How Much Does a Corporate Video Cost?: Preparing a Budget for the Costs of Video Production

We dive into the realistic production cost of making a video project while helping you better understand corporate video pricing so you can maximize your budget.

So, how much does a corporate video cost? The short and basic answer? Corporate video production could cost between $2,500-$25,000. The honest answer? It all depends on what you want and the type of corporate video. There are multiple factors to consider when estimating how much your corporate video is going to cost from time spent on the script to finding an experienced editor for post production. In this article we are going to breakdown all of the puzzle pieces needed to make a video production and how much each of them are going to cost. Depending on what you need, who you want to work with, and what you are willing to spend, will be the cost of your corporate video. 

Here is a list of factors that may potentially increase your corporate video costs: 

  • Pre production expertise 
  • Actors
  • Direction
  • Cameraman
  • Editor
  • Animation (Custom and web-based tools)
  • Graphics & Motion Graphics (custom and web-based tools)
  • Narration
  • Music & Sound Effects
  • Location
  • Production Equipment (gear, teleprompter, props )
  • Crew
  • Extras
  • Studio/Location Filming
  • Stock footage & photos
  • Catering
  • Hair & Makeup
  • Digitizing, transcoding, transfers, rendering & uploading and their formats
  • Language & Translation
  • Miscellaneous

This might seem like an overwhelming list, so we will go over each of them briefly in the order of the stages of production.

Video Pre-Production

Pre-production is the most important part of any corporate video production project. It sets the tone for the other stages of production and the decisions you make in the beginning may save you money in the end. Every story begins with an idea. Then that idea develops into a story which develops into a script made for screen. If you want a quality script it would be smart to invest in a writer and storyboard artist. 

Video Marketing Writer

Are you preparing for a product launch? A training? writer won’t just simply be writing a script. They will be putting time and effort into the outline, style, structure, tone, and format of the script, to help you create an original concept. They will be working to get your vision across to the director and eventually the audience. An experienced marketing writer and creative team will cost between $75-$250 per hour. 

Storyboard Artists

The storyboard artist works on the visual aspect of your script. These are some of the questions you should ask yourself before beginning a storyboard:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What do they care about?
  • What problem is your business trying to solve?
  • Which measurable business objective are you trying to achieve?
  • How is this video specifically going to achieve that objective?
  • What do you consider important elements that need to be included in the video (people, props, etc.)
  • What tone are you going for?
  • What are the key messages that you need to deliver in that video?
  • How do you want the viewer to feel after watching the video?
  • What do you want the viewer to do after watching the video?
  • What is the best way for your audience to view your video? (social media, TV, etc.)

Production

You will also need to prepare for the size of the crew, usually consisting of a director, director of photography, actors, extras, audio engineer, camera operators, gaffer, grip, production assistants, props and wardrobe, equipment. You also will have to decide if you want to film in a studio or on location. 

Studio/Location Filming

Depending on whether you’re shooting in the studio or on location will determine the cost of the film permit. To shoot in a studio costs from $100-$400 per hour and shooting on location can range from $200-$2,000 a day. 

Crew (the bulk of your video cost)

How much does corporate video cost

The crew will be the bulk of your production cost. A typical crew will consist of a director, director of photography, audio engineer, camera operators, gaffer, grip, and production assistants. Depending on what you are shooting there may be other factors you will want to consider, but these are the most common and most important crew members you should include in your corporate video.

Director

Their job is to translate the storyboard into a collection of scenes for the editor to interpret and cut into a finished video. The average cost of a director will be between $750-$2500 per day. 

Director of Photography (DOP) 

Whether you are shooting a large scale Hollywood film or short corporate training video, it’s important to consider an experienced director of photography. The director of photography, or cinematographer, is responsible for anything that has to do filming the scenes. They give recommendations on how to frame a shot, what gear and motion rigs are best to use, and ensure the lighting reflects the mood of the scene. Depending on whether you’re filming a talking head or an action sequence will depend on the price. The DOP costs between $750-$2500 per day. 

Actors and Extras

For anything live action, you’ll need actors. On bigger shoots, if you want your video production to have action and look lively, consider adding extras into your videos. Your main actors are between $50-$500 per day and you will normally pay between $100-$200 per day for extras. This includes licensing and union fees for actors that are members of SAG-AFTRA or other unions. 

Audio Engineer

An experienced audio engineer with their own equipment will charge between $750-$2500 per day.

Camera Operators

Camera operators are responsible for  anything from static shots to hand-held shots to rigs. If you require a camera operator with steadicam experience, it will cost more. Camera operators range from $500-$1500 per day. 

Gaffer

Gaffers are in charge of lighting and power and work closely with the DOP. Gaffers cost between $750-$2500 per day.

Grip

A grip is the main position in the grip and electrical department. On a larger set there may be multiple grips needed and they may need to be able to handle grip trucks. If you require a Key Grip, this will cost more, but costs about $450-$850 a day.

Production Assistants

There are many types of production assistants. There’s set PAs, location PAs, runners, you name it. On a smaller set you might not need more than one but on a larger set you might require multiple. Production assistants are normally paid between $250-$550 per day. 

Catering

Whether it’s a small set or a large set, it is important to feed your hard-working crew. Catering costs about $25 per person on a small shoot. 

Hair and Make-up

Hair and make-up isn’t just about making your actors and extras look good on camera. You need professionals that are excellent when it comes to matching skin tones and removing excess oils that will deter from the look you want to achieve overall. Hair and makeup artists cost between $500-$1500 per day. 

Production Equipment

You may need gear, props, wardrobe, or a teleprompter for your shoot. Sometimes your crew will come with their own equipment (which is usually included in their cost), but you should have a budget that includes renting equipment for your video production. For example, a teleprompter might be useful for you if your actor or company CEO has trouble remembering their lines. The teleprompter itself as well as a teleprompter operator will increase the price of your corporate video production.

To shoot a corporate video, production equipment generally costs between $25-$100 per hour to rent. 

Post-Production

Post-production is where the magic happens. You’ll need to consider animation (custom and web-based tools), graphics & motion graphics (custom and web-based tools), a narrator, music and sound effects, stock footage and photos, digitizing, transcoding, transfers, rendering & uploading and their formats, language & translation, and other miscellaneous items, when video pricing. 

How much does corporate video cost

Animation

There are two types of animation you can incorporate into your corporate video: Custom and Web-based tools. Custom animation is when you hire an animator (freelance or from a production company) to interpret your storyboard into 2D or 3D animations. Time is of the essence for an animator, so you will usually see that animators charge per project, day, or per second of animation. If you find an animator that charges by day it will cost between $500-$1,000. If you require 3D animation or key graphics the price will be higher. Get a quote from the animator and don’t forget to negotiate before you sign them on!

Web-based tools allow room for great quality that you can do yourself. There are multiple tools to choose from on the internet and the cost will vary, but licensing costs are billed monthly and range from $50-$200 a month. 

Graphics and Motion Graphics

Just like animation, graphics and motion graphics can either be custom or web-based tools. To hire graphics specialists for custom graphics and motion graphics will cost between $75-$150. Web-based tool templates will cost between $25-$200 per template. 

Narration

Most voice-actors now-a-days work from home which will automatically save you money. An average 2-minute read will cost between $200-$500 per project. If you want a high-quality read, an experienced voice-over artist will charge more for your corporate video.

Music and Sound Effects

Music and sound effects set the overall tone of your corporate video. Quality soundtracks are priced as low as $30 for two or three minutes, but if you want custom made audio it can cost up to $1,000. 

Stock Footage & Photos

Your corporate video production may require images to support your message. Instead of capturing your own images and paying someone to edit a time-lapse video you can save money by purchasing some. There are a number websites that offer prices for stock images and videos that typically cost between $3-$25. Any high end website like Getty Images will cost from $30-$500. You can save money by using free images, but be extra careful and be sure to check their privacy policy.

 

Digitizing, Transcoding, Transfers, Rendering and Uploading Video

Transferring video to clients or specific destinations, rendering files multiple times before delivering, or uploading your video to certain platforms are important factors you need to consider in the post-production product. How is your corporate video going to look when it gets to your client? When it’s posted on your website? When it’s aired on TV? It also depends on storage details and the duration resets of your video.

Transfers are very expensive; they can go up to hundreds of dollars, in fact. Rendering and uploading costs between $30-$75 per hour. 

Language and Translation

If you are trying to reach an audience in multiple languages, consider adding language translation. This includes closed captions, language versioning, and a translator for your video and for dubbing. Language translation varies but you can guarantee it will take between at least 5% and 15% of your budget.

Miscellaneous Costs for Your Videos

 

Never forget to consider other fees such as contingency fees, travel costs, hotels, transportation, and out-of-pocket expenses. It’s important to save $100-$1,000 for this.