cost of camera crew

How Much Does Production Crew Cost?

Whether it be a commercial, documentary, or full-length film, you won’t finish a video production without a crew. After all, they are the ones who will be responsible for the planning, to the shooting, to the editing of your video. Unless you want to work solo and produce something amateur, hiring staff with the necessary skills is the way to go.

And when we say “hiring”, that means you’ll have to pay. That said, how much does a film crew cost? And what are the video production rates for other outputs?

Average Video Production Rates

How much will you have to pay a crew for a video production? The immediate answer, unhelpful as it may, is “it depends”. You can pay as low as $99 for a 30-minute shoot, or pay $5,000+ for more elaborate and multi-day set ups. We can attribute the widely varying prices to the following factors:

  • The type of video you want to produce

Are you going to produce a commercial, a video tutorial, or a film? The bigger the production, the larger the crew and the longer the time you need. That, of course, will mean you have to pay more.

  • Whether you’re hiring a union or non-union crew

Typically, the former is more expensive as its members have a wider experience in the job. Also, their prices generally leave little or no space for negotiation.

  • The equipment you need for the video production

Many production companies also base their pricing on the equipment necessary for a particular project.

Initially, you’ll be needing a camera to shoot. Consequently, some productions (such as film) will need more than one cameras. Body cams, drone cameras, camera cranes, and rails can also be essential depending on what video you want to produce.

  • How companies price their services

A lot of video production companies offer packages, especially those that specialize on one-day shoots. Others charge a day rate.

Hourly Costs For Video Production

Members of a video production crew are entitled to an hourly rate. If you’re hand-picking staff members, you should know the average cost of their services. PayScale has a list to help you with that:

  • Film/video editor: $20.13 (per hour)
  • Videographer: $20.33
  • Video producer: $20.35
  • Production assistant: $14.74
  • Assistant editor: $20
  • Associate producer (for film and TV): $20.84
  • Senior video editor: $20.49

Note that the said crew members are enough if you’re producing short videos (such as for products, Youtube tutorials, and coverage).

That said, you will need more people if you’re set to do a larger production (such as film and dramas). Thus, you will need to look for rates other than the above samples. The rates of other crew members will help you answer the question on “how much does a film crew cost?” A seasoned director, for instance, may not charge you hourly but a fixed price based on a contract.

Sample Cost To Hire A Camera Crew

Leaving film, let’s take a look at several pricing methods of different video production companies for less elaborate shoots:

By Day Rate

  • Some companies will charge you with a fixed day-rate. One example is T60 Productions (Chicago, IL) that offer services from script writing to same-day editing for $1,200. Their half-day rate, on the other hand, costs $800.
  • They also have a “full-service story telling” package that aims to produce a video perfect for promoting your business. The package features additional services like interviews and concept planning to complement your marketing and prices at $4,000+.
  • Lasting Blueprint Productions (Winter Park, FL) charges a similar rate of $1,200. However, video editing is not included in the price.

By Rate of Videographer

  • Vanilla Video (Chicago, IL) charges based on the rate of a videographer. The said rate can be hourly (build-your-own-production projects) which costs $99 for a 30-minute shoot and up to $479 for 4 hours.
  • Daily rates (recommended for short-term productions) start at $600 (for 6 hours of work) and could reach up to $829 (10 hours). Long-term projects, on the other hand, need more than one day to complete. Depending on the number of days, the company will charge you $1,300 to $4,000.
  • The above prices are equivalent to one videographer and one HD camera, among others.

By Equipment

  • The cost to hire a camera crew also depends on their equipment. For instance, look at this price list by Adjust Production (Orlando):
    • Operator + Canon Mark II 5D with lenses: $650 (full-day), $450 (half-day)
    • Operator + Canon C100 Mark I/II, Canon C300 with lenses: $800 (full-day), $500 (half-day)
    • Black Magic Mini URSA: $900 (full-day only)
    • Drone DJI Phantom 4: $750 (full-day), $500 (half-day)
    • RED EPIC-W, 8K with lenses: $1,500 (full-day)

By Type of Video

  • Sleepy Dog Media Group offers packages depending on the video you want to produce:
    • Explainer video: starts at $3,500
    • Green screen/virtual studio (for sales pitches, promotion of products/services): starts at $4,000
    • Video blog posts: starts at $2,500
    • Movie trailer: starts at $3,500
    • Photo montage: starts at $3,000
    • Landing page (video for your web site): starts at $2,500
    • Multi-purpose video: $6,000

Tips Before Hiring the Crew

  • Before you go looking for a video production service near you, you could use a bit of advanced planning. Say, map out the details and objectives of your project. This way, you will have a clear picture of the output you want, making it easier for you to explain it to the crew.
  • How do you plan? Well, perhaps first and foremost, you should decide what type of video you want. After that, you should specify its length and whatever concept you have in mind. The crew will then work from there.
  • To see if the crew you’re planning to hire can produce quality videos, check their previous works. You can either request files from them or search for it online. Furthermore, you may want to ask for feedback from past clients. Inquire about the provider’s prices while you’re at it so you can determine the most cost-effective option.
  • Remember that no matter how skilled your crew is, your video will not be a hit if it has a crappy concept. That said, you could use your and the team’s ideas to create something that the viewers will love to watch from start to finish. Make sure your audience will understand the message you want to relay.

A high-quality video can impress, but one that has a great concept and striking message can move people to action!