A lot.

How much?

A lot.

Seriously though… it’s funny how I used to hate it when I had to get a quote for a job and the inevitable answer was; “How long is a piece of string?”  Then I found myself in the position of quoting for video jobs, and was tempted to use that same hated phrase to my clients! I’m not talking about the workshops I run now [because they do have up-front costs that are right there for everyone to see] but when I was actually making business videos for people. I had to swallow a huge slice of humble pie because I quickly learned that the string reference was pretty true. There’s a big difference, for example, between making a short video with no graphics and complex post-production involved, to a long animated and scored mini-documentary!

Having said that, and having worked in the industry though, I can give you some ballpark figures if you’re considering investing in your own equipment and making in-house videos yourself.


Ball park – not string!

I’ve used my company as an example because I can only quote, with confidence, what we charge.  But let’s break it down a bit further.  For that $2000, you’re investing in training for your staff. It’s a long term investment because once they’re up-skilled, they can make videos continuously, which means you can spread your costs over time, effectively reducing your overall annual outlay on video production. Of course, as a business related expense, you can also depreciate the equipment.

By comparison, you could pay $15,000 for a video company to produce a video or videos for you.  The upside is you’ll have a professionally made quality product.  The downside is that the next time you need a video made, you’ll be forking out money again.

However, you also need factor in equipment. You can’t just whip out the iPad, hit the record button, and expect a great result – even if you’ve been trained in the basics of video production. Let’s take the worst-case scenario – that you don’t even have an iPad.  Let’s also assume that because this is all new to you that you want to feel out the waters first and not overcommit, so we’ll start with the costs of decking you out with a single kit. You can always upsize later.

So…. an iPad.  The best price I could find today for a basic model [16gb iPad Air] was $470.  At the other end of the scale, the most competitive price for an iPad Pro Wi-Fi + Cellular 128GB Gold model was $1667, so let’s meet in the middle, round it out and factor in an average cost of  $1100.

In terms of the rest of the gear you’ll need, we’re selling kits at the moment that include an iOgrapher case, a Manfrotto mini light, a MyMyk SmartLynk [a portable audio mixer and monitoring device], A Manfrotto tripod and mini tripod, and a Manfrotto carry bag.  I’ve designed these kits around exactly what I use when I do video productions myself. At the moment, they’re $1000, which includes shipping.

Okay… so now were up to $4100 for training, an iPad, and a kit.  So it’s still comparing very favourably with getting in a production company every time you want to make a video.

Will you get a good ROI?

If you’ve been reading my other blogs, you’ll know there’s a range of in-house videos you can make for your business; overview, explainer, how-to, news, testimonials, information, thought leadership, team profile, personal response, and Vine and Instagram videos. If you didn’t read that blog – What are the top 10 Videos I could make for my business?, check it out for more details.

You need to factor in time too – because I know time is money, so allow for a day dedicated to training.  Even taking that into account, I think the sums speak for themselves.  Up-skilling makes sense and saves cents – in the long run. Remember that Chinese proverb  – Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

Enough said grasshopper!

At Activate Entertainment we are producers of film, animation & augmented reality applications for clients 

big and small. Engage us to produce your film or media. From concept through to delivery we are experts in 

Film, Design, Illustration, Animation (2D & 3D), and Augmented Reality.