Updated: Nov 6, 2019
It happens almost every day. BOOP my phone notifies me that someone is interested in a wedding videographer in my area. A surge of excitement hits me as I whip out my phone. I read the request diligently. They want a wedding video production crew, the job will last 8-10 hours, they want a fully edited video lasting 30 minutes in length, their wedding will be 200-300 people, They would prefer 2 cameramen be present, and lastly they would like to pay less than $500
My heart sinks, less than $500? You can’t hire a photographer for less than $500….
I decline the request and put my phone away, “Why doesn’t anyone want to pay what a person is worth these days?” I think to myself.
So, why is video production so expensive? Here are 3 reasons:
Videography, like photography has moved to the digital age, the average joe can now film at a professional level if he has the right equipment. The better the equipment the higher quality of production you will end up with. Here are some of the costs we have to film at our level.
Canon Camera: $500
Wireless Microphone: $75
Nikon Camera: $150
Editing Software: $720/yr
SD Cards: $20/each
Editing Capable Computer: $1,400
We consistently use this exact set up for our wedding package. Commercials require lighting, actors, props, and even more filming equipment to film a quality production. When you hire a video production professional you are paying for their services and the use of their equipment, It would cost a fortune if a person bought new equipment every time they wanted a project filmed, and still a lot if they wanted to rent the appropriate equipment for the day.
2. Music Rights
The average cost to obtain the rights to a high quality song is $60 for weddings, and up to $400 for one commercial use. If a client wants a high quality, well known song for their commercial they must be prepared to pay a hefty sum. Luckily there are cheaper solutions for commercials but music is a cost that rises steadily as the songs increase in quality and popularity. This alone is why advertisements cost so much to produce.
3. Time Spent
Filming can take several days for commercials and advertisements, or all day for weddings. The more you film the better the chance you will end up with a product that the client had hoped for. Editing video professionally is a time consuming process. Even highly experienced professionals spend days or weeks editing a single project before it can be considered finished, there are many moving parts. Even our most simple wedding took roughly two days of editing before it was ready to be looked over by the bride and groom, and then re-edited. If charged by the hour either the prices would be unreasonably high or the quality of production would drop dramatically.
Shopping for the best price is important, but as video becomes a more commonplace service it's important for the public to know videos value and what goes into video work. Most people who film and edit video professionally are passionate about what they do and are probably not charging what they should as it is. So I urge you, please don't be shocked when your video professional quotes you a price in the hundreds. I guarantee you they have spent hundreds just to be able to offer you the service.
Thank you for reading.