$1000 Per Minute – Fact or Fiction?

$1000 Per Minute – Fact or Fiction?

For years many corporate video producers have operated under a basic formula that one minute of well-produced, high production value video started at about $1000 in budget costs. So a 10-minute video could cost as little as $10,000. This budget gauge typically included professional production gear and labor, editing, music and a large cross-section of other practical needs, equipment and personnel.

Today, with continuing advances in digital technology, including readily available cameras, editing and effects software, one might conclude that even more is possible with less. And it’s true that some complicated and expensive techniques of the past can now be pulled off at a fraction of the cost. But while the cost of equipment has fallen, quality production still requires professional talent and crew who have the expertise to use the right tools. In a recent survey of our operations over the last 20 years, Sparkworks found that costs of production have remained relatively flat when both labor and capital are factored together.

Where does that leave the final budget? The $1000 per minute formula can still be utilized, to a point. A straight-forward 10-minute corporate training video in 2012 can still be produced for $10,000, just as it was in 1982. But the question is, do you want a video that approaches your communication challenge with the same eye used in 1982?

Today your audience is more savvy about video content than ever before due to the wealth of film, television, commercials and interactive media bombarding them daily. Expectations on quality AND concept are very high, otherwise audiences tend to move on quickly.

So while you can ask a production crew to arrive and simply document what you want to communicate, unless you tie your audience to a chair and make them watch, your communication objectives may not succeed.

The solution is to approach corporate video production with the same creative spark you would approach any business decision – and that means focusing on engaging your audience.

Take a look at this case study. Our first video for System Three was a simple documentation of a process, well shot, with good graphics:

Then System Three gave us the opportunity to apply a more creative approach to the video. The result was this:

This EndRot video received rave reviews from customers and distributors.

The key difference was creative development and choosing more sophisticated production tools that met the commuication need, which haven’t always been part of corporate film budgets of years past. The budget for the EndRot video was more than the first video, mainly in scriptwriting, editing, and 3D graphics, BUT the ROI far exceeded the first. In the end, the formula of $1000 per minute didn’t work because the concept and audience needed more.

Where does that leave your budget? If $1000/minute really is your goal, tell the potential video production company you are considering so they can address that right away, up front, as it will heavily influence creative options.

At Sparkworks Media we approach every client with their unique needs, intentions and specific budget in mind. We then build creative solutions to get the most out of the available budget – all the time, keeping our client’s goals for the project clearly in sight.