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How Much Does Video Production Cost in Australia?

Video production cost guide for clients

The cost of video production is like building a house… Do you want a 12 bedroom mansion, or do you just need a shed? The materials, complexity, expertise and ultimately cost are going to be vastly different.

The other thing to keep in mind is that video is not just about the cost, it’s also about the return on investment, something video is exceedingly good at – but that’s for another article.

Here are some of the basic considerations when planing your video:

STYLE/LOOK & INTENT OF YOUR VIDEO

There are many different styles of videos, from high production value national TV commercials, to mini documentaries for a web series, to simple 60 second overviews for a company website. A high production value scripted commercial with complex scenes, actors, lots of expensive gear and a large crew, is obviously going to cost significantly more than a 2 camera interview in the company boardroom. It all comes down to your intent and budget.

So what exactly is the difference? At the extreme end are the sort of ads created for the Superbowl or with high profile directors and actors with budgets in the millions (The Chanel No. 5 commercial “The Film” staring Nicole Kidman cost a cool $33M). Generally high production value commercials cost between $20,000 and $1M depending on length, complexity, actors, directors… so many different variables. Videos for brand awareness, showcasing products, instructional, and so on, that are intended for distribution on social media, company websites, and in-house, are generally between the $3,000-$50,000 mark with a majority of 1-3 min company brand awareness videos fitting in the $5,000-$20,000 space.

 

PRODUCTION COMPANY TO FIT YOUR BUDGET

With so many variables it’s a good idea to do your research on production companies near you and what sort of work they are doing. If you have $2,000 for a simple explainer video for your website, a production company that seems to be doing mostly high budget national TV commercials may not be the best fit. However a company displaying a lot of local small business videos may serve you better. Finding a production company that you think matches your budget by simply surveying their portfolio.

 

 THE COMPONENTS OF A VIDEO PRODUCTION

Pre-Production: Video production starts with the creative brief – what exactly do you want the video to look like and what do you want it to achieve. Good communication is key here, you and the producer need to be on the same page and as a client you need to be confident that the producer knows exactly what you want. Typically this will be a conversation you have with the producer and you might want to have the ideas, examples, likes/dislikes, all down on paper (you can’t have too much clarity!).

Script writing may also be part of the project and is developed in pre-production. You can expect script writing to start around $200/min of script. Locations, actors/staff, extra equipment, permissions, and other administrative duties are sorted out in pre-production.

Production: This is the actually shooting days where the crew turns up to your location (or you come to the studio) to shoot the video content. Costs depend on the number of crew, experience, quality and amount of gear. Typically a crew consisting of a director, videographer, audio technician (all of whom would be filling multiple roles on the set) with experience and high quality gear could start around $3K-4K/day. For very small budgets a videographer with a cinema quality camera and sound gear could be as low as $200/hr, for a minimum 2 hour shoot. For higher budgets a full crew of director, assistant, director of photography, assistant camera, gaffer/grip, with experience and high quality gear would start around the $5,500 mark.

Post-production: This is the editing of the video, adding effects, music, voice over, mixing sound, and producing the final video. Editors, colourists, animators, composers, and directors involved in post-production vary greatly in experience, gear and of course cost. Typical editors can be in the $80-220/hour rate,  visual effects can be a lot more depending on the complexity.  We have bundled the basic post-production tasks up into a general rate/finished minute of editing, excluding music, VFX, and voice over talent.

The below production cost estimator will give you an idea of what the base level costs would be for your video. This is just a guide, a starting point, and does not take into consideration your personal needs – costs may be more or less than this estimate. THIS IS NOT A QUOTE.

Below this calculator we have some actual examples of work we have done and the costs.

The figures below are what you might typically encounter for a small to mid sized production. There are many elements left out but these big ticket items will give you a grasp of the costs involved. These are not strictly our rates, but rather an indication of industry rates.

CREW
TIME
RATE
TOTAL
Producer/Director
2 days (1 for planning, 1 on the shoot)
$1,000
$2,000
Director of Photography
1
$1,765
$1,765
2nd Camera Operator
1
$700
$700
Sound Tech
1
$880
$880
Grip
1
$450
$450
Gear Expenses/Hire
Basic camera/lens/lighting/sound kits
$1,000
$1000
Post-Production
10 hours of editing (simple edit) + music license.
$1,300
$1,300
Total
2 min finished video
$8,095 + GST

PRODUCTION EXAMPLES

Production: LEGACY JAM – ACRV (2min 20 seconds)

Brief: A short introductory video for an in-house event at the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision. (Part of a larger project with an established client and discounted accordingly)

Shoot: 2 hour shoot on location in Brisbane; Director, Director of Photography, 2 HD cameras, standard lens kit, lighting kit, mics, sundries. B-roll re-used from other shoots.

Post Production: Director, Editor, basic graphics, standard music license.

Cost: $1,880 + GST

Production: LYRO ROBOTICS (1min 30 seconds)

Brief: A short introductory video showcasing Lyro Robotics sorting robot for the company website.

Shoot: 2 hour shoot on location in Brisbane; Director, Director of Photography, 2 HD cameras, standard lens kit, lighting kit, mics, sundries.

Post Production: Director, Editor, basic graphics, standard music license.

Cost: $2,240 + GST

Production: PROTRADE UNITED (3min 28 seconds)

Brief: New branding video for ProTrade United for their website. Aiming to bring out the passion of the CEO and Managing Director. Scripting and concept design.

Shoot: 5 hours shooting at 3 locations in Brisbane; Director, Director of Photography, 2 HD cameras, standard lens kit, lighting kit, mics, sundries.

Post Production: Director, Editor, basic graphics, standard music license.

Cost: $4,965 + GST

Production: EDEN TREES (3min 11 seconds)

Brief: A company branding video to use on website and across social media to highlight the standout characteristics of Eden Trees. Involved script writing.

Shoot: 2 half days shooting on location in Brisbane; Director, Director of Photography, 1 HD camera, drone, standard lens kit, lighting kit, mics, sundries.

Post Production: Director, Editor, basic graphics, standard music license.

Cost: $5,290 + GST

Production: DroneIt Teaching Module (1hr 20min)

Brief: Training module for Droneit consisting of 11 lessons. Teacher talking to camera + graphics + stock footage. Included scripting.

Shoot: 2 days shooting on location Brisbane; Director, Director of Photography, 2 HD cameras, standard lens kit, lighting kit, mics, sundries.

Post Production: Director, Editor, detailed & extensive graphics, stock footage & licensing, standard music license.

Cost: $9,080 + GST

Production: HILLCREST CHRISTIAN COLLEGE (3min 26 seconds)

Brief: New branding video for a school on the Gold Coast to showcase the entire school from prep to year 12. Involved script writing and advanced concept development.

Shoot: 2 days shooting on location Gold Coast; Director, Director of Photography, 2 HD cameras, drone, standard lens kit, lighting kit, mics, sundries, travel.

Post Production: Director, Editor, basic graphics, standard music license.

Cost: $9,340 + GST

Production: ROBOVIS (43min)

Brief: End of program roundup for the Australian Center for Robotic Vision – to be shown at an online event with participants from aroun the country. Involved advanced concept development.

Shoot: 2 weeks shooting on location in Brisbane, Adelaide, and the ACT; Director, Director of Photography, 2 HD cameras, standard lens kit, lighting kit, mics, sundries, travel/accommodation.

Post Production: Director, Editor, advanced graphics, standard music license.

Cost: $32,690 + GST

Production: TOWARD SINGULARITY (66min)

Brief: Feature documentary highlighting the latest advances in artificial intelligence from a Queensland perspective.

Shoot: 20 half day shoots in Brisbane; Director, Director of Photography, 2 HD cameras, standard lens kit, lighting kit, mics, sundries.

Post Production: Director, Editor, advanced graphics, extensive editing, Original music, closed captions, trailer.

Cost: $89,660 + GST