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Corporate film costs - What your perfect corporate film costs

How high are corporate film costs?
Counter question: How high are the costs for a vehicle or a building?

Nasty question, admittedly! But not so absurd, because as an accomplished businessman you will definitely answer:
“What kind of vehicle or building can it be? Tractor, station wagon or motorcycle? Single-family house, warehouse or administration building? "

It is the same with an image film. The term “corporate film” is often used for any type of corporate film, i.e. audio-visual moving images for companies. That is not wrong for a first approximation; but unfortunately not quite sufficient for such specific information as the price.

If you have a different intention with your corporate film, these articles may be of interest to you:

We would be happy to advise you personally so that we can work with you to find the perfect corporate film for you.

Arrange a non-binding consultation with image film experts

Why it is so difficult to find reliable figures for corporate film costs

Knowing how much a product or service costs is not only the basis of our budget and financial planning. It also gives us a feeling of security when making a purchase decision.

It works for most things in life and we at least have a rough idea of ​​cost, price and value. Be it a liter of milk, a new desk chair, a summer vacation - yes, we even know roughly what a single-family house would cost us.

Then why is it so difficult to get a solid corporate film cost?

The answer lies in two things.
First: The term corporate film is not (always) clearly defined. (see above)

And secondly: An image film is a service conglomerate made up of many different trades, licenses and usage rights.

So let's try to shed a little light on the matter together so that you can go into the image film financial planning.

By the way: You can get the most comprehensive overview of image films in our free manual:

Download “The Ultimate Corporate Film Handbook” here for free

Over 30 best practice examples, useful tips and possible uses. Available for download immediately and 100% free!

How the corporate film costs are made up

Enough theory, let's get into practice!

So you know what end product you want, now we need the ingredients list so we can go shopping. Because: An image film is not a fixed product (like a liter of milk or a desk chair), where only the quality, brand and properties affect the price. Rather, it is comparable to an individual service. It is always tailored to you and your company.

This creates an image film - and every other corporate film too - in three production phases and four cost centers. Each of them has its own daily rates and costs, which add up to the total price for our image film:

  1. Pre-production (idea, planning, script)
  2. Filming (and ... action!)
  3. Post production (editing, scoring, graphic design)
  4. Fees & Licenses

Note: The numbers given below are very rough averages and are only intended to give you a rough idea. In any case, let a film production or agency determine your individual needs and prepare a cost estimate. You might be amazed how cheap your corporate film can be.

The image film - everything about services and examples

How much does a corporate film concept & script cost?

This is often synonymous with “how much does preproduction cost” because the script is the most tangible part of this phase. What else is happening here:

  • The creative and conceptual tasks of preproduction, such as concept, storyboard and script, each take about 1-5 days, depending on the scope.
  • Organizational tasks such as research, casting, location scouting, travel planning, etc., take an average of 1-2 days. Often they are also billed as a lump sum, pro rata or hourly according to effort and have lower daily rates.
  • Consulting services such as workshops and meetings are usually billed on an hourly basis plus travel expenses. The prices are based on those of management consultants or advertising agencies.

Overall, the pre-production for an image film including feedback and correction loops - depending on the scope - comes to an average of 1,000 to 10,000 euros.

How much does a day of shooting cost?

The costs of a day of shooting are completely variable and can hardly be estimated at all without a prior concept and ideally scouting. Each day of shooting consists of a variable number of:

  1. Crew (staff)
  2. Equipment (image, sound and lighting technology)
  3. Setting (location, possibly including props, cloakroom, etc.)
  4. Cast (actor), which we list below under “Fees and Licenses”
  • For an image film, the crew consists of 4 to 10 people, depending on the requirements, in exceptional cases even more. Each person has a daily rate of 350-1,500 euros.
  • The equipment is required in the areas of camera, light, sound, stage and accessories and has a daily price of a few euros for tripods over 50-150 euros per lamp up to 250-1,500 euros per camera.
  • Setting: The cheapest location is your own premises. Alternatively, studios or special film properties can be rented (and set up / set up). As a rule of thumb, the following applies here: A daily film rental corresponds to a monthly rent for the property, i.e. approx. 800 to 2,000 euros.

How many days of shooting are necessary?

The number of days of shooting depends on three things:

  1. Complexity and quality requirements of the film.
  2. Number of scenes or settings.
  3. Number of locations.

For a rough estimate, you should count on 3-7 days of shooting.

The shooting for an image film therefore costs an average of 5,000 to 50,000 euros, depending on the scope.

How much does the cut cost?

On average, there are again two types of costs:

  1. Personnel (editor / cutter, sound editor, visual effects artist, graphic designer, color grading artist)
  2. Technology (editing suite, hardware, software, infrastructure)
  • The daily rates vary depending on the requirements and degree of specialization. Simple image-sound editing is comparatively inexpensive, while complex special effects are more expensive. Each trade requires approx. 1-5 working days.

The post-production for an image film amounts to an average of 2,000 to 20,000 euros.

Up to this point, an image film costs an average of 5,000 to 80,000 euros. We recommend once again that you ask a film production company or advertising agency about your specific needs without obligation and have them calculated free of charge. You will be amazed how cheap your corporate film can be!

Now only one cost item is missing: fees, licenses and usage rights.

Licenses and usage rights for the image film

Depending on how the film is used, there are different license costs - so-called buy-outs. Fees and licenses are incurred for the following cost centers:

  1. Contributing artists (actors, models, speakers, possibly director)
  2. music
  3. Forms of evaluation (cinema, TV, trade fair, etc.)

For actors and models, the cost calculation is usually based on the days of shooting, for speakers on the length of the film or the number of words. Director and some actors as well as sometimes music are also calculated proportionally to the total budget.

The following criteria usually play a role:

  • Company size (number of employees and turnover),
  • Application medium (e.g. internet, cinema, TV)
  • Duration of use (e.g. 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, unlimited)
  • Location (e.g. regional, national, international)

Our tip: buyouts.Depending on the size of the company and the medium in which the film is used, license costs can vary - so-called buyouts. If you want to keep all options open, request a full buyout. A film production can often offer you or negotiate better conditions than smaller productions or freelancers.

How much does a professional speaker cost?

70% of the quality perception comes from the sound. Fascinating in such a visual world, but true. A good speaker raises every image film to a professional level - and at the same time gives the company a unique sound. No wonder that the most popular cost center is the speaker. What else is included:

  1. Speaker fee (layout fee + buyout, see above)
  2. Recording studio + recording
  3. Director

Even with speakers, the fee is based on the above criteria. Even the voice of Bruce Willis, Robert Redford or Whoopi Goldberg is only a phone call away - and often only slightly more expensive than unknown professionals.

The fee for a professional speaker for an image film is between 450 and 1,200 euros (depending on the level of awareness). Recording studio and direction each cost another 100-200 euros.

How much does a professional performer cost?

The daughter's GZSZ darling in your own image film or a familiar face as a brand ambassador? Film productions and acting agencies make it possible. The fees for actors are also based on the above-mentioned aspects and are also graded into:

  1. Extras (small characters in the background without text)
  2. Small actors (supporting roles with / without text)
  3. Actor (main roles with / without text)
  4. Prominent performers

Extras usually receive 50 euros per day. Small actors between 350 and 800 euros, actors between 800 and 2,000 euros. Prominent actors can also cost 15,000 euros and more per day.

Image film manual - Download now for free as eBook and PDF!

Do I have to pay GEMA fees for an image film?

GEMA is the society for musical performance and mechanical reproduction rights and advocates the rights of musicians. It is the free decision of musicians to become a member of GEMA, but not every musician is automatically a member.

As a rule of thumb, the better known the musician, the more likely GEMA fees will be incurred. GEMA also applies if you want to play a certain well-known song, e.g. from a film or the radio.

Alternatively, there is a limitless selection of GEMA-free music, both from individual composers and stock music archives. Your film production will be happy to advise you.

By the way: The KSK Artists' Social Fund is related to GEMA, but not on a volunteer basis. Every freelance artist (regardless of whether it is an actor, composer, painter, journalist or designer) is automatically subject to the KSK tax (currently: 4.2% of the invoice amount). This also applies to all freelancers, sole proprietorships and partnerships in the film sector. Only in the case of invoices from corporations there are no KSK fees on your part; the corporation does this for you.

What does my image film cost in the cinema?

In addition to the pure production costs (see above), there are two types of costs for use in the cinema:

  1. Switching fee in the cinema
  2. License fee to the author

Why does it cost extra? The license costs for usage rights are derived from German copyright law. They enable an artist to participate fairly in the reach, i.e. the number of people reached.

The advertisement fee in the cinema depends on the duration of the advertisement, the number and size of the cinema halls and the target audience or film in front of which the spot is shown. We recommend crossvertise for the calculation. Here you can immediately calculate the estimated costs for a cinema in your area.

The license fee is multiplied by a formula on the production price, which can be a factor of 3 to 7 depending on the duration and area.

What does an image film for the fair cost?

If you want to show your image film at the trade fair - provided it is suitable for this - in addition to your trade fair stand and the stand fee, only the license costs are incurred.

In some cases, the license to use the trade fair can already be included in the price. Otherwise, you can also use a factor of 3 to 5 here, depending on the type, size and location of the trade fair as well as the desired duration.

What does an image film in English cost?

Fortunately, producing a corporate film in English or translating it into other languages ​​is one of the most favorable things to do. In fact, I often and gladly recommend our customers to set an image film to music in the relevant languages. We have already been able to record voice output in German, English, French, Dutch, Brazilian, Spanish and almost Chinese as well.

The following costs apply for dubbing in other languages:

  1. Translation of the existing narration
  2. Admission of new speakers (cf. cost item “speakers”)
  3. alternatively: subtitling (post-production)

Most film productions also have a pool of native speakers for international language versions or work with speaker agencies. Translation is also not a challenge for a professional film production network.

The costs for international speakers are roughly comparable to those of their German colleagues.

What exactly does an image film have to achieve? Visit our corporate video product page for a detailed overview of services.

Calculate corporate film costs

Now you know all the cost centers for an image film and can roughly calculate your image film.

Pre-production costs
+ Costs for shooting (number x (crew + equipment + location))
+ Post production costs (editing + dubbing + graphic design)
+ Fees for speakers (German / English) + possibly performers
= Image film production costs
+ License fees for the desired type of use
+ Advertising / placement costs for the desired distribution media
= Image film evaluation costs
Of course, the following still applies: every image film is individual and has a large number of small and large adjustment screws. So it's best to set a budget and a goal, and look forward to the cost estimate and concept that a film production of your choice will then submit to you.
How much does an image film cost?

Image films cost on average between 5,000 and 50,000 euros.

Save costs with an image film?

That all sounds great, you say? But can't we somehow save costs? Make the film cheap somehow or even yourself?

The good news: yes, you can save costs. Because, as with any good service, you can also partly determine how expensive the whole thing will be with an image film. Of course, you shouldn't expect miracles, because film is somehow magical, but film productions can still not do magic. The best thing to do is to make a non-binding consultation appointment with the film production company you trust.

Overview of different prices with examples

To give you a rough overview of what you can expect with which budget, we have an example for each price region. Of course, the first thing that is obvious is the quality in the picture. But don't forget: a good corporate film is not only based on its image quality or the special look.

Image film - services and examples

Image film from 10,000 euros

A good example of what you can achieve with a “lower” budget.

Image film from 20,000 euros

More budget = more equipment and crew = more quality. In large industrial companies like DTMT in particular, you need a capable crew and the necessary equipment to represent the large number of machines and specialists.

Image film from 30,000 euros

The image film for the Landhotel Kallbach is a prime example of intensive pre-planning with a script and storyboard. For the scenic filming with actors, high-quality equipment was used in order to deliver the appropriate picture quality that this budget demands.

Image film from 50,000 euros

There is no question that with a budget of 50,000 euros, the best camera and lighting equipment is used, a team full of professionals for the respective area of ​​responsibility is on the set and the end result does not have to be afraid of the big screen.

Corporate film costs per minute

Are short image films automatically cheaper?

Our customers often ask “The film only has to be 30 seconds long. Doesn't it get cheaper then? "

Unfortunately, in most cases the answer is: not really. Because the length of the film is determined by the material available (and thus the number of days of shooting). And yes, a longer cut also requires longer post-production work. But unfortunately this is not linear.

In this case, I like to answer with a wink: “I can deliver you a 30-minute film in which a pair of sneakers can be seen in front of a white wall, which costs less than any 10-second commercial that you are currently in on this subject Have a head. "

So it doesn't depend on the length - at least not on its own. In fact, the final length of the film is usually determined in the cut and is often estimated with estimates already in the offer. (Unless it's a commercial that has to fit into a specific advertising window.)

For example, your offer may include a film that is 3-5 minutes long, but the film is only 2:30 minutes or 6:20 minutes in the end.In this case, the director, creative director or editor has decided that this is the perfect length for your film.

Overall, the costs for an image film vary minimally, provided that it is within the normal range of 2-5 minutes. Less than 2 minutes is probably not an image film, but an advertising film that is calculated differently. Only when the length is significantly more than 5 minutes does the effort of shooting and post-production increase noticeably.

Animated videos are an exception. In fact, it is often billed by seconds or images. (One second has classic 25 pictures, sometimes also 24.)

Corporate film costs per minute: real film vs. animation film

So far I have only talked about real-life image films, that is, “real films” with the camera and crew on the set. Of course there are also many corporate films that work purely on animation.

In fact, animated films are the ones whose cost is most closely related to the number of minutes. Because unlike real film, for which ten seconds (in high quality) as well as two minutes (in low quality) film material can be collected on a day of shooting, the animated film is created individually by hand, frame by frame. That is why animated films - unlike real films - are usually billed per frame or second.

Rule of thumb: longer animation film = more effort = more costs

Animation is manual work, every figure has to be drawn, every background and every element designed and animated, i.e. brought to life. So, if you are requesting an animated film, the first question the film maker will ask is how long the film should be.

Conclusion: how much can an image film cost?

In summary, an image film can be produced for 10,000 euros, but it can also cost several 100,000 euros. So pretty much like a “vehicle”.

The image film costs can also be as low as 5,000 euros, depending on what you use it for and what content it has.

Thanks for reading this article! At Pathfinder Studios, our goal is to make you even more successful with video marketing. If we can support you, please contact our experts at any time for a non-binding consultation.

We would be happy if you find more inspiration on this blog or in our free downloads for successful video marketing.

Even more knowledge in the following articles:

- Image film - Everything companies need to know
- Image film at a fixed price? Entrepreneurs have to pay attention to this
- Video Marketing Statistics - The most exciting data and facts
- Aerial photography prices - What do aerial photography cost?
- Stock footage costs

The corporate film manual free e-book
The ultimate introduction to video marketing free e-book

Yvonne Schwalowski

Yvonne Schwalowski studied media management and has been a film producer for 11 years. The former journalist worked for a well-known Cologne newspaper and as a social media consultant in a large Cologne management consultancy before starting as a film producer at Pathfinder Studios, where she has so far made more than 400 image films. As a fiction writer, she is under contract with Ullstein-Verlag, among others.