Thumbtack's 2019 Video Production Costs article is very unrealistic

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I'm reading this article: https://www.thumbtack.com/p/video-production-cost

Thumbtack is setting a bad precedent/series of expectations with these video costs they list. It's no wonder Thumbtack customers try to under-pay for these types of jobs (I receive/turn down waaaay more sub-$700 jobs than any others) if they are reading Thumbtack's official blog. Here are some examples:

For example, Lorray Digital Media of Morrisville, Pennsylvania, offers three standard packages based on finished runtime and shooting time:

Total RuntimeShooting TimeTotal Cost

1 minute2 hours$499
2 minutes5 hours$599
4 minutes8 hours$699

All of these packages include full editing services, basic motion graphics, concept video treatment and script, professional voiceover, on-location up to 100 miles or in-studio shoot, royalty-free soundtrack and video formatting to prepare for upload.

Or the next example:

As another example, ISDesigns Studio of Berkeley, California, offers a few different hourly rates and day-rate packages for their clients:

  • Starting base rate for jobs with one camera, one shooter, existing light and no set dressing: $250
  • Pre-production and post-production, graphics work and all other production time: $50/hour
  • Four-hour package for mobile on-location or in-studio productions, including one shooter, two HD cameras, a basic mic and sound setup, a lighting kit with a backdrop and green screen setups: $300
  • Eight-hour package for mobile on-location or in-studio productions, including one shooter, two HD cameras, a basic mic and sound setup, a lighting kit with a backdrop and green screen setups: $500

These rates are ridiculously low and represent the very low end of what videographers/production companies charge and should not be put out there as representative of the industry. If either of these companies can survive charging these rates, good for them (note that these rates are not found on either of their websites), but again, that does not reflect the industry.

This is an industry where, at the lower levels, you are constantly undervalued, overworked, and underpaid. I worry that blog articles like this only serve to further these unrealistic expectations.

Here are some articles that provide far more realistic expectations: https://blog.storyhunter.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-video-production-costs-2c93e64de5a1

So How Much Does Video Cost?

The short answer is that it depends. While video production costs more than any other content medium, it’s often the most effective. With video, you get what you pay for. So if you want a high-quality commercial production, but are only willing to put up $2,000 for it, then you’re not going to get what you want. And if you want people to watch your video, you have to produce a video that’s worth watching.

There are dozens of factors that go into video cost, and the range is huge. A commercial production by Apple could cost upwards of $500,000 or a short branded doc might cost $5,000. Video production costs will depend on the type of video that you need, the location, crew, equipment, talent, amount of pre-production, editing, sound, post-production, and more. The best way to estimate your budget or to get an accurate quote from a production company is to write a video production brief. A brief details the when, where, what, why, and how of the video you want produced.


The budget for a PROFESSIONAL promotional video (or marketing video or branding video) can range from $3,000 for the simplest possible project, up to $50,000 or $200,000 or beyond – depending on the complexity of the concept and the overall quality you’re going for.


Costs can range anywhere from $1,200 for a basic video, to $50,000 for a premium video.

We know, that's a pretty significant price gap. However, it's safe to say that, for most companies, a project can be completed in 4-to-5 days, for less than $10,000.