published by Indigo Productions


How Much Does It Cost To Make A Video?

by Richard Kaplan and Max Rosen

Prospective clients often ask, “How much does it cost to make a video?” It’s a good question – and every producer wishes there were a simple answer.  But the truth is, this question is a lot like asking an architect, How much does it cost to build a house?”

An architect’s answer would probably be:  It depends.  Do you want a 50-room mansion on a remote island?  Or a prefab cookie-cutter at the lowest possible price?  More likely something in between – but what, exactly?  Before giving you a quick quote, an experienced architect will ask a lot of questions – including what budget range you are considering.

It would be great if there were a simple formula stating X minutes of video = Y dollars.  But video production, just like home construction, involves far too many variables for that.  And we need a lot more information before we can give you a meaningful estimate.

We need to consider factors like who your audience is, the level of production value they are expecting to see, the potential value of a truly great video to you or your company, and most importantly, a ballpark figure reflecting what you can actually spend.

After all, the requirements and expectations for a quickie “talking head” for one-time use are completely different from those of a global product launch video for a Fortune 500 company.  There’s no point in receiving an estimate for one if you’re really in the market for the other.

The best thing to do is talk to us. With 17 years worth of award-winning video and multimedia experience, we can help you define your goals, advise you on how to achieve your vision within your budget, and help you maximize every dollar you spend so it shows up on the screen in a quality production.

When we do talk we can explore a range of video production choices and explain how they influence the budget.  Here are some factors we need to consider:

  • Do you already have a concept, or are we developing one for you?
  • If your concept is more expensive to produce than you thought, are you open to a different concept that achieves your goals within your budget?
  • What exactly needs to be shot?  This is an all-important question, because it determines which equipment we need…
  • how large a crew we need…
  • … and how many days of shooting will be required.
  • Where are we shooting the video?  Are there location expenses?
  • Do we need to hire actors or models or voice-over talent?  Or are we using your own people?  (There are pros and cons to each.)
  • How complex is the editing?
  • Will there be sophisticated graphics or special effects?
  • Will we need an original music score, or stock music, or no music at all?
  • How long will the finished video be?  (Helpful hint: Shorter is better)
  • Do we need to shoot in HD or standard definition? (HD looks great, but is more expensive. Standard-def  is often more practical, especially for web commercials)

The fact is, there are literally hundreds of factors that affect the cost of video production.  And you can’t simply choose a company based on price, because a lower price – while attractive in this economy – will rarely yield the best result.

The bottom line?  Let us know YOUR bottom line – or at least give us a range.  Whether your ballpark is $2,500 or $50,000 or $250,000 (and we’ve produced plenty of videos at each of those levels) it’s best to communicate that up front so we can help you create a concept and a production plan that suits your needs and achieves your goals in the most cost-effective way possible.

And here’s the Indigo Productions promise:  Whatever the size or scope of your project, we’ll deliver a video that you’ll love and that we’ll all be proud of. 

Did we mention that you should talk to us?

Indigo Productions, a New York video and multimedia production company, can be reached at 212-765-5224.  Please be sure to visit our website at

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Category: Video Production
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