How to Budget a Video Production in San Francisco

Learn all about different production sizes and budgets in San Francisco

Whether you’re a startup, small business, or established corporation in San Francisco, the chances are high that you’ve asked yourself, “How much you should spend on producing a video?” before. 

The question: $2500, $5000, $10000, or even $50,000? 

The answer: Yes and no! 

Unfortunately, pricing a video can’t be generalized into a dollar amount that fits every project size. So it really depends on your needs and how much you and your business can provide to support the production process.

Let’s break down what your options in a busy market like San Francisco would be.

First, ask yourself the following questions: 

  • What’s the project deadline?
  • How much budget do I have available? 
  • What do I want the video to look like? 
  • Do I need actors? 
  • Where will this video be shot? 

These are just a few to start, so let’s assume you’re thinking of creating a brand video, roughly 1-2 minutes in length, for the service your company offers. Below are a few ballpark price estimates of what a production in the Bay Area would cost, including the following: 

  • Pre-production (storyboard, art direction, concepting, etc.)
  • Production (let’s say one day)
  • Post-production (let’s say 2 days, including music selection, editing, etc.)

Videographer: $2,500 - $4,500 

Small Crew: $7,500 - $12,500 (Your LP team can help)

Full-service: $30,000 - $70,000 (yes, we would take that budget with a hand kiss)

You probably think these ranges are absurd, and we almost agree with that, but keep in mind that there are many variables out there. Some examples are: 

  • Do you have a location for us to shoot in or does this need to be booked? (a location in SF will cost you somewhere between $800 - $5000 a day, or even more)
  • Can you provide the production team or videographer with a shot list, ideas, and concept? If so, this saves significantly on the front end.
  • Do we need to shoot in multiple locations? Company moves with crew and talent are pricey and time-consuming.
  • Do you need actors or models (a typical day rate for a good actor is between $500 - $1000)
  • How big does the crew need to be? Special lighting and equipment require extra hands on set.
  • Do we need any special cameras or equipment? 
  • Do we need any special effects in post-production? 
  • Do we need voiceover talent?
  • Etc., etc., etc. 

If you have good answers to some of the above questions, like an available location or an in-house creative team that can support the pre-production process, this improves the chances of getting a lower estimate. 

Simply put, the more work the video team needs to tackle, the more expensive it gets.

Pro tip: discuss it with a production partner of your choice and get a detailed estimate so you understand where the money flows. 

We’d be more than happy to chat about your potential video needs, provide a detailed quote, and answer any questions you might have. 


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