Feb 09, 2021

How to Create a Video Production Budget

Video is everywhere. Social algorithms are loving ‘em, YouTube is still on the rise, and video only platforms like TikTok are becoming staple icons on your lock screen. So you want a piece of the video pie, but you’re not sure just how much a video is going to cost you?

The thing is there’s no cookie-cutter answer to this. But we’ll do our best to give you a solution that tickles your fancy. Here’s what you can expect when it comes to video production cost and just what will make or break the bank.

Factors that affect video production cost & price list

How much a video is going to cost you to produce depends on a lot of things. And if we’re honest … the sky’s the limit here, but we’re gonna give it our best shot to give you price ranges and point out details you need to factor into your budget. But before you start budgeting, be sure to hone your video idea.

These are the most common ones:

  • Actors

When you’re producing a video, especially a commercial, you’ll probably need people to feature in it. If you need to hire actors for a relatively small, non-broadcast production, you’re likely to pay anywhere between $50-$400 an hour.

  • Makeup artist

Someone will have to put faces on these actors — makeup artists cost anywhere between $35-$95 per hour.

  • Location

Shooting locations usually start at around $500/day. So, depending on how many days you need at the locations, be sure to budget it in.

  • Equipment

Video productions need quite a lot of equipment, whether that’s 4k cameras, lighting, extension cords, or batteries — be sure to have everything ready for the big day. Because if you don’t have the equipment you need, this could make or break your entire video production. 

Buying video equipment is incredibly expensive, so if you just need it for a day or two, consider renting. Websites such as or offer excellent services for rental starting at $500/3 days.

  • Props

If you’ve already put enough planning into your video production, you’ll know what kind of scenes you’ll be shooting. 

Make a list of props you might need to dress actors, such as makeup, hats, clothes, sunglasses, or maybe a specific car or food. It’s hard to give a ballpark figure here, but props will start at around $100. Once you’ve got your list of props, we recommend using a website such as to compare prices and set a realistic budget.

  • Editing 

Editing is one of the most vital aspects of video production and truly makes or breaks a video. Editing a video usually costs anywhere between $500-$2000.

  • Music rights

Background music is often used to evoke emotion in a clip — or perhaps there’s no speaking in your video, and music is there to steal the show. Either way, you need the rights to be able to publish a video with music in it. Production rights from a smaller label can be below $100, whereas popular, well-known music can be in the thousands to license.

  • Team

A video production needs a team of professionals — usually at least one videographer and at best also a creative director, assistant, and video editor; who all need to be paid. If you’re not one of those yourself, you might want to just hire an entire video production team from a video production company or agency. It will save you a lot of time and hassle. Outsourcing your video production can cost anywhere between $1000-$50.000.

Go through this list to see what resources you might have at hand and what you need to steal, borrow and/or invest in. Is there a friend’s cool rooftop terrace you can shoot at? Will your brother stand in as an extra? Or does this need to be a full-scale production with professionals? 

Planning your video production is the key to answering these questions and staying within budget.

Video production costs breakdown

Here’s an example of a video production budget and exact cost breakdown:

  • 3 actors 1 day at $150/hr: $3600
  • Makeup Artist 4 hours at $60/hr: $240
  • Location 1 day: $500
  • Equipment 1 day: $2000
  • Props: $300
  • Editing: $900
  • Music rights: $300
  • Production team day rate: $1200

Total: $9040

Videographer day rate

If you’re only looking to produce videos for social media or YouTube, hiring a videographer who can take care of all the video production might be the best way to go. Videographers‘ day rates start at about $450, including editing, and of course, rise with experience.

How do I measure a video’s ROI?

Whether a video is worth investing hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in, is the million-dollar question. It all depends on the ROI (return on investment) it’s going to get you, which is why you should also define a clear goal and KPIs (key performance indicators) to measure outcomes before setting a budget and going about producing it.

  • If you want to generate more leads, figure out how much you are willing to pay per lead.
  • If your current goal is direct sales through video, how much can you invest in your marketing budget?
  • If you’re looking to create brand awareness and add value to your brand, where can you use this video, and how will it bring attention to your brand? 

These are all questions you can both ask yourself and bring to the table with your video production company or videographer to help set a budget for your video production. 

All in all, setting a budget for a video isn’t an easy task — but if you want to have professionals at hand (and we’re talking about a promotional video for your website rather than a full-blown TV commercial), you’re realistically looking at a price range between $1000-$10.000. Happy budgeting. 

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