How to plan your video budget

How to plan your video budget

The world is rapidly moving in favour of video as a form of communication in the digital age. We’re all starting to notice it, but what does it take to produce high quality content?

When clients generally ask us how much a video costs, they’re often surprised by the unexpected costs involved. You probably can get away with creating a video with natural light and an i-phone but that would be the equivalent of placing a junior Varsity Cup prodigy into a final World Cup match and holding thumbs he doesn’t choke!

Good quality production comes with a price tag. We’ve put together a list of elements to keep in mind when setting a budget for your video production.

A professional production is not a one man show. The Director, Producer, Art Director, Makeup Artists, Costume Designer, Scriptwriters, Sound Engineer and Production Assistant are an integral part of a smooth-running set.  The rule of thumb is that the bigger the crew, the more expensive the video is going to be. If you think about how long the end credits of a movie are, you get the idea! (R10,000 – R45,000)

Location will play an important role in setting the tone of your video. The more locations your production requires, the longer it will take to shoot. Don’t forget about the travel method in getting to your locations! Is the location easy to access? Or does the crew need to be flown in by helicopter? Cargo fees will also apply to travelling with equipment. Our very own Hayes pulled off an incredible project for Three Cities. The shoot took place over three countries with the challenge of shooting 22 hotels in 22 days (including travel)! (R5,000 – R15,000)

With the first two points above, it’s important to note that most crew will charge an hourly rate. That means the longer it takes to shoot, the bigger the bill is going to be at the end of production. All this content will also need to be edited in post-production and this will add to the hours of work you are billed for. (R5,000 – R15,000)

Depending on the type of production you are putting together, you may be looking at hiring actors or voice over artists. Any dialogue in your shoot will need a copywriter. The more dialogue, the higher the costs! You do have the option of keeping your cost down by making use of amateur actors but, they often require more direction and can delay production with re-takes. If you are using an actor that is represented by an agency, there are often casting fees and usage rights that need to be followed. Be prepared to open your wallet if you choose to use a high-profile actor! (R15,000 – R30,000)

The Project Manager takes care of all the unseen elements of the production. They will take care of everything from sourcing locations, models, crew to arranging logistics, drafting the call sheet and feeding everyone on set – a hungry crew is a grumpy crew! (R5,000 – R10,000)

With technology expanding as fast as it is, just about anyone can get their hands on a decent entry level camera. The better the equipment, the higher quality of production you’ll get. The upkeep on hardware and the upgrades on software come with a price. To stay ahead of the game, you need to be using the best in the business and the camera itself is just the start. A professional production will also need lighting, sound and all the added accessories to create that perfect shot! (R20,000 – R100,000)

Professional equipment doesn’t come cheap! Something is bound to go wrong when you don’t have it covered, that’s Murphy’s Law. We’ve heard of a few nightmare scenarios including dropping the camera into the sea, the lead actor breaking a leg or having an accident on route to set. It’s important to leave breathing space in the budget to account for these disasters. (R2,500 – R5,000)

Long after the filming is complete, there is an enormous amount of work that goes into processing the content. Editing is crucial in creating the end result. This creative process cannot be rushed. The producer will need to consider the length of the video and cut content down accordingly, working through hours of film to perfectly communicate the desired effect. Music will also influence the mood of a film. Talking about music, that comes with a price tag too. All music used in videos has copyrights that need to be accounted for. The price will increase depending on the popularity of the music or song you choose. (R25,000 – R50,000)

We all wish it didn’t cost so much to get it done! But producing a successful video is an investment. Making it a smart and effective investment that brings you a return is where we can help. We work with budgets ranging anywhere from R25,000 to R250,000+ and we are here to help you get the best and most effective video for your money.