Web Video: Choosing a Videographer

A question posted on http://www.Linkedin.com inspired this article:How much does it cost to shoot a video for our own website?”

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question due to the many variables in any given video project. Without more specifics, we may speculate about other costs costs beyond the videographer such as equipment rental, lighting, locations (if permits are involved), and extra help such as gaffers or grips if it’s a particularly high-end project.

Here are some guidelines, assuming this is a relatively low budget production involving one camera in a location which you have full access at no cost to you:

  • The key here is your plan, the better and more specific your plan the more cost effective your project will be – guaranteed! A well thought out plan can yield great advice from a seasoned videographer or set expectations from an inexperienced one.
  • The best way to shop videographers is via referral, there is no better way! The second best option is to use a combination of demo reel search and phone interview. It is important to view demo reels and look for your projects potential in the reel as there is a good chance you’ll run across someone who specializes in a technique that could take your project into “the next level.”
  • There is no “set price” for a shooter and even hiring the best doesn’t guarantee results. You may, in fact, be better off with an inexperienced “rising star” who will put every ounce of energy into getting you an amazing product because they need the work for their demo reel.
  • Negotiate! Occasionally you can find a shooter who will cut you a deal if they need the work and more often than not you can negotiate a half day rate.
  • If you’re shooting video, you’re going to need it edited… my suggestion is to get the best videographer possible. While you’ll probably have to pay the videographer by the day, you should be able to find an editor you can pay by the project. This will insure you have their attention until your project is completed to your standards.
  • I always recommend using an experienced videographer, but that doesn’t mean they have to use their equipment (which they will charge you for by the day). You could save big money on equipment, especially over a couple of days, for example, web projects do not require high end video cameras and an experienced videographer could get you great looking video, which could literally save you a couple of hundred bucks per day!
  • My final advice: overshoot, overshoot, overshoot! Consider future projects you where you may use the video you’re shooting and shoot extra elements now. You’ll be surprised at how much better future project will look and how difficult it will be to recreate elements found in your original video, no matter how good your team, lighting is unbelievably difficult to match.

This article was not meant to be an all inclusive answer, but advice and tips on getting you started. It is a part of series intended to help small business owners improve their marketing efforts utilizing the web, social marketing and other online tools. My portfolio is available at www.RABpromo.com, and I will gladly recommend videographers or producers in your area if I know of any. I am available for consulting, producing and multimedia project management.


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5 thoughts on “Web Video: Choosing a Videographer

  1. Hi Richard…

    Very nice article. I would suggest making sure the videographer/editor/production company does have actual TV experience.

    There are lots of guys with no previous background that have purchased a camera over the past year or two and are now selling Video Services. They have learned how to turn the camera record button on and make some simple cuts and add music in their off-the-shelf editing software. Would you hire a graphic artist with limited experience in Photoshop or Illustrator to put together your next marketing mailer?

    Just remember, “image is everything” — especially when it comes to your company and your product.

    All the best to everyone,

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