Video production quotes - what drives price?
So you have an idea for a video!? Awesome!
You're super stoked so you reach out for a filmmaker, videographer, production company... the titles, to be honest are superfluous. You get an estimate... and there goes the wind from your sails.
Why!? You can't understand, surely you can pickup a camcorder and create a dream video for yourself... or can you?
So much of film making is more than pointing a lens at something and hitting record. Even before your selected film maker arrives on location for "principle photography" they have spent hours of preparation to ensure a professional product at the outset of your project. Research, developing a concept, planning shots, conceptualizing each frame visually through storyboards, and scheduling out the production day to make the most of the time.
This is all before a camera is even powered on.
Great videos of any type...
... are successful because of the work when the camera isn't even on.
What you do not realize is that without all of this planning this perfect video you've dreamed up doesn't happen quite as you'd imagined. Well, why is this? The amount of moving parts behind any production whether a commercial, music video, or wedding film cannot successfully be captured on the fly. We all like to tell ourselves that our we have a firm grasp of our concept and will just "know" that we have enough. The truth is, without this preparation a lot of things that were imagined during concept development will be left on the table.
So am I just paying a "videographer" to do a bunch of prep work? Well yes. And also no.
You're hiring a professional. Someone that has a refined process for translating a concept from paper on to whatever screen you choose. Everything I mentioned above is what is behind all the incredible videos you see embedded all over the internet. Can you get the "dreamy" cinematic" effect you're looking for? Absolutely. You can watch all of the tutorials you want on lighting and composition, in fact I invite you to take such action. But the beauty and trick to making films of any sort is sorting all of the information so that when production days happen you get every shot, every angle that you think of.
But this is really the beginning.
Without all of this planning...
...this perfect video you've dreamed up doesn't happen...
Awesome! Now that you understand the necessity of planning and organization for film production you're ready to go, right? Not exactly. Now comes the technical part of planning.
This is where the real separation occurs between DIY and paying a professional. Now I'm not going to get down to the technical minutia of lens selection, aspect ratio selection, aperture choice, or even the frame rate at which we will film. Just know this: there is an extreme amount of consideration taken into selecting lighting, lens length, and everything else I just mentioned.
Let's talk about lenses.
Field of view plays a HUGE role into how films translate emotional effect; not even going into anamorphic lenses for widescreen cinematic images. Like I said, we're going to keep this simple but it should be known that different focal lengths have different field of view and even give a different effect on the subject as it relates to the surrounding environment.
Example: a wide lens such as a 10mm wide angle will provide a larger field of view showing more to the camera sensor. This will give the impression there is more space between the foreground and the background. Conversely, a longer lens like a 85mm will provide a more narrow field of view and will give the impression the foreground is closer to the background.
So why does this matter?
It comes down to translating a feeling or emotion to your viewer. It contributes to the over all mood of your video. Composing a frame with creative use of negative space can be used to convey isolation or even freedom and openness. Lens selection for each shot is important not just for one shot but to contribute to the feeling overall. The shot you envision can be portrayed a number of ways just by changing lenses.
And that is just a glimpse into lens selections.
This preparation is so very important because how chaotic things can be on the day of production. Lighting is getting set and checked, the team is moving from one set up to another and moving through the well documented shot list while new shot ideas are getting tossed around. Time is a premium when the camera is on and the crew is on the clock. Efficient use of time is of the upmost of importance not only for sake of saving time but to ensure that everything that was envisioned during concept development is captured. You can see why whom you decide to hire matters.
I've linked some of the products we've made for ourselves here at Klaxon to make sure our productions go smoothly.
With great organization and preparation your videographer captured enough footage to edit your film into life. Editing times are cut down dramatically and your finished product arrives sooner with less revisions. On average we at Klaxon Productions spend anywhere from 10-15 hours of prep time working up to the day of principle photography. This is because we want to ensure the best product on delivery; something both our clients are we are proud to share.
So how do you know you're getting a fair estimate? The short answer is that you won't unless you do your research. Chose filmmakers that have an aesthetic you really enjoy then reach our and have a conversation. How well do they understand your concept? Do they provide some different options that appeal to the story you want to tell your viewer? When it comes to pricing do they charge hourly rates or do they charge for the project as a whole?
With a better understanding of what drives the price behind quality videos you can better arm yourself when hunting for a filmmaker to tell your story through video. You're certainly not just paying a videographer to make lists and sketch out storyboards for your concept. You're paying a professional to capture on video the story you want to tell. They are doing their diligence to ensure your satisfaction.