5 Things That Affect Your Video Quote
Updated: Jul 17, 2021
Time is money and content is king. Your life is busy and so is a producer's. That's why I'm creating quick reads and tips to get you started on your media project.
Have you ever heard of the project management triangle? Well, even though these are circles below, it's still a good representation of project management:
Video projects work the same way. You can have two but you can't have all three (unless you happen to know a producer who has access to an endless sum of money and they owe you a BIG favor).
As you analyze your media project, you may start to see that one of these is a bigger priority than the others. If you are tight on money and you need it next week, the quality of the project will not be the best. If you want a beautiful video and you want it for less than the going rate, you will have to wait a little longer than usual. And if you want a stunning video as soon as possible, well, be prepared to pay a lot more.
Below are my top 5 elements that affect video and film quotes:
Producers love to analyze time. We want to impress you by predicting the future. We need to know all the elements of your production and not just what you want the finished product to look like, but also where it will end up. ALL the little details of the project affect how long it will take write, produce, edit, and market to your target demographic.
Let's say you have a single, simple shot: A spokesperson talks to the camera on the beach. I can tell you that this shot could take 2 weeks to plan, 4 hours to produce, and another 2 days to finish. Why? Let's start with planning: First you have to create the dialogue, find the actor, find the right beach, and get permits to shoot there, which can take weeks to turn around. Do you want to shoot with the sun directly overhead or at sunset? Your crew will need to be available for the hours, but you will need to specify the time of day. They will need parking close by to lug in the equipment as well. And we haven't even started on when the camera is rolling.
I can keep going with all the little nuances of production, but I think you get the point. Even a simple idea can take a long time. A good producer will break all of this down for you with your quote. Sure you can cut corners, but remember the triangle above.
A lot of clients I talk to want to work solo with me on their media project from start to finish. It's tough work, and I would much rather have an extra sound person or camera op or make-up person every time. But if it's not in the budget, I work with you to get your needs met. In my proposals, I always break down what I can do and what the cost is for "extras"; additional crew members, drone footage, music licensing, spokesperson, animation, etc.
However, there's some things I can't do alone. The more complicated your media project, the more crew members will be needed. Complications include more than one actor on the screen at a time, shooting outdoors (for sound, permits, gear exposure, parking, etc.), shooting indoors (for lighting, space rental, insurance, etc.), make-up, hair, wardrobe, special effects, and much more. And remember, editors, animators, and composers are post-production crew too. Not all crew members charge the same rates, but each of them are worth every dollar! Crews also make your production run smoother and more efficiently with everyone focused on their assigned tasks.
The equipment used for your projects may not make a ton of difference to you now, but it will in the end. Though I do believe that some cinematographers can achieve very similar results between higher-grade and lower-grade cameras, they can not deny the power of new technologically-advanced cameras and their options for shooting. Sound mixers and boom operators will tell you the same thing for microphones.
If you decide to go for the more inexpensive route, you can definitely still get great quality, but you might be left trying to get the content to look and sound more professional. There's a saying in production: "We'll fix it in post". Well, your post production crew will work their magic, but there is only so much they can do. There's a reason why some companies pay 50K for a 30 second video.
Editing will always be included in a proposal from Transgress Studios. We will comprise a near-complete rough cut, giving you an opportunity to give us feedback about the work. We understand that corrections will need to be made and our goal is to make you feel ecstatic about your content.
The hours put into editing is always more than the hours put into a production. The more footage a shoot has, the longer it takes to upload, organize, and synchronize. Then the editor will "sculpt" the project, often viewing all the footage (good and bad). Any sort of animation, graphic overlays, sound effects, and special effects will take editors additional time to create, send to you for feedback, re-do, and re-send. A simple change of color or a graphic coming in from a different part of the screen will still take a significant amount of time to export and send to you depending how big the file is. The more an editor has to go back into a project and fix, the more hours will be added to their invoice.
Customization can tack on hours as well. I recently had a client who wanted to make a virtual tour for their organization's space to get potential donors to see the location. Most virtual tours start outside a home or restaurant and you use the links to travel between rooms. After experimenting with the virtual tour, the client found that because they had two buildings full of spaces, they needed a Main Menu and a Table of Contents, which would allow donors to link to the room they wanted to see right away, versus going through the entire site to get there. The problem was the software I used to create the tour didn't allow for a Menu, let alone a Table of Contents. I had a moment where I thought I would have to start over with different software.
Customization is a value in America. A good producer will always go above and beyond for their clients. Every entity is different with different needs. Sometimes we don't see those needs right away. Though it may add to the budget, having your company's needs met is invaluable. I solved the problem by utilizing Photoshop to create a 2D Main Menu and Table of Contents, and adding "hotspots" in the software, making it look like they were one layer. My happy client gave me an opportunity to learn a new trick.
Time, crew, equipment, edits, and customization are important to any budget. Prioritize what's important to your organization's goals and remember the project management triangle.
Ready to start making your content? Reach out to me and mention this blog! Text 415-580-2066 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.