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By Billy Lyon, Filmmaker

“How much does a video cost?” is the most common question we get. So, approved we’ve asked video creators to identify a video they like & 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!  

So, information pills how much did that video cost?

This latest commercial from Schick Quattro Razors is quite honestly, brilliant. There are various versions of it, but ultimately, the production value is still fantastic.

I believe that what made it particularly effective was the quality of the script and how suitable the main character was for it. This commercial is a great example that you don’t need to necessarily employ a truckload of all the latest gadgets and gizmos. Instead, the audible content can prove to be just as effective as something beautifully shot. The plus side is that you can even get away with a few unforeseen mistakes in continuity if you are determined to keep the production on the cheap side, but fortunately in this case, it does not make the slightest bit of difference as it is still hilarious.

Produced by the guys at Evidently, it created quite the uproar when it was unleashed on public domain. I never thought that so many facial hair aficionados could take a rib-tickling commercial so seriously. Video produced that receives no voice of opinion in either manner has failed and here, literally thousands have almost threatened the brand with death. Quite the success, in my opinion.

So, the big question, ‘How much did that video cost?

The way in which the storyboard was created, the costs could realistically be substantially higher or lower than what I have predicted, and these are a few of my presumptions:

1)     All crew and actors used are local, so therefore there is no travel or extra lodging involved to augment costs.

2)     The car and bathroom scenes were shot on a location that did not incur any extra costs either.

I contemplated a detailed breakdown, but in the end, I believe a more generic one can sometimes be more effective to see where most of the money was probably spent on Schick’s latest masterpiece. The three areas of production are as follows:

PREP (5 days)

  • Script = $2,000
  • Director = $2,500
  • Camera & Crew = $5,500

SHOOT (2 days at a push)

  • Director = $1600
  • Camera Department & Gear = $4,800
  • Crew = $1,600
  • Sound Mix & Gear = $2,600
  • Actors & Costumes= $12,600
  • Location = $5,000
  • Food = $1,500
  • Props = $500


  • Editor & Suite = $2,000
  • Post Audio = $1,000
  • Music License = $1,000

TOTAL = $46,000 (with around a 5% contingency)

Once again, this is just my guess as the total cost of the production could have been far more had the director felt it necessary to use more costly camera gear.  The crew would have had to be pushed to get this done in two days as ideally it would have been shot in three.

The beauty of today’s technology is that a camera no longer costs $250,000 to simply film in broadcast quality HD as DSLRs at 1% of that cost can produce just as impressive results under the right circumstances.

Find out more about Billy Lyon on his website

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