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Video Production Budget Template

Nothing beats video when you want to communicate with prospects, clients, or employees engagingly and memorably. Video is the most appreciated, consumed, and shared type of content on all internet platforms. It’s also the most efficient format for turning viewers into customers. 

The benefits of using video in marketing and corporate communication are numerous.

  • Video will increase your conversion rates
  • Video can help you boost customer retention
  • Video is excellent for SEO and to drive traffic to your website
  • Video allows you to explain complex concepts in an accessible way
  • Video is the format driving the most social shares 
  • Video will help you build trust with your audience

Related reading: Marketing Video Production: Trends and Strategies for 2022

However, creating a video is a financial investment and requires planning and budgeting. Many marketing departments find this challenging, and many video production agencies fail to create transparency around the budgeting process. Using a video production budgeting template will provide you with a fixed format that you can also reuse for your future video projects.


What Is A Video Production Budget Template?

A film or video production budget template is a document intended to help with the financial planning process of any video production project. It’s a tool to ensure you don’t surpass important aspects and costs and speed up the budget planning process.

You know what they say: “failing to plan is planning to fail.” Planning your video production budget ahead of time is essential to make sure all the costs involved in the project are accounted for. To start with, a template should contain a brief project plan with the following information:

  • the project’s name
  • a list of all the cast and crew involved 
  • filming schedules and tasks involved 
  • post-production activities 
  • branding and marketing 

Once you’ve listed all the things your project plan will entail, it’s time to start budgeting for them. The video production template is valuable, as it can help you avoid any overspending on unforeseen costs. It should entail all the people, tasks, tools, and investments associated with making your video. It can also include information about marketing and distribution, depending on the use case and the circumstances. ‘

Let’s take a look at some of the most important things to include in your template:

  • Equipment: Part of your budget will need to cover the equipment needed for shooting the video, such as cameras, microphones and lighting. 
  • Locations: Depending on where you plan to shoot your film, there may be costs for renting or accessing certain spaces or areas. Perhaps you need to build a set on a location or redirect traffic; those things are associated with costs. 
  • Wages: Staff costs are also important to include in your budget. Shooting a video requires a cast and crew. If you’re hiring these people, you need to pay their wages. 
  • Post-production expenses: There are still additional expenses after the filming is done. Editing the material takes time, effort, expertise, and special equipment.

There is no single “right” way to create your video production budget, but some standard practices exist. And once you start budgeting for video production projects regularly, you’ll save a lot of time and effort by building your own budget templates that align with the budget style most suitable to the productions you usually work on.


Different Ways of Structuring a Video Production Budget 

Depending on your project, there are different ways you can structure your budget to make it easy to overview and understand. The structure can be based on types of costs or various stages in the production process. Instead of just making one extensive list with all the costs, the point of structuring it is that it makes it way easier. You will know where to start, and you will lower the risk of missing important elements that can end up costing a lot more down the road. 


Video Production Budget Based On The Production Stages

Your video production budget needs to contain all the different types of expenses included in making the video. Video production projects include many different costs, so it’s easy to miss things at the budgeting stage. A production budget template supports the directors, managers, and producers, as they can use it to define the budget they need early in the pre-production process.

There are different ways to organize a video production budget, and they all have their pros and cons. One way to organize the budget is to base it on the different stages of the video production process:

  1. Pre-production
  2. Production
  3. Post-production


1. Pre-Production Budget

The pre-production budget includes all the things that need to happen before the actual shoot of the video begins. This part of the budget consists of the expenses associated with planning and preparing your video shoot. 

Examples of costs that can go into pre-production:

  • Creative Development
  • Storyboarding and scripting 
  • Project Management Fees
  • Location Scouting Fees
  • Art and Wardrobe Prep Fees

Remember to include small costs as well, as they tend to add up. Will there be a need to pay for public transport? Coffee for the team in meetings? Keeping tabs on everything from the beginning, big and small, will help you create a more accurate budget. 


2. Production Budget

This part of your video production budget includes all the expenses that happen once you’re on set—they’re the costs associated with the actual shooting of your video.

Examples of costs that go into production include:

  • Location fees
  • Equipment 
  • Production Crew
  • Permits
  • Talent Fees
  • Production Expenses such as meals, art purchasing fees, parking, and other related expenses

For this part of the budget, it’s a good idea to save a budget post for anything unforeseen that may happen. Having some “petty cash” on hand allows you to, for example, let a production assistant go pick up things you may have forgotten to buy beforehand.


3. Post-Production Budget

Post-Production expenses are the costs associated with the editing of your video project. This can include different things depending on what output you’re looking for. Examples of line items in the post-production budget include:

  • Editor 
  • Soundtrack designer
  • Color 
  • VFX
  • Animation/Motion Graphics
  • Deliverable Transcoding

Go through all the different stages of the video like this when you create your budget. It will help you avoid missing any significant expenses to get an accurate picture of how much everything will cost. 


Video Production Budget Based on Above-the-Line vs. Below-the-Line Costs

Above-the-line and below-the-line are two terms frequently used in video and film production. These terms can mean very different things in different industries. The terms’ above the line personnel’ and ‘above the line budget’ can also be found in accounting, advertising, and workplace leadership. This can be confusing because the meaning of these terms is different in a video production context. Above and below the line in film and video production have a specialized meaning. 


Above-the-Line Budget In Video Production

Above the line in video production budgeting refers to the costs of making the video associated with the creative talent. This includes costs for:

  • Director
  • Actors
  • Writers
  • Producer
  • SFX 
  • Editors

In short, above-the-line includes the roles on a film or video crew that works on the creative side of the project. 


Below-the-Line Budget In Video Production

Below-the-line expenses are the costs related to the more technical roles. Below the line in video production refers to, from a budgetary standpoint, all production costs that are not “above the line.” Below-the-line costs include:

  • Film crew salary
  • Publicity
  • Music rights
  • Equipment

Below the line also refers to the roles on a film crew that are more technical in nature rather than on the creative side of a project. Below the line talent refers to the non-key cast members that can usually be replaced during the project without any bigger problem. 


So, How Much Does Video Production Cost?

If you’re creating a video production budget, you may also have some questions about how much video production usually costs – and different factors that will affect that number. In this article, we go further into detail about how much video production costs and break down how to think about video production pricing in 2022. 

Related reading: The Definite Video Production Pricing Sheet for 2022

But when you start talking to different video production agencies, you will find that bids vary significantly. To choose the right video production agency, you need to know exactly what’s included in the price. 

Some of the things to consider are:

  • Production Fees
  • Insurance 
  • Talent casting and fees
  • Hair, makeup, and styling
  • Catering for the crew and staff 
  • All technical equipment
  • Art and props 
  • Post Production 

Whether things like these are included or not will significantly impact the price and budget of your video production. An initially low bid can be tempting, but most would agree that it’s better to know the total cost from the beginning than to be surprised by additional charges along the way.


Other questions to ask the video production agency include: 

What does their pricing model look like? Some agencies charge per hour, some charge a day rate, and others will give a flat rate for an entire video project.

Has the agency created videos for your target audience before? There’s a difference between B2C videos on TikTok and B2B videos on LinkedIn. 

Does the agency have all competencies in-house? Do they have motion graphics artists? Camera operators? Will they manage the whole production and post-production for you, from the video shoot to video editing? Scripting/Creative development? Directors?

 Related reading: Why Bids From Video Production Companies Vary So Much


How To Make The Most Of Your Video Production Budget

The truth is, your budget will not decide how successful your video production will become. Many companies spend lots of money and time creating something extraordinarily polished and well-produced that ends up “meh” at best. And why? Well, because the idea behind the video just isn’t strong enough. 

At the end of the day, it’s not the money but the creative concept and the execution of your video production that will determine how well it performs. This is why teaming up with an innovative video production agency and allowing them to get creative is the best way to get the most bang for your bucks. One truly great idea and creative execution can completely transform your business. 

That is not to say you don’t need a video production budget template; you most definitely do. But don’t forget that video production is equally art and science. So to make the most of your investment, choose your production partner with great care to make sure you find an agency that is both business savvy and creative. 

Related reading: Invest In Creative To Optimize Your Video Production Budget


Partner With An Award-Winning Video Production Agency

Covalent is a Pittsburgh-based creative video production company known for creating the best corporate videos on the market. By combining extensive experience and creativity with a marketing mindset and business acumen, we B2B, B2C, and D2C companies of all sizes and in a wide range of industries stand out in the noisy online world.

We’re happy to help you produce everything from TV commercials and brand videos to explainer videos and docu-style shoots. We create videos at different price points, always focusing on helping you reach your business goals. Combining broad expertise with cutting-edge creativity, our productions have received numerous awards over the years.

Working with Covalent takes the headache out of budgeting, planning, and executing creative video projects. We’re with you every step of the way to ensure you get a video that helps convey your message and grow your brand.

Get in touch to explore how we can help you get started with corporate video production and more exciting and engaging corporate communication!


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We've worked with large corporations to small businesses all with the same goal of creating unique and innovative videos—you deserve the same.

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