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.