What does an image film cost? (with infographic)

Introduction

An atmosphere-creating coloring of the moving images, refined with the epic narration of the occupied speaker's voice and equally carried by the soulful melody of the background music: 

In this way - or something similar - a company can wrap up its individual message in an emotionally appealing package. Optimally tailored to the target group to be reached, of course, because this is the only way to create a feeling of closeness and build a relationship.

This brings us to the core of an image film, which is the self-portrait of a company, a product, a brand or a service presented in film sequences. Such an image film is accompanied by Video production for the realization of a variety of business objectives with. In this way, awareness on the market can be increased, customers can be won and retained, and an increase in sales can be achieved in the long term. But an image film can also be an important tool for personnel recruiting and have a significant influence on how a company is perceived as an employer. In the long term, therefore, a high added value can be expected, which requires a corresponding investment in advance.

But with which costs is the positive self-portrayal associated with the shooting of an image film in 2022? This is a question that on the one hand is important for financial planning, but on the other hand can also give a positive feeling to the purchase decision. Nevertheless, the naming of fixed prices is not an easy undertaking, since an image film is always a very individual project and the total costs are accordingly dependent on very different factors. For this reason, the goal of this article is to look at possible cost centers and to name concrete starting prices including a rough price range, from which the calculation of the individual total price can be realized. The following infographic provides an overview of the pre-production, filming, post-production and marketing phases to be considered here, with the respective factors that make up the total costs.

Infographic: What does an image film cost?

Phase 1: Preproduction

In order to realize an elaborate project - such as the shooting of an image film - pre-production is of central importance due to the associated risk minimization. This phase includes analysis, conception, organization and customer consulting - all the preparatory steps that need to be carried out between the conclusion of the contract and the start of filming.  

 

The analysis of the actual situation as the first cost center of pre-production  

The foundation for a successful image film is laid with the analysis. This involves a comprehensive examination of the company's initial situation - and thus the relevant markets, the target group to be reached and the existing competition. From this, the goals of the image film are derived with regard to the ideas and wishes of the customer, and the budget available for the project is determined. For the indication of a price the attention is directed to the resulting expenditure of work on the part of the film agency, i.e. to the number of working hours necessary for the analysis which can be accomplished. The basis for the calculation is the average hourly wage of a self-employed person, which according to "Freelancermap" is 94.28 €. Based on the estimated working hours for a short as well as a detailed analysis, the price range can be located between approximately €190 (for an effort of two hours) and €2,260 (for three days with eight hours each).

 

The conception of the image film as the second cost center of pre-production

Based on the data of the analysis, in particular the information of the target group to be reached, the conception concerning both optics and content takes place. First of all, a good idea is needed, which must be further developed and condensed into an emotionally appealing representation of the company. The optimal communication of the core message, with simultaneous emphasis of the uniqueness, is central. According to the approach chosen for this purpose to implement the film, the costs incurred vary greatly. If the given circumstances are to be depicted in documentary form and thus insights into the real everyday life of the company are to be provided, a less detailed concept is usually sufficient. The price for this, based on a 3-hour work phase, is around 280 €. In contrast to this approach, which is characterized by realism and authenticity, films with a scenic structure and complex stories can also be realized. The range thus extends from a small effort of a few hours to the creation of a written script including storyboard and voiceover. In this case, the costs incurred can easily amount to € 3,770 (for five days).

 

The organization of the shoot as the third cost center of pre-production

In order to guarantee the smooth progress of filming - without possible time delays with associated additional costs - the preparatory organization represents a central component of pre-production. The first step is to find a location and, if necessary, obtain a filming permit. If your own company is chosen as the location, it must also be inspected and, for example, the lighting conditions and available space must be assessed. Furthermore, the casting of the people acting in the image film must also be taken into account. If professional actors and extras are to be involved, a selection must be made in advance - possibly by means of casting. The equipment needed for the shoot, i.e. sets and costumes, must also be provided before the start of shooting. In addition, a crew must be put together in accordance with the previously created concept and equipped with the necessary technical equipment. In addition, there may be other organizational tasks, such as booking accommodation, a rental car or even catering. Once these steps have been completed, a shooting schedule is drawn up with a precise time sequence, taking into account all the components mentioned above. The costs for the organization range from about 280 € to 4,530 €, depending on the number of hours required.

 

The customer meeting for project coordination as the fourth cost center of pre-production

For a successful company portrait by means of an image film, a film agency is in constant contact with the customer, which also extends to other phases of the film production. Often, several concepts are developed by the film agency at the beginning, from which the customer selects the most suitable for his project or provides his feedback for the revision. In addition, various components of the image film, such as the location, the necessary equipment or the selected actors, are coordinated in discussions. For very small projects with a correspondingly small number of hours of customer meetings, costs of approximately 280 € are incurred. On the other hand, image films of very large companies with numerous meetings to clarify the project in preparation can cost up to about 1,900 €.

 

Total cost of pre-production

In the phase of pre-production of an image film, as shown, several cost centers are to be listed. For the preparation of the filming, a monetary expenditure of about 1,000 to 12,000 € must be expected. 

Phase 2: Filming

Once the planning process with all its preparations has been completed, the cinematic implementation of the concept follows, and with it the creation of all the filming necessary for the planned image film. This executive phase of the film shoot includes the determination of the location, the selection of actors and speakers, the composition of the crew and the provision of the necessary technology for the execution.

 

The determination of the location as the first cost center of the film shoot

The question of the location of the production is already answered in the pre-production, whereas the costs for this arise during the filming. For the visual support of the message conveyed by the image film, the company's own premises naturally represent the most favorable choice. Thus, the image film could be shot in the own company, in the own offices and production halls and thus not cause any costs for location and props. If, however, the decision is made to rent an object for this occasion, a daily rent of 800 to 2,000 € will quickly be incurred for a building, for example. If necessary, costs for props and costumes must also be planned for, for which no example prices can be given due to the wide range.

 

The selection of actors and narrators as the second cost center of the film shoot

Just as the company's own premises are the most favorable option when selecting the filming location, existing employees can also appear as actors in the image film. In addition, the head of the company himself can give an interview or take on the role of spokesperson and also not incur any additional costs. If, on the other hand, professional actors and speakers are to be engaged for the film production, their fees can vary greatly depending on experience and familiarity. For example, an actor will incur costs of around €500 to €900 per day of shooting, although in exceptional cases up to €15,000 can be expected. It should be noted that the costs can take on completely different dimensions if a major celebrity is to use their face to advertise the new company campaign. If, in addition, a professional narrator is planned for the soundtrack of the image film, additional costs of €500 to €2,000 can be expected, depending on the level of awareness and the number of words to be spoken.

 

The composition of the crew as the third cost center of the film shoot

Regardless of the concept and thus the choice of a documentary or scenic approach, a crew is always needed to realize the shooting project. Since, in addition to the camera operator, the right lighting and good sound quality are also important, such a crew must also include at least one sound assistant and a professional lighting technician. For these persons, an approximate fee - based on the hourly wage of self-employed persons according to "Freelancermap" - of 2,250 € per day is incurred. If, in the case of larger projects with a scenic set-up, additional personnel are required for direction, camera assistance, make-up, costumes and catering, the total costs per day of shooting already amount to around € 6,030.

 

The necessary technology as the fourth cost center of film shooting

The technology used also plays a role in the overall price of the image film to be shot. The costs for the required equipment increase according to the requirements, such as the look to be created, the resolution required according to the intended use, the desire for aerial shots using a drone or also the capture of different perspectives using several cameras. On average, the costs can be estimated between 600 and 2,000 € per shooting day.

 

Total cost of filming

In addition to the above-mentioned cost centers, the number of shooting days is the most important factor in determining the total costs of the filming phase. This depends, for example, on the quality requirements, the number of locations and scenes and their complexity. For a small film production in your own company, on one day of shooting and the renunciation of professional actors and speakers, the costs can amount to about 2,800 €. For a fancy image film, however, the price is in completely different dimensions. Since the film production is many times more complex, up to seven shooting days must be expected. The costs for a shooting location, the technology and the complete crew amount to up to 70,240 €. In addition, there is a fee of about 2,000 € for the narrator and 6,300 € for a not very popular actor. In total, therefore, almost 80,000 €.

Phase 3: Postproduction

Once filming is complete, the final image film is created from the footage in post-production. This post-production phase includes film editing, digital post-production and sound design for preparing the footage to implement the concept.

 

Film editing as the first cost center of post-production

At the beginning of post-production, there is a very large amount of footage with recorded shots and it needs to be thoroughly sifted through. In the process, scenes that are unusable for the final video must be sorted out, while shots that are needed must be selected and put together in a meaningful sequence. This coherent sequence, including the right tempo and rhythm, creates the so-called rough cut, which presents the story to be told in a harmonious and logical overall picture. Especially jumps in time and location have to be presented in an understandable way before the video can be perfected. For this purpose, a variety of editing techniques, such as fade or split screen, can be used.

 

Digital postproduction/visual enhancement as the second cost center of postproduction

After film editing, digital post-processing is another step towards finalizing the image film by optimizing numerous features. For example, shaky images can be prepared for use using video stabilization. Unwanted elements can also be removed or effects and animations can be added. Color correction is another very important aspect of digital postproduction. In order to convey the desired emotions, the corresponding look can be created here with the appropriate change, such as the contrast setting.

 

The selection of sound design as the third cost center of post-production

In order to create an effective image film and intensify the desired atmosphere of the situations depicted, the soundtrack or background music also plays an important role after the visual preparation. First of all, the sound tracks are optimized and adjusted, e.g. sounds are cleaned up and transitions are designed. In addition, GEMA-free music is usually selected from a variety of offerings and additional sound effects are added in order to generate the appropriate emotions in the viewer.

 

Total cost of post-production

For the postproduction steps listed, a total of about two - for simple projects - to ten days can be expected. This corresponds to a price range of approximately €1,510 to €7,540.

Phase 4: Marketing

Even the best image film with the highest-quality production will not be successful if it is not played out to the appropriate target group in the appropriate channels. To attract attention and build up a wide reach, the right marketing strategy is needed, which can extend to both a company's website and social media in addition to classic offline measures (e.g. cinema screens).

 

Website (SEO) as the first cost center of marketing

Simply embedding the image film on your own website is usually not enough to market it successfully. In order to generate many visitors on the page, a corresponding optimization must take place with regard to the appealing design and the user-friendly operation. But beyond that, the website must also be found via search engines, such as Google. There are countless measures that can be used to increase the visibility of the website and its content.

 

Social media as the second cost center of marketing

Numerous platforms are available for the targeted distribution of an image film using social media, with different requirements in terms of content and format. As a rule, it is advisable to start by uploading the video to the company's own Facebook page, although a budget for promoting the contribution must also be included. In addition to using numerous other channels - such as LinkedIn, XING, Twitter or Snapchat - sharing on YouTube in particular can become a key success factor. The reason for this is that videos from this platform can also appear in the rankings of other search engines, such as Google. For this, however, the image film must be optimized accordingly, for example, with regard to the preview image, the description and the keywords in the title.

 

Total cost of marketing

Depending on the selected scope of the activities to be carried out for the marketing of an image film, a budget of 300 to 5,000 € is to be planned.  

Summary of all cost centers

Starting with the planning and conception in pre-production, through the execution of the film shoot and the finalization in post-production, up to the marketing of an image film, numerous work steps have to be carried out.

These simultaneous cost centers present themselves as significant adjusting screws in budget planning, with even a small turn resulting in large costing differences.

This shows that an image film can already be realized at a cost of about € 5,500, but the price can also be far above the assumed upper end of the price range of about € 100,000. 

Why is Lead Anker the right partner for your image film?

Since every image film is a very individual project, it is important to find the right film agency for it. But it would be even more sensible and promising to have a partner at your side who is even more than just a film agency. Thus the team of Lead Anker possesses the necessary economic marketing thinking, in order to accomplish apart from the production also the last phase, which is the marketing of the image film, at the enterprise goals oriented. The necessary knowledge regarding social media marketing, web design and search engine optimization, which distinguishes Lead Anker as an advertising agency, contributes significantly to the realization of these goals. All these services are based on the fixed price agreed upon in advance, whereby the processing is fast, flexible and adapted to the customer's wishes.

Get a no-obligation quote for the production and marketing of your own image film now:

Lead Anker is your advertising agency for online marketing. We are experts in web design, search engine optimization, image film and social media marketing.
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