How Much Do Video Production Companies Charge

How much do Video Production Companies Charge?



How much do Video Production Companies Charge?




I’m a man of my word. Most of you are going to hate the answer to the age old question “How Much Do Video Production Companies Charge?”. The real answer is, “I don’t know”. Irritating, right? Well, it’s the truth. And no professional video production company is going to be able to give you a stead-fast number either. The reason being is every production that we do here at Prism Video Productions is different, it has its own special needs and obstacles to overcome. Budgeting is always the key component.




Usually, a typical conversation with a prospective client will start with me listening to their needs. If a client comes to me with an idea, I listen. I take notes. I think of all the moving pieces to accomplish their goals with video production. Then when they say “how much is this going to cost?” I can give them an accurate estimate based on their needs.


Alternatively, if a client comes to me with NO IDEA of what they want but they desire to present their brand with high quality video production and photography, then MY question to them is “How much are you willing to invest?”. After over a decade of experience putting together shoots of all sizes, I’m able to craft something around the client’s investment.


As a professional producer, my main job is to protect two things: the client’s investment and the realistic expectations of the investment. We’ll talk about this more below.


 NOTE: For the sake of this article, I’m going to be addressing budgets that have a minimum investment of $5,000. I think we can all agree that shooting a high quality production needs to have a minimum budget to appropriately pay key crew. Thus, I believe, for most local businesses, $5,000 minimum investment is a pretty good starting point. 




When considering how much video production companies charge, we have to consider the variables of the question. Now, it is true, in our industry we have what are called “Day Rates” and we try our best to make sure the crew is paid their day rates but sometimes it’s not so cut and dry. If we think about Day Rates on a commercial level we can see rates as high $1250 a day, if not higher. We’re talking about big scale commercials here. We’ve worked on half million dollar ads where the day rates were considerably higher than what a local business would be able to pay. In those instances we hit those rates. However, when we’re working more locally, those Day Rates have some wiggle room. The crew wants to work and they’re not stupid. If the rate is typically $750 for 10 hours but the budget is only $5,000, well then the negotiation begins between the producer and the crew member.


This is when the conversation truly begins on budgeting and the investment a client is willing to make for their video production. The battle of the client saying “it’s too much” and the production company saying “it’s not enough”. Now, a savvy producer will have the experience to help guide the client to a crew size and realistic expectation of cost very early on in the production process. If you want a high quality product, you need high quality crew members. Professional videos are made by a village. That village needs to be compensated fairly. If we can’t compensate for them, the production suffers and eventually you’ll get a product that is less than desirable.


I’ll give you a great example. We have a longstanding client, an air conditioning company. Our relationship is going on 6 years now. In our first year, they were just starting out and they didn’t really have a lot of resources to invest so we shot a very basic commercial spot for them. It was literally the two business owners standing on a backdrop and delivering their message surrounded by air handlers. It worked. It did the trick. They put it out to their marketing team and it did rather well. Fast forward two years later, the business is doing better and now they want to craft something that feels like our other commercial work. We gave them the price and the sticker shock was REAL. They couldn’t believe it. They trusted us but they were nervous about the investment. For a local company, this concern is very real. We take that very seriously at Prism Video Productions and we put a lot of care into these local shoots because of that. This investment is rent money or grocery money for local companies. They took the plunge and because of their higher investment, we were able to do an incredible production. The value was above and beyond the very plain stand and speak commercial they were able to afford two years prior. This had moving shots, a dance number (yes, for real!), and incredible camera movements that gave this whimsical presentation that evoked emotions of “joy”.  They released the commercial and within a week they were able to sell more AC units and grow their business. That’s after one week! In one week, they recouped their investment. The trust was well placed. They’ve come back again and again, always increasing their investment so that we can do more and more.


How much Do Video Production Companies Charge?


This is the balancing scale…it’s too much or it’s not enough. We skimp on the investment, we lose the quality of the end product. That’s not to say you can’t get a good product with $1000 and one camera man, but if you’re wanting to quality then we have to be willing to make the investment into the production.


If you’re interested in learning more about video production services and how Prism Video Productions can help you manage your investment for services to help grow your business than reach out to me today !


See you on Set!

Christopher Jackson

Prism Video Productions, Executive Producer




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