Video Production 101: A Beginner’s Guide

According to different video production companies, long gone are the days when video production was left up to professionals working in the confines of a studio for only the most specific of clients. Now, individuals, small startups, large corporations, and burgeoning nonprofits to get the word out about their brand use video production. In other words, small companies and individuals are banging the drum of their message on social media.

You do not need million-dollar equipment, month-long planning schedules, or experts from Film School to execute a video project. It is not only that the formats have changed, it is also the platforms that have changed incredibly.

So what’s involved in today’s video production? Much of the same elements are still essential components of video production. The process of video production has not much changed ever since its inception. It is comprised of three primary stages: pre-production, production, and post-production.


During pre-production you’ll spend most of your time creating your script, scheduling your production timeline, arranging logistics for your production, and handling all the overhead issues such as payment, site reservation, equipment procurement, etc.

This is also referred to as the research and planning stage of video production. This is the stage where you do all the legwork before actually starting the shooting process. A good deal of this stage involves budgeting, planning, prop collections, renting stuff, and other important things.


Production is that phase of the process where you shoot all the footage you need. The more efficiently you’ve planned during your pre-production phase, the more smoothly the production phase will flow.

If you have not been efficient, enough in your pre-production planning, chances are that you are going to overshoot your budget. This process also involves shooting for not only the video but also static images and other filler shots.  These are important during the post-production work.


In this phase, you’ll take all of your footage and plans you’ve made during pre-production to put together your final product. This means compiling, editing, and refining your message.

Many from the world of film making view this stage to be the most critical of the lot. This is especially true of animation movies, or movies that require VFX.

An editor is like an artist who snips together the entire story. This is where the best videos are made or lost. Careful time, effort and resources should be devoted to this stage of post-production work.

Taking Cost Into Consideration:

Video production may sound like a costly endeavor, but there are products available that fit almost any budget. Whether you’re shooting footage with an iPhone and using a free editing app or using professional equipment with a contracted video production firm, the limit of your creativity is your own imagination.

Generally speaking, here is a breakdown of costs according to different aspects of video production.

Video Production Contractors:

Expect to pay between $75 and $150 an hour for production services on average. You can go lower or pay a higher rate; but generally speaking, you get what you pay for.

Script Writing:

Script Writing

The script is a very important element of your video production. You’ll want a professional experienced in concept development and production. Look to pay between $60 and $150 per hour.



Once you have planned and produced all the content, you’ll need the help of a qualified editor. He/she will turn it into something that you can be proud of. Depending on the complexity of your production, and if it involves different elements such as 3D graphics or keyframe animation, you can expect to pay between $60 and $175 per hour.


If you’re gifted with true in-house talent then you may be able to save a little money in this department. But, for the most part, hiring professional actors is the best bet for getting what you need for your brand. Expect to pay between $50 and $500 per hour depending on the specific skills you need.



The cameras you choose will depend highly on the kind of video style you’re looking to capture. DV cameras come as inexpensive as $500, while high-end ARRI cameras will set you back as much as $60,000. A production company will typically charge between $35 to $400 per hour depending on the quality of footage you’re looking for.


If you hire a visual content production company, costs for equipment may be wrapped into your quote. Otherwise, expect to pay up to $100 per hour for the rental of equipment such as tracks or jib arms.



One to three production professionals is sufficient for most video production at $50 and $75 per hour.

The Final Word:

Creating a video from scratch involves a lot of time, effort and resources. Yes, the financial bit of it has become much more affordable to common citizens of people pursuing it as a hobby. However, the fundamentals of video making still remain the same.

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Arina Smith

Ariana Smith is a freelancer content writer and tech blogger by passion. She writes quality content on apps, SEO, WordPress, Blogging, Social Media, etc. She is the feature writer at Social Media Magazine.

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      Arina Smith

      Arina Smith

      Ariana Smith is a freelancer content writer and tech blogger by passion. She writes quality content on apps, SEO, WordPress, Blogging, Social Media, etc. She is the feature writer at Social Media Magazine.

      Tech Trends Pro