How much does a video cost?


The most asked question at the inception of every video project is of course “How much will this cost?”. Wouldn’t it be great if video production was like lumber; “Give me two dozen 2X4’s, eight 1X4’s and six sheets of  ¾” plywood”.  Then you would just make sure the quality and price are agreeable and you are on your way. Unfortunately video production is not quite that cut & dried.

In terms of budgeting there are really only two ways to approach it: either match the creative to the budget or match the budget to the creative. So what does that mean? Well, back to the lumber analogy; you can go to the lumber yard and purchase affordable lumber, fasteners and paint then build the nicest flower planter you can with what you have. Or you can design the ideal planter, create a materials list, procure any needed specialty skill labor and accept the resulting end cost in order to get a very specific outcome (and the most customized flower planter on the block!).

Obviously there are many more factors to consider when undertaking a video production project than the typical flower planter, but the general principle still applies. Here are the top 10 factors that affect the cost of producing a professional video:

  1. Video Production Expertise & Geographic Location – Much like any other service related profession, the cost of videography services can range widely depending on the experience and expertise of the company or individual offering it. And much like other industries, you generally get what you pay for. If your project’s outcome is of the utmost importance you must ask yourself if saving some money is a reasonable risk to take in awarding your project to a relatively inexperienced entity. On the other hand, if you have a relatively basic project that does not require the capabilities of a seasoned video production team, you can find many individual freelancers who will work for a lesser rate and accomplish an acceptable outcome.Your geographical location will also impact costs. Different areas within the country will often charge different rates for the same services. Larger cities on the coasts tend to cost more for the same services than similar companies elsewhere. The cost of living in those areas is higher so the trickle-down effect of that tends to be reflected in the costs of their services. Location fees, permits, lodging and other ancillary costs tend to be higher in larger cities as well. Expect to pay somewhere between $75 to $150 per hour per person involved with video production tasks.
  2. Pre-Production (Concept / Script / Storyboard) – Good starts lead to good finishes! The pre-production phase of a video project sets the tone for the entire project. The pre-production team must take into consideration the audience, goals and expected outcome of the video in their preparations. The budget will be a strong consideration in terms of how much and to what degree the pre-production effort will be undertaken. Expect to pay between $60 and $150 per hour for pre-production services.
  3. Talent (Actors/Presenters/Extras/Narration/Licensing/Union Fees ) – Do you already have the talent in-hand for your video or do you require professional talent? This is a very important consideration since all the planning and video production expertise in the world cannot make a poor actor or spokesperson perform better. Some people just do not do well in front of a camera. In some cases it is essential to have a company representative or subject expert as the actor/spokesperson. This should be thought through very carefully and you should be completely confident that the individual(s) can pull it off. If you do need professional talent there are many agencies that do a fine job of providing talent that fits the role as well as the budget. Voice talent is another consideration and falls into the same category. Talent costs are wide ranging for many reasons. For planning purposes you could budget anywhere from $50 to $500 per hour (potentially more!).
  4. Video Production Crew – The video production crew is another area that can have a wide range depending on the shoot requirements and objectives. Crew size can be as low as one person for a b-roll type of shoot with no audio or the shoot may require 10 or more crew members for a location shoot with several moving parts. There are many types of crew members that may come into play. Every shoot will require a camera operator (DP) beyond that typical roles include: Producer, Grip, Gaffer, Electrician, Audio Tech, Production Assistant (PA), Hair & Makeup and other specialty roles as needed. As you might guess the costs of these roles can vary widely and are too diverse individually to list here, but typically each of these roles will cost between $30 and $150 per hour.
  5. Video Production Gear – There can be a lot of gear involved in a professional video shoot. It all starts with the camera(s) being used. Just like anything else, the higher end cameras come with a steep price tag and will definitely garner a higher cost to utilize. Most video production companies can offer different camera packages to best suit the project and the budget. Professional cameras and lenses can range from $100 per day up to $500 (or more). Along with the camera comes the potential for camera accessories, lights, carts, dollys, jibs, stabilizers and on and on. Beyond the camera there is the potential for lights, audio gear, teleprompter and a plethora of other gear as needed. All of these elements will be a factor in the cost of your video shoot. Gear costs can range as low as $100 to thousands per day depending on the needs and available budget.
  6. Video Production Amenities (Locations/Studios/Set/Props/Equipment /Catering & Craft Services)  – This is a wide ranging area and can be as little as $0 or as much as the shoot budget  requires or has allocated. Many of the decisions made in the pre-production phase will determine these needs. Locations and studios come with a wide range of associated cost. Possibly as little as nothing if you have your location secured! If your video requires shooting in a public place there is the possibility of needing to acquire permits which can come with a cost. You may already know where your video needs to be shot or you may rely on your video production resource to locate and scout potential locations in order to provide you with options. Studio space generally starts around $400 per day for a very basic studio and upwards from there. Unless your needs are somewhat extensive, you can generally find an adequate studio for under $1,000 per day.Does your video require a set, props or special equipment? If so, these need to be on the budget and planned for as well.And don’t forget that people get hungry and will need to eat! For a full day shoot it is good to keep everyone on-set for the duration of the shoot. Chow time is generally planned into the shoot schedule and food provided on-site to keep things on track. Doesn’t seem like a big deal to plan for, but it should be added to the budget.
  7. Post Production Editing – Once you have your footage it is time to put it all together in the editing phase of the project. Editing consist of getting all of the footage organized, reviewing all of the “takes” to find the gems, following the script to assemble the video takes as well as adding graphics, charts, graphs, text, titles, audio, music, or other assets needed to the video timeline. Editing can be relatively basic or very time consuming if it is a complex or long running video. The effort will be a result of the pre-production plans, project deliverable and allocated budget. A typical process would have the editor assemble an early/rough edit for review and feedback. The next edit will be more fully realized taking into consideration from the provided feedback. This process of proof-review-proof-review will continue until the video meets the objectives and passes final approval. Editing generally ranges between $60 and $160 per hour.
  8. Post Production Graphics – Graphics for video can either be stationary or moving (motion graphics). Either iteration of graphics will require a graphics specialist (or an editor will both skill sets). Some videos do not rely on graphic elements, in which case this role would be minimized or removed altogether. However, nearly every video does have opening and closing screens which will require some effort to build out. Even basic titling requires some effort and will be a consideration in the cost. More and more videos are integrating, if not heavily relying on, a considerable about of graphical elements. It is important to realize that creating custom graphics (especially motion graphics) requires a different skill set than editing and in many cases a separate individual to handle those efforts. Typical graphic design costs range from $90 to $180 per hour. There is also the possibility of utilizing 3D elements which are generally even more costly – generally between $100 and $300 per hour.
  9. Post Production Assets – Most projects require some form of stock elements. This would include music beds, stock imagery, stock video, texture maps, etc. In many cases stock elements can be utilized as an effort to reduce shooting costs. Whether you need a shot of a firetruck racing by with sirens blaring or a butterfly landing on a flower, it is generally easier and more cost effective to purchase these existing elements rather than try to recreate and shoot them yourself. Music falls into the same category, all but the most high end videos do not have budget for the creation of a custom music score. There are many good resources available to provide stock elements and they are usually fairly economical to acquire.
  10. Length of Video – The final cost driving factor is the overall runtime of the video. Although it is not always in direct relation to the cost, with everything else being equal it will be a factor. Clearly there are 30 second TV commercials that have costed hundreds of thousands of dollars as well as hour long presentation videos that can be had for a couple hundred bucks. But they were both budgeted and planned for based upon their perceived value and available budget. Many of the other factors discussed will also require more effort in order to fill out a longer runtime (i.e. scripting, storyboarding, shooting, editing, graphics, stock items, etc.). There is no hourly cost or formula for taking runtime into account, but it is something that needs to be considered.

There you have it. As you may have already known there are many factors that determine the final cost of producing a video, thankfully you are in control of many of them. Hopefully you now have a bit more understanding and appreciation of just what it takes to create your video project. You should be on your way to answering the question of “how much will your video cost”. Good Luck!

Why Video Marketing Works (With the Statistics to Back It Up)


Video Marketing works. It’s been proven that it’s not only engaging, but more engaging and effective than other mediums. Companies know they should be working with video, but haven’t taken the steps toward making a plan or even research the potential returns on this investment.

That’s why we’re here to push you in the right direction. Here’s why video marketing works.

Stopping Power

According to Diode Digital, video promotion is 600% more effective than print and direct mail combined.

Even with the best copy you can possibly throw together, video has been proven time and time again to be more effective than print in terms of information retention and engagement. While watching video can be considered passive, it’s an effective way to drive home your business’ message and personality in a way that visitors can relate to. As opposed to scanning text or an infographic.

Brafton reports improvements in bounce rates as high as 34% when implementing a video marketing content strategy with 70% of customers reporting improved ROI.

Print and direct mail have their place as informative and cheap solutions for dispersing information, but it can’t compare when going toe-to-toe with video. The initial investment may be a hard pill to swallow so that’s why careful planning with a creative entity and a solid/detailed content strategy will help put things into perspective.

Buying Power

90% of customers shopping online prefer products with video attached to them than those without.

Something as simple as a demonstration or informational video builds confidence in your product, but it can’t just be any video. Consult the professionals on the best way make an engaging and entertaining end result. The worst thing you can do is commit to a video project and obstruct it but cutting corners. It will hurt your brand/product and leave a bad taste in your mouth for future video marketing projects. In simpler terms, you get what you pay for.

46% percent of shoppers will seek out additional information about a product after seeing an online video.

You’ve put in so much work to get people to your site and they’re still not converting? Give them a reason to stay and keep poking around. 60% of visitors will watch a video before reading any text on a site. This also leads to visitors staying longer on pages that include video making their stay more meaningful.

Branding Power

“Video will soon be 90% of all internet traffic” – YouTube’s Vice President of Global Content, Robert Kyncl.

There are a couple of things holding video back when compared to other mediums. It’s expensive and time consuming. Two things businesses don’t want to hear when thinking about new endeavors. That’s why video marketing is such a staple for huge brands while the little guy has to stick to AdWords, social media, blogging, and direct mail. While those tools are invaluable, it’s time to bring video into your arsenal.

More than 3/4 of companies are on Facebook and Twitter while only 1/3 are on YouTube.

Video is somewhat exclusive, but the companies that can afford it use it for a reason: it works. The good news is that the manpower and technology needed to produce quality video is more accessible and cheaper than ever.

If you haven’t thought about working with video for a while, try consulting with professionals and exploring what you might be capable of budgeting for.

VR: It’s Not Just for Gaming


Virtual reality is not a new idea. It’s been romanticized in books and movies as a way to transport you to completely different environments and situations. Until recently, working products have been confined to the darkest corners of test labs and tangential tech projects.

Understanding the Tech

There’s a lot to learn about how this technology is evolving, but for the sake of simplicity let’s cover the basics.

When it comes to video content and film making there are currently three ways to do this: 3D computer generated video, 3D 360 degree video, and 360 degree video.

Current 3D Video content is either computer generated or created with highly customized camera rigs (not available to the general public) that require a lot of post production tinkering.

On YouTube you can find 360 degree video (fancy marketing term) which is essentially a panoramic video. It’s consumer ready and available, but it’s not 3D. It’s a spherical image with your view smack-dab in the middle giving the illusion of immersion.

Why is this important?

360 degree video lacks parallax. This is the displacement of objects viewed along two different lines of sight, meaning you can see what’s behind objects if you move your head around a little. It also lacks stereoscopic imaging, which gives the 3D effect. Without these there’s no depth and immersion is diminished.

The big take away: one is really cool (3D video) and the other is not as cool, but still pretty cool (360 video).

Where Are We Now?

Video content for VR is in the wild west phase. There aren’t any right answers at the moment. A unique set of strengths, drawbacks, and hurdles has presented themselves and need figuring out.. Fortunately, there are very creative people willing to try new things and devote their time to this new endeavor.


How do you tell a story in VR? Traditional 2D content has the luxury of being able to point viewers exactly where they’re supposed to look. With this simple idea stripped away you have to think of the viewer as an active participant.

The New York Times tackled this with some interesting ideas.

For example, in their production The Displaced, which can be viewed on YouTube without a headset by dragging the screen, you get to see the lives of three children affected by war. It’s a powerful story told in a way that capitalizes on the impressiveness of VR. There are no quick cuts (since nausea is a factor) or unique angles. Only the raw emotion and solitude of actually being there. Composition had to be thought of differently. Where might the viewer be looking at this point? How will the viewer move when the subject makes this action?

At a certain point the video has you standing in a field waiting for a supply drop to fall out of the sky. Everyone looks up as they hear the plane coming. Naturally you look up as well. The drops fall from the plane and land on the ground. By the time you look down the shot has changed since everyone is now running at the camera to claim the food.

It was a clever way to transition the scene in a logical way without confusing the viewer. It shows how forward thinking and anticipatory you need to be when dealing with an active viewer as opposed to a passive one. This project is full interesting methods and deserves watch.

What’s Ahead

There are many examples of linear storytelling as well as experience driven VR productions coming from places like Purple Pill VR and VRSE. If you ever have a chance to experience VR take it. I guarantee you’ll become a believer.

As the medium continues we’ll be seeing what grabs people’s attention in a meaningful way in regards to film making and marketing. Now is the time to take note.

What Video Marketing Can Do for Your Business


Video is more than a trend

It’s the best way to familiarizes potential customers with your brand in a lasting, meaningful way.

The growth of online video viewing is real. While it may seem expensive / time consuming (compared to slapping a few lines of text together for AdWords) the benefits of video are vast. Here are a few practical, realistic ways video can help your business. And no, it doesn’t involve going viral.

Revitalize your landing page

Sometimes even the most cleverly written copy is not enough to capture the attention of some visitors. For the visitors that have a short attention span or can’t seem to make a purchasing decision video is a powerful way of reaching them.

According to, using video on landing pages can increase conversion by 80%. On top of that it’s 64% more likely that a purchase will be made after viewing a single product video.

By using a video that’s relevant, informative, and concise you can really drive your point home. Your landing page should be the one-stop-shop for product info. With video you can get the important stuff out right away through a medium that visitors actually pay attention to.

Let your email campaigns stand out

You’ve sent out your brand new eBlast filled with catered content to drive sales, only to find out nobody is clicking through. Maybe your product is more visual. Maybe you think telling them about your product personally while showing them how it works is the only way for them to understand the benefits.

Don’t be afraid to try something different. That stats have your back.

When adding video to an eBlast both GetResponse and Implix Email Marketing Trends report around a 96% increase in click-through rates. Press releases also benefit with video being 970% more likely to be viewed than text-only content, according to PR Newswire.

Making a video for every eBlast just isn’t practical, but sometimes you have a product that the world needs to know about. Why not invest in proper marketing?

Bring personality to your brand

It’s easy to get caught up in looking for the immediate payoff from your marketing efforts. Building awareness to and confidence in your brand, product, or service is just as important. Video is the quickest way for newcomers to get a feel for your company’s personality.

Using video inherently gives visitors a reason to stay on your page longer. Use this time to build trust (by introducing your employees) or get them intrigued about your company (by letting them hear the enthusiasm in your voice). This process is a little more open ended since it’s a chance for you to be creative. Consulting with a production house can help you focus your vision.

Even if visitors don’t make a purchase/inquiry this time, the next time they see your name pop up in a search engine you’ll instantly stand out. Stay at the top of their mind while they’re shopping around.

For large and small businesses alike, video marketing is a powerful tool that can drive sales and bring out your personality.

Cardboard Bicycle can change the world!


Cardboard Bike by Izhar Gafni

Tech Inspiration: A bike made with cardboard by Izhar Gafni

A bicycle made almost entirely of cardboard has the potential to change transportation habits from the world’s most congested cities to the poorest reaches of Africa, its Israeli inventor says.

Izhar Gafni, 50, is an expert in designing automated mass-production lines. He is an amateur cycling enthusiast who for years toyed with an idea of making a bicycle from cardboard.

Source: Yahoo! News

Congratulations to Tom Berglund!


Blue II Bluetooth™ Wireless Speaker

Congratulations to Tom Berglund!

On behalf of Dream World Studios and we are happy to announce that Tom Berglund is our ultimate giveaway contest winner!

Thank you to Tom and everyone else who entered our ultimate giveaway contest. We expect Tom to try it out on his hard hat and will hopefully let’s us know how it preforms.

If you still want to pick up a Blue II wireless speaker for yourself, check out for more information!

Tom, please contact us with all your contact information so that we can get this sent off to you right away!

Mars Spirit Tracks


Inspiration: Tracks left behind by the Mars Spirit

Mars Rover Tracks

This is a cropped version of the image ‘Santa Anita’ Panorama from the JPL MER website: “acquired from a position roughly three-fourths the way between “Bonneville Crater” and the base of the “Columbia Hills.”

It’s really quite amazing just how far we have come in space travel and exploration. This is Mars! If you set your mind to it, really anything is possible.

If you have been ignoring the latest Mars Rover photos and information that has been flowing out of NASA for the past few months, we’d suggest looking into it, it really is amazing.

StumbleUpon Mobile App Design


Mobile App Inspiration: StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon is the easiest way to discover new and interesting things from all corners of the Web. Stumble whenever or wherever you want. While waiting for the bus or relaxing at home, Stumble through Interests like Humor, Music and Photography to discover entertaining web pages, photos, videos and more. It’s like taking a road trip through the Web.

StumbleUpon Mobile iPhone App

Designing websites and apps for mobile phones can be a daunting task, you have to worry about performance, clutter, organization, content flow and much more. StumbleUpon has a done a very nice job of creating an app that is easy to use, fast, fluid and looks great at the same time. It shows you all the content you need, when you need it.

StumbleUpon Mobile iPhone App Design