What actually goes into making a corporate video production project?
One question we get at least a few times a week is: “How much does a marketing video cost?” Our standard response is “it depends”. Until a quality corporate video production company has some information about the scope of the project, it is hard to throw numbers out. Since many businesses are just getting started with B2B promotional video, they are surprised at how much quality video production costs. Occasionally people will ask their other burning question… “Why does this video cost so much?”
Since many companies are just starting to get familiar with using B2B promotional video, and what goes into the corporate video production process, we thought it would be a good idea to give a comprehensive outline from the perspective of video production companies.
Corporate video production strategy
Before video production companies even think about shooting video, we need to know your goals and objectives.
- What is your messaging?
- Where do you intend on distributing the video?
- How does this video fit into the rest of your digital marketing and communications efforts?
- How long will it take to shoot the visuals for your video?
This initial stage is the most critical and most overlooked part of B2B promotional video production.
As a top New York video production company, the research and development time that we put into this starting point with each of our clients makes us stand out against other corporate video production companies. In order for our approach to work, we need to take an inside look at what your marketing and communications teams are working on to properly integrate your video into that work-flow. An advertising video will have a different distribution work-flow than a corporate overview video for example – see One Video is not a Video Marketing Strategy.
In essence, we become part of your marketing team to deliver the best possible B2B promotional video project to hit your goals and objectives. We don’t just go to your company with cameras and start filming anything and everything. We go in with a firm understanding of the message you want to convey and what images we will need to capture.
Since this is one of the most overlooked parts of quality video production, many firms don’t think that these professional services apply to the question, “How much does a marketing video cost?” The pre-production strategy and R&D time adds up…and like with any other industry, time equates to money in the marketing video production world. For more information, check out “What is the average cost of a video?”
Allocating the right professional crew
Once video production companies have a firm understanding of the goals and messaging, it’s time to start planning the technical execution and managing logistics.
But, you’re thinking, don’t video production companies just come with a videographer? Not at all.
Top New York video production companies have a wide array of technical skills and equipment that we can bring to your project that allow us to meet many different budget needs. And based on your budget we can get you the right crew for the right project that is technically skilled with cinematography, but also has a solid understanding of your goals.
Because the strategy and messaging is locked down, the video crew stays focused on their part of the project. The pre-production stage provides a road map for what a corporate videographer will capture and in what style it’s captured along with what people say when they are in front of the camera.
Planning logistics depends on how many locations we have to go to, where the locations are, and how much content we need to capture. Sometimes to produce the video you need; we might have to go to 3 or 4 different locations with a huge amount of gear to execute the production process. This might take 2 or 3 days to shoot and video production companies will charge for the crew and equipment for each day.
Therefore, a one location set up for individual sit down interviews with a basic lighting setup is going to be a lot cheaper than a multiple day, multiple location shoot.
While you will only see video production companies at your location, there’s a lot of prep work like equipment management, transportation, set up and more. This means extra time behind the scenes that goes into the question, “How much does a marketing video cost?”
As a top New York video production company, we know that making the most out of your investment is one of your top priorities. That’s why we spend most time on the strategy and asking you questions. If we can get a 3 day shoot down to 2 days by being more productive and efficient, we have just saved you money.
Equipment and technical execution
As the shoot approaches, there is the matter of what type of equipment you will need, and what your budget allows for. As stated earlier, top New York video production companies have an inventory of equipment – cameras, lights, flags, diffusers, gimbals, and other little items that make your video look great.
We won’t bore you with all of the technical details of camera and lighting gear here, but here’s a very brief rundown:
- Does the shoot call for a 6K, 4K or 1080p video camera? 6K and 4K cameras give you better video (sharper, more pixels, wider post-production capabilities) but will cost more.
- What kind of and how many lenses do you need to get the footage to stand out? Lenses can cost more then cameras and is another major overlooked part of how much a video is going to cost. But, more variety and better lenses make for a higher quality video.
- How simple or complex will your lighting setups be? Lighting is an art and bad lighting can be detrimental to the objective of your video. More and higher quality lights / flags / diffusion often means a better-looking interview and a better looking subject but, again, will cost more.
- What kind of audio will you need and will you need a separate person to monitor audio? While a corporate videographer can do both, do you really want them too? It is hard for one person to be doing two critical jobs – monitoring the camera AND monitoring audio increases the probability of something going wrong. Having a separate audio person decreases the risk but adds another resource to the scope of the project.
Gear becomes very complicated, but it is an important technical consideration for how your final video product will turn out. Which, like it or not, translates directly to your sales and marketing communications goals and how it influences viewers.
Finally, once all of this is figured out, we can schedule the shoot. Managing time is a key quality of video production companies. We need to manage our crew and your team to make sure everyone is on time, things go smoothly and we capture everything we need to produce the video you are expecting.
Post-production – Editing
Congratulations! Your shoot is done! All the footage is now being synced and backed up to another hard drive for safety…multiple copies reduces risk. It’s time to start the most time-consuming part of producing corporate video content….editing…and more editing….and just when you’re really tired of editing…. how about you edit some more!
The post-production process is simultaneously the most fun and most difficult part of making a video. And although we have our post-production roadmap, it takes a long time to go through all the content and craft a B2B promotional video to meet your objectives.
Post-production is where we deal with the majority of issues that we couldn’t prevent during the production process. Did the person being interviewed speak eloquently and without many mistakes or did they have a really difficult time conveying their message succinctly by using filler words like “ums” and “ahs” or other mannerisms. If there are a bunch of these then we have to cut around them. This takes a lot of time and nuanced editing skills.
We also have to go through the B-roll (various footage of your facility, people working, visually appealing content, etc.) to see what matches your messaging the best. We cut all of these elements together with your interview or voiceover messaging. The more complicated your video is and how much information we need to convey equates to more time spent editing and thus more of an investment on your end.
Post-production – Resolutions and Motion Graphics
If we shot in 4K (4 times as sharp as 1080p) for your project (which we prefer to do nowadays), then that also means the editing process requires more computer power and hard drive data storage. This is absolutely worth it, but does add a little to the cost for both production and post-production. If we shot in 6K (9 times as sharp as 1080p), then of course even more cost is added. We don’t recommend shooting 6K unless it’s for a big budget commercial or advertisement shoot as it’s unnecessary.
To further complicate the editing process, it is a regular occurrence that filming conditions in offices, warehouses, and similar locations are not ideal. Perhaps there are machines or A/C units or people making too much noise in the background and thus audio needs to be worked on. Or maybe someone at your company wasn’t told that we were filming on a specific day and walks into a shot or does something distracting.
There are so many different variables that we as a corporate video production and marketing company cannot account for (and often neither can our clients!). It’s just a reality of the production process. And this is ok! It just means we need to take the extra time to fix things we have no control over.
Finally, when considering “How much does a marketing video cost?”, you will have to decide if you want or need motion graphics, animation, color correction and other technical things done for your video.
Motion graphics animation often means hiring more than just your average video editor. We need someone skilled in many different types of software to execute these more complex post-production tasks. Like everything else in post-production, it is extremely tedious and time consuming, but lots of fun too! If you need complicated motion graphics like animated titles, logos, lower thirds, or visual effects…*drum roll please*….It will cost more!
Making sure your money is well spent!
Now you have a preview, or final version, of your video after some back and forth comments. No matter how much scout work and preparation we do, we always expect some changes, as video production, at the end of the day, is a creative process. This is ok! It’s to be expected.
At this stage, the biggest priority for top video production companies is making the client happy with the video. So, as a top New York corporate video production company, we are ok with sending different versions and minor changes in the edit that you desire at no extra cost. Obviously, this has to be done within the initial pre-production scope so we don’t produce an entirely different video. However, we are there every step of the way to get picky alongside you and make sure you are happy with the final product!
We love what we do and wouldn’t have it any other way. And we want all of our current and future clients to have an understanding of why we charge what we charge. So, perhaps you were initially expecting a video to cost $6,000 and we quoted $9,000. Or you thought $12,000 but we quoted $18,000 and so on and so forth. While this post is more of a high-level overview of “How much does a marketing video cost?”, we’re always happy with explaining more of the technical details of any stage of the production process with you personally.
Producing corporate video production content for businesses or branded commercial content is always fun! We just want people to understand that it is a lot of time and effort…we can’t just pull out our smartphones, hit record, and call it a day!