Explaining marketing video costs for managers

No two video production companies sell at the same price, so it’s difficult for any marketing manager to compare video quotes. It’s like comparing apples with oranges.

Here’s some guidelines to help you understand marketing video costs, enabling you to make a fairer comparison between quotes.

Let’s start with the editing costs as they’re major element in your video bill.

 

Editing costs: The daily rate is critical

The single most useful guide to any studio’s pricing is their daily studio production rate.

This Daily Rate is what you should ask to see clearly on all quotations, as the editing cost per day is fundamental to your budget.

For example, Studio A might charge £650 per day for editing, while Studio B only charge £200 per day.

Which makes you ask:

“Why do Studio A charge so much – or why Studio B appear to charge so little?”

You should expect to see a big difference in the quality of their samples.

 

Editing costs: The hours of editing quoted

Ask to see the number of editing hours required in your quotation.

For example, Studio A may also include more editing hours, as they think it takes longer to do a good job, especially all the finesse and polish required for a top production.

So you might see Studio A saying a video takes 5 days to edit, while the cheaper studio, Studio B, may only quote for 4 days – for apparently the same work.

This can lead you to think that Studio B’s 4 days edit sounds a bit skimpy, implying the work will be done quickly or even rushed. Or unimaginatively.

Generally the longer the edit, the better the finished result.

So quick editing isn’t always the cost bonus it seems at first.

Quick editing usually means lower quality work.

So be suspicious of cheap quotes with less hours in them.

 

Editing costs: How long does marketing video take to edit

As a guide I’d suggest:

  • For a digital video, 30 seconds of runtime takes a day to edit.

So a 2 minute video takes 4 days of editing.

Plus half a day to a day of Design Time.

  • For a filmed video, the edit time required may be a little less, say, 45 seconds runtime per day of editing (and the ½ day or so Design Time on top of this)

If your quote falls outside of this 30-45 seconds of edited runtime per day, then I’d be suspicious, or at least ask more questions, or see more samples.

Marketing Video Pricelist

 

Filming costs: The daily crew rate

Like editing, there is a Crew Rate per day.

One crew may cost £1,000 per day, while another crew only £200.

So what’s the difference?

First off, how many people make a crew?

Is it a Director and Camera Operator?

Or a Director and 2 camera operators?

And is the second camera operator functioning as another shooter to film the job quicker?

Or are they a Special Effects Camera Operator, responsible for getting exceptional B Roll shots, to support the A Roll shots that Camera Op 1 takes.

The point being:

> Is the second camera op there to speed the shoot up

– or –

> To increase the quality and variety of footage filmed?

The simple answer is to ask your video producer.

 

Filming costs: Is a cheaper film crew any good

Many marketing managers must be quietly asking:

Q) “What’s the difference between an expensive video crew and a less costly one?”

A) “See how much Shoot Planning goes into the project.”

The purpose of the shoot is to acquire Power Shots, ie, great looking footage that stands out head and shoulders above the competition.

Power Shots need some planning in advance – so expect to see some sign of shoot planning from your Video Director.

You should expect to see a cost included for this Shoot Planning, as it takes time.

 

Filming costs: Have you bought enough filming days

Buying a one day shoot for a 10 minute marketing video is going to lead to rushed work when the crew are onsite.

As a guide:

“You need 1 day of filming for every 5 minutes of runtime video”

This isn’t absolute, but hopefully it gives you a good starting point when estimating how much filming you’ll need for your project.

 

Price List

 

Summary

There are many factors that make up the cost of a marketing video, whether filmed or digital.

Which makes buying a “proven video package” with no detail of costs a bit risky, without any further explanation.

To help you compare like-for-like:

1 – Studio Day Rate is the best place to start.

2 – Film Crew Day Rate is the next most important cost to consider.

3 – Ask for explanations of the amount of time allocated to filming and editing, so you feel you understand the differences in quotes.

4 – The worst thing is to pretend to know, and let someone flannel you into believing their way is the only true way.

Marketing managers should ask for video costs to be explained to them.

 

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