To help you price a video project, here’s a quick cheat sheet. These are the questions a video production company will ask when clients request an estimate. It’ll then apply its rates — which will vary depending on the company — and give you a number.
What are Picturelab’s rates?
1) What is it?
An explainer video, a testimonial, or a Super Bowl commercial? Prices vary even within the same category (example, a live action explainer filmed in one location vs one with multiple locations), but we can generally place it within a range based on type.
2) What’s the scope?
We’ll ask you what ideas you have in mind, any reference videos, and so on. We’re basically assessing the level of complexity. Most of it is obvious. One location is easier than multiple locations. A 3D animated video requires more work and expertise than 2D.
Other things may not be as obvious. For example, a small camera movement may seem easy to do, but could require several hours to set up.
3) What is your budget?
You ask us for a number and then we ask for yours. I know, it sounds like a negotiation game, but it’s not. The reason we ask how much you’re willing to spend is to help scope the project. Whether it’s $5,000 or $50,000, we’ll let you know what we can do for the budget.
It’s easy when clients come to us with a concept or even a script already in place, but often they don’t, and for us to pitch something that’s affordable, a range certainly helps.
4) Where will it be shown?
On your website or national TV or your internal team meetings? The main issue here is licensing and talent fees. It varies significantly depending on where a video will be shown.
5) When do you need it?
It’ll cost more if you need it fast. Okay, sounds fair, but why exactly? We’ll be working long days to deliver for you. We’ll have less time to source and negotiate if we need to hire vendors or subcontractors. We’ll be putting you in front of the line even though we have other projects going on.
At the end of the day, video companies want to make money. We’ll mark-up, add production fees and do what we can to maximize the value of each job. That being said, you will see a return in choosing a reputable company with a strong portfolio. It will be tempting to simply go with the lowest bid, but the estimate shouldn’t be the only factor in your decision.