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What is the Cost of Video Production in Johannesburg South Africa

Introduction to Video production in South Africa

That question is probably the one we get asked most often. It’s not an easy one to answer though.

However, seeing that you landed on this page, we can safely assume you are in looking to create a video for your business. And for obvious reasons you are curious about the total cost of video productions by video production companies in Johannesburg.

Absolutely AV has been creating and producing corporate videos and social media video content for online and private users for a while now, and from our wealth of experience working with a range of different clients, from innovative and established businesses, to disruptive start-ups, we’ve learned a thing or two about what goes into creating a company video.

Needless to say, the cost of software development varies widely.

Why is the video producing process expensive?

On average, it takes 2-20 people 1 to 2 months to produce a video. Skilled editors, videographers and animators need to have the right tools for the job and experience to back it up.

It takes many years to acquire these skills and equipment, and because of it, a typical cost for videographer and editors with 7+ years can range from R2000 to R5000 per day and more. It also depends on the type of video you choose. If you want to have a large and complex production, you will need more people and a much larger budget and a great team to bring it all together.

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Here’s a quick guideline on how much your video idea is going to cost and time it will require.

Time:

  •     A basic corporate video of 90 seconds requires approximately 1 day of filming and one to two weeks of editing.
  •     A more complexity video or a longer video of up to 10 minutes can take two days or more to film and two weeks to a month to edit.
  •     A high-end video, with actors and industry moving camera set ups from dollies to drones can take weeks to film and months to edit.

Cost:

  •     Low to medium complexity: A quality low to medium complexity video filmed in South Africa will cost between R10,000 and R50,000. A start-up or even medium sized business looking to produce a video with basic features is likely to cost between R10 000 and R15,000;
  •     High complexity: businesses wanting to use video for broadcast marketing or branding online should expect to pay between R50 000 and R20 000,000 for a broadcast level video.
  • What influences the cost of video production?
  • The cost of video production doesn’t only hinge on filming time and editing hourly rates. It depends on a number of factors, including technical complexity of the video, length and complexity of the video. the experience of the production team, choice of camera and post-production expenses. Then there are things like actors, safety staff, drone pilots, set design, moving camera equipment like dollies and cranes.

What influences the cost of app development?

The ten factors we have identified that influence how much it costs to produce a video are:

  1)  Length and variations of final video

  2)   Type of video or animation

  3)  Video format (HD or 4K)

   4) Video pre-production (Concept, scripting and storyboarding)

    5) Types of shots (Aerial, moving vehicle, dolly, stationary or crane)

   6) Video hosting

    7) Level of production

    8) Post-release expenses

    9) Location costs (Hiring a venue or using your own)

    10) Who is producing your video?

  1. Length and variations of final video

This can have a big impact on how much your video will cost to build, as well as the time required to film and edit it.

Will you need a short marketing video, a long training video, both, multiple variations or will you need to first figure out what you need for your marketing?

An additional decision you will also have to make when creating your video is whether to use animation or “live filming” What is the difference in outcome?

  •     Live filming:

Faster and often less complex by its design and filming techniques. Easier to work on a concept. Easiest way to be unique and show who your company is. Most people relate well to seeing other live human beings, and often a more affordable option to get started with video.

  •      Animation:

A more creative process. Great options for characters and concepts not possible with filming. 2D and 3D animation options. The animation route allows you to tackle subjects more difficult to do with real people. No actors or venues needed.

Generally speaking, if you choose the animation option and don’t use generic characters and backgrounds this which will incur greater costs.  It is important to understand, that every time you add a new character or scene, it will typically increase the cost.

It may seem basic, but every additional video requires additional production. Just like any other form or marketing or training the more videos or lengths of videos the more it will cost.  One way to reduce the cost of your video productions is by pre-planning your marketing campaign or training system and therefore the number of videos you require.

  1. Type of video or animation

Identify what type of video you’re producing

Different types of videos are priced at varying levels. Is your video:

  •     Basic Video Content

This type of video is focused on providing content and information to the audience. These are videos whose production requires no major production or filming, no complex editing, and minimal editing.

  •     Marketing Video

Marketing videos can range in complexity and high-end videos which needs a complete staff of creators, producers, directors, editors and many other qualified staff are more expensive. There are however smaller budget marketing videos which can often be done by a smaller team.

  •     Training Video

Training videos allows the company access to the ability to inform, train, educate and protect their staff in a semi-automated fashion. This type of video allows companies the benefit of consistent high-quality training and presents it to the viewer in an easily digestible amount of content. These types of videos require lengthy filming, extended editing times, high volume or large data sized videos to be transferred.

  •     Broadcast

Broadcast are a highly complex type of video which will require expensive equipment, highly educated staff and many other facilities depending on the type and complexity of the video. This type of video features high quality HD/4k high bit rate audio and video processing and rendering, beautiful color grading and can be used for a range of uses from broadcast all the way down to online marketing and internal distribution.

  1. Video format (HD or 4K)

The consideration for video format has to do with what platform you will be hosting your videos on as well as how the video will be watched. There are limitations to what type of video can be hosted by the video size, the speed at which the hosting service can deliver the video and what devices the video will be watched on. Movies watch in cinemas, for example, are viewed in 4k and most online video is watched as HD resolution or lower.

Some video services will need to be used at much lower resolutions than HD to increase the speed of video delivery as well as not burden the viewers with heavy data use to watch the videos. The aspect ratio which is the width versus the high of the video are also important. Will the video be watched in portrait or landscape angle? This often cannot be changed after filming. So, this kind of mistake can cost you on a reshoot of the video.

Filming in 4K or higher generally also costs more than filming in HD. Most filming for low resolution video is done first in HD and downgraded. If the final video is for HD or lower the additional costs of filming in 4K can be avoided. 4K can be downgraded to HD but this can be an unnecessary cost if the final product is definitely going to be HD.

  1. Video pre-production (Concept, scripting and storyboarding)

It’s not just videographers that are needed to produce your videos, creatives and marketing planners are also required.

When it comes to video productions, visual design and marketing plan go hand in hand with your video’s storyboarding and pre-production and can make or break your marketing campaign, no matter how good the idea is.

Concept development requirements

Creatives/producers will not only plan out the visual design of your video, animation, motion graphics, voice overs, and color pallet, producers are required to make sure the video is appropriate for your campaign. A customized video concept is harder and more complex to implement than a standard video concept. Also, it is more time-consuming because it requires extensive research.

As a result, video design and pre-production is an integral part of the cost to make a video.

Videos that require concept development and market research will almost always cost more.

Any video production that requires an understanding of the market, in addition to the storyboarding to envision the overall look, filming, graphic design, and integration into third party video hosting systems will require a multiple creative and admin staff.

Creative development is the nuts and bolts that makes the video usable and appropriate. A pre-production creative phase is essentially and creates a road map to the final video production.

  1. Types of shots (Aerial, moving vehicle, dolly, stationary or crane)

Video can be filmed from a simple set up like having a camera on a tripod to a range of moving camera set ups. These can include drones, jibs, dollies, steady-cams, vehicle mounted cameras and cranes.

Each of these additional camera set ups can add, from a small to a dramatically higher, cost of the filming.

  1. Video Hosting

The hosting platform will become the home of your video when it is completed. This applies to all online marketing and training video services. Broadcast is the exception because once the video is broadcast it is no longer hosted. Any video used online though will need a place to be kept and hosted.

If you require your video to integrate with other hosting systems, then the type and complexity of the hosting service will be a big influence on post-production cost. Will it be a proprietary integration or an integration to a well-established publicly available video hosting like YouTube or Vimeo?

Also, what will the nature of the hosting be? Is it a simple integration, where your video may be accessed through publicly available websites or a more complex hosting integration that may involve account creation with passwords and usage data?  Will the other system require changes to their hosting system to facilitate the integration? Or if that’s not possible, will you need to make changes to your videos?

  1. Level of production (Color grading, special effects, graphics, audio effects, editing, voice overs copyright/copyright free items of content to be added such as stock footage and music Use of actors or own staff and Residual costs for broadcast use).

Number and complexity of video components.

The number and complexity of your video components and content will impact the video cost. The more complex the features the higher the cost will be.

Every time you add a new element – for example, graphic animation, actors, voice overs, color grading, music – there will be additional costs. This is because for each new feature your video will need to be added will increase filming, editing and external staff or content and the post production associated with the features added.

There are countless ways a visual feature can be included. An example is a motion graphics feature. A basic option would require a video editor to use programs such as Adobe After Effects.  Another, more expensive option would be to have high end motion graphics which require expensive GPU processing. Both achieve similar outcomes but have different levels of editing effort and system requirements.

We suggest that our clients consider what they really need for a minimum viable video production, and decided how far do you need to go in your first production and what can be prioritized for future video releases. Also keep in mind that there may be residual costs to actors and other talent used.

  1. Post-release expenses

The average video production budget does not solely consist out of filming and editing.

You should also take into account the money that goes into promoting the video. Just like with any marketing, a marketing video needs regular posting or broadcasting, sales funnels, click through and purchase monitoring, video hosting, and even sales support which have a huge impact on the video’s success.

  1. Location costs (Hiring a venue or using your own)

Clients of smaller budget videos generally use their own facilities or venues. This is however sometimes not practical. This is where hiring a venue can affect the video costs. A conference venue may be needed to film a training video. A large outdoor venue may be need to film activities such as vehicles or activities of people. Sometimes it is the multiple venues that need to be filmed such as constructions sites. There are also times when studios are needed such as green screen studios or sound studios with pre-built sets. Some venues also require additional permits to film. Some buildings may not be filmed as they may be government owned. Not all publicly accessible venues may be filmed without permission.

  1. Who is producing your video?

Depending on the project requirements, your budget and location aside, there are different types of video producers as well.

You could hire:

  •     A freelance corporate videographer
  •     A small to medium sized marketing agency
  •     A corporate video production company
  •     A big production company

Depending on which you choose, the price will change. There are reasons behind the pricing structure of these different video production options.

For example, a freelance videographer could be your least expensive option. If you’re only looking to spend about R5,000 to R10,000 on your video, you could probably find a freelance videographer who is willing to take on your work.

If you’re going to hire a marketing agency or corporate video production company, the size of the agency or production company will also impact the price. A marketing team and production team typically includes a market analyst, one or more creatives, one or more producers (depending on the video type), a videographer, an editor, and an implementation specialist.

Video Production Cost Breakdown

It’s really important to note that these costing brackets for video productions are guidelines only, as every video and piece of video content developed is unique, and the process involved in accurately costing a project is, pretty complex due to the number of unknowns.

Very Low Complexity

R0-R10,000

2-3 weeks

  • 1-5 video clips
  • Single filming day
  • Few variations
  • Logo insertion
  • Titles
  • Basic voice over
  • Basic Music
  •  Standard edit

Low Complexity

R10 000 – R45 000

2-4 weeks

  •  1-10 video clips
  •  2 or more filming days
  • Few variations
  •  Logo insertion
  •  Titles
  • Basic voice over
  • Basic Music
  • Standard edit
  • Basic moving cameras

Medium Complexity

R45 000 – R500 000

1-2 months

  •  1-10 video clips
  •  3 or more filming days with multiple locations
  •  Few variations
  • Logo insertion and/or logo animation
  • Motion graphics and titles
  • Industry standard voice over
  •  Music
  •  Standard edit
  •  Color grading
  •   Moving cameras/ drones
  •   Actors
  •   Hired venues

High Complexity

R500 000 – R20 000 000

4-6 months

  • 1-20 video clips
  • 10 or more filming days with multiple locations
  • Multiple variations
  • Logo insertion and/or logo animation
  • High end motion graphics and titles
  • Famous voice artist/actor voice over
  •  Composed Music
  •  Full edit
  • Color grading
  • Moving cameras and drones
  • Famous Actors
  • Hired venues

Final Thoughts

Lots of different factors impact this cost of video productions in Johannesburg. It depends on who produces your videos, how it gets filmed and edited, and what you want to do with the video.

 

As you can see from this guide, producing a video isn’t cheap. R5,000 or less won’t get you much. But if you’ve got R10,000 or more to spend, you can definitely get started and produce something that is usable.

 

One crucial piece of advice is to pick a good team. A good videographer won’t do design; a good video editor won’t know how to film. Make sure there is a reliable team of fully skilled people to undertake your project and run things professionally.

 

If you’re looking for an experienced and creative team to solve your business video challenge with state-of-the-art computer software and filming equipment, drop us a line at info@abav.co.za