Video Production Pricing Guide: Everything You Need to Know

video production Chicago

Given that video is the king of all content today, brands the world over know that it is an inevitable marketing investment. However, the pressure of having to create videos that stand out in an already crowded marketplace, put together with the psychology of consumption patterns, invariably makes brands wonder, – is video production a costly affair?

The mere fact that video production is a gray-matter-intensive skill implies that it is best done by professionals, for the best results. This points to creative acumen costs, equipment costs, labor charges, and other expenses coming under the purview of production.

With these basic pointers in mind, brands are often left wondering if the investment would fit their budget, meet their expectations, and provide the anticipated ROI. More importantly, skeptical marketers also need a clear picture of the funds they need to set aside for video, to plan the rest of the agenda.

As a veteran Chicago video production company, our experts know the pressing concerns of brands and their marketing teams when it comes to investing in video production.

To clear the air and help discerning marketers make informed decisions, here is a foolproof video production pricing guide.

Quality vs. quantity

Is it better to put out more numbers of videos to keep customers and prospects engaged, or should you focus on the quality?

Considering that there are billions of videos on the internet today, the window to impress with quantity is saturated and far-fetched. Besides, a major share of the videos online is low in quality and this includes thoughtless storylines, unclear messaging, and low-quality visuals. To key to standing out in a saturated pool of mediocre content is creating high-quality content.

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As opposed to sharing more content in low quality, choose to share fewer videos in various formats ensuring the highest quality. Focus on using the latest tech and equipment to generate ultra-clear visuals, spend time brainstorming out-of-the-box ideas for storytelling, and use professional effective strategies to disseminate the content. In essence, partner with a qualified and well-equipped Chicago video production company to begin with.

As a rule, give due weightage to spending on quality to make the most impact.

The cost of video production – breaking down the essentials

A question that we get asked the most is “How much does it cost to make a video”?

The straightforward answer is that it is not quantifiable without certain parameters. This means, the cost greatly depends on several factors including the scope of the project, the resources required, the level of services required, and other things. To put some perspective into the concoction, an average high-profile commercial video can cost up to or more than $500,000, while a short and quick brand video or a social media ad can cost less than $5000.

Companies typically assess an estimate after considering the scope of your project and working out the resources needed. Hence, it is worthwhile to have a production brief ready, with details like the goals and objectives for your discovery call.

Now let’s break down the essential constituents of a video content project cost estimate.

Type of video

Consider the type of video you wish to make for your brand. Is it an explainer video, an animated brand video, a live-action product demo video, or anything else?

The more resources your video will need, and the more immersive you need the video to be, the higher will be the costs. For example, an animated video requires fewer resources than a live-action video with actors. However, the production skills required are more intensive for animations, compared to scripted cinematic films or documentaries.

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Length of the video

The resources required for a five-minute video, a one-minute video, and a 15-minute video are almost the same. Hence, the cost of the resources required remains similar, however, longer videos are labor intensive. They require production talent to be engaged in the production work for longer. In its entirety, the duration of the video doesn’t affect the video in a big way.

Pre-production and prep

Pre-production involves a big chunk of the work in video making. Aspects like story, script-writing, location-scouting, décor and styling, scheduling shoot times, etc. come under the purview of pre-production. It essentially includes the necessary prep work required to shoot the video smoothly.

Depending on the scope of the video, every segment in pre-production comes at its respective costs. For example, story and script-writing services are typically provided by almost all Chicago video production companies as part of comprehensive packages. However, brands that run on a tight budget can undertake script-writing in-house. Similarly, aspects like location scouting, casting, content strategizing, and the like, incur costs for travel, creative prowess, and production experience, all of which can impact the overall cost of the project. The more resource-intensive your project is, the higher the pre-production costs will be.


Professional video production inevitably requires expensive shooting and lighting equipment. Videos that involve only motion graphics or animation require other state-of-the-art technologies. Production costs typically involve charges for the maintenance and safety of these. Some videographers also charge an amount to cover the original cost of the gear. Larger projects may require more equipment, which the crew will most likely rent. Hence, the equipment used affects the overall costs to a great extent.

Crew and hire-times

The charges for the crew members, that is, the shooting and editing professionals are typically included in the pre-production segment. Their costs depend on the number of executives required for the project, their experience levels, their involvement in the production process, location, etc.

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The hire time also forms part of the crew charges. Professionals usually charge by the day, hence, the more the number of days your project takes to shoot, the higher the charges.

A comprehensive Chicago video production company usually offers all services including crew and equipment. However, to save on the budget, some brands prefer hiring local teams as well. It may be worth noting that by doing so, the quality of production may vary.


The post-production segment involves the finishing aspects of the project, such as editing, sound-mixing, coloring, grading, and feedback, and as they say, this is where all the magic happens. Hence, it is typically advised to set aside sufficient funds for post-production, as it can take your video from 0 to 100. Editing and graphics, upscaling, and touch-ups can further enhance the quality of your video and make it more impactful.

The technologies and talent required for post-production incur charges based on technical brilliance, experience, etc. Needless to say, it is an integral part of video production costs.

Wrapping up

Professional video production involves several segments in its cycle, each of which requires superior-quality equipment, talent, and other resources. High-quality videos, essential to making an impact in today’s crowded digital landscape, inevitably need top-grade production teams. However, it does not necessarily mean that video production is a costly affair.

Thoughtful commercial photographer Chicago, like K3, offer comprehensive customizable packages which can potentially offset and optimize the individual costs of the various segments. Their services are flexible and allow you to attain maximum value for money. In effect, they help you take advantage of professional production services at a price suitable for your budget.

For more information, expert advice, and full-scale video production services, contact K3.

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