Getting the Most Accurate Bid From a Production Company

I was recently approached by a potential client with a question, “I’m interested in putting together a 6-8 part educational DVD series. How much will that cost?” On another occassion I received a call from an individual who simply asked, “I want to do a video. How much will that cost?”

If your company puts you in charge of working with a production company to produce a marketing/promotional video, it’s important to understand the budgeting process. There are several factors involved in bidding a job, and there are some questions that you need to ask yourself before picking up the phone to call a video production company. The more specific you are, the more accurate the bid will be. Let’s use the example of the 6-8 part educational DVD series to understand some of the factors involved in bidding a video. Here are some variables that need to be addressed:

  • How long will each of these videos be?
  • What’s the desired format? Do you need single/multiple camera coverage of a live lecture? Do you need a single/multiple camera coverage of a round-table discussion? Will you require any dramatic re-enactments? on-camera interviews? fictional narratives to illustrate a point?
  • Will you need HD or SD?
  • Will you need the production company to conceptualize and script the series, or will you provide the materials?
  • Will the series require a professional voice-over talent, or will the educator drive the series?
  • Will you want to shoot on location? Where? A classroom? Auditorium? Will the location be interior or exterior?
  • Will the videos require any motion animation or heavy graphics? If so, how much?
  • Will the DVDs need to be replicated and packaged with graphic art? If so, will you need one color, two colors, four colors?

The answer to each of these questions will affect the budget of the entire production. They dictate how much crew will be needed on set, how much and what type of gear will be needed, whether actors need to be hired, whether sets need to be built, whether location fees need to be paid, etc.

I understand that sometimes you might not know the answers to these questions, but don’t panic. Talk to potential production companies and allow them to help you narrow your focus. Then you can be assured that you will receive a more accurate bid.

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4 Responses to “Getting the Most Accurate Bid From a Production Company”

  1. Maria Cauchon says:

    I would like to get a quote on the following video job:

    We want to produce an Introduction Video for each of our sales reps. We have 6. The video would probably be approx. 1 min. long. We would use the video on our website and also email.

    We would like to have the videos shot here in Tuscaloosa at our corporate office during the first week in August. We would have all 6 people present and available. The video would need to be in final form (.swf / .avi)

    Please contact me as soon as possible to discuss this project and budget.


  2. Lykenderick Brown says:

    I wanted to know how much you all will charge to record our 10yr wedding anniversary.Our actual anniversary date is 09-29.We will have our semi-formal ball on 10-01-11 so if you could contact me with a price I will greatly appreciate it.Cell phone 205-886-0697 home 722-2248 ask for Ken or Kim.

  3. Kenneth Featherstone says:

    I am an accident reconstructionist and I would like to create a video segment highlighting a my craft. Specifically, I would like the video to depict me/accident reconstructionist reporting on local auto accidents with 3D animation software that I have and merely reporting the who, what, when & where’s of the accident. I would like to use the video as a vehicle to pitch to local broadcast media, i.e. NBC, ABC, CBS & FOX. How much would a video of this kind cost?

  4. I am looking to do a 3-4 minute video for a fundraising event.

    The video will most likely consist of:

    1. Voiceover (my voice) of statistics while screen shows pictures of city,schools, and students.

    2. Short interviews with 1 parent, 1 student, 1 teacher, 2 visionaries, and 1 director.

    3. I will compile the storyline and questions. All of the video can be shot on location in Birmingham (2 hrs max), with exception of the visionaries. We can have them send in footage if we know what format it needs to be in.

    4. You all would be responsible for shooting the interviews in Birmingham if necessary, and compiling the final video in both a DVD and email compatible format.

    Can I get a quote of how much this would cost if we sent you all the footage and how much it would cost if you filmed the interviews?

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