Video cost depends on a number of factors. This guide explores the factors that make up your final bill. Some are obvious – some not so much. Plus, I’ve thrown in some tips to save you a few quid along the way.
Note: Actual figures vary widely between different suppliers. The only way to get an accurate video cost range is to get a few quotes. We recommend three at least.
Meetings, especially in-person meetings, can be time consuming and will likely factor into the cost of the project. Much like any meeting, having a defined agenda and time-frame is recommended.
That being said, pre-production is an important part of any project. Time well spent in pre-production can save much more time in the long run and avoid headaches in post. If everyone understands exactly the requirements, then everyone is more likely to be happy with the final result. A well thought out storyboard can help avoid issues that result in expensive re-shoots.
Number of people involved
Depending on the complexity of the project you may only need a solo camera operator who can also edit. However, more complex briefs may require a director, sound and light technician, a photographer, make up artist etc. These can obviously come with a hefty bill, but if you need a premium product then expect to pay for it. Videographers, sounds and light technicians will cost about €600/day, while a director may cost €1,000+
To fly a drone commercially a pilot needs a licence and permission from Irish Aviation Authority plus specific insurance. For a half day shoot this should cost about €600 to €1,600+ depending. Anything lower and you’re probably getting an amateur with a consumer drone with no insurance or a licence.
Useful guidance can be found on the Irish Aviation Authority section on unmanned aerial vehicles (drones)
Tip: If possible, it’s much cheaper to use a stock drone shot. This is particularly useful if your drone clip is generic enough to be of, let’s say, Dublin along the Liffey, the Spire, Grafton St etc
Luckily, every year professional grade video equipment is getting cheaper and cheaper. LED lighting technology and mirrorless full-frame cameras have changed the landscape and a gifted amateur can achieve Hollywood-esque visual results these days.
Quick tip: If you have an example of a video you’d like replicated visually, then send it to the supplier. The production company will be able to judge the grade of gear required very quickly from the example. This means you’ll be getting the quality expected (hopefully) and an accurate video cost quote.
This can be a hard one to judge these days. Anyone can create a snazzy website with ease these days and cameras are improving rapidly. If the production company is very well known and experienced then chances are they will demand a higher price, and rightly so.
This isn’t a certainty though, bigger video production production companies may have multiple professionals of varying levels of experience. If your video is simple and low risk then an amateur may be what you need, but for critical pieces go for mid to higher-end suppliers if you can afford them.
This might seem obvious, but it’s usually much better to condense the on-site shooting to as few days as possible. For instance, if doing a corporate talking head piece and requiring multiple people to speak to camera it best to shoot on a day they are all available. One 8-10 hour day trumps two 4-6 hour days almost always.
Tip: A half-day rate is usually similar to the full-day rate, so don’t expect half-day to equal half price.
Edit days/Quick turn-around
This one is a bit more complicated. It can be hard to judge how long an edit will take sometimes. Good pre-production will help but sometimes the pieces come together easily and sometimes it can take some inspiration or additional tinkering. It’s very rare the firstdraft will not require edits or some minor changes at least. If you have a complex project which will take multiple days to edit and requires animation or subtitleing for social media.
A basic edit workflow requires sorting, labelling, backing up, reviewing footage and selecting in and out points for the selected clips all before you place a clip on the timeline.
File names such as: ‘Main_edit_V5_FINAL.mp4’ are not rare.
Tip: Have the music nailed down early. Re-editing a draft video to new music is a huge headache and will likely add a significant bill to your project.
Depending on your production, you’ll need some form of music bed. If you want to use a popular track, then be prepared to have a large add-on to the video cost.
Music licence resources:
Want to know if you need a music license, contact the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO)