Planning great video content: Setting the budget for your video shoot

Thanks for firing in your questions about your video shoots. Clearly a top topic is pricing. How much should I spend, or how much should I expect to spend, and infact, we’ve had a few people ask us “How much for a 40 second video?”. So it’s a great starting point and I’ll do my best to make it uncomplicated.

So, how much for a specific length video doesn’t often equate. It’s like trying to estimate the cost of the contents of a box based on it’s size. Your cost is more likely to reflect what’s in the video, and if you think about the detail, infact, getting a message that normally takes half an hour to explain down to one minute, is actually quite a bit of work potentially, so that might be a factor in possibly driving the cost up.

Anyway, money. Yes, you can definitely do something simple and polished for $1000 and, yes, without wasting money or being frivolous you can also spend $50k and upwards. So, if your budget is open ended then you might start with an idea and work out how much it is to create it. But most often though, you’ll be better to start with a budget and then work out what’s the best thing you can do with it. So, best practise starting point, like anything, is; How much can I make back from this video. What’s my return on investment. And this is gonna be the key. You’re not going to spend $50k if across all of the returns you’ll ever make from your video, you can’t recoup it. So, what is the value of the video to you?

Next, think about what you’ll need to include to represent your brand properly. So, this could be specific shots and graphics you think your audience will expect to see. Or, maybe, you feel you’ll want plenty of beautiful cinematography because your brand is beautiful and it’s positioned high end and you want your viewer to really buy in to that. And costs are also going to be influenced by how much detail you want to explore, and I’ll give you an example. So, you’re going to film someone out in the street. Are you okay with the actual street sign that falls in the background or, do you want to change it out? If you keep the location as it is then there’s no specific cost to add. But if you change that sign out, you’ll be paying someone to design it, print it, swap it out and get permission to that and so on. What your production team will be doing for you, or should be doing for you, is helping you meet that beautiful middle ground. Here’s your objective and your brand needs, here’s your budget. Let’s make them meet and they should have a framework of what can and can’t be included.

The strongest advice I can offer here is this… Don’t try to do more than your budget allows. Small budgets can still mean super professional looking and sounding video that drives results. So just focus on doing the things you are going to do well. If you cut a few corners, here and there, in order to put a few extra shots in that should take half a day to get, in 20 minutes, they’ll either get left out anyway so you’ve actually spent money you didn’t need to or, worse still, they’ll end up in the final piece and it’ll feel nasty.

As always, a lot to think about and you can find some examples of pricing guides on our website to get you started, if you’re just wondering what you might get for your money. Visit and take a look or give us a buzz to talk more. We’d love to help you out with your next video project. Thanks for watching!