Case Studies

Case Studies, How To's, Video Production

How Much Does It Cost To Produce A Video?

Simply asking “how much does it cost to produce a video?” is a bit like asking, how long is a piece of string and often our answer, “well, it depends” is insufficient. However, seen as we get asked this question so many times from friends, colleagues and our clients alike, what a fitting way to start this blog by outlining our approach to understanding video production cost. If you’re in the creative production industry or you’ve stumbled upon this post wanting to know what you should be charging, with the following steps, you’ll be better equipped to answer that old chestnut of “how much?” and hopefully avoid any nasty surprises along the way.

Likewise, if you’re here looking into having video produced for your company to boost your brand reach and drive up sales, our hope is that this post brings insights into how a production studio develops their overall pricing model to establish their base video production cost.


1. Know your worth

It’s vital that you know what you are worth and how much you are willing to work for per hour.  It’s great to produce work, but if you need a certain amount each hour to make sure you can pay the rent and cultivate a life outside of creating content, then you need to put a fair and reasonable price on your time.  My guide, even if you are just starting out, is; aim to price your hourly rate out at double the amount that you want to have left over in your pocket at the end of the day.  Even with a small startup, you will already have a camera, editing software, computer and a home office setup and all of that costs you money.  You need to consider tax for your region and country and you need to make sure you are putting aside some money for a rainy day.

As an example, if you know you want to pay yourself $20 per hour, your charge out to cover all of the above might be closer to $40 per hour.  If you know you want to pay yourself $40 per hour, your charge out would be closer to $80.  It may seem like a lot of markup, but you will quickly start sinking if you are not able to put aside a good portion of your business income to meet your financial obligations as a freelancer and have a little left over to help build your business.

2. Know how long it is going to take

When I started out producing video content, I didn’t have a good handle on the time it would take me to complete a given task.  That was to be expected as it’s really only once you get a number of jobs under your belt, that you begin to understand the actual video production cost and exactly how long things really take.  That said, however, it’s not enough to just make up a number in your head. You have to plan, to the best of your ability, the time it is going to take you to conceptualise, script, storybaord/shotlist, shoot, backup footage, edit, choose music, colour grade, master audio, export, upload, review, apply review changes and deliver the final film.

I start with figuring out a basic concept, and then thinking through the main shots, or A roll as we call it, that I’ll need to bring my concept to life.  Then I think of all the secondary shots, the B roll, that will be shot to support the overall concept.  This process happens after we have met with a prospective client, so we have all the information we need to make informed decisions about concept and delivery obligations.  I usually draft up a base concept outline and shot list before I go back to the client with a short brief and film treatment.  Keep in mind, with new prospects, all of this work is done absolutely free, which is why you have to include the “cost of sale” time in your business overheads and why your hourly charge out rate should be around double your take home pay, as I explained earlier.  Once the client has seen, read or heard the concept, I then collaborate with them to ensure they are happy with the final concept and shot ideas and only then I can have a firm idea on the time it will take to produce the content required.

Once the shoot is mapped out, anywhere from 1 day to a week and beyond, I think through the amount of time it will take to backup, sort, and clean up all the footage.  This is before you even get to editing stage.  The editing stage can also be difficult to figure out when just starting out, but over time you will get more efficient and you will begin to know how long it will take.  In my early years, I underestimated the time it would take to give the final draft edit a full colour grade.  Now days, with much more proficiency in Davinci Resolve, I am a lot better at estimating the time it will take me to colour grade.  But I would say in the beginning you almost need to factor in as much to colour grading as you do to editing time.

3. Know your clients expectations

This is perhaps the most difficult to navigate in pricing up a job. In the early days, I had a lack of confidence talking face to face with my clients about their investment in video and in my company. This meant our pricing often suffered at the hands of the inevitable squeeze.  What I mean by that is, some clients will squeeze you down on price, right from the outset, and why should they pay more than they have to for your services, right?  The issue was, I was too busy stressing over how much I was going to charge them, rather than proving value in what I was offering them, and believing in my own expertise.  Another problem is, I was often getting my initial communication wrong.  Instead of projecting the value of video in a crowded digital landscape and communicating how video is “THE game changer and you best get on board with it”, what I was saying is, “I need you and my company needs your business” or “please give me your business, it’ll be great for us to work with you.” After 10 years in engineering you’d think I would have learnt how to better position myself, my company and my services, yet only after about a year in freelance creative, did I realise that I needed to make sure my prospective clients completely understood the value of what I was offering them and allow their expectation to be solely formed on that basis alone.

4. Know how to start the budget conversation early.

I used to dread it in the beginning, but I knew instinctively that I needed to raise the question in order to not be stabbing in the dark with our initial video production cost.  Some clients are open and honest about their budget expectations and others have been a completely closed book.  To be totally upfront and if any future clients are reading this, it is so much better for us when our clients share their thoughts around price and express their video production cost expectations.  The reason is that some clients have a perception that video is cheap and that they are only expected to pay for unskilled work.  For those types of clients, the budget conversation is a perfect time to help them understand how hard you’ve had to work to get to where you are today, and also give them insights into what video will do for them.

It helps to have case studies at the ready, to prove value to the client and show them what their “investment” in video (not their “cost” to produce video) is worth to their overall bottom line.  For clients who have the finances and have thought about marketing the video after it is produced, the budget conversation is relatively pain free.  A couple of times in meetings I’ve broached the budget subject and have been given a figure and all I needed to say in response was, “Great, I think we can manage with that.”  Those are great days, when you are on the same page and ready to work together from the outset.  Other times I have clients tell me that “money is not a problem” only to have them completely MIA after submitting our final investment proposal.  I would advise to use caution if a client mentions money more than once in a meeting.  From my experience, this has often meant that money is a problem and they’ll likely balk at any price point you offer.

5. Know how to justify each item in your final pricing

This is something that helps when questions are often raised about video production cost and your specific pricing.  This generally happens when the client is not familiar with all the technical aspects of video production.  It is for this very reason, we provide a complete breakdown of what we offer in a line by line investment outline as part of our concept proposals. This ensures that there are no hidden costs and there is full transparency with what we are charging and why we need to charge for it.  If there is ever a question raised about any line items, we can explain and prove value on every front.  We can also re-assure our clients that everything is listed and there will be no hidden costs if they proceed with us on the video production.  Although the price may be high in the mind of the client at first, they generally feel at ease when they understand the time and costs associated with the complete investment breakdown.  We’ve found that this empowers them to weigh up all their options and make clear decisions about moving ahead with the production.

We don’t convert on every proposal we prepare, but you might be surprised to know how little we have received knock backs on our video production cost when we follow the above process. At the end of the day, as long as the video production cost is fair and reasonable and you can prove value in what you are offering, there should be no problems in you converting prospects into happy clients.  Once they have the knowledge on how video can truly revolutionise their business, they will be with you for many years to come.

Case Studies, Video Production

The Power Of Video

Video has fast become the go to platform to develop cutting edge and authentic marketing campaigns online. Moreover, much of the power of video stems from how hard wired it is to our individual social media landscapes and personal communication devices. There is simply no denying the huge potential online and social media reach a quality video truly has.

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Pendula explain the power of video in this blog post. This will help you harness the power of video for your Gold Coast Business. Contact Pendula today.

It’s not just our opinion either. A recent body of research from VidYard suggests video is one of the most effective marketing mediums online. Equiped with such research, businesses, industry experts and even individuals with a message to tell are dedicating a larger portion of their marketing budgets to developing high impact online videos. And in 2017, you should be doing exactly the same.

Richard Tiland of New Evolution Video suggests that “video is beyond entertainment” and goes on to say that “it has become a critical component in business, politics, communication, social media and even in music.” Tiland concludes that “the power of video is the ability to effectively share beliefs and impact audiences from the comfort” of ones own surrounds [, June 2014].

Diode Digital discovered that 60% of site visitors will watch a video if available and Forrest Research found that a website is 50 times more likely to appear on the first page of a search engine’s results page if it includes a video [, Oct 2015].  Yes, that was their findings, video could boost your sites google ranking 50 fold.

Furthermore, according to Cisco [, Feb 2016], “online video accounts for 50% of mobile traffic, and is predicted to become 75% by the end of 2016.”  This means that video can penetrate your potential customers while they are on the move, and isn’t only effective when they are in front of a computer screen.

We believe in the power of video and it’s clearly become the final frontier of content marketing. And this isn’t just because we love to create it for our clients, rather, it’s because we understand that you can communicate so much to your audience in such a short amount of time through a quality video. Much more than lines of great copy on your webpage, video helps your customers visualise themselves engaging with you, your brand, product or the amazing services you offer, and this is why video is incredibly powerful.  It paints a mental picture and casts a vision before any decision process has even begun.

By linking video to social media landscapes, it can also engage with potential customers who may not have ever known you or your business existed prior to coming across your video on their social feed. You see, video is actually a catalyst that kickstarts the buying process and connects emotionally with audiences, so much more so than your website or cold calling ever will.

We’ve spent the last 2 years educating and delivering high end and engaging content that our clients have used as powerful selling tools that have boosted market reach and driven up sales. We believe it’s the only way to market your business in 2017 and beyond!

Leave us a comment below if you think so too, we’d love to hear from you.  Or get in touch today to discuss how you can harness the power of video for your business.

Case Studies, Marketing, Video Production

The Balance of Storytelling and Marketing

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A good story is crucial. Stories are a way we can connect with each other on an emotional level. In the same way, stories used in video connects the viewer with a brand or idea. It is also what compels us to keep watching. It develops a simple but captivating message that replays over and over again in our minds.

Header image of Pendula Team

As a business to business production agency, we work across a variety of industries to develop an engaging through line within the videos we produce. One of our key practices at Pendula is creating a strong connection between video marketing and storytelling – and we take this approach with almost all of our corporate clients. We are in the business of developing your video marketing needs, but we are passionate about defining a bold story tailored to you. When we’ve previously talked about The Power of Video, we focused on video content and its close tie to social media. This time we want to shift the attention to the storytelling that makes up that content and how the Pendula team work to balance this with marketing goals.

To create this style of visual storytelling we typically break down a number of factors.

1. The Nature of the Client’s Business

As we produce video for such a number of different enterprises, we at Pendula are privileged to challenge ourselves with a number of unique and varied approaches. This is usually dependant on the nature of our client’s business. What about you? Are you marketing a tangible product, an experience or an idea or perhaps even yourself? We love that we are able to work with our clients to define this and then begin crafting a unique and creative approach to highlight it.

2. Video Objective and The Narrative

The first step before any script has been written or any storyboard produced is to determine the overarching message of the video we’ve been engaged to create. Corporate video can sometimes stagnate by marketing stipulations and whilst these can prove to be restrictive at times, our aim is to incorporate them organically. To do so, we ensure that we centre the production around the fundamental objectives whilst linking it to highly engaging narrative and well executed creative. It’s no surprise that authentic narrative is a powerful force in our modern times. Some even believe that it’s a major reason why Walmart and GE are tanking yet Apple and Salesforce are seeing continued success. By collaborating with you to simplify and consolidate your objectives we then work hard to craft your story to support this. Authentic story truly benefits video marketing due to its ability to evoke a strong response. Whether that response is happy, excited, or one of intrigue is usually different for each of our clients, yet it is imperative as it creates emotional resonance within the viewer.

3. The Call to Action and Engagement

Crucial to the marketing potential of video productions is the call to action or CTA. It’s one of the most useful ways to track viewers engagement with the content as well as their receptiveness to the story and the overall return on the investment in a particular video. It leads the viewer to respond in a certain way, and gives them something to do after viewing our videos. Obviously, the CTA is vastly different depending on the objective of the client and this request for the viewer to take action can be offered in many different ways. Take vlogging content for example, it’s usually as simple as requesting viewers to like, subscribe, share and comment. This fosters a branded relationship with the client and their viewers. For corporate content a different approach is used, depending on the objective of the video and the client’s business, the CTA can range from signing up to a newsletter, clicking through to view a website for more context, or attending events and purchasing products. The narrative acts as an important vessel to deliver this request to the viewer. It’s through an emotional connection created by the storytelling narrative that engages with the viewer and compels them to follow through on the requests.

While some may think incorporating marketing objectives can affect the authenticity of a story, the team at Pendula work hard to balance the two in order to create a visually compelling narrative that promotes the client’s objective. Storytelling is an ancient pastime and it has taken on many forms through its continued evolution. Our goal is to adapt this tradition for the evolving video marketing practice and create a cohesive relationship between storytelling and marketing.