So, you've decided that an animated explainer video is the best way to explain your new product or service. These short, fun and super engaging videos are an excellent way to share your story and get your audience interested. In your mind, you probably have a pretty good idea of the highlights and points that you need to get across to your audience. But your first logical question is, how much is this video going to cost?
Although the video marketing is booming, the process to create and ship a high quality video is still vague to most. I've found the general perception of the animation process is similar to how my 8 year old perceives those sweet pancake machines you see at the Holiday Inn Continental Breakfast. Press the start button and a few minutes later, the perfect golden pancake is presented on a conveyor belt, ready to enjoy. Her eyes widen, she turns to me and asks “How did it do that??”
But, all lame metaphors aside, let’s first get down to numbers. If you are looking to get a 2 minute video created, you can expect to pay anywhere between $1500 - $15,000. If you are looking to work with a quality, reputable studio, you should look closer to a range between $6000-$12,000 for a polished, cohesive animated explainer.
Now, comes the sticker shock. Most folks are surprised at these numbers. Furthermore, if you don’t understand the thought and value behind this number, you will understandably want to run for the hills as fast as possible. But wait! Before you do, Let’s quickly go over some of the reasoning behind this pricing.
The animated explainer process involves some basic steps. Each stage requires a specific talent and expertise. Below I’ve pointed out the value of each step in the process.
A well done script sounds simple and easy to follow. It is concise, communicates well, keeps an audience's attention and most importantly sounds great when it’s read out loud. But don’t be fooled, this is no easy task. It takes years for a writer to achieve this level of finesse and should never be taken lightly. The creative storyline is another consideration as it can take time to uncover and develop. It requires both writer and client to work together and agree on the final draft. The script is the foundation of your video, so you don’t want to miss working with a professional.
The storyboards are all about visually telling the story. Marrying that perfect script with visuals is an artform in itself. It takes time, experience and vision to develop boards. A huge value of storyboards is visualizing the video beforehand and taking part in the planning of the story. I find our clients really enjoy being a part of this process and sharing their own ideas for the video.
Illustrations & Design
We create custom illustrations and characters for each video created. These illustrations are sketched out, scanned into the computer, then re-drawn in Photoshop or Illustrator and further prepared for animation. A lot of thought goes into the style for each video we produce; creating these characters and designs take time and attention so they fit exactly with the brand of our clients.
This is the most intense portion of the project. Many days are spent in front of the computer bringing just a couple minutes of animation to life. Depending on the style of animation, it can take a few hours to complete just 5 seconds of animation. Remember we are focused on each frame of the video when it comes to animation. Sure, there are many tricks of the trade to streamline processes here, but at the end of the day, an animator’s dedication to quality and creativity will always require that extra push for added details and polish.
A professional voiceover can really make your video shine. A professional not only has the amazing voice and skill to vocalize the story, they also possess the appropriate equipment to produce a crystal clear recording. It may be tempting to ask your 2nd cousin who you think has a smooth “radio voice” to record your voiceover. But an iphone and blanket rigged up as a makeshift studio in your bedroom closet will likely not produce the same quality. I promise. Save yourself the disappointment and hire a professional.
Well, there you have it. A basic breakdown of each step of production when creating an animated explainer video. This is a lot of work and it’s no wonder a video can take anywhere from 4 -6 weeks (or longer) to produce. We also need to consider the time in meetings, gathering feedback, phone calls and scheduling as well as rendering and uploading files.
A lot goes into creating a custom animated explainer video. But if you want your brand to stand out in this noisy world with a genuine story that attracts your audience, it’s worth investing in a high quality production studio. Make sure the studio you choose can deliver the value and quality you are expecting. Check out their work and make sure they've got the credibility and skills to deliver.
Of course, we’d love to help you with this decision so give us a shout if you have further questions about the process or to get a quote for your next project!