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How much does a documentary cost to make?

kejasa's picture
Last seen: 6 years 10 months ago
Joined: 10/31/2007 - 3:52pm
Hello everyone,

I am trying to get ideas of what a documentary costs to make. I already have had the filming done and paid for that, so I just need to know how much I should expect to pay someone to put the film all together.

Thank you,

Jill

matjusm's picture
Last seen: 7 years 1 month ago
Joined: 08/17/2007 - 4:43am
Well it depends on whether you're filming your cat with your home DV cam and then editing it with Movie Maker or if you have a full blown professional crew with whom you're traveling to the four corners of the earth to get never seen before footage, licensing some really high end production music and then adding some fancy 3D animation. Seriously, be specific.

kejasa's picture
Last seen: 6 years 10 months ago
Joined: 10/31/2007 - 3:52pm
Hi,

All the filming is already done and paid for. I need to know how much I should expect to pay for the "editing/putting all the film together into a documentary" process. I'm sure there are varying prices depending on what program and such is used, but can someone give me a general idea as to cost?

Thank you,

Jill

brandon0409's picture
Last seen: 8 years 3 months ago
Joined: 05/31/2006 - 12:21pm
I believe what the other person is asking when he said a full-blown crew with four corners of the earth shots is...

For a documentrary the size of, say, The National Geographics channel we're probably talking into the 100's of thousands to millions of dollars.

We understand that you already have the filming done but with NG documentaries they use $100,000 cameras, separate mic systems with 20 man crews all with different camera angles as well as sound that must be edited back together, etc. Which is why it is so expensive.

But for a production with one camera (or even two) with only a built in camera mic or shotgun mic, it could probably be edited fairly cheap.

Software doesn't really figure into the cost. If I have FCP and know how to use it, that is what I am going to use. I wouldn't charge you a different price for each different editing suite.

So I guess our question is... Is your documentary comparable to National Geographics or a vacation at disney world?

kejasa's picture
Last seen: 6 years 10 months ago
Joined: 10/31/2007 - 3:52pm
Hi,

Thank you for the explanations. This documentary is about autism. We paid cameramen to film autistic children and their families in their homes. The kids were located in different states, so we used different cameramen. They had all shot documentaries before and also weddings, etc. There was just one camera. Now we have to find a local person to do the editing. We are not sure what we should expect to pay. The documentary will be about an hour long.

Thank you,

Jill

brandon0409's picture
Last seen: 8 years 3 months ago
Joined: 05/31/2006 - 12:21pm
Let me ask you this.

Why not edit the film yourself? Are the the overall director or are you just the producer or money man for the project?

Personally, when I shoot something, I want to be in control of how it is made because I know what I want and it is dificult to express that to someone else.

Do none of the people whom helped you film the documentary know how to edit? I figure that the best resource you have are videographer's who filmed the thing. THey will know better than anyone what the look and feel of the final project should be. Not to mention that you have already worked with them, so they kind of know what YOU might be looking for.

;0)
;0)'s picture
Last seen: 7 years 9 months ago
Joined: 12/04/2006 - 12:54pm
as a parent of an autistic child, I'd love to see what you got!

I'd charge you $400.00/ half day and quote you based on the size of the project.