How Much Does a Video Crew Cost?
Table of Contents:
- Who Is Involved in the Making of a Video?
- Video Crew Industry Rates
- Why Do Video Crew Costs Vary?
So you’re looking to expand your business’s horizons, meet some new clients, and establish your online brand image through a new marketing video investment. What an exciting decision! If done through the right media marketing company, this is an investment you will be glad to have made. But until you reap the benefits of the investment, you first have to address some frightening questions:
“How much is all of this going to cost? And is this a cost that I will get back?”
These are important questions to address with any investment but don’t worry: the answer doesn’t have to be scary. All you need is a proper vision, budget, and crew.
My name is Hannah Robertson: Force Media’s copywriter with years of writing and research experience. In today’s blog, I will cover just how much you can expect to pay crew members for your marketing videos and why their rates can vary.
- Disclaimer: Even though these positions are similarly found in film productions, this blog will focus specifically on marketing video production, such as brand videos and paid digital ads. Media marketing professionals typically charge more than traditional filmmakers for many reasons, the most prominent of which is the fact that, unlike some movies, marketing videos should always earn their money back and then some.
Who Is Involved in the Making of a Video?
Regardless of how many people this equates to, all video crews must have a(n):
- Creative Director
- Director of Photography
- Sound Mixer
- Assistant Director
- Camera Operator
- Script Supervisor
This is not an all-inclusive list! Your production may need positions like on-screen talent, a script writer, and more. Similarly, some production companies, like us at Force Media, are willing to double up to minimize the number of people on set. It all comes down to your vision and your production company!
Not familiar with what these crew members do? Check out our blog post “Your Guide to Video Crew Positions” for a detailed explanation of their responsibilities for each stage of production.
Video Crew Industry Rates
Below are common hourly or daily video crew costs for crew of various skill levels and projects across the marketing industry:
- Director: $750 - $1,500 per day
- Producer: $50 - $150 per hour
- Gaffer: $250 - $1,000 per day
- Sound Mixer / Audio Tech: $250 - $1,000 per day
- Assistant Director: $250 - $750 per day
- Camera Operator: $250 - $1,500 per day
- Script Supervisor: $250 - $750 per day
- Editor: $50 - $250 per hour
- Special Effects Editing: $150 - $350 per hour
- Scriptwriter: $50 - $175 per hour
- Makeup / Hair: $100 - $750 per day
- Actors: $100 - $1,500 per day
- Extras: $50 - $250 per day
Beyond human capital, there are other payments to consider as well, such as:
- Location Rentals: $500 - $5,000 per day
- Equipment Rentals: $100 - $2,500 per day
- Stock Footage / Images: $10 per photo and $100 - $500 per project
If you decide to hire a media marketing company or production company, all of these costs will be decided for you. You only need to pay one flat fee for the service of all of these members instead of seeking out and paying these creatives individually.
Why Do Video Crew Costs Vary?
Video crew costs typically vary for at least one of the following reasons:
- Crew Experience and Reputation
- Crew Quality of Work
- Project Details
It is important to consider all of these factors before agreeing to a budget with your production company to make sure you are not being overcharged!
As mentioned before, sometimes multiple positions can be covered by one person. Conversely, sometimes multiple people are needed for one position--especially for large projects--and this can add to the amount you need to pay.
For example, let’s say you decide to pay producers $50 an hour. The more producers you have, the more people you are going to have to pay at this rate, which is why we listed the range as up to $150 per hour.
Crew Experience and Reputation
These ranges also include creatives of all different skills and experience levels. Those new to the industry with less work to show should ask for pay closer to the lower end of the provided ranges while industry pros will likely ask for higher pay.
This all comes down to supply and demand, as an experienced video maker draws in more clients with their diverse portfolio, consistent quality of work, and previous clientele recommendations.
Crew Quality of Work
Regardless of experience, check out the work these creatives have done if possible. Is their work average, above average, or below average? Do their costs match that quality?
Even if their rates go beyond what we have listed here, it may be reasonable depending on the quality of work they produce and the type of project you are proposing.
If your project includes investments like expensive venues and detailed special effects, you should expect to pay more regardless of who you hire so that you fully compensate the crew for their efforts. And while you shouldn’t expect to pay as much for a new media marketing company as an experienced one, it is important to understand that a bigger budget will typically mean a better finished product. A respectable crew is willing to put in the extra work to make your video shine should they receive the pay to properly do so.
The ranges listed above are not always accurate because, in the marketing industry, professionals don’t just charge based on industry rates. In fact, the primary influence on a crew member’s rate is the value their work will provide to your company.
If this is a large-scale project that you believe could double your monthly earnings, odds are these positions will ask for more than they would ask from a smaller or less-significant project.
This is almost like a pact, saying that paying them more now will result in a higher quality product that will give you enough leads to earn your money back and then some.
- Note! Keep an open mind if costs are different than what you expected. Assuming you reach out to an honest media marketing company, everyone on the project wants your business to succeed and won’t cheat you with an insane price. Oftentimes, marketing agencies like Force Media rarely make a profit because of all of the people they need to pay. Even so, knowing your budget can help you decide which expenses are necessary for your business.
- Regardless of your video's needs, certain positions--like director, producer, gaffer, sound mixer, and editor--must be covered.
- Crew rates can vary greatly depending on scale, the crew's experience and reputation, the crew's quality of work, project details, and budget.
- It is important to pick the right production company to ensure that you get the most return on your investment.
There is no exact science to measure just how much each crew member will charge, but taking scale, reputation, quality of work, project details, and your budget will help shape their rates into something that works for you.
To truly make the most of your investment, I highly recommend that you reach out to a company like Force Media that is versed in both media production and marketing strategies. After seven years of work with a plethora of data, testimonials, and work to back up our pricing, we are confident that we can create an affordable marketing video that works within both your budget and your goals for the video.
- Want a personalized quote? We’re happy to walk you through our rates! Just fill out this application link, and our team will review your application and get in touch with you within 24 hours.
There you have it! Now you know how much crew members typically charge and where they get these numbers from. Thank you for reading, and we look forward to putting our crew to action for a price you love.