How much does it cost to produce a video or television commercial?

Behind the Scenes - Pikewood Creative

Here at Pikewood Creative, one of the first questions business owners have is, “How much is this going to cost?” Although this question is certainly a valid and important one, there really isn’t one answer.

Video production, like any type of custom designed product, will range in cost from free to literally millions of dollars.  Did I say free?  Yes, there are some local television stations that will not charge for commercial production, because they’ll recoup their expense when you buy commercial time on their station.  And, yes, some commercials produced at the highest level can cost well over a million dollars.

Ok, let’s remove the extremes and provide some realistic budget ranges for video production.

Cost is determined by several factors:

Commercial Production Time

Exactly how many combined hours will a production company spend on your project?  This total includes planning, actual production, and post-production.

Crew Size and Numbers

How many people are involved in the project?  This could range from one person to more than a dozen.  The level of complexity required to acquire the shots or create the images determines crew size.  The expertise of crewmembers is invaluable.  On-location shooting can present a myriad of challenges that require a crew to be nimble and creative.

Equipment Needed to Properly Produce the Commercial

Just how much and what type of equipment is needed to produce your video or commercial?  A camera and microphone may be all you need for a very simple project.  However, equipment ranging from cameras, lenses, jibs, cranes, helicopter, lighting and electric truck, green screen, etc. may all be needed to properly execute your production.

Average Commercial Price Ranges

A single-day production utilizing a crew of up to three people can range between $500 and $5,000.

A crew of up to 10 people and a complete HD camera package and lighting/grip truck can range between $10,000 and $50,000.

Multiple day on-location productions that include crews up to 10 or more, and equipment that includes custom designed sets, helicopter aerials, professional actors, animation, and extensive post-production can range between $50,000 into the millions.

Understanding Your Budget

The easiest and most efficient way to determine your budget is to tell the production company how much you’re willing to pay.  That may sound counter to how we normally transact business, however it actually helps everyone involved.

A production company can provide examples of past projects that are in your budget range.

We’ve found this process to take away the cost mystery.  Ultimately, the client has the commercial they want produced within their budget.  The production company has done its part by meeting, and hopefully exceeding, the client’s expectations.

So there you have it.  The cost of video production can range from free to millions of dollars, but in reality you can produce professional content for the budget you have available.

Still curious and want a more refined answer as to what you might spend on the production of an image video or television commercial?   Contact or call us today for a free consultation at 304-554-3910.