What Does the Average Video Cost: Pre-Production

Here's a question we at Slate and Main are asked almost daily: "What does the average video cost?" Let’s be honest—an “average” video is pretty hard to nail down. That’s like asking, “How big is an average rock?” Truth be told, every project is unique and, thus, so is every production. In this post, we break down the first part of building a video: Pre-Production

This involves all of the work going into your project before you turn on the cameras. Although there are a plethora of activities that can be lumped into this category, the primary three that we will focus on here are:  writing/scripting, scheduling, and location scouting. Expect to spend anywhere from $500 - $2,500 on the "average" corporate video in this phase of production.


How do you put a price-tag on crafting your message? It can be tricky, but it's generally done in one of three ways:  day rate, page rate, and flat fee. I'd explain them in greater depth but they are literally self-explanatory.


Ever wondered why everyone knows exactly when and where to be on production day? Like writing, this phase can be billed in different ways and is heavily dependent on the size and scope of production.

Location Scouting

One of the most over-looked areas in production is deciding where the footage is being captured... and the time, travel expenses, creative know-how, experience, and attention-to-detail it takes to successfully scout locations. This is very commonly lumped together with scheduling but is worth making separate mention of.

Hunter Smith