What does a video REALLY cost?

- - Working

The quality and flexibility of the camera you shoot with can make a considerable difference in the finished quality and editing options for your video. Are you shooting on a $ 500 DV camera, a $2,500 DSLR, a $10,000 Full feature HD camera, a $25,000 RED, a $60,000 ARRI or are you shooting on Film? The pace of technological advancement in film and video is breathtaking and the features and capabilities of cameras are changing weekly.  Bottom Line: You should be able to see the difference in the final output quality in more expensive cameras. If you can’t, then it’s not worth paying for. Your final delivery channel will also determine the need for specific cameras. Streamed video on the internet (where the vast majority of corporate videos are seen) doesn’t require high-end camera’s to capture your content because a lot of that quality will be lost in optimization for the web.Costs: You will spend between $25/hour and $400/hour or more depending on which digital camera package is used. Film cameras, lenses and stock will take you well over $1,000 /hour.Equipment. The more experienced video production companies tend to have a wide variety of tools and equipment on hand for each shoot. Do you need a track dolly or a jib-arm to create a shot with movement? Do you have a high quality field monitor to know exactly what you are getting (or not getting) as you shoot? Do you have all the necessary audio equipment (lav’s, direction mics, booms etc) to capture the audio you need?  Lighting and framing are everything in video. Do you have lights – lots of different lights to accommodate a wide variety of shooting scenarios? Do you have a variety of lenses to create the specific feel you are after – wide angle, fixed focal length or Cine lenses for narrow depth of field, etc?Costs. Equipment cost can run anywhere from $25/hour to $100’s/hour or more depending on what specific equipment is required

More here: What does a video REALLY cost? – ChristopherHatchett.TV

There Are 1 Comment On This Article.

  1. Very misleading title in my opinion. If this post said, “What does a PHOTOGRAPH really cost?”, and then went on to talk about how the type of camera you use will considerable impact the quality of the final image you create, I think most photographers would call BS.

    My background is as a commercial/ad photographer (sports & lifestyle) for 10 years and in the last four years I’ve taken on video production as part of my business which now accounts for just over 50% of what we do. I’ve shot on most mediums and currently own everything from an iPhone to a RED dragon (as well as the Sony and Canon offerings in between).
    As is the case with photography, today’s technology is so remarkable in all of these formats that the quality and associated costs of a video have relatively little to do with specs of your camera and EVERYTHING to do with your understanding of 1) Story (the real cost of Video/Film), 2) camera movement to reflect that story 3) Directing actors 4) And bringing together a team experts (DP to Gaffer, grips, copywriters, editors, colorists, VFX/SFX and the list goes on).
    Furthermore, my true “COSTS” related to making a video are in the time invested that goes into learning this craft and bringing something compelling to an audience; the cost of education, experimentation and the failings associated with understanding how to connect moving images to the emotions of your audience. As is the case with photography, this has little if anything to do with the box you hold in your hands; how large the sensor or what the frame rate is, how many lights you can rent or whether you have a gimbal or not. Go study the work of the greats; Hitchcock, Welles -Watch Citizen Kane for example and consider the technology he worked with, Kubrick, Speilberg, Nolan, etc…). James Cameron spent about 15 years developing Avatar. Nolan Inception story was over 10 years in development. These are the real costs of great work! And this doesn’t just go for feature films, but is just as poignant in :30 second commercial spots.

    I’ve seen work shot on a DSLR or even an iPhone that blows the doors off of some of the crap that’s put out from the RED because the video lacks Story, Direction and and understanding of Light; which if you’re a fan of Lubezki’s work in the last 5+ years has largely revolved around a Free source of light – the Sun.

    Educating our clients and the market about the true costs of creating a video is crucial. There are far too many ‘combined’ productions these days where the client wants to “add on” a video to the photo shoot and it just doesn’t work like that. And simple renting the proper equipment should be near the bottom of the list in a discussion about the costs of quality video.