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Video Film Production Pricing

from $25,000 - $100,000,000

Even though we are an ad agency in Boca Raton, we are also award winning filmmakers. You can check out our filmmaking credits here.   The segments below are designed for people who are seriously considering making a film. Whether you are a writer, director, producer, or you just need a production company to execute, SM Media Group would love to make your movie!

A Little Knowledge First

So you have a great idea for TV series, a feature film or a documentary, and you want to know what it will cost to make. Being that SM Media Group has already made a feature film, a short and two short interview type documentaries, we hope we can be a trusted source to guide you.


Now, before we even start it is important to understand that all video production budgets are determined by many variables. Here are some to consider.


The script and what is required to tell the story

determines the budget...

    • How many days of shooting

    • Cost of the cast

    • Complexity of the locations

    • Set design and build costs

    • Special effects

    • Digital effects

    • How many days of editing

    • Sound designers sound effects etc.

    • Music composer and recording (A 101 piece orchestra or stock music?)

    • Sound engineers


Film budgets range from thousands to hundreds of millions of dollars.

Here is a comparison example. The latest Mission Impossible movie cost 190 million dollars to make, and it only cost $28,000 ($100,000 todays numbers) to make the film Clerks. 


Clerks had 21 principal photography days where Mission Impossible 6 had 161 principal photography days. Clerks was filmed in a single location with a very small unknown cast. Mission Impossible had numerous locations, hundreds of setups and many high profile cast members. Not to mention the mammoth sized crew, action sequences, stunts, and special effects.


With movie budgets spanning over such great distances, how could we actually give you a concrete price for your next film? Without doing a script breakdown, we can’t. However, we can definitely give you a pretty good idea of what tier your film idea could cost. For those who have a script in hand, this guide will be very useful in estimating the video production costs.

Anchor 1

Documentary Basic

$75,500 - $150,000

Below are some of the breakdowns of what goes into a documentary film. These numbers are based on a 90 minute run time, bare bones crew, and the least amount of principal photography days possible. These numbers are broad estimates and are to be used as a guide. Every film project has its own challenges, and the final budget is always determined by the script. 

Preproduction: $10,000

Principal Photography: $35,000 - $70,000 plus travel

Editing: $15,000 - $25,000

Color Grading: $5,000 - $8,000

Sound Mixing: $10,000 - $15,000


So if we took these numbers down the middle and added them up, your bottom line budget for a documentary film with a runtime of about 90 minutes would be $105,000. This figure does not include food, travel, lodging, any problems, pick up shots, stock music or clips etc. This project will cost about $1,200 per finished minute of film. Most low budget documentaries cost between $2,000 and $4000 per finished minute of film. 

Independent Narrative Film

$150,000 & up


Assuming you have a script in hand, these films can range from a few hundred thousand dollars into the millions. For example, our film Matched cost close $125,000 to make. Fight Club, an indie film, cost $63 million dollars to make. It just depends on the script, the actors, and the complexity of the production. 


The only way to really give an accurate budget for a film is to break a script down, into preproduction, production, and postproduction costs. This translates into pricing out every light, every crew member, actor, extra, piece of wardrobe, permit, insurance, props etc. It is a long arduous process and creating a film budget can be a hefty expense in of itself.


$500,000 and up

Feature Film Video Production

Above the line expenses

These are fixed expenses. This list is not complete, however it will give you a good idea of what it could cost. On the low end you can expect local talent, on the high end you can expect high end Hollywood A listers. 


Producer: $50,000 - $1,500,000 + points

Director: $50,000 - $1,500,000 + points

Actors: $25,000 - $20,000,000

Music Composer: $25,000 - $2,000,000


Below the line expenses

These are salary, hourly or day rate expenses. These are variable expenses that can effect the budget depending upon the efficiency of the production.


Preproduction Services: $25,000 - $1,000,000

        Location Scouting


        Costume / Wardrobe Design

        Set Design

        Art Direction

        Story Boarding


        Project Management



Principal Photography

       $7,500 per day

       $50,000 per day

       $100,000 per day & up 

Post Production

These ranges can always exceed the highest number and can be lower with interns and hobbyists. 


Film Edit: $50,000 - $200,000

Music: $10,000 - $250,000

Sound Mixing & Sound Design: $25,000 - $500,000

Color Grading: $5,000 - $25,000

VFX: Can run into the hundreds of millions

Other Video Production Services

Budgeting Services

Detailed Film Budget: $9,500 - $25,000

This book is between 75 – 125 pages with a top sheet summary. This budget service is prepared for investors, studios, and filmmakers. 


Pitch Deck

$2,500 - $9,500

Pitch decks are the documents created to attract investors to concept of a film, or TV series. This document is customarily 15 – 25 pages, filled with photos, bios, genera market information, and a budget summary. 


Sizzle Reel

$9,500 - $50,000

A sizzle is a short film that communicates the idea of a film or TV show. Some sizzle reels are cut from other movies, using their visuals, dialogue, and music. More sophisticated and preferred sizzle reels are shot by the filmmakers seeking an investor. Sizzle reels have proven to be powerful tools in getting films and tv shows funded. 


Script Writing

$250 - $500 per page (shorter scripts higher price per page)

Feature films range from 90 – 150 pages. Short films range from 8 – 30 pages and tv series ranges from 400 – 800 pages for 10 episodes. 

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