Unless you have a strong network of fellow video people, as you start to build out your own business and pricing structure it can feel a bit mysterious.
When you start out you are likely undercharging to get your foot in the door and build up your portfolio. At some point you know you need to start charging more, but how much exactly is near impossible to guess and there is always the risk and fear that you might lose clients over it.
To help give more people insight on exactly what video production costs, filmmaker Josh Olufemii spent part of his time at NAB 2022 just asking people what they charge for certain types of projects.
Each project has some specifics to help better tune the responses that are received.
A wedding project consists of creating a 3 minute highlight video along with a 3 hours ceremony video. Seems straightforward enough.
The ranges are as wide as you might expect. Many people are coming in at least for a few thousand dollars. However, there are some outliers on each end for either a few hundred bucks or going into the tens of thousands of dollars.
A wedding is interesting because it can range heavily depending on the budget of the couple.
Still, for weddings, I would bet most people could and should be charging a little more than they are currently based on these numbers.
Non-Luxurious House Listing
Real estate is a hot market and one of the current trends is a nice-looking video tour of the property. We aren’t talking about those multi-million dollar homes here though, just a nice house listing.
The interesting thing to hear with this one is the logic behind the pricing each person stated. Many would charge based on size and location – it is a location shoot.
On top of that there is likely going to be an ask for some aerial work or some ultra-smooth gimbal work. Don’t forget 360-degree imaging may also be on the table.
Most people were coming in at a couple thousand, like $1,000-3,000. Those who were thinking about add-ons for the production were pushing this number much higher. And you have to consider the market you are working in as well and how costs may be impacted. More work and time means your costs are higher.
Concert Recap Video
Last up is a concert video for a hip hop artist. This is sort of a sizzle for after the concert. The range is dramatic with a few responses. Long story short is that it depends on the artist.
A big artist with a massive crowd and throwing up multiple cameras is going to cost a lot. Some people were considering this to be a more indie set and were saying only a few hundred to a couple thousand. Others were saying around $5,000 as the average for what sounds like a decent production.
30-Minute Documentary Edit
This is a very specific request. You’ll be editing (just editing, no effects or graphics) for a 30-minute documentary. This seems like it’s going to be a lot of work. In this area people were confident in it costing a few thousand at a bare minimum.
One person even threw out a day rate of $850-950, which is a good way to think about it. Multiple a day of work by how long the project is going to take to get a good read on how much it’ll cost.
There are some other variables which will be project dependent, such as the amount of raw footage that needs to be sorted through and potential for follow-up edits.
Working with a hip hop artist you are asked to direct, edit, and shoot a music video. It’s a local artist on location for a single day of shooting. This was interesting because everyone said that they would definitely need some more people on set.
That causes the price to go up fairly quickly. $5,000-10,000 was the base we were seeing here. Adding people onto a project, especially to knock it out in one day, is going to cost a bunch, plus you are likely renting gear on top of that.
It is enlightening to see what others are charging for their work. I’m personally very curious about what the people charging those top-end rates are doing.
Are you changing up some of your prices after seeing this?
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