Video production budget

How To Create A Video Production Budget

video production budget

Pre-production budgeting for video production is a critical component of successful video production. Knowing how to create and manage a budget can be the difference between success and failure.

This article will provide an insightful overview of pre-production budgeting for video, giving readers the power to create their own budgets with confidence.

Creating a detailed budget that takes into account all necessary elements can help ensure that projects will run smoothly and on time.

What is Pre-Production Budgeting For Video

Pre-production budgeting for video refers to the process of estimating and allocating the financial resources necessary to produce a video project before the actual filming begins. It involves breaking down the project into various elements such as script development, location scouting, casting, equipment rental, crew wages, and post-production expenses, and determining the costs associated with each of them.

"Video is the most effective way to convey any message" Filip Blaho

Benefits Of Establishing A Budget

Having a budget is essential for any video production project, as it allows the team to have an understanding of all the resources necessary for achieving success.

Establishing a budget for video production can provide several benefits, including:

Cost Control: Creating a budget can help you track and control costs, ensuring that you don’t overspend or go over your financial limits. By breaking down your video production expenses, you can prioritize and allocate resources effectively.

Efficient Resource Allocation: By establishing a budget, you can allocate resources efficiently and effectively, ensuring that you have everything you need to produce a high-quality video within your financial constraints.

Clear Scope of Work: A budget can help define the scope of work by outlining the tasks and resources required for the video production. This can help ensure that all team members have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities.

Better Collaboration: A budget can also promote better collaboration and communication among team members. By having a clear understanding of the budget, everyone involved in the project can work together to achieve common goals.

Improved Planning: By creating a budget, you can plan the video production process more effectively, which can save you time and money in the long run. Proper planning can help you identify potential roadblocks or challenges and address them proactively.

Higher ROI: Establishing a budget can help you make better financial decisions that can lead to higher ROI. By investing in the right resources and strategies, you can ensure that your video production project is successful and delivers value to your organization.

Developing a budget enables teams to identify potential problems early on, set realistic expectations for their projects, and accurately assess resource requirements. It also serves as a roadmap that helps guide the team throughout the entire production process.

Getting Quotes

The process of pre-production budgeting for video requires locating vendors, researching rates, and estimating fees.

Budgeting software can be used to help with this process, as the information gathered from vendors can be stored for future reference.

Furthermore, it is beneficial to compare the pricing of multiple vendors in order to determine which vendor will provide the best value for money.

Pre-production budgeting also provides an opportunity for filmmakers to hone their organizational and negotiation skills in order to ensure successful outcomes.

Factors That Influence The Video Production Cost

The cost of video production is influenced by a number of factors, including creative vision, talent costs, location scouting, editing software and post-production costs. To create a successful video project on budget, it is important to consider each of these factors carefully.

Script and concept development: If you need assistance with developing the concept or writing the script, this can add to the production cost.

Creative direction and planning: The more detailed and intricate the planning process, the more time and resources that are needed, which can increase the cost.

Pre-production expenses: This can include location scouting, storyboarding, casting, wardrobe, and set design, all of which can add to the overall cost.

Length of the video: Generally, longer videos require more time and resources to produce, which can increase the overall cost.

Complexity of the project: If the video requires more elaborate or specialized techniques such as animation, visual effects or motion graphics, the production cost can go up significantly.

Crew and equipment: The number of people involved in the production, as well as the equipment used, can impact the cost. A larger crew and more advanced equipment can result in a higher price.

Location: The cost can vary depending on the location of the shoot. Filming in a studio or on a soundstage can be more cost-effective than shooting on location, which can require additional travel, permits, and logistical expenses.

Talent and actors: The cost of hiring actors or on-screen talent can also impact the production cost. The more experienced or well-known the talent, the higher the cost.

Post-production: Editing, color grading, and sound design are all essential aspects of video production that can increase the cost.

Delivery format: The final delivery format can also affect the cost of production. For example, creating a video for broadcast TV requires a different approach than creating a video for online platforms, which can affect the production cost.

Music and licensing: If you need to use licensed music, this can increase the cost of production.

Travel and lodging: If the production requires travel to multiple locations or overnight stays, this can add to the cost.

Distribution and marketing: Once the video is produced, there may be additional expenses associated with distributing and marketing the video.

Establish Goals And Objectives

Before creating a budget, you need to understand what you want to achieve with the video production. What is the purpose of the video? Who is your target audience? What message do you want to convey?

Understanding the goals and objectives of your video production project is a critical step in creating an effective budget. By defining your goals and objectives, you can determine the scope of the project and the resources needed to achieve them. Here are some key points to consider when defining your project goals and objectives:

Purpose of the video: The purpose of your video will dictate the type of content you produce, the message you want to convey, and the target audience. Are you creating a promotional video, educational video, or entertainment video?

Target audience: Different groups will have a different understanding of your message. Clearly understand your target audience to understand what resonates with them and what they like. That will give you an idea of what video you’ll be making. And the budget that will be needed.

Message to convey: Your message is the central theme of your video, and it’s crucial to define it clearly. Whether you’re promoting a product, service, or cause, your message should be easy to understand, engaging, and persuasive.

Scope of the project: Once you have defined your project goals and objectives, you can determine the scope of the project. This includes the types of shots you need, locations, equipment, personnel, and other resources required to achieve your goals.

Research Video Production Services And Prices

To create an effective budget, you need to understand the costs of each element involved in the video production. Research the video production services and prices available. I’d suggest gathering quotes from a variety of sources:

  • Professional video production companies
  • Check out reviews on Yelp or other review sites
  • Compare their equipment and specialties as well as standard rates
  • Freelancers
  • Reach out to contacts in the industry for referrals
  • Ask for examples of previous work, quotes, and availability

Comparing prices: Not to get the cheapest deal, but to have a clear understanding of what costs what.

Identifying hidden costs: Create a more accurate budget by understanding additional costs as travel expenses or equipment rentals.

Choosing the right services: You may find specialized providers that you initially haven’t considered.

Negotiating rates: Get the services you need at a more affordable price, ultimately reducing your budget.

Calculate Cost Of Equipment And Resources

What equipment do you need: Calculating the cost of equipment and resources can help you determine the types of equipment needed to achieve your project goals.

Allocate resources effectively: Understanding the cost of equipment and resources can help you allocate resources more effectively.

Identify opportunities for cost savings: By calculating the cost of equipment and resources, you may identify opportunities for cost savings.

Set Video Length And Complexity

Consider what type of content will be included in your video. If it’s a short promotional clip, then a runtime of one or two minutes may be sufficient. But if you’re producing an instructional video with many scenes, then you’ll likely want a longer running time.

Complexity also needs to be taken into account when crafting your budget. Factors such as special effects, graphics, animation, voiceovers, etc., can contribute significantly to the cost of production.

Here are some items that should be taken into consideration when evaluating complexity:

  • Number of scenes/locations
  • Special equipment required for shooting
  • Post-production editing/effects
  • Additional personnel (e.g., actors)
  • Music licensing fees

Calculate Pre-Production And Wrap-Up Crew Costs

This includes things like hiring a director, scriptwriter or a production assistant. Pre-production also covers any legal fees associated with the project such as permits, contracts, copyrighting music or videos, and so on. 

Don’t forget to include post-production.

Estimate Shooting Crew Expenses

There are three main categories to consider:

Wages: Daily pay rates and overtime pay for the crew members such as directors, camera operators, editors and sound engineers.

Equipment: Costs for equipment rentals such as cameras, lenses and lighting gear.

Travel: Any transportation costs associated with getting the crew to and from the set should be included in this category. This may include airfare, hotel stays or rental cars depending on the location of production.

Consider Pre-Production And Wrap Materials And Supplies

Pre-production considerations include scriptwriting and storyboarding, which can involve considerable time, labor costs, and creative expertise.

Wrap materials and supplies include everything from the small items like props, costumes, and makeup to larger equipment rentals such as lighting rigs or sound stages.

Allocate Location Expenses

Location expenses can vary dramatically depending on the specifics of the shoot, but in general, they can include renting a studio or set space, permits, insurance for the space and crew, travel costs for personnel and equipment, food for the cast and crew during the shoot days, talent fees for extras, props and sets if not rented or built in-house.


  • Studio/Set Space
  • Props/Sets



  • Insurance
  • Filming in public spaces


Travel Costs:

  • Personnel & Equipment
  • Cast & Crew food


Talent Fees:

  • Extras

Determine Wardrobe/Puppets/Animatronics/Specialty Makeup/Animals Requirements

This could range from uniforms and costumes to everyday outfits. Depending on the type of production and genre, there may be additional costs associated with acquiring props such as hats, glasses or other accessories.

Puppets and animatronics are also an important part of many productions. These can require custom fabrication which can be costly if not done in-house.

Specialty makeup is another area where cost can add up quickly depending on who is providing the services and how complex the makeup needs to be.

Lastly, any animals used in the production will need to be sourced from a reputable vendor or animal handler.

Calculate Studio Rental And Related Costs

Calculate studio rental costs.

To begin with, you’ll need:

  1. A list of available studios that suit your needs
  2. Estimates for long-term or daily rentals
  3. An understanding of how many days you may need in studio
  4. A breakdown of any additional studio fees or services

Before settling on a particular studio, compare prices and amenities offered by different rental options to ensure you get the best deal for your budget.

Budget For Set Construction Labor

Time and manpower are two of the biggest factors when it comes to constructing a set. A skilled crew will be able to get the job done more efficiently than an inexperienced one.

Hard Drives And Transcoding

When producing video content, it’s essential to have adequate storage for all of the footage and files that are generated. This means having reliable hard drives with enough capacity to handle the load. In addition, budgeting for backups is also important in case any of the data gets lost.

Transcoding is another expense that needs to be taken into consideration. This is the process of converting files from one format to another so they can be used more easily by other applications or devices. It’s best to allocate a certain amount of money in order to pay for resources such as software and hardware needed for this task.

Talent Costs And Other Fees

Talent costs can be one of the most expensive items in a production budget. When estimating these costs, it’s important to consider not only the talent’s fee but also any associated expenses, such as travel and lodging.

Editorial Completion

After the filming phase of the project is completed, it’s time to move on to editorial completion.This

includes tasks such as editing together footage, creating sound design elements, adding visual effects and colour grading, as well as many other post-production tasks.

The budget for this stage will depend on the complexity of the project, but it should include room for hiring help from outside vendors and outsourcing certain tasks when necessary.

Contact us

Video production budget is crucial for ensuring the success of your project. By setting realistic expectations and allocating resources wisely, you can create a high-quality video that achieves your goals without breaking the bank.

We hope this post has provided valuable insights and guidance on how to approach your video production budget. Thank you for reading!

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your video production project, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

About author:
Filip Blaho

Filip Blaho is a digital marketing expert residing and traveling the Cascadia area. His love for media of all kinds led him to focus on the most important of all, VIDEO.

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