Question 5: What’s your timeline and budget?
After all that work defining your audience, goals, approach and distribution, you need to take a realistic look at your calendar and your marketing & communications budget, and set a timeline + budget for your project that is appropriate for
Video production costs can range from a few hundred dollars (with a smartphone camera, a tolerance for low-quality and plenty of time), to tens of thousands of dollars if you hire a freelance filmmaker, video production company or creative agency. Here are some questions to ask yourself to inform your timeline and budget:
- What’s a realistic timeline to create this video?
You’ll need to decide whether to do-it-yourself, hire a freelance filmmaker, production company or creative agency, and consult with those people about how long their process takes.
What’s a realistic budget to create this video?
- Make sure to calendar ample time to develop your creative concept, secure locations and permits, shoot, edit, get feedback, and prep your video for distribution. Our typical timeline is 4-6 weeks to produce a high-quality mini-documentary.
- If your deadline is soon, be prepared to pay a premium for a quick turnaround.
- If you choose go the DIY route, be prepared for a steep learning curve, and for each step to take longer than you thought. Who will be responsible for developing the Creative? Shooting? Editing? Distribution?
- How much staff time will this take? Is it worth it to take staff off of other tasks while they produce, shoot and edit a video?
- Video production is a LOT of work – which is why most brands choose to hire a professional filmmaking team that can deliver high quality content – on time and on budget. Many marketers underestimate the value and efficiency of working with a professional team, and don’t realize until they’re far along in a DIY project that’s spinning out of control.
Regardless of who produces your video, it WILL require a budget. Ask these questions to think through unforeseen costs.
- Do you need to hire actors or extras for this project?
- Will there be any location fees or permit applications to shoot in the locations required?
- Do you need production liability insurance to shoot in the locations required?
- If you or your staff are going the DIY route, how much staff time will you have to pay?
- If you’re working with a freelance filmmaker, production company or creative agency, what are their rates?
- Will you use advertising to increase your video’s reach? Which platforms will you use? What are their rates?
- Remember – a professional team can help you achieve stay within your budget and timeline while delivering high-quality results.
This post isn’t meant to scare you away from using video to tell your story – it’s meant to help you be realistic about what it takes, how long it takes, and how much money it takes. The results from producing a video can be astounding if it’s done right – so make sure to bring on a team that’s qualified to produce your project. There’s nothing worse than spending time and money taking shortcuts – do it right the first time!