25 Factors That Affect Corporate Video Production Costs

Feb 4, 2015 2:02:00 PM

Ambient Skies Productions Blog

Posted by John Schaus


The world of video has taken on a much broader role in today’s marketing and communications plans and strategies. There are three significant dynamics that are continuing to make the use of video central to most successful marketing campaigns.

These include:

The role of Search Engine Optimization, or how search engines such as Google rank websites, 2) the decline in the price of video and increase of quality, and 3) the expectations of the average consumer to get the message via video.

Balancing the Costs and Quality of Video Production

Almost since its introduction to the market, the use of corporate video production has always faced a balance between the cost of production and distribution with the overall quality of the product. With the amazing quantity of video content produced and uploaded today, its use is not limited to broadcast television and special venues. Prospects and customers easily access the videos they desire via smartphones and other mobile devices, as well as streaming on TVs and other options.

25 Factors That Affect Corporate Video Production Costs

This brings a focus to the issue of the quality of video content produced. Of course, anyone can buy a $1000 or less camera (or use their smartphone) to produce a video and upload it to a website in moments. However, the final quality of such an effort is comparable to a snapshot or selfie taken at a wedding to the archival quality produced by a professional photographer.

The knowledge and experience of writing, storytelling, lighting, editing and many other skills all play a role in producing a truly professional corporate video. Each of these introduces different elements of costs, and determine the ultimate effectiveness of the end product.


If you are like many corporations and moving to add corporate video to your marketing package, here are 25 factors to consider when developing your video production budget:

  1. Professional development and storyboarding
  2. Professional production company services
  3. Writing/Scripting
  4. Editing and Color Grading
  5. Actors and VO artists
  6. Coaching talent and blocking
  7. Camera quality
  8. Lighting and equipment
  9. Graphics and VFX
  10. Stock footage acquisition
  11. Other legal, licensing and union fees, including talent used
  12. Audio files and music
  13. Crew
  14. Direct costs of location(s) used
  15. Onsite costs of production and Catering
  16. Use of B-roll and cut-aways
  17. Studio/Stage time
  18. Props and sets
  19. Transcribing
  20. Rendering
  21. Travel/Accommodations/Per-diem
  22. Total length of final product
  23. Translations and languages required
  24. Online hosting fees and costs
  25. Miscellaneous/Contingency

Each of these factors has its own costs which impact budget considerations. For example, the decision to use professional talent or corporate employees, or a mix of both is significant. Professional talent costs range from $1,000 for a local talent for a short 3 to 5 minute production, to $100,000 for a well-recognized personality. Additionally, there are union and residuals to consider when using talent from SAG-AFTRA or other unions.

On top of those details under this one item, you will have to consider transportation, housing, feeding talent, or if extended filming time is involved. Likewise, corporate managers and employees used in a video must sign releases that involve legal work, they often must be coached, and there are incidental costs such as wardrobe and makeup.

As this one example illustrates, the budget for a top-quality corporate video is no simple process of writing down numbers on a yellow pad. Each factor has its own expenses and costs that vary based on your specific expectations and needs.

However, there are professionals who can assist with this planning process, and understand the general guidelines and costs for producing the exact video you desire and expect. Most of these firms will provide an initial consultation to discuss your objectives.


Here are some great additional resources that will help you organize your efforts and be more prepared on your next production. 
Are you interested in implementing video production services into your business, and are not sure where to start in order to see a positive return on investment? Video production is expensive, I don't blame you. There are several video production companies that offer great services, but will still need their clients direction at the end of the day.
Check out this eBook on 7 secrets to growing your business using video production services written by a collaborative of video producers to educate our viewers on the different stages of video production and where might be a good starting point.
Popular topics included such as insourcing vs outsourcing, internal video production & video distribution.
Download by clicking below. 



Topics: Corporate Video Production