Why do professional videos cost so much?

Why do professional videos cost so much?

If you’re not in the video production business you probably wonder why does it cost so much to make a corporate video. After all you can shoot videos on your phone these days and edit them yourself on the computer.

While sometimes it might work out paying for a cheaper production, other times it can burn a big hole in your pocket when you end up with a video you are embarrassed to show, or a video, which simply doesn’t connect with your target audience.

Occasionally I receive phone calls from organisations wanting to know how much does it cost to film someone. I realise very quickly they do not understand the video production process and the value that an experienced supplier can bring. There is a lot more to making a video than filming someone.

 

VIDEO STRATEGY

Without a clear strategy around your video you can end up going in the wrong direction in the wrong vehicle. Sure you might have a video at the end of the process but it if damages your brand and doesn’t achieve the outcome, what was the point?

A good video company will spend time working with you planning a strategy that will achieve your goals. It is highly valuable having someone outside of your organisation asking the questions you are too close to, to ask yourself.

The strategy should also identify how to produce the video(s) so that you get maximum bang for your buck. Video producers should understand where the money is getting spent and how to streamline the process so you are not repeating processes along the way.

 

PRE-PRODUCTION

The planning part of the video process is called pre-production. This involves concept creation, scriptwriting, sourcing locations, casting actors, securing crew, blocking out shots, creating storyboards.

You don’t want to turn up to start filming and realise you are missing key props, or worse get to the edit suite and realise you are missing essential shots in the production.

Pre-production involves anticipating exactly what is required during the filming and also in the editing. Certain shots may need to be filmed a particular way to ensure they work when edited together.

The creative part of pre-production is where experienced production companies can really add value. They will be able to deliver concepts which captivate your audience and ensure your message resonates.

Location permits may need to be purchased, talent release forms for the performers may need to be prepared and call sheets for everyone involved will need to be drafted. This all takes time, experience and money.

 

PRODUCTION

The filming process is known as Production. This is when the crew are there, the equipment is there and the talent is there.

Crew can include camera operator, audio recordist, hair and make up artist, teleprompt operator, director, producer and on bigger sets you will have lighting people, camera assistants, catering and others.

All these people are experienced professionals with years of expertise to bring value to the process. Additionally they will have equipment that is worth thousands and tens of thousands of dollars.

Sure you can film on your phone, but you are limited and depending on what you are trying to achieve you will not have a professional outcome. The audio will be dodgy, the focus will shift, the lighting will be uncontrolled and the camera is likely to be unsteady.

If those things aren’t important then go for the cheap option. 🙂

 

POST PRODUCTION

The first thing people notice when they start editing a video is that it takes a lot longer than they expected. What they expect could take an hour, ends up taking 6 or 8 hours.

And that’s when you have a good editing system with a fast processor and plenty of ram. Yes you can edit on iMovie but very quickly you are restricted with what you can do.

High end edit suites cost thousands and thousands of dollars and need skilled editors to ensure the work flows and the stories are told effectively.

Experienced editors not only know how to technically do the editing, they understand the power of story and how to create a compelling narrative. They know that an engaging video has a stirring soundtrack that emotionally connects with the viewer.

Often a professional voice over will be required to add impact to the production.

Professional corporate video production companies will also archive and back up projects so that when the client returns in three years time they are able to locate the project. This of course saves time and money down the road.

The professionals will have systems in place to make it easy for the client to provide feedback and deliver a completed production quickly.

I have heard stories of wedding video companies taking six months to edit wedding video. I wonder how much money was saved there?

 

DISTRIBUTION

Having a great video is only part of the mix. Without a relevant distribution strategy the video will hide on some random page of a website and never been seen. The investment in a video is too great to have it ignored.

A good production company will be able to help your video reach your target audience and be shared. They will be able to outline an array of ways to share your video and engage with your audience.

 

So next time you are getting a quote for a video ask yourself if the organisation you are talking to will be able to truly deliver what you need at the end of the project.


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About Geoff Anderson

Geoff Anderson is the owner of Sonic Sight and has been producing videos for 25 years. He is an author, presenter as well as a video producer.

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