We’re really not sure who coined the phrase “$1000 per minute” in the video production world, but we do know it doesn’t hold true anymore. At one point, back in the 1980’s, this old adage was the norm — but that’s also when gas cost us a buck a gallon and there was no such thing as High Definition. To this day, however, our sales team is still asked if a 1-minute video will cost $1000… and when they say no, they’re usually asked why.

Here’s Why…

Before High Definition digital video production, we had Standard Definition. Before that, we saw a series of analog video formats that would be seriously distracting to watch today. When the very first digital video format was created in 1984, videos were much simpler in terms of shooting and editing, and they didn’t include the complex motion graphics we have now. So $1000 per minute was an accurate average for what it cost to make a good video. Today, we are usually shooting for several days across different locations, incorporating advanced editing techniques and effects, and the motion graphics work needed can be a couple dozen hours and up for just one video. Another key element to modern video production is 3D animation, which can take hundreds of hours in our Art Department due to all the required modeling and rigging. The complexity of all the work that goes into your 1-minute video is what determines costs nowadays. Not every 1-minute video needs to be thousands and thousands of dollars, but the $1000 per minute model is simply out of date.

So How Do We Cut Costs?

Now that you know video simply does not cost $1000 per minute, let’s explore ways in which costs can be cut. If you’re looking to hire professional actors for your video, you may consider going the non-union route. While union talent is always superior you will definitely pay a premium. With non-union you won’t pay as much but will still get quality talent. If you need extras for your video production, consider using in-house staff to fill the background gaps. And if your Post-Production portion of the quote seems way too high, ask yourself whether or not the level of graphics you want is really a necessary factor of the video’s goal. For instance, you can always skip the 3D model of the heart pump now, and have us add it in later — after you’ve made money from the medical training video we produced together.

Here are some more SolidLine blogs you may find useful:

How Much Does It Cost To Make A Video?

Determining Who To Use In Your Video: Employees Vs. Actors