10 signs you found a bad video production company

1.  How much does a video production company cost?

Well, this is a hard one.  We have trouble answering it sometimes. It’s not that there is not an answer, but just that there are so many answers. Really, it’s more about what you want to put into it.  We’ve had junior videographers available for $600 a day. More trained and experienced people tend to cost more. Expect at least $1000 for a pro cinematographer, and that’s not even including things like full story creation, casting and logistics, or editing staff.

When a video production company gives a quote for the project they are trying to account for the almost two months it takes to lead a client from start to completion.That includes both creative development costs, planning, and the retainers for any extra crew might be on the project. So usually a professional commercial video would cost no less than $3,000 per month, for two months, for a $6,000 cost.

Now that’s for any random team together.  That’s literally just what it takes to minimally retain a group of 4 or 5 people (video company) on the project for a few months. But what if you want to work with someone really really successful?

Well, then you are more in the domain of “Commercial Production Company”.  Commercial video production budgets range from $10,000 to $50,000, because when it comes to industry know-how, and long lifetime ot creative process design, you can get something with a commercial production company that you can’t get with your small time videographer. Those things are efficiency, customer service, and the priceless experience of working with lifetime professional artists.

Some companies are offering commercial-class service, but more geared for startups, product designers, and kickstarter projects, and so you can usually find some one really good in the $8,000-$10,000 range. ($3300 per month).

Okay. Glad we coevered that.  But before you throw up from how huge of an investment good marketing can be, let’s look at :  Why are expensive videographers usually better?


2.  Why does a videographer cost that much?

So normally, some guy can go out and buy the equipment you need to “set up shop” as a video guy, with a pretty awesome level of professional camera equip, and accessories, for about $4,000. He tries to pay off the gear by doing gigs for his friends and rustling up whatever work there might be.  Great. Another small business off to the running.  He offers unreasonable pricing discounts ($800 for the whole thing ?!?) , and ends up overworking himself.  By then, two years in, he has come exposure, people have heard his name, but he’s fed up, and now committed to “Charge like the other guys”.  So you talk to him. And he’s up to the $1000 a day we talked about in the first section. No editing included. But the crass years of hitting the street wont expire form his system, and there is one crucial step that was forgotten before pricing his company as a “professional videographer”:

Experience and Creativity

The reason that another guy down the block will cost $20k just to look at you is really different.  Like a gigantic chasm away in terms of insight and experience.

The $10k video guy started as an artist. And went to successful art school to learn the essence of good looking esthetic.  They were trained on how to write for the medium of film. They received mentoring from award-winning film professors.  And at an early age they were completing passion work in the medium of film, being passionate artists and producers and doing their best to get featured at the many film festivals that were submitted to.

These were the guys quoting hollywood, from the very start.

These are the guys who don’t care what camera they use, because they know that story is king.

And by receiving support (Some of which costs $200,000 for the four year degree, compared to 2% of that investment ($4k) that the other “gear first” video guy who set up shop did, you can see that really the level of experience and prior investment in video making is really that stark.

So Here’s the choice – would you rather work with someone for the cheapest possible cost?


{Cheap} People who only invest 2% of their energy ($4k) into being a “videographer” ,


{expensive} the person who, for the last 15 years, invested 98% of their energy ($200k) into being a trained “Director”.

These are really substantial questions to answer and they require a depth of understand the type of quality that your project deserves.

3.  How to become a videographer?

The best way is to start out as a trained professional, that way you get to feel good about charging more for your services.  Go to film school. Make a few feature length films. Learn about art.

The other way, of scraping by and buying whatever equipment you might be able to afford in order to slang video services at your community, is no fun, and its hard work.

4.  Why use a cheap videographer?

If you are a marketing professional yourself, and you have an absolutely clear idea on what story, visuals, and script ordering are best for your company ad, then you can use a cheap videographer. They can follow your utmost direction and usually produce something nice.  The people who are good to work with cheap videographers are often amazing managers themselves, with a clear vision about the ad and lots of marketing experience.

5.  Why hire a more expensive commercial video production company?

But when it really comes to it, the way someone can sit down and come up with a script idea. Like something truly magnificent. Groundbreaking. Modern. Funny. Able to cut through the noise.  When you hire someone like that, it might only take them an hour to come up with the idea and present it to you.  But what you are really paying for is the 15 years of doing exactly that , so that they can be easily in the creative flow and proposing ideas that work, and are streamlined with an understanding of the world of production

6.  What does a master videographer do?

Someone who charges $12k+ will sit you down, and relate to you as a business partner, and give voice to the consumer understanding of your idea, and propose a solution to it that will surely make the needed impact.  They will be connected with camera operators (Director of Photography) who are also skilled and have the irreplaceable “eye” so that they spot unique ways to use light and camera, and the footage will be passed to life long video editors, the same ones who make shows for BBC and BET, ABC, CBS, the like.  Editors who “cut their teeth” on editing since the tape days.  That’s a crew.  You get a pro crew with a master cinematographer.  The whole crew. Everyone went to school together. Cumulatively they’ve investes $1M in their collective training  Think about it. 

$1M vs $4k paid to create a Production company.  Is there going to be any difference?

When viewed from that perspective, a $15k video really doesn’t sound like to much more to work with the master videographer, when compared to the $5k “full service” bid that the “buy some equipment guy” scrapped together for you.

A master videographer will

Ask you to pay only 3x More ($5k -> $15k)

For a product that has 58X More experience invested in it.

So why hire a cheap videographer?

7.   I have a budget: What is the professional Videographer’s rate?

You can enter your zip in this nifty “find videographers” national search tool on the video companies website.


About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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