The answer to this falls squarely into the ‘how long is a piece of string’ category. That said, a simple guide is to estimate the hours and manpower necessary to achieve the desired result.
If you’re new to video production the answer to that can be difficult to determine. This may seem like an exaggeration, but in the not-too-distant past I’ve art directed 30-second ads for the likes of Mars and Telstra that take months to conceive, three days to shoot, a fortnight to edit and involve up to 50 personnel to complete. I’ll let you do the mental arithmetic on the budget attached to that. Suffice to say you have to sell a truck-stop parking lot full of Mars Bars loaded semis to fund it.
Thankfully in this digital day and age, there are tremendous efficiencies to be had so you can achieve significantly more bang for your video production buck without the Cecil B. DeMille malarky. In most cases, we work with a single videographer who doubles as a sound recordist and always with our agency creative director in tow to ensure the integrity of the end product. He also doubles as a hands-on roadie and second operator in two camera productions. This translates into an extremely affordable shooting day rate. From there you have editing, colour grading and motions graphics should you decide on them. Editing fees are based on an hourly rate with a rough estimate of three days to edit a day’s shooting material.
That day may end with a 90-second video but the various takes, lighting changes and camera set-ups require time and careful consideration to ensure we get the best possible end result. There may be travel time included if we have to cover long distances but most of our productions take place in the larger cities so it’s rarely factored in. The same applies for overnight accommodation fees.
Specialist equipment hire is sometimes (although rarely) accrued but should be considered if shooting underwater for instance, or utilising equipment like a large, body-mounted steady-cams. All things considered, our average budget for a day-shoot including editing and delivery of the end product makes our earlier insight: ‘you can achieve significantly more bang for your video production buck’ look like the understatement of the century.
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