Over the last few years, the cost of producing videos, TV ads, and video ads for social media has changed massively.

Now, video production is cheaper and more cost-effective than it’s ever been.

For example, in 2004, the cost to shoot stabilised aerial footage with a helicopter and Cineflex camera system was $2,800 an hour.

Now, we just send up a drone.

Back then, production costs were based on an investment of hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment.

Now, the price is based on the human-ware: the experience and artistry of the director, videographer and editor.

Here’s what’s had the most impact on video production costs:

1. Videos and commercials are getting shorter

In the early 2000’s, videos were usually 5 to 10 minutes long, TV commercials were mostly 30 seconds to 2 minutes long.

And digital video ads (like TV ads, but on youtube, facebook, linkedin, instagram, etc.) hardly existed.

Today, videos usually run 1 – 2 minutes. Most TV ads are 15 or 30 seconds. And digital video ads are mainly 15 sec. or less.

2. Video production equipment is getting cheaper

A few years ago, a broadcast-grade camera with lenses and accessories could cost over $100,000.

Now, we can acquire broadcast quality video cameras, fully rigged, and which shoot at much higher definition, for less than $20,000.

3. Equipment is getting smaller and lighter & crews are getting smaller

Another significant change is the size and weight of equipment. Cameras and tripods weighing 35kg and transported in rental vans are replaced by a 3kg camera and gimbal small and light enough to be carry-on luggage.

And on location, usually the camera operator and director can carry and set up the gear, reducing the size of the crew.

4. Editing systems cost less

From a full broadcast editing system costing over $100,00, we can now edit ultra-high definition footage on computers with high-speed drives, costing less than $20,000. Even powerful laptops can handle today’s editing software.

Again, the major cost-component of editing is no longer the hardware, it’s now the experience and creativity of the people creating the edit.

5. Audio production is cheaper

We used to commission musicians to produce original music tracks. Now, we search online and download library music tracks costing from $50, up to a couple of hundred dollars for the really good ones.

Voice Over artists who used to work for fixed, industry-scale fees, are now quite negotiable, and even have their own recording equipment.

What does it mean? What’s the bottom line?

Logistics: A location shoot that would have taken a week and five crew, now takes 2 days and two people.

Costs: A production that would have cost $30,000 now costs $10,000. And a $10,000 production now costs $5,000.

What hasn’t changed?

OK, well the day-rate of the fewer people involved hasn’t changed much. Even though we’re each more multi-skilled now.

And while shoots are quicker, editing a minute of finished video from an hour of camera footage still takes as long.

Which is pretty good, considering people now expect videos with more complex edits, more effects, more pop and fizz.

So, how much is a video?

$3,500 will get you a short, clean, punchy, video – with product or premises shots, slick titles, good music, a professional VO, and some help with the script.

$5,000 will get you a more unique video – more specially tailored to you and/or your product, with a professional, persuasive script, more dramatic shots, and more detailed editing effects, to make a greater impression on viewers.

$10,000 will get you two or three videos covering different features and benefits of your product or service. Plus some short, punchy Video Ads.

You send the Video Ads out on social media – Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn, etc., or on TV, to bring people back to your website to watch your longer videos and be persuaded to purchase.

And voila! Your web traffic, engagement and sales jump right up, and your cost-per-sale jumps right down.

So now, with cheaper production, and cheaper, more targeted ways of reaching your customers on social media, there’s never been a better time to harness the power of video to promote and grow your business.

Why not give us a call?


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