Video Production FAQs

How much does it cost to produce a high quality video?

Videos can include a number of factors that impact pricing. These can include final length, complexity, travel and logistics, to name just a few. Consequently, answering this question without many details can be difficult. However, we know it’s important to have ranges for sake of researching your options.

Typical pricing for a :30 second television commercial begins around $1,200 and can go up from there. On average, most of the television spots we produce will be in the $1,500–$2,500 range.

Corporate video productions, which can include more moving pieces, travel, and depth due to the nature of their goals, will range between $2,500 and $25,000. Yes, that’s a big range we understand. We’ll fine tune with more information.

A 2-3 minute video with reasonable travel and manageable logistics (schedules, interviews, needed shots, etc.) will run around $5,000.

What impacts the cost of a video?

The short answer is time, travel, and effort.

We take great pride in working to produce videos that can get noticed and make a positive impact on the goal you’re looking to achieve. Managing people’s schedules, traveling to get that special shot, and adding effects and animation can all increase the time and impact the cost of the final product.

Changes in scope and direction can also affect the time and cost of video. Our production team will work hard to listen to your goals and the type of end product you’re looking for and draft a script and work plan accordingly. We do quote based on what we know. If needs change or new information is presented, costs can as well.

Bottom line is we want you to love what you get and we’ll work hard to ensure we have open, transparent, and sincere conversations to the best of our ability to make that happen.

Do you offer a discount if I need more than one video?

Time, travel, and logistics are core factors influencing production costs. We always watch for opportunities to shoot efficiently for multiple use. If we can shoot for more than one video at the same time, then yes, costs for producing an additional video can decrease.

What kinds of videos do you make?

These include (many more examples available on our YouTube channel):

How long will it take to make my video?

Depending on logistics and timing, videos can be delivered swiftly or over a longer period of time. When we talk about time to produce, we are considering the following phases and components:

  • Prompt initial discussion / goal setting
  • Develop draft script / revision
  • Secure talent, resources and locations needed
  • Scheduling calendars for travel, shots, and people needed for filming
  • Filming on location(s)
  • Editing film into an initial rough timeline
  • Gathering external voice overs, music, and additional elements needed to complete the timeline
  • Exporting for review of initial video draft
  • Communicate with client on edits and comments from initial draft
  • Impliment revisions as needed
  • Exporting final product to locations or destinations needed
  • Hi-fiving team members for job well done

Videos can take weeks or months to produce, depending on any number of variables. Typically a television commercial can be scripted, filmed, and finalized within a couple weeks, whereas an award or corporate video may take a couple months because of scheduling and complexity.

Do you make HD videos?

All of our productions are filmed in HD, with the ability to film in 4K. In an age when GoPros and even cell phones can now record 4K video, it’s important to note that resolution isn’t everything. Upon closer inspection, the picture is blocky and lacks clarity and may have less definition than HD. Our cameras film in an uncompressed, visually lossless format that is stunningly crisp and stands head and shoulders above the rest.

Can we have the raw footage?

The cameras we use produce cinema-grade footage, which requires processing and color correction from professional editing software. The files that come directly out of the camera have flat-color, and are, for lack of a better term, “ugly.”

Editing is part of our process, our product, and our style. It’s part of why you hire us, and is just as important as how we frame and time our shots. Our edits are the kind of work that is on our website, what we want to represent us, and the caliber of work we want our clients to expect.

We’re not going to withhold that “one killer shot.” Part of keeping costs down for you is being as efficient as possible in every phase of the project. Our experience allows us to shoot just what we need, and rarely much more.

Because we shoot and edit our productions, we are able to make decisions during filming about which imperfections should be fixed on set and which can be fixed in editing.

Points to consider:

  • The raw files may have flaws that do not accurately represent the attention to detail that defines our brand.
  • The native camera files will not play on most computers.
  • The file sizes for raw files can be as much as 12GB per minute of footage, nearly 100x that of standard consumer-ready video.
  • If we know upfront that raw footage will be needed, we can adjust the quote accordingly to allow for a more thorough filming process, as well as time to prepare the footage for playback on a wide variety of operating systems.
Can we have the project files?

In short, No.

A large part of what sets Sutherland Weston productions apart is our post-production workflow. We have a unique and proprietary method of editing that we try to keep “behind the curtain.”

In addition, nearly all of the effects and corrections we make are done with various third-party software and plugins. Many of these were actually designed and developed in-house, and are not available anywhere else.

Opening our project files would require the purchase of thousands of dollars in software, and the removal of our proprietary effects and corrections would do away with the polished look our productions are known for.

Do you film video as well as produce video?

We do. For quality control and to help the vision developed come to life, we film and produce the spots we make.

Do you use actors or real people in your videos?

Depending on what the goals of your video call for, casting the appropriate people can be an important element.

When it’s time to make those decisions, here are a few elements we bring to the project:

  • We have access to professional actors available for productions
  • We can coach participants to fit your production
  • We can coach non-actors (employees, customers, etc.) to fit your production
  • Our expertise can help determine if your video requires actors or non-actors
How long should my final video be?

A common question with a consistent answer: typically shorter than initially thought. Great storytelling and visual impact should be conveyed without lengthy overviews.

Other factors to consider when the length of a video is being planned:

  • Videos should run long enough to transmit your key message to your target
  • Research indicates shorter videos are stronger
  • Length often depends on viewers’ patience, audience, and impact
  • Chapters within your video help to best tell longer stories
Can I put my video on my website when it’s done?

Yes. Videos can be uploaded to a service (i.e. YouTube) then shared for viewing on websites and social media channels.

How do I get my video when it’s done?
  • Traditionally, we upload your video to a service (e.g., YouTube) for initial viewing
  • After, we can “set” your video for general (i.e., public) viewing
  • We can “burn” DVDs of your video, email links to you or to a file sharing service
Do you have music and voice sources for my video?
  • We have access to professional voice talent and royalty-free music
  • We use sounds and voices based on tone, energy, pace, and goals of your video
  • We can create custom music for your video
Do you produce jingles and on-hold messaging?
  • We do produce jingles. Here are some examples
  • We do produce on-hold messaging.
  • We can feature professional voice talent or coach members of your team to deliver your messaging.
Can you incorporate filming from the water or unique places?
Do you film time-lapse videos?

We do. Here are some examples.

Can photos be used to make a video?
  • Photos can be used in creating videos.
  • Videos can be all photos.
  • Videos can be a mix of graphic, photos, and video.
Do you write scripts for your videos?

We do. We have in-house writers who learn your goals and craft professional scripts to reach and attract your target audience.

Do you create graphics and animation effect for your videos?

We do – both still graphics and animated graphics with special effect can be produced in our studio—here are some examples

Do you create videos using drone footage?
What kind of camera do you use?

We use Blackmagic Design cameras. These cinema-grade cameras are renowned for their sharp picture and uncompromising color. Most cameras are built to be able to “see” 16-million colors.

Our cameras can see more than 68 billion (with a “b”) pixels, which produces a much more vibrant, truer-to-life picture than nearly all cameras on the market today.

Do you use a teleprompter when filming?
We have teleprompter technology for use in producing your video.