The Real Cost of Professional Video for Your Business

I’m gonna do my dear friends and colleagues who work in the professional video production industry a solid right now and throw down some truth: professionally-produced video is amazing because it’s a damn art form that requires skill, equipment, talent and creativity - which is ain’t cheap!

There, I said it and here’s why you might be glad I did: shopping around for professionally-produced business videos when you have less than a $5,000 budget is a gross misuse of your time AND most often an insult to the pros you’re soliciting.

Most professional video production people feel completely undervalued when you ask them to create your business videos for next-to-nothing. How do I know? I’ve worked as a video producer and on-camera talent for 15+ it’s safe to say that I’ve seen most everything from in-front-of, behind and on-the-side of a camera. When it comes to video, you really do get what you pay for.

Now, let me quantify that “nothing” cost I mentioned. How much do you think one professionally-produced video costs? Take a guess.

Depending on what you’re looking for (i.e. a super-choreographed video with multiple-angles and locations or a single-camera video that’s just three minutes long), one professionally-produced video can cost you anywhere from $1,500 - $10,000. (And, let me say, I’m being really cheap with that lower-end estimate.) I know, hold onto your pearls, Mabel.

Here’s how I figured that lower-end price out:

  • $2,000 for a two-person crew on an all-day video shoot (yes, it will take you all day to shoot once you account for set-up and take-down, wardrobe changes, set changes, do-overs, mess-ups, crew breaks, etc). and hardly any crews will book a video shoot for less than a full-day - so you might as well make it worth your while and shoot more than one video while you’re there. Let’s say you shoot three short videos.

  • $1,500-$2,000 for the edits after the shoot (yes, editing video can take a long time, so figure anywhere from 20-30 hours x $75/hour).

  • $500 for any extras - an assistant for the day, studio rental, professional video producer, music for the video (called a music bed), any special graphics or animations, extra editing time, etc.

Do the math, and - yes, you’re up to almost $5,000 for some professional videos.

But, what happened to that $1,500 estimate? Well, $4,500 divided by the 3 videos you might as well shoot while you have your pricey pro crew for a day = $1,500 each.

And, let’s not forget...time - lots and lots of time on YOUR part learning how to even communicate clearly with this brilliant group of video pros. Keep in mind - video pros speak an entirely different “language”...and it’s not always an easy barrier to bridge. Oftentimes that disconnect leads to big mistakes, disappointments, and dollars wasted on a video that isn’t exactly what you wanted.

I love working with professional video crews, and no one could deny that a well-done video that’s been shot, edited and produced by a seriously skilled professional is absolutely awesome and worth every dollar. Quality absolutely counts when it comes to video. Thanks to technology nowadays, though, any entrepreneur can get great quality video simply by tapping their video camera on their smartphone. Is it the same quality as you’d get with an $8,000 professional camera with a lighting kit and full audio? No. But, it’s still good, and it’s inexpensive and you can do it yourself...and having that kind of power in your business toolkit is, well, priceless.