How much does it cost to make a fitness video?
This is a very common question I get but is one of the hardest to answer because not all content is created equally. Imagine asking a car expert, “How much does a car cost?” They would probably ask you a list of follow up questions before giving you an answer. Questions like: What kind of car? What are you looking for in the car? What do you need the car for? What is your budget? What features do you want on the car? are the first step to determining a price range for your purchase. This is not too dissimilar to pricing fitness video content, particularly in the case of workout videos.
With that said, making fitness videos for workouts can range anywhere from $0 to upwards of $2,500 per video. A really important question is what is included in those numbers and how many videos are you looking to make? A quick rule of thumb that everybody can benefit from is don’t expect to just create one video at these prices. Plan your production days and see how many videos you can get done at one time – the more content you make in consecutive days, the better your overall price per video will be. The magic of good production happens in the pre-production stage, which is the component of video creation that gets applied to all the videos you create in that particular production, meaning the costs are spread out across those 10 or 100 videos.
Now let’s dive into the making of these fitness videos and the 5 main elements that you must always consider, especially when you’re looking at the real costs of your fitness content production.
The 5 creative elements of fitness video production are:
What type of classes are you going to do? How many classes are you going to do and how long are they? Who is programming them? How scripted is the blocking and who is in charge of that? Do you need to have a talent producer on-set or does the talent have free reign? What is the music plan? etc…
Most brands like to control this part of the production themselves, considering they are showcasing their own product, so this is a unique factor that very few groups include in their production services as it requires a lot of creative and fitness related expertise.
This is one of our specialties at Endorphinz, as a verticalized content creation provider for brands with a team of highly experienced fitness pros. We work with brands on their programming creation, translating them into the production plan and have onset talent producers to help with cues and camera performance.
What does your set need to look like and how does it need to function to support the programming? What is the look and feel of the lighting that you are going for? How does the space work for the acoustics and audio of the production? etc…
The set has brand standards for design and colors to reflect physical elements (e.g. lighting, props, on-set art, etc) and functional elements (e.g. adequate spacing, equipment to be utilized and secured into the set, acoustics, etc) that must be taken into account.
Historically, your main options for studio locations were to rent out a space or to convert your own space into a set, but we’ve recently developed a new option at Endorphinz where we can design your own branded set in our studio and have us build it with portability in mind so that we can take it down and store it for future use when your initial shoot is done.
This allows you to have a unique reusable space that’s true to your brand – like owning a studio except without the cost of upkeep, saving you money over time.
Who do you want to represent your brand on screen? Are you recruiting new talent? Do you need to coach your brand’s existing talent for on-camera? What media training will you need to provide to your talent? What does your talent cast look like? etc…
Your top asset in fitness videos is the people on screen. Data shows the attrition of consumer usage has a direct tie to the talent on screen. If you already have talent (in the form of instructors, ambassadors, or influencers), you’ll need to train them for the camera. If you’re looking for talent, you’ll need to hold castings and screen tests and then start training and teaching your programming.
Let me tell you this though, the myth that not all good talent is good on camera is no myth at all. In fact, it is the exact reason we created a Fit Media Training Program to get talent on-screen ready. At Endorphinz, other options we offer for talent include an on-camera ready talent roster saving brand’s time in their talent search, which is the number one reason we started a Fitness Talent Agency to support our clients and reduce the overall cost of recruiting, casting, screen tests and more. We offer a curated roster to clients to pick from for each shoot or work with their talent to level them up.
What tone do you want to convey? How many cameras and what types of shots will you need? What method of production will you be using? What type of production crew do you need to execute the production? What type of gear do you need and how will you set it up? Are you prioritizing editing and graphics or quicker turnaround time? etc…
This is where the phrase ‘not all content is created equally’ is most relevant. One style of production may require a Technical Director while others may necessitate a Director of Photography. Some shoots have 1 camera and others have 7. Some are shot in a static set-up and others are extremely dynamic with multiple camera operators. Some are filmed and edited completely in post-production while others are filmed live-to-tape for a faster process. The list of options and variances goes on. These decisions are what allow for one person to say they can create a video for $XXX and another to say $XXXX. This is where you have to be sure you are comparing apples to apples as the cost structure of each scenario is very different.
Endorphinz understands the importance of variety and flexibility, which is why we offer clients several different types of crews, gear and production methods in order to make room for diversity in production styles. We do traditional videography work but truly specialize in live-to-tape and live broadcast. These production styles require particular skill sets and technology in order to do at scale.
What graphics do you want displayed in your video? What creative direction are you going for with your talent? How should the talent look in terms of apparel, hair, and make-up? How should the talent speak, interact with the cameras? Are you telling the ‘story’ side of the content? etc…
The term ‘Creative elements’ involves a very wide range of factors but the questions above are the first step to brainstorming and determining your artistic needs.
In terms of graphics you’ll need to consider things like whether you’ll need an intro and an outro and if you want lower third graphics that tie into the workout itself. Establishing these details beforehand is important because some graphics can be done via the production systems while others require a person operating graphics, which makes a significant difference in cost.
Decisions you’ll need to make for talent include what apparel they will be wearing, their hair and makeup styles, and if you’ll need a beauty artist or if you’re going to ask them to come ready. You’ll also need to think about how the talent performs on camera and if they need teleprompters or tally lights – and if they need to be coached on how to interact with them.
There are many other details like these that you’ll need to determine beforehand in order to be fully prepared and have a productive shoot. This is where a group that specializes in the fitness industry like Endorphinz comes in, allowing them to understand the unique creative parts that come with this type of content and how it applies to the consumer, making the difference compared to a traditional production house that typically only focuses on production style. Endorphinz started as an agency with decades of fitness experience already under our belts so we understand the fitness consumer, brands and creators.
Only after fleshing out all of these essential elements can you start to put together accurate cost estimates and effective plans for your production. Without the knowledge of the components that need to come together in order to make the final product, you can carelessly compare 2 seemingly similar and yet very distinct videos. Think of this like comparing an electric car to an exotic supercar. Yes, they’re both driving machines – but that’s just about all they have in common!
So, back to the original question – how much does it cost to make a fitness video? I wouldn’t want to leave you hanging without giving you the numbers you’re ultimately looking for so I’ll give you figures based on my experience. I’ve seen production houses quote ONLY production operations at $35 – $50 per produced minute but questions you need to ask when considering this option is what is involved in that and for how many videos, etc. From our experience we’ve been able to achieve purely production operations below that figure, but had to spend more money upfront to do so. This begs the question: are you looking to preserve cash flow now or maximize long term cost savings?
When it comes to the total cost to produce a video we’ve seen productions in the $750 – $1,000 per video, but more typically you will see brands operating in the $1,000 – $1,500 range to account for the full-service while maintaining a realistic budget. With that in mind, the cooler, more innovative videos you may be seeing are being produced closer to $2,000 – $3,000 per video.
Each element and consideration mentioned above costs either time, money, or people – that is what needs to be accounted for. In order to get a specific, accurate estimate tailored to your vision, the best thing you can do is to take some sample videos you like to experienced fitness production professionals, like the team at Endorphinz, and ask how much they believe it would cost to create that type of video and work on a creative brief. Alternatively, set your budget and content goals and talk to the professionals to determine your possibilities. Remember, however, that this is just like buying a car – don’t expect to drive a Ferrari off the lot if you come in with a starter car budget.
No two productions are created equally so make sure you fully understand and have clear direction in all of these 5 areas.