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How Much Did That Video Cost: GAP “Girl Power Anthem”

“How much does a video cost?” is the most common question we get. So, this we’ve asked video creators to identify a video they like and let us know what they thought it would cost to produce. The only catch: IT’S NOT THEIR VIDEO (so all posts are merely an estimate by each video creator on what they thought a similar video might cost). Enjoy the series!

This GAP video spot, filmed by Evan Prosofsky and directed by Emily Kai Bock, makes for an interesting case study. On the surface, it appears deceptively simple. It’s just a bunch of girls doing “everyday life stuff” in a variety of common locations. Its cinematography is natural and only slightly polished. Its scenes vary from simple real life moments to deliberately arranged, minimal compositions.

But what’s exceptional and invaluable about this video is the genuine feeling of fun that it elicits in its viewers. That authentic feeling is the product of its talented, experienced creative team, which plays heavily into the video’s budget.

Here’s my attempt to price-out this spot.

LOCATIONS

I counted 6:

  • House (“math” set, biking through house)
  • Garage (workshop)
  • Skate park
  • Park (which may or may not have been near the skate park)
  • Neighborhood
  • Backlot (judging by the look of the final scene, my guess it that it was shot on the backlot of a Hollywood studio)

I assume that this was a 3-day shoot, with 2 locations filmed at per day.

I estimate that each location had an average cost of $1500, with the back lot set at $3000. Add in paying duty officers to lock down the neighbourhood streets at $500 for location exteriors.

Locations Cost: $11,000

EQUIPMENT

It looks like they shot Alexa on Steadicam with a nice set of lenses and full video village. I assume that despite it looking mostly natural, they used a lighting package every day.

  • Alexa + accessories – $2000 x 3 days
  • Lenses – $500 x 3 days
  • Monitoring – $500 x 3 days
  • Steadicam – $1000 x 3 days
  • Lighting truck – $2500 x 3 days
  • Equipment Cost: $19,500

TECH CREW

  • DP – $17,500 – Based on a $3500 day rate + an extra 2 days for prep. This rate is an estimate based on the scale of the spot. Rates can vary depending on the DP and the job.
  • Gaffer – $1350 ($450/day)
  • 2nd Electric – $1,110 ($370/day, 3 days)
  • 3rd Electric – $1140 ($380/day, 3 days)
  • 1st AC – $2200 ($550/day, 3 shoot + 1 prep)
  • 2nd AC – $1600 ($400/day, 3 shoot + 1 prep)
  • DIT – $1500 ($500/day)
  • Steadicam Op – $1650 ($550/day, not including equipment)

Tech Crew Cost: $28,050

TALENT

I counted 16 girls. Based on the SAG rate sheet, I’m counting talent at $4000 a head, including auditions and optioning.

Talent Cost: $64,000

ETC.

Other costs to consider are the rates of the Director, Producer, Line Producer, Production Designer, Stunt Supervisor, Casting Director, Make-Up Artists, Caterors and Set Decorators.

Don’t forget production design hard costs, wardrobe, casting space, makeup, transport, agency costs (which include a lot of labour and overhead for said labour), offline edit, colouring, TV airtime and music licensing.

ESTIMATED TOTAL COST: $350,000.

There are a million ways to execute a concept. Your budget level will dictate who you hire, how much goes into developing the concept, and what style it’s shot in. The shooting style will have a massive impact on logistics. More money means more resources and a better end product.

The right team can deliver a smart concept on a modest budget.  The wrong team can overspend and deliver something generic. At the end of the day, it’s about matching your ambitions with your resources, and hiring the right team for the job.

Justin Black is a freelance DP in Toronto. Check out more from them on their Notch Video profile.

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