for you with respect to your production processes and tasks.

The Writer’s Choice

If you are looking for video editing services, BuzzFlick – an NYC-based video animation studio – is here to assist you with expertise. The studio has a team of talented and qualified directors, producers, editors, animators, graphics designers, scriptwriters, voice-over artists, and audio engineers who put their 200% into your project.

BuzzFlick offers various video production and animation services like 2D animation, 3D animation, 3D modeling, explainer videos, motion graphics, whiteboard animation, and live-action & animated video editing.

Sophiea Ank

Sophiea Ank is an animator, but her passion for reading and writing made her Content Head at BuzzFlick. She loves to educate people through her blogs about technologies, animation, videography, and games. In her free time, she watches "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and reads to Paulo Coelho.

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