November 24, 2010 \ Rachel Jellinek
How Much Does Video Production Cost?

I was talking to a fundraising consultant the other day who asked, “Why do my nonprofit clients get quotes for video that range from very low to extremely high?  Why the discrepancy in prices?”

That’s a very fair question, though she kind of answered herself when she mentioned later in the conversation that some of her larger non-profit clients feel like they need a ‘high-end’ production company from New York City to produce their videos.  Guess what?  Like any industry, there are companies that have managed to position themselves as elite service providers, and so they charge accordingly.

This isn’t to say that they are delivering average value – there’s no way to charge a lot and give the client a mediocre product.  But the work they are doing, in many cases, is not significantly better than many other companies who charge a lot less.  There are plenty of smaller companies, with far less overhead, who can produce video that’s just as good for thousands of dollars less.

So my advice for people in this situation: seek the middle.  Unless you see a very clear value-add for the more expensive, it may not be worth the extra cost.  The cheapest, of course, is always going to be a risk.  With the current economy, some video production companies (along with a lot of other businesses) are underselling themselves in order to get business.  The risk, however, is that it’s human nature to cut corners when you aren’t being paid what you are worth.

In most cases, the companies that quote in the middle are going to be your best bet, and then it’s up to you to identify the one you are most comfortable with.

Happy Thanksgiving!