Anyone who has worked in sales knows there is an unavoidable beast that will rear its head in one form or another during every sales pitch. COST.
Since what I do at Sunrise Seagull Productions allows me to meet with clients every day to explore how I can provide solutions for their multicultural video production needs, naturally for me, the question I hear most often is, “How much will this video cost me?”
My reply may not be what most clients want to hear. “Well, it really depends.”
Depends? Depends on what? As professionals of our trade, shouldn’t we, at the top of our heads, know our cost to produce the video? Yes….and no. Yes, once we understand specifically what needs to take place during the production, we can create a fairly accurate budget for the video. And no, because as anyone who has worked in video production understands, there are a multitude of variables that come into play when budgeting for cost.
How many on-screen talents? On-location or in a studio? Heck, how many locations are we even talking about? One camera or multi-camera shoot? And any live animals we need to worry about?
The list can go on and on, and all these different variables affect the actual final cost of the video. These questions are usually swimming in my head during the conversation with the client, but for the most part, they stay in my head because after all, if clients have to worry about all the technicalities, we’re not effectively positioning ourselves as a solutions provider.
Figuring out video production cost doesn’t take minutes, so though it may seem quicker and easier to provide a number to immediately fulfill the question, it’s probably not. So after my initial reply, I’ll explain why production costs vary and continue with listening and learning about the client’s needs and objectives for the video.
Because at the core, that’s what really matters. Once we’re are on the same page with needs and objectives and a true partnership is developed, cost becomes a malleable beast that serves as a reference point when we need to make decisions regarding how to optimize quality and efficiency.
So perhaps a better question when thinking about video production is not “how much will this video cost me?” but “how much do I want this video to cost me?”