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Why's it cost so much?

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jim brodieWhy's it cost so much?
by on Jan 18, 2010 at 6:11:44 pm


I’m working on a quote for a five minute vision video that would have the style, production value and price tag (lower end) of a corporate vision commercial. We’d like it to stand out from the clutter so we are suggesting combining live action material with high end digital animation and compositing. I’ve attached a link to a video that has many of the stylistic elements we would like to include. Our production would involve six days of cross country shooting and elaborate compositing and digital animation. We’re quoting around $120 K. The purpose of the video will be to express the essential values, purpose and brand of this organization.

Our client needs justification for why they should spend this kind of money rather than go the standard corporate route with talking heads spiced up with AE elements. Our client has been pleased with our work in the past (mostly corporate documentary) yet had suggested this time around that we present a higher end budget. After seeing our budget, our lead contact has suggested we find some cost comparisons to justify the rpice and to help him sell the idea of going high end internally. We know how to sell the advantages of our approach, what we’re struggling with is how to find sample 30 to 60 sec vision commercials/videos and be able to tell them their production cost.

Does anyone have any ideas on where and how we could find out this kind of information? I have a brotherinlaw who works in marketing at a major company who might help me but are there sources you could recommend?

I guess everyone these days is being asked “why should I spend this much?”

Link to a terrific video:



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Richard HerdRe: Why's it cost so much?
by on Jan 18, 2010 at 6:38:26 pm

Corporate budgets and bids are highly secretive. Often there's a non-disclosure agreement included with the other paperwork. I have access to some proprietary information. My opinion is $120,000 would need to generate $156,000 in sales in 2010, and the piece needs a long shelf life--a measurable return on capital employed.

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grinner hesterRe: Why's it cost so much?
by on Jan 18, 2010 at 9:26:54 pm

I never justify rates. It's their job to justify what they spend.
I tell em how much I charge for my time and how much time it will take. They can do the math on that.

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Mark SuszkoRe: Why's it cost so much?
by on Jan 19, 2010 at 5:29:40 am

I'll be contrarian and say the sample video did not impress me much except for technical adroitness in the compositing. But that's for another discussion.

Aside from that, any time I hear the "why this much/ so much" question, the answer I have ready to hand is:

"What is the amount of new profit you expect a successful launch of xyz product will bring the company? 20 million, you say?
Now, if that new expected profit is upwards of 20 million dollars, what percentage of that are you willing to invest in the marketing to make that happen? Is one percent too much to invest against winning 20 mill? It only sounds like a lot if you don't compare it to the results. If you spend one third of one percent on the marketing, and you don't get the 20 million, will anybody care how much you saved the company then?"

It costs what it costs.

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Emre Tufekci S.O.A.Re: Why's it cost so much?
by on Jan 19, 2010 at 1:09:36 pm

Maybe you can use GSA schedules as a comparison to show how much the production/post rates are for a discounted government projects.

Just an idea.

Emre Tufekci

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jim brodieRe: Why's it cost so much?
by on Jan 19, 2010 at 7:08:07 pm

Thank you everyone for your responses. The GSA route was productive. Unless you have a producer friend who is doing commercials its next to impossible to get the numbers for an average commercial.



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Mike CohenRe: Why's it cost so much?
by on Jan 20, 2010 at 10:24:03 pm

You justify your cost to a customer by doing good work that meets their requirements.

Mike Cohen

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Roy SummersRe: Why's it cost so much?
by on Jan 21, 2010 at 4:53:22 pm

Well I am a wedding videographer here in sunny Cyprus (that big island south of Turkey)
I shot a fashion show at a wedding fayre here more for self promotion as we are just starting out here.
A guy asked about having a copy of it and seemed indignant that he previously paid 2000 euro for a 40 min corporate/advertising/training DVD. I told him that it sounds about right... should have added that he should have paid more...
Anyway Mr Public sees a DVD in the shop for 15 euro and a DV camera for 700 and can't understand the justification. Of course the work should speak for itself.... but....


Sony HDR FX1, Sony HVR V1E, Sony Vegas

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