How to build a video production budget

10th May 2021

How much will a corporate video cost to make?

Digital video content consumption is at an all-time high and businesses that are investing in it are standing out online and seeing great business results but one of the top questions we always get asked is how much does a corporate video cost to produce? 

Unfortunately with video production there is no set price and the cost of every corporate video project varies dependent on your business needs and wants. Video production companies can flex their filming process, crew and creative time spent working on your project to meet any budget but it will determine the overall quality of the end product you desire.  If you are looking for Pixar level quality animation then you need to allocate time and budget to assemble a quality team of animators to make you an animation to this level.  

A high quality corporate video comes down to two main factors time and money and the clearer you can be with your video production company on how much you are willing to invest in making your corporate video content a success the better they will be at developing a creative video treatment and process that delivers on your business objectives and within your allocated budget.

Here are some of the factors that determine the cost of your video production..

Video production agency/freelancer?

A freelancer will generally be skilled in a particular field of production so you could hire a freelance camera operator to shoot your corporate video, but you may also need to hire a freelance editor to pull all the shots together in an engaging way.  If you want animation in the video this may also require separate talents outside of the freelancers’ skills.  If your budget is tight then hiring freelancers may be the most cost-effective option but it’s important to note that if you do end up working with different freelancers there will need to be an internal appointed project manager to brief each individual on the requirements of your corporate video project, objectives and goals and manage the flow of assets.

If you hire a video production agency skilled in corporate video production you will be allocated a Video Content Producer as your point of contact who will project manage your video project and brief all crew on the business goals, deadlines, and creative treatments. They will also be able to collaborate with you on creative ideas and best practice from previous corporate video projects in terms of styles that have worked well and delivered business results.

Talent

Who will star in your corporate video?  Do you need to hire actors or models or can you utilise people who work in your company, your employees, or leaders?  At MHF most of our corporate video content uses real people and we will work with them to make them feel comfortable and natural in front of the camera leading to a more authentic and relatable video. Using real life employees also has the added benefit that you save budget and is more relateable to your target audience.

If you want to produce an engaging animation you will likely need to hire a professional voiceover talent to narrate your script. Your video production agency will work on regular basis with voiceover talent and will likely have a library of voices for you to choose from and that best aligns with your brand tone of voice.  You can however save money and do this yourself and we can advise on how to get the best results in terms of sound.

Crew

Dependent on your corporate video needs the size and skill of the video production crew required may vary and therefore so will the costs.  The more crew the higher the cost of production.  This again applies for the skill level of a crew, for instance a Director of Photography who will direct your shoot and ensure all lighting throughout the course of the day is consistent and in line with the look and feel you want to project will be more expensive than a standard camera operator who may not be as skilled in directing, lighting or sound.  So its quite simple the more skilled the video production crew the higher the cost.  At MHF our average corporate video production shoot will compose of  a Director of Photography, a camera operator and a producer, however this can be scaled back to 1 camera operator if budget is of a concern.

Scripting

Do you require a script for your corporate video?  This is a service that your video production team can offer but it will need to be costed within the quote.  To save on money you could script the video yourself writing around 120 words for every 1 minute of video.  If you are making an animated corporate video, you will require a script to guide the viewer through the key messages, however you could still write this yourself and the video production company can help you in a consultative role.

Alternatively, if you are using real life employees you could take a question-and-answer style approach to making your corporate video which will save money on your budget.

Stock imagery/live action film shoot

If budget is tight you could look to making a corporate video using stock imagery with animated text overlayed and music to bring the messaging to life.  Alternatively, if you go down the film production you will need to account for the number of days it may take to film all participants and the logistics of where they are based, and the size of the film crew required.  As a minimum to make a great corporate video you will require two cameras and lighting. 

Studio/location shoot

When pulling together your video production budget you will need to consider where you would like to film your content.  Do you need to hire a film studio, or can you shoot on location in your office? At MHF we can shoot anywhere and we also have pop up studio facilties that we can set up in your office.

Editing and grading

Once your corporate video is shot you will require an editor to pull together your story in an interesting way in line with your core messaging requirements.  For a 1–2-minute video this could take between 5-10 days in the editing suite dependent on the story elements being edited together and whether animation is required as well. 

The length of your corporate video will have a direct impact on costs as it will take longer to edit together a 10-minute video in comparison to a 2-minute video.  Also, it’s important to think about whether you need re-edits for social media and for what platforms.

Video marketing

Its important when budgeting for your corporate video production that you don’t forget to save money aside to market the video online.  Make sure to think where do your audience online hangout and how can you try to reach them? Do you need to save money aside for a paid social or google ads campaign?

Your video content deadline

How quickly do you need the end video delivered?  If time is pressing, then the likelihood is that it will cost more money to ensure you get a video that delivers on your video goals within the tight time frame.  If budget is tight then a longer deadline will enable the video project to be costed cheaper.