Big or small, a business ultimately needs to be making more money than it's spending. As a local company, it can be tempting to try to DIY as much as you can in order to save money. So we did the math to see what is better for your bottom line: hiring a professional videographer/production company or filming that video yourself.
Do you ever look at your iPhone video and wonder why it doesn't look like the "Made on an iPhone" ads that Apple produces? That's because the camera is just one small part of the amount of gear that goes into a video production. Camera, lenses, audio, lights, stands, gimbals, and so much more are what a professional invests in. All of this equipment really starts to add up. Even for our smallest shoots (one camera, one crew member), AWV brings more than $15,000 worth of gear with us. To get the same quality video, my clients would be expected to shell out all that money for equipment that they will only be using a few times.
Okay, so let's say you go out and buy $15,000 of gear for a small shoot (again, I'm talking one camera, a microphone, and some lights). Now you have to use the gear. Video is one of those things that is part tech part creativity. You need to know how to adjust the temperature of lights to correctly appear on camera. You need to know where to place the subject in the frame. And of course, you need to know how to trouble shoot when something inevitably goes wrong. Not counting the years of professional experience which are invaluable, professionals often go to college or trade schools to learn their craft. I received my four-year degree in Film and Media Arts at an in-state university and only spent $40,000 total on tuition. So add that to the list.
The Line Items
We've totaled up more than $55,000 in gear and experience that a professional brings to every project they are hired for. And we are still only talking about a one camera, one person shoot. If you have a larger production that takes multiple cameras and more gear, go ahead and multiple that $55,000 by every crew member that comes on set. But that's not all of the bills covered by your one-time project cost. Line items rolled up in that professional video quote include:
General & Professional Liability Insurance
Editing and graphics software
Computers capable of handling graphic-intensive workloads
Hard drives to store footage
Websites to host and send videos
Crew salaries and expenses
These are just some of the many factors that go into a video project. After doing all of the math, most of the time you'll be saving money and getting a better product by hiring a professional.
Do you have a specific video question? Schedule a free video analysis call at bit.ly/callawv