A Better Way to Think About Video Production Costs

5 min read
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We've analyzed the top Google ranking articles on video production costs, and here's what we learned: video costs alone don't answer the questions, "What do I get for my money?" or "Who should I hire for video production near me?"

The goal of this article is for you to understand the cost of video production services and make an informed decision on hiring for your next video storytelling project.

Understanding the Video Production Landscape and Costs

With the rising time people spend watching videos, investing in video storytelling is a no-brainer. In 2023, video plays jumped by 15%, and total watch time soared by 44% for companies hosting their videos on Wistia.1

Your organization can use video marketing to raise awareness, increase engagement, boost funding and sales, and ultimately build trust with their target audience.

How Much Does Video Production Cost?

Prices vary from various sources for various types of videos. Therefore, let's keep things simple and focus on three budget buckets:

  • Low Budget: $1,000 - $5,000
  • Medium Budget: $10,000 - $20,000
  • High Budget: $20,000 - $50,000+

Factors Influencing Video Costs

  • Pre-Production: Planning, storyfinding, scripting, storyboarding, narrative development.
  • Production: Filming, crew, equipment.
  • Post-Production: Editing, graphics, sound design.
  • Additional Services: Video strategy, short-form social clips, captions, and thumbnails.

Case Study Example: Wistia's Low, Medium, and High Budget Ad

Video marketing and hosting platform Wistia created a project, One, Ten, One Hundred, to produce three ads for the same company at different budgets. The final ad deliverables at various budgets can be directly compared.

Hidden Value in Video Storytelling and Marketing

The final price includes more than just the video production costs. You receive the hidden value of video marketing. Think of an iceberg: the final video is the visible tip, but the hidden value lies beneath. The value of video storytelling lies in the following categories:

  • Product and Deliverables: The tangible outputs and creative aspects of the project.
  • Service and Management: Quality of project management, emergency access for urgent needs, and regular communication.
  • Expertise and Support: Relates to the production team's reputation, expertise, and availability.
  • Financial and Assurance: Financial considerations and assurances provided, such as guarantees, payment terms, and return on investment.
  • Added Perks: Extra, unexpected benefits that enhance your experience.

Example from BairStories

Nicole from Klarhet felt deeply understood while sharing her story with us, describing it as talking to a friend despite us being strangers.

Nicole's experience is unquantifiable, but it added to the overall positive experience their company paid for to tell their Klarhet origin story. Also, feeling understood and heard helps to tell a better story, which in turn helps the video story reach its goals.

Who to Hire for Video Production Based On Your Budget?

Whether your budget is low, medium, or high, you're still faced with the question, who do you hire? Will it be a freelancer, a production company, or do it in-house? Although video AI has drastically improved, it still takes someone within these options to use the AI tools to create a video.


  • Benefits: Cost-effective, flexible scheduling, personalized attention.
  • Challenges: Limited resources, longer project duration (sometimes).
  • Example: A $1,000 budget might cover an event recap or b roll, while $5,000 could fund a polished short video.

Production Company

  • Benefits: Experienced team, greater capacity, cost-effective.
  • Challenges: Higher costs and longer project duration (sometimes).
  • Example: A budget of $5,000 will cover a single video, while $50,000 could support a comprehensive campaign with multiple videos.

In-House Team

  • Benefits: Consistency in branding, complete control over projects, and potential for long-term savings.
  • Challenges: DIY video strains your team; hiring a video expert incurs high upfront costs.
  • Example: A $70,000 annual budget could cover a videographer's salary, while $100,000+ could support a small team.

Hybrid Approach

Deciding Who to Hire for Your Video Production

Any one of the above can do the work. There are just trade-offs when hiring one over the other. Knowing the trade-offs will prevent headaches and frustrations when your expectations aren't met.

If you're operating on a low budget, do what you can with what you have. That may mean hiring a freelancer or filming and editing yourself with your phone.

If you have a medium budget, consider hiring a freelancer or production company. What is your top priority? Is it saving you time or getting help from an experienced team with skills you or your team don't have or have the time to learn?

If you have a high budget, you have more options. What is your top priority? What are your needs? It might be time to invest in a dedicated videographer or storyteller.

Conclusion on Video Production Costs

To wrap up, understanding the various budget ranges, production costs, and hidden values of video production options empowers you to make informed decisions that align with your organization's goals.

Whether you're considering a freelancer, production company, in-house team, or hybrid approach, the right choice depends on your priorities and project requirements. How will you leverage this information to enhance your next video project? 

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Sources & References

  1. State of Video Report: Video Marketing Statistic for 2024
  2. The Pay Transparency Project (PTP) Database
  3. Gnau, Tony. “How-To Figure Out Video Production Cost.” T60 Productions.
  4. Elly Henriksen, "The Cost of Video Production: Comprehensive Pricing Guide". Snythesia
  5. Town Videos, "How Much Should You Expect for High-Qaulity Videos?"
  6. Capture, “Video Production Costs: Pricing Sheet”
  7. Julian Mather, “The Best Guide to Video Production Costs I’ve Seen
  8. Wistia, One, Ten, One Hundred Video Series
Tagged: Budgets · Pricing · Storytellers · Videographers
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We're a storyfirst film and video production company, based in Minnesota, specializing in emotive stories that elevate empathy, community, and funding. 

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