July 12, 2023

Myths and Facts About Digital Production: Exploring the Real Costs

Shooting a commercial advertisement is an exhilarating endeavor, but have you ever wondered about the cost behind those eye-catching visuals? 

In today's digital age, a common misconception is that shooting with digital cameras automatically translates to lower production costs. Let’s put to rest this myth while we explore the extraordinary benefits of shooting with digital cameras. 

Myth 1: Digital production means lower costs 

Contrary to popular belief, digital production does not automatically result in reduced expenses. The expertise and equipment required to create a visually stunning commercial remain crucial, irrespective of the camera used. 

However, digital cameras provide unparalleled creative freedom. With instant feedback through digital displays and the ability to adjust settings on the fly, you can experiment in new and creative ways. The flexibility offered by digital cameras empowers you to capture shots from unique angles, play with different lighting techniques, and achieve stunning visual effects, all while maintaining complete control over the final product. 

Fact 1: Commercial production is still expensive! 

To grasp the true cost of digital production, it's important to consider the complexities and resources involved. Beyond the camera itself, you need a skilled crew, lighting equipment, sound equipment, locations, props, wardrobe, and post-production facilities. Each element contributes to the overall quality of the advertisement and demands a fair share of the budget. 

Myth 2: A smaller audience means a smaller budget and lower quality 

Some clients may believe that if their commercial is only intended for social media or online platforms, they can get away with slashing the budget. However, this assumption fails to account for the high production value needed to stand out in today's saturated digital landscape. 

Fact 2: Quality matters regardless of the platform 

Whether your commercial is targeted for television, social media, or any other medium, quality matters. In fact, it can make or break the success of your advertisement. With millions of videos competing for attention, you want to ensure that yours shines through. 

How to achieve a high-quality image within a strict budget? Digital, of course! With advancements in sensor technology, high resolution, vibrant colors, and impressive dynamic range, digital cameras offer breathtaking visuals that rival, and in some cases surpass, the quality of traditional film. The level of detail and clarity achieved through digital shooting enhances the overall impact of your commercial, captivating audiences with every frame. 


Myth 3: It’s possible to shoot cinema-quality commericals with 10 dollars and a handful of paperclips

Picture this: a client has a limited budget but expects the production company to work miracles and deliver a top-tier commercial within those constraints. As much as we'd all love to work wonders, the reality is that there are certain limits to what can be achieved with a tight budget. 

Fact 3: It’s vital to understand industry standards and what’s possible within a budget

It's crucial for clients to understand the realities of budgeting for a commercial shoot. Collaborating with a trusted production company will help them navigate the complexities of budgeting while delivering a successful advertisement that aligns with their vision. 

While it's important to note that digital production doesn't automatically result in lower costs, it does offer significant cost advantages compared to traditional film. The elimination of film stock, processing, and the associated expenses dramatically reduces production costs. Additionally, the ability to review and retake shots instantaneously minimizes the need for reshoots, saving both time and money. When utilized strategically, digital tools present an opportunity to optimize budgets while delivering exceptional quality. 


To further expand your knowledge on the cost estimation of shooting commercial advertisements with digital cameras, here are some recommended resources: 

  • AdAge (http://www.adage.com ): AdAge is a leading publication in the advertising industry, covering a wide range of topics including commercial production. Their website features articles, case studies, industry trends, and analysis that can help you stay up-to-date with the latest developments in commercial advertising. 
  • Adweek (http://www.adweek.com ): Adweek is another popular platform that provides news, insights, and thought leadership in the advertising and marketing industry. They offer a dedicated section for video and commercial production, featuring articles, interviews, and analysis of successful campaigns. 
  • Commercial Directing (http://www.commercialdirectingbootcamp.com ): Commercial Directing is a website and podcast hosted by Jordan Brady, an experienced commercial director. The platform offers insights, interviews, and practical advice for aspiring and professional commercial directors. It's a great resource for understanding the creative and directing aspects of commercial production.  

In conclusion, remember that while digital production does not automatically equate to lower costs, it more than makes up for the costs with streamlined workflows, outstanding image quality, effortless flexibility, and cost-effective solutions that align with your artistic vision and client expectations.  

Emily Winters

Customer Experience Manager

Recent Posts

See All

Navigating the World of Production Accounting on-set and in corporate set-up: Interview with Amy Chew

Read More

From USC Film graduate to Vice President Ryann’s Inspiring Journey – Part 1

Read More

Are film schools/ business schools important for Entertainment careers? How do you establish your own production company from scratch? – Ryann's Inspiring Journey – Part 2

Read More
Have a question? You can reach us at (866) 618-9428 and [email protected]​.