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Medical video production costs in 2023: A complete guide

09 Dec 22 | 11:59:04

So, you know the impact medical videos have on audience engagement in MedTech, and you’re keen to include them in your campaigns. The next question is: How much does medical video production cost? Creating video content is similar to buying a holiday or a car.

With so many options available, the price can vary drastically, depending on what’s included in the production.

The average price of a video series from Podymos is between £10,000 to £40,000+, depending on scope. In this article, we talk about what ‘scope’ means and what factors influence the cost. Note: All costs in this article are in British Pounds (GBP) £1 = USD1.18652. You can use a currency converter for reference while reading. 

The cost of medical videos depends on many variables

When we talk about ‘scope’ in videography, we’re referring to several factors, such as: 

  1. How many cameras are needed for the shoot?
  2. What lighting is right? 
  3. Is B-roll needed to help tell the story?
  4. How many setups/scenes need to be filmed?
  5. How many days does the shoot require (filming and editing)?
  6. Does a venue/location need to be hired?
  7. Are voiceovers or subtitles required?
  8. Does the team need to stay overnight?
  9. Is an actor/hand model needed?
  10. Does the video require music? If so, what type?
  11. How many video outputs are needed?
  12. Is a project manager required? (What does a project manager do?)

These are only some of the questions we’ll ask at Podymos to gain a good understanding of your project before we can provide a cost.  We’ve outlined what is included in each below.

1. How many cameras are needed?

Filming a patient testimonial, equipment demonstration or surgical procedure can be done in many ways, so it’s important to think about the shots you would like to capture. This dictates the number of cameras needed – which is normally between 1-4.

Here’s a list of camera configurations that may be used. The cost of each camera varies but is normally between £250 to £500+ per camera per day.

1 camera

If only 1 angle needs to be captured at a time (e.g. for social media), this will be a good setup, however, longer footage can look flat as it’s difficult to make too many edits on one piece of video. 

2 cameras

2 cameras provide ample coverage for most equipment demonstrations and interviews/patient testimonials. Often this includes one static camera and another on a robotic track to be used as B-roll. This gives much greater scope for editing.

3 cameras +

When we use 3 cameras, it’s often to supplement a 2-camera system. This could be because you need extreme close-ups with a macro lens, or because you need more mobile shots for B-roll, which cannot be completed with larger cameras.

Normally 3 cameras are more than enough when filming, however, on the odd occasion, i.e. in the operating theatre, more cameras may be needed to effectively shoot a procedure. We’ll advise on what we think is correct for each filming project so you’re fully informed to make a decision.

2. What lighting setup is needed for your medical video?

There are usually two grades of lighting, normal and enhanced. When shooting smaller spaces (e.g. a talking head in a small office), normal lighting is often appropriate.

When filming in larger spaces, or close to windows, it’s necessary to use enhanced lighting to balance the lighting in the scene or light up the larger space. Here‘s an example of enhanced lighting.

Costs for lighting is typically between £200 and £450 per day. 

3. Do you need B-Roll in your medical video?

B-Roll is any additional footage used to add context to your video.

For example, if you’re filming a testimonial and the patient expresses how they can now ride their horse again following treatment, adding a video clip of them with their horse would add significant emotional weight and contextual value to the video.

All B-roll to be captured needs to be planned before filming starts, as it can take up to 1.5 hours to set the cameras and lighting up in a new location, which realistically adds at least half a day to your shoot.

You’ll need to account for this in your timelines. 

4. How many new scenes need to be set up?  

It’s critical that the time needed to set up each scene is planned upfront. It can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 1hr 30 mins+ to set up the cameras and lights for a new scene. People are always surprised by this until they see what’s involved. 

Normally you can do a maximum of 3 set-ups in a day, however, it’s dependent on the amount of footage to be captured.

If there is too much footage to capture it’s often better to move the filming across another day, as rushing can lead to scenes being missed out, causing significant issues in the editing suite and potential refilming days. 

5. How many days does the shoot require (filming and editing)? 

To accurately estimate the number of days needed for filming and editing, a good understanding of your project is needed. 

Filming typically takes longer than you might anticipate due to retakes needed as a result of nervous speakers or products misbehaving. 

Here are some rough guidelines on timings:  

  1. Procedure filming – 1 day filming, 3 days editing  
  2. Patient testimonial in one location – 1 day, 3 days editing (It can often be good to do 2 half days when filming patients, so they don’t get tired during 1 full day)  
  3. Patient testimonials in two locations (e.g hospital & home) – 2 days, 4 days editing  
  4. Product demonstration (1 device in service & troubleshooting) – 2 days, 4-6 days editing 

At Podymos, a day of filming with full post-production ranges from £8,000 – £16,300. This includes cameras, lenses, lighting and the full project team.

6. Do you require a voiceover and subtitles for your medical video?

If your video requires a voiceover and subtitles, there are several things to consider.

Firstly, you’ll need to create a script before filming to ensure you know how much footage you need to capture for each scene.  Spending a full day filming only to find out you haven’t got enough footage to cover the script is incredibly frustrating.

Secondly, who would you like to speak in your voiceover? Each voiceover artist will have different rates and buy-out fees (allowing you to use their voiceover in the future on either specified platforms or freely across all platforms).

The rough cost of a voiceover artist with their buyout fee (normally 100% of studio fee) and production is from £2,250 upwards. 

7. Does the team need to stay overnight? 

If the filming location is more than 2 hours away from London, the team will most likely have to travel the day before and stay nearby for the project duration.

This needs to be considered in the budget as it will cause the overall cost to rise. 

8. Is an actor/hand model needed for your video?

Do you need an actress or model in your video? 

If you’re doing an equipment demonstration, you’ll need either a member of your team to be a model, so they can point to everything as needed, or you can hire a model who will do this for you. This is often a good option as they’re trained to make products look good and are used to the pressure of being filmed so won’t need as many takes. In this respect, they’re worth the cost. 

9. Does your medical video need music? If so, what type? 

Music has many functions in video. It adds emotional depth and improves the flow of the video to keep the audience engaged. You can have music created for your video but often you can use pre-recorded tracks from an audio platform and mix it to match the length of your video. 

Purchase of the music track and production costs will add between £500 and £750 to the cost of your project. 

10. How many video outputs are needed and in what sizes? 

One of the final things you need to think about is the number of outputs  (alternative versions of the footage filmed) you would like from your filming session. 

For instance, a 2-hour interview can be cut down into short clips for each question, a summary video and finally social media snippets in different sizes. All of these outputs will affect the editing time so need to be considered upfront.

Your agency or freelancer should be able to tell you the number of outputs needed based on your intentions for the video, but you can easily look up specs on sites such as SproutSocial.

11. What does a project manager do and do you need one?  

Let’s talk about what a project manager will do for you if you chose to work with one. 

Firstly, they will manage your video from start to finish, creating a storyboard and script, and mapping out your filming day. They will manage the filming crew and the equipment needed for the shoot as well as all aspects of post-production. 

If you’d prefer to handle project management in-house, costs will probably be reduced by 20-30%, so if budget is a big concern this may be a good option.

How can Podymos help you with videography projects?  

At Podymos, we can support every aspect of your video project to save you time for other areas of your business.  

We’re a full-service marketing agency that is dedicated to Medical Devices. We ensure your videos are on brand and compliant in compliance with local country regulations, as well as entirely not to mention relevant to your audience. 

To find out how we can support your videography project, get in contact.

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