How Much Does Video Production Cost?

 

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If you recently started looking into video production services, cost is probably one of your main concerns. Before we go any further, let me put your mind at ease. You don’t necessarily have to spend an arm and a leg to make a video. You can always find a film student, a freelance videographer, or just a cheap production company to make your video for you at a quarter of the price a reputable company would charge you. The thing to remember here is that there will be a trade-off when cutting corners. More than likely the quality of your video will be substantially worse than if you were to go with a higher priced option. But a lower price tag could also result in more headaches for your in the production process. For example, a maintenance visit at a Lexus dealership is far more pleasant than doing the same at a Jiffy Lube(well, it depends on the Jiffy Lube.) They both provide the same service, but your experience will vary substantially. Not to mention you probably wouldn’t want to take your $80,000 sports car to a jiffy lube. So your needs may also vary depending on your level of investment.

 

Now, let’s get to the real reason you’re reading this. I’ve worked with a few local production companies and got quotes from others when I first started my own to get an idea of what I should charge for my services. Here’s what I found. Video Production prices in South Carolina ranged from $200 up to $4,500 per video. That’s a really big difference, isn’t it?  The disparity in pricing can be explained mainly by production value. If you want your video to look like it was shot by a Hollywood film crew you better be ready to pay the big bucks, maybe even more than the numbers I just showed you. Alternatively, if you pay $200 for a video you’ll likely end up with something only slightly better(hopefully) than if you would have done it yourself. You may even have to get your hands dirty and do some of the work yourself. For the most part, you can expect the price tag to match the level of quality in your production.

 

The halfway point between good production value and cost effectiveness(in my opinion) falls between $800 and $2,000, depending on the purpose of your video. However, so many factors come into play when determining the cost of a production that it’s pretty much impossible to come up with a set number.  The average cost of a production with us is around $1,800, but the best way to get an accurate quote is to discuss your vision in detail with us.

 

Ultimately, before you decide how much you want to spend on a video you should ask yourself “what is this project worth to me?” What price tag would you put on thousands of people learning about your product or service? When you envision people watching your video, what do you want them to think or feel? Do you want to associate your brand with refined, high quality videos, or do you only want to get your point across? Think about this before you decide how much you should pay for video production. Because, as I said earlier, you can find someone to make your video for $200 or maybe even less. But the question is, do you really want them to?

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What is Production Value?

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Production value is a term used in video production to refer to the overall cost of the shooting and editing of a production. It’s basically a way of gauging how professional a video looks. Things like set design, costumes, special effects, and talent play a role on whether a production has high or low production value. A somewhat similar word would be “budget” but they don’t exactly mean the same thing. Videos that are flashy, grandiose, and well polished are referred to as having “high production value.” Whereas smaller profile videos that look amateurish, with less flair and polish are thought of as having “low production value.” Generally, a higher budget will result in higher production value, but that’s not always the case.

 

Although it would be ideal to have high production value in every single one of your projects, the term is extremely relative. A feature film and a thirty second video ad can both have high production value and the budget and materials used would be substantially different. Also, it’s also not always beneficial to go all out on your video. If all you need is to train employees on internal company practices, it wouldn’t make sense to hire Russell Crowe to act in it (despite how awesome that would be.) A good rule of thumb when looking into production companies is to keep an eye out for how “professional” their work looks. My company specializes in small to medium budget videos that look high budget. If you don’t believe me, check out our portfolio!

Is Video Marketing Right for Your Business?


Before you go all crazy and spend thousands of dollars on video advertising, it might pay off to make your business is ready for it. I hate to have unhappy customers, they’re bad for business. That’s why every now and then I have to turn down a job to avoid giving my client a poor experience. Now don’t get me wrong, I promise you that every single business on the face of the earth can benefit from implementing video into their marketing strategy at some point. But having a video alone won’t get you the results you need. In order for video marketing to work, you have to make sure things are in line on your end as well. Here are a few reasons why it may not be the time to hire us just yet.

 

You Don’t Have the Budget for a Marketing Video.

Call it a hunch, but I just don’t see how spending money you don’t have is a good business practice. If your budget is stretched thin as it is, it may not be the time to spend your last precious pennies on a video in hopes of increasing revenue. Video marketing is, for the most part, a long term strategy. Unless you have almost no business at all, it may be a while before you start seeing any new clients from a video marketing campaign. So if times are rough, wait until your ship has cleared the storm before you bring a camera crew onboard. 

 

Your Product is Flawed.

It should be no surprise to you that a bad product doesn’t sell very well. Yet, every now and then we’ll have potential clients try to sell an unfinished product. If you’re starting a new business, be sure to meet at least these criteria. Your product needs to be finished and it needs to bring value to your customers. But this doesn’t just apply to new business owners, it also goes to those whose market has just seen some type of drastic change. Like the paper industry.  Sadly, that’s not an area we can help your business in. So it’s up to you to ensure that we’re showing to your audience something they’d be happy with.

 

You Don’t Know What Your Brand Stands For.

There’s no getting around it, branding is key to the long term success and growth of a business. Besides having an amazing product, you need to have an image attached to your business. What does it represent? What types of values do you want your customers to identify you with? If you don’t know what type of image you want to create for your brand, you may end up sending the wrong message. Redefining your brand is not impossible, but it’s more expensive and time consuming to change your brand’s image than it is to get it right the first time.

 

You Don’t Know Your Market.

This is perhaps more important than having a polished product. If your product is subpar but you do your marketing right, you’ll still be able to sell it(whether you get return customers is another issue.) But you can have the best, most useful, revolutionary product in the world, and yet if no one knows about it you won’t make a dime! Any marketing is better than no marketing. You can talk to your friends and family about it and ask for referrals, put an ad on the newspaper or radio, and build a website for your product along with video marketing. But before you start looking for places to advertise, it’s necessary to know exactly who you want buying your product. The more precise you can be with your ideal customer persona, the more successful your campaign will be. 

Now that you have a better idea of what you need on your end to ensure the success of your video, go ahead and take a second look at your marketing strategy and make sure you’ve got your bases covered. There may be other issues in your business that may prevent your video ad from being successful. But this is a great way start to look further into what needs tweaking. As I said in the past, video production is expensive. So whether you go with my company or another, we’d like for you to invest your money wisely. But definitely go with us, we’re friendlier.

Be Bold, Take the Leap!

 

 

Somewhere along the road, most of us develop a fear of failure that stops us from going after our dreams. Four years ago I swore that would never be me, I was full of energy and bravado despite everyone else’s disapproval of my reckless way of life. But it seems that even I wasn’t immune to self doubt. I can’t remember exactly when it happened, or even how it started. All I know is one day I woke up and started thinking I wasn’t good enough to do something outside of my comfort zone. At first I was disgusted with myself, how did someone who once went halfway across the world gambling his life in the name of a dream end up here? I wish I could tell you that I snapped out of it right away, but the truth is it took years for me to regain that vitality.

 

I realized that self awareness was not a bad thing at all. That by focusing on my faults I learned the things I needed to change about myself, and the things that were already working. So now I say to you what I told myself time and time again until it finally made sense.  “The time to act is now!” Don’t wait around for things to be perfect before you take that risk. Sure, you may not be ready, but I guarantee you will never be able to prepare for everything life throws at you. It’s a series of curve balls that you aren’t always able to anticipate. But if you let that stop you then you’ll never get anything done.

 

It’s scary to think about, jumping into the unknown, but that’s how uncharted lands are discovered! so don’t let yourself get in the way of your goals. Apply for that new job, ask for that promotion, pitch to that new client, get a puppy, buy a new car, propose marriage, or whatever else is on your to do list! DO IT NOW!! Say yes today and figure out how to do it tomorrow. Once you have achieved that dream, dream bigger. From one dreamer to another, life gets better when you live it in the pursuit of your dreams.

Spark Your Creativity in Three Easy Steps

I’m going to be honest with you guys, even though my job requires a lot of creativity, I oftentimes end up drawing blanks all day. The bright side if this of course is that I’ve learned ways to get past my writer’s block as quickly as it comes. Whether you’re coming up with a new marketing campaign, blog post, or video project, you’ll probably end up running into writer’s block at some point. So here are the top three things I do when I need a little creative boost.
1. Break away from routine.

Nothing kills creativity like doing the same thing over and over again. Not to mention life itself begins to lose it’s appeal after it becomes routine. So if you’re struggling to think of ideas try taking a different way to work, or going to eat at a new restaurant, maybe strike up a conversation with someone you’ve never spoken to before. Having that new experience will hopefully help you have a different perspective on things. 
2. Start out of order.

So you’re writing copy for a blog post and you’ve already decided what the body of your post is going to be, but you have no idea how to open or close it. The best thing you can do at this point is start with what you’ve already figured out and see where you can go from there. If you try to focus too hard on a specific part of your project you’ll only end up more frustrated. 
3. Bounce ideas off someone.

Two heads are better than one, right? Absolutely! Find someone to share what you have figured out so far and see what they can contribute. If you can handle a little constructive criticism, work with someone that doesn’t necessarily share the same views as you and take it as an opportunity to grow. 
If you take these three things into account I promise you’ll be over your writer’s block in no time. Remember, don’t over think things and keep writing no matter how bad it may seem at first. And if you need to call in the big guns, we’re always available to help you! See you guys next week!

Celebrate the Little Things

A couple weeks ago, I had a really rough week. One of those when nothing ever seems to go your way and you are so exhausted that you feel like just dropping everything right then and there. While I could have very easily wallowed in self pity the whole time, I have come to realize that during those times it pays off to work even harder than usual. The problem is that life has a way of testing you when you don’t have the energy to be tested. The most effective way I’ve found to combat this is to focus on what’s actually going right at the time, however insignificant it may be. You may not have much to celebrate about, but you really only need one thing to keep you going until the next one. Whether it’s finally closing that deal you’d been working on for a whole week, actually getting to go to bed at a decent time for once, or getting a call from that client you hadn’t heard from in months, there are always plenty of things to be grateful for. The point is to look past all the trials and tribulations and look at what’s going right, then celebrate those things. Buy yourself a drink, do a little dance, call your mom with the good news, and savor those seemingly small moments. Because they are just as important as the really big ones. And don’t just do that when you’re going through a tough time, celebrate the little things every chance you get. You’ll find yourself a happier person if you choose to look on the bright side of life more often.

Four Easy Ways to Make Your Smartphone Videos Look More Professional

As much as I’d love for you guys to keep paying me to make your videos for you, I know that’s not a feasible option for everyone. Besides, my ads take time to make and sometimes you need the immediacy of a smartphone video. So if you think I would hold it against you to upload your clip of the day, think again. But if you’re going to be recording your own videos, it would help to know a thing or two about doing it the right way. So here are four easy ways to improve the quality of your smartphone videos.

1. Stabilize Your Camera

A telltale sign of an amateur cameraman is poor stabilization. It’s a shame something so easily corrected is so often overlooked. Whether you use a tripod or a stack of books, having a steady shot almost always makes it easier for your audience to follow what’s happening on screen. If you happen to be recording a live event and don’t always carry a stabilizing rig like I do, you can still stabilize a bit by holding the phone with both hands and tucking your elbows against your ribs. You can also lean against a wall or tree if they’re nearby for added support. Different situations may require that you take different steps to stabilize. But it always pays off to take the extra time to do it.

2. Avoid Poorly Lit Areas

Have you ever taken a selfie to send to your boo right before bed and noticed it looked a little grainy? Well that’s called noise, and it’s a cameraman’s worst enemy. Noise happens when your camera’s light receptors aren’t receiving enough light. The reason we bring in those blindingly bright lights on a shoot is to avoid noise at all costs. As you may have already noticed, a noisy image looks less sharp than one taken in good light. The same applies to your videos. So whenever possible, try to shoot in areas with tons of even lighting. If you are in an area where there is only one source of light, your best bet would be to position yourself so that the light is hitting your subject head on. It’s not an ideal situation, but it’ll do in a pinch.

3. Know What You’re Going to Say Before Recording.

Having a script can help you avoid redundancy. You don’t want to bore your audience by repeating yourself over and over again when a thirty second video will do. So make sure you have an idea of what you’re going to say  before you hit that record button. Also, try to ensure you stay on topic. People have short attention spans these days and if you say the wrong thing you may lose your audience before you deliver your message.

4. Keep an Eye on Sound.

The quality of your sound is far more important than you may realize. Chances are you won’t get great sound using your smartphone alone, because the key to good sound is microphone proximity. But if you can avoid hard, reflective surfaces like hardwood floors and empty rooms you’ll have much better sound than if you don’t. Also, this may go without saying but make sure you pay attention to the noise level of your recording space. If you’re recording yourself in a quiet setting, investing in a lavalier microphone might be one of the smartest things you could do. You can easily find a decent quality one for around $20 or less online.

If you apply these principles next time you need a quick snippet for your business page you’ll see a great improvement in the quality of your videos. But remember, this will only make your video look more professional, you still need to have killer content to engage your audience. CONTENT IS KING!!! No matter how good something looks, it won’t help you if your content is no good. So be sure to give some thought to that as well. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me at any time. And if you need the best quality and content for your business, contact us for a quote, it’s more affordable than you think. Until next time!