Why does a professional video cost so much?

Aug 15, 2023 | Creative, Video

“All you see is a final product, but in reality, there’s way more that goes on behind the scenes.” 

– Ivan Galaz, Creative Director Knoodle


Ivan Galaz directs and produces all the videos for Knoodle clients and has a vision for every one of them. “When I create a video, I can literally see it playing in my mind first.  That’s how I begin,” he said.

He leads the Knoodle creative team and has created a wide-range of videos for Fulton Homes, Cal-Am Resorts, United Cerebral Palsy of Central Arizona, Sante’ Health, Aleca Hospice, Plant Solutions and American Roofing & Waterproofing, among others.

Galaz came to Knoodle a couple of years ago, with 17 years of advertising agency experience. Having worked previously at O.H. Partners where he did work for clients such as BarS Foods, Arizona Department of Health Services, STP, Armor All, Salt River Project, Arizona Lottery, Gila River Hotels and Casinos, eegee’s, Sedona Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau, FlapJacked, PitaPit, ON Semiconductor, Phoenix Convention Center, among many others.

“When a client comes to Knoodle, they can expect a broadcast quality video that not only fits their goals but builds their brand with a smooth, finished product that’s both high end and memorable ,” said Galaz. “We don’t do budget videos and like most things and especially true in video, you get what you pay for.”

Most shoots involve multiple cameras with a minimum of three different lenses, lights, audio equipment, cinematographers Jude Olear and Jerry Ferguson, Art Director Ben Heimer, Hair and Make-up Artists, and the talent. “We don’t just use an iPhone camera,” he says wryly. “We are professionals.”


Develop a concept

According to Galaz, it all starts with the client. “We meet with the client to pinpoint the goal of the video and gain a full understanding of their customer base before we talk about the concept,” he said. The video process is completely collaborative. “It has to be,” he adds.

Galaz also works hand-in-hand with the Knoodle strategy team on the “Brand Spark”, the agency’s proprietary process that gets to the truth of the brand. He also pours over the research and works with the account team on execution


Create the mood

Galaz then works with the client to make sure “the mood” or thematic quality of the video meets their vision and expectations. This becomes the essence of the video.  Galaz chooses images to represent the mood. This, of course, becomes a key touchpoint with the client.

Once the client gives the nod on the mood board, Galaz and the creative team develop the concept for the story. Again, this is yet another touchpoint with the client who approves or modifies the concept. The concept then paves the path for the deliverables and what the video production team will be doing. Will there be  a voice over? Will there be acting talent? How many shooting locations will be required?

At this point, there is enough information to give the client an estimate and timeline.


Copy that!

Our copywriter works off the vision board and Galaz’ direction and creates a script that encompasses the concept. Generally, clients find the scripts on point because it fits the vision they previously approved. So now things are moving!!


Storyboard shows the magic of the message

A storyboard comes next.  Our storyboards show the look and feel of the commercial and how it flows with the copy, giving the client another opportunity to make adjustments. This gives way to the shot list.

The shot list is like an architectural rendering of the video. “This enables us to save the client money and improves our efficiency. “If it takes less time to shoot, we can estimate a lower dollar amount,” Galaz said.

Does it compromise quality? “Nope, never,” he adds. ”

Each shot is described in a master spreadsheet in detail. It denotes  the location, shot type, camera angle, camera movement, the dialogue if any, and the description of what happens in the scene.


Lights, camera, action!

It’s the day of the shoot, there’s a glamorous hollywood vibe happening, right?  “Nope,” says Galaz. He recalls a commercial he just shot last week.

“It was 95 degrees at 5am in the morning and my team is fully assembled with our gear, models ready to shoot, cameras set up and ice vests ready,” he said. “And nothing is glamorous about 5am and the harsh sun and August temperatures in Phoenix.”

He adds, “Except of course the beauty of the ‘golden hour’- that special light between dawn and sunrise where the light is diffused and creates a rich effect for the client.” The client in this case is Fulton Homes. Timing matters, not just because it’s hot out. The goal is to avoid the harsh light that comes from full sun after mid-morning.

The shoot is over by 11am.

Then the editing process begins. Our editor, Jude Olear, who is also on staff, spends hours in a dark room, sifting through footage and working with Ivan to create a strong video. He prefers to work on the editing software, DaVinci Resolve.


“In the end, only about 5 or maybe 10% of the footage will actually make it into the video”, said Galaz. “But don’t worry, we store all of it for future use.”


Back to our question…

“Why does a professional video cost so much?”

Ivan nods with the slightest eye roll, as if he hears this question all the time. “Certainly any person can create a video, we see it on social media all the time,” he admits. “And there’s a time and place for that. But a professional team has access to so many resources like coming up with the strategy that will drive the concept, as far as equipment goes; the best cameras, the best lenses, superior lighting, great sound, professional copywriters, trained cameramen and an editor that can artfully put it together. There’s a reason we call it a production.”


About Iván:

Iván Galaz serves as Knoodle’s Creative Director for the past 3 years. He has produced and directed all video production for  clients such as Fulton Homes, Cal-Am Resorts, and Santé Health. Formerly of OH Partners, Iván comes with 20 years of advertising agency experience. He was born and raised on the Mexican border, surrounded by a family of creative individuals. His passions in life include spending every moment possible with his adorable dog Paco, traveling the world with his partner, going to the movies (he’ll watch almost any movie). He loves to eat his mothers food, Mexican or Italian food, ice cream, and Impossible burgers.