How Much do Videos Cost?
One of the first things you need to figure out when planning a film, is the cost. How much are you going to have to shell out to make your film. To help us explain this, we made a few videos on the topic.
Explaining the Cost of Docs to Clients
A Range of Video Costs
For perspective I outlined the cost of a few different videos.
- BBC Planet Earth: 2.2 million dollars an episode. Close to 40K a finished minute.
- American Grit: 2 million an episode
- Biggest Looser: 1 million an episode
- Most Nat Geo or Discovery shows: 400K-ish
- Clip Shows like What on Earth: Probably 100K or less
The Cost of Crew
Essentially, the cost of your production comes down to how much it’s going to cost to hire a crew. Here are some standard ranges for crew of unscripted documentary work (although they vary depending on where you are – LA? – DC?)
- Camera Operators: 400-650/day
- DP: 650-800/day
- Sound: 400-650/day
- Editors: 1750-4250/week
- Story Producers: 1650 – 3K/week
- Senior Producers: 1750-2500/week
The last and final step is creating a budget. Jonas and I plan to do a video for that in future episodes. However, this is the best Documentary Budget Sample Sheet I’ve found online. It should give you a good overview until we make that next video.