Video is an artistic medium, meaning that the final product is always influenced by a certain interpretation and aesthetic approach. Give four directors the same subject and tell them to create a promotional video on that subject, and invariably you will receive four very different videos.
This means that a budget for any one video can run from one extreme to the other. The final cost always depends on several factors. That’s why it’s very difficult to nail down an accurate bid, simply based on the question, “How much do you charge for a commercial?” Video production is something different from an item you find on the grocery store shelf. Every commercial or promotional video can’t always be packaged and priced with a nice, neat little label. Businesses are different. People are different. Therefore, directors that strive to give clients unique content that speaks directly to their audience will want to sit down with you for a creative consultation.
I always try to meet with a potential client face to face to gather information for a particular video project. In that initial consultation, I like to find out the following:
- Basic information on the company; history, products, services
- Main selling points that make this company different from their competitors
- Values the company holds
- Perceptions about the company (both internally and externally)
- Marketing goals that the company has for themselves (more specifically, what do they want this video to achieve?)
- Information on current customers (why do they buy from this company?)
- Their target market
- Problems that this marketing effort will help solve
- The reasons why they contacted me
- The role they want me to play in this project
- Ideas they have for a video (both in terms of content and aesthetics)
These items are incredibly important to me as I move into any video production, because it helps in developing a concept and a script that will be most effective to the client. I want the client to know that what interests me most is helping them gain greater public exposure and increased profitability.