Here’s the second in our four-part series on what video production costs. This post has been updated in February 2022. Each post focuses on one area of decision-making that impacts what video costs. THis post will explore the decisions you’ll need to assess how much editing will contribute to your video cost. In the companion posts, we address the cost of a filming crew, the role of your producer, and video distribution and video SEO. Note: this blog post focuses on editing video footage that has been filmed in person or recorded virtually. However, animated videos are another great way to communicate and use a different type of editing. To learn more, check out these additional blog posts on “How to Make Animated Videos,” “Animated Video to Support Diversity and Inclusion,” “Animated Video from PowerPoint Slides,” and “Medical Animation Video.”

Video costs depend on the level of editing your project requires

MiniMatters’ pricing structure has three levels of editing—basic, standard, and complex. See below for some guidelines that will help determine the level of editing your project requires. Editing Timeline - Basic Edit has lower video costsBasic. Typically a video requires only basic editing if the length of the video is less than 1.5 minutes and it features a single individual with one continuous, or near-continuous video clip.  (This main video clip is the long blue part you see in the editing timeline above, while the purple parts are graphics and the green are audio tracks.) Testimonial videos, for example, make an excellent first video project and typically only require basic editing video costs. Our post here talks about testimonial videos and how great they are as a marketing tool. Editing Timeline - Standard Edit has moderate video costs Standard. In our formulation, videos featuring one or more individuals, integration of still photographs and other graphics you provide, with a length of 1.5-3 minutes, get standard-level editing. Videos that have these features and these video costs allow us to add depth in articulating your message. We can show the subject(s) of your video in multiple contexts or points in time, provide varied sources of evidence, and bring out the diversity of participants, customers, or stakeholders. The image above shows a standard editing timeline, which carries moderate video costs.  You can see the additional number of blue video clips and extra photos (smaller blue parts). Editing Timeline - Complex Edit have higher video costs Complex. Complex video generally includes everything the standard level has, but exceeds three minutes in length and includes b­‐roll (plain video footage or footage with some ambient sound), and more complex scripting and messaging. Complex videos are a great choice if people responsible for marketing, fundraising, and other departments are all ready to produce a coordinated distribution effort, and the video costs are well spent. They are also the likely choice for organizations that want to create event or gala videos that can captivate a large audience. Even though the complexity of the editing raises your video costs, events are a wonderful way to debut a sophisticated video that can later be repurposed on an organization website, doing double duty. (We’ve written about event videos and their diverse uses and provide a sample here.) The image above shows a complex editing timeline, which has higher costs than the simpler options. Note the far larger number of cuts and photos.

Video costs reflect other decisions in the editing process

There are some great touches we can add when we’re editing your video that also add to your video costs, such as:
  • A voiceover. If you think your video requires complex editing, you may wish to add a voiceover, too, because it’s a great way to tie the variety of scenes and people in your video together into a cohesive whole with a sophisticated feel. Our services allow you to hear demos of a sampling of voiceover artists reading a piece of your own script.
  • Designing a call to action button. We believe this option gives you some of the best value for your video costs. Most organizations creating a video really hope for an action such as a donation or a new member or attendance at an event, and an interactive call to action button that we can overlay on top of the video ties your video directly to that action. Read more about call to action buttons here.
  • Finding stock images or footage. If you want your video producer to find stock photos and stock footage, this will raise your cost moderately. We charge cost + 30% for locating and downloading royalty-free stock images or footage from such sites as Istockphoto or Pond5.  Cost for stock photos will be about s$5-$40, footage $5-$100. If you want a free image from Creative Commons or public domain images we charge an hourly rate to find them (it takes longer than on royalty-free sites).
These are some examples of great things we can do to enhance your video product via the editing process, but the sky’s the limit. Video’s a very diverse and powerful medium, and much is possible.

Video costs are well spent

We’re so excited for you if you’re starting to think about video and have questions about what it’s going to cost! Creating video is a fun journey. Your organization will find ways to grow in this medium. We hope we can help. If MiniMatters can help you with fundraising video, association video, or other video production needs, we’d love to talk with you at 301-339-0339 or via email at [email protected]. We serve associations, foundations, nonprofits, and businesses primarily in Washington, DC, Maryland, and northern Virginia. To access the full four-part series, click here. When the series is complete we’ll post a link to a pdf suitable to distribute within your organization. Subscribe to our blog or follow us on Twitter or Facebook, and you’ll definitely get it.