How Much Does A Time Lapse Video Cost?

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How Much Does a Time Lapse Video Cost?

This is a question we get asked so often we thought it was time to answer it. Of course, price matters and we get that completely. It might even dictate whether you commission time lapse videography for your next project whether that’s a construction, rail, demolition, infrastructure or manufacturing project.

In truth it’s tough to answer as there are so many options, variables and add-ons. Every project is unique which is why we provide a quote based on the individual client needs. But don’t stop reading, we are going to unpick the costs to you can see how it is made up and therefore what impacts the price going up or down. That way when you’re next looking to instruct a time lapse company to complete a project for you, you’ll be in a much better position to judge whether the figures look reasonable and realistic.

Time Lapse Video Price Range

Before we go into the elements that make up the cost, we thought we would at least give you an idea of the sort of price you can expect to pay.

So, for a simple project, which includes just one camera, that can be installed easily and is on-site for say three months, with just one post project video, you should expect to pay around £5k to £6k per year per camera.

That give you an idea of the base costs. However below we look at each element that goes to make up the fees that a time lapse company may charge and highlight where the cost will increase or reduce.

We’ve identified the seven key elements that impact the price you’ll pay for your time lapse videos.

What Factors Affect the Cost?

Equipment Costs

When it comes to time lapse videography, one of the crucial factors to consider is the equipment costs. The quality of the gear you use can greatly impact the final time lapse video quality. We pride ourselves on not using ‘CCTV’ camera for our time lapse, and only using professional range still cameras and lenses – meaning your time lapse looks crystal clear and sharp. While other suppliers can use cheaper ‘webcam’ style cameras, the images tend to be grainy, poor quality, and particularly at night sometimes un-usable.

The Number of Cameras Needed
The number of cameras you require depends on the size of the site and the angles you want to capture. The more angles you include, the more engaging and captivating your final time lapse video will be. However, it’s essential to balance this against the increase in costs associated with renting and installing each camera.

While one camera can cover a large area – often there may be a key area that is worth a second camera, an internal view once the structure is complete for example.  Moving a camera isn’t always the cheapest or the best option, and we’ll use our experience to advise what’s best.

Project Duration
Our cameras are hired on a weekly basis – giving you the flexibility to extend or curtail if needed as the project progresses. For long-term projects, it’s important to consider the likelihood of extensions beyond the initial timescales. We have no minimum or maximum length of hire.

At Inside Out Group, we offer weekly leasing starting at £75.00 per week, per system. This comprehensive package includes several key components:

  • Management and monitoring of the camera system
  • Repair of any faults (excluding theft or vandalism)
  • Client remote access viewer for real-time monitoring
  • On-site rental of the camera
  • 4G data allowance for seamless connectivity
  • Storage of all images and videos on our client portal for easy access 24/7.

Installation Location

The installation process is a crucial aspect of time lapse videography and can significantly impact the overall cost of your project. We have mounted hundreds of cameras in some very unusual places, so we’d always suggest discussing your specific requirements, but these are some common suggestions.

Pre-existing

A nearby roof of a neighbouring building is often a perfect high vantage point for a construction site. It keeps costs low, there is often power available and there is plenty of height to give a fantastic overview. We have experience liaising with 3rd parties, including common concerns such as how much power do the cameras use, what will that cost etc.

Tripod

Sometimes, there just simply isn’t anything to mount it to on site. We have a tried and tested scaffold tripod design, which we can install in a few hours – it is self-supporting without any foundations to be dug in or impact to services etc. Crucially it can also be moved if a site is changing constantly, and you can’t find anywhere to put it and so you may want something more adaptable.

Cabins

Site cabins whether they are single or multiple stories high give a great location to put your time lapse camera. They have power supplies, and mounting points giving a simple and quick install method that is often in place for the majority of the works.

‘Unusual ones’

We have worked with some diverse sites and have experience coming up with solutions for even the most difficult locations. A few stand out examples:

  • 4x cameras on each corner of a tower crane.
  • Suction mounted to the office window of the Metropolitan police headquarters.
  • Civil works for a 15m wind down column.
  • Floating steel mast overlooking a solar farm.

The installation costs vary primarily based on the number of cameras and the complexity of the installation. If the installation is more intricate, involving pole erection or other challenging tasks, it will naturally take longer and result in higher costs.

At Inside Out Group, we conduct a thorough review of the site and recommend the best camera positions based on factors such as the environment, movement of the sun, and any possible shelter against the elements.

Power

It seems obvious but our cameras will need some power – particularly as they may be running for years or more! There are a few options:

  • Permanent power – taken from a plug socket within a building or using 110V site power. We’re competent, qualified and experienced to work with a variety of power sources, including running our own armoured cables etc when needed.
  • Solar – For installations where permanent power isn’t available, we can fit one of our solar powered systems. These can run all year round, giving you the same high quality time lapse system without compromise.  
  • Battery – For short term installs of a few weeks, sometimes the easiest way is just to run it off a battery. This saves any additional work of running power or mounting solar panels – and it can run self-sufficient for up to 6 weeks.

Camera leasing, management and monitoring

Once the cameras are installed for your time lapse project, the ongoing costs are the mobile data usage for camera shooting and transfer of images, the software for clients to use and our daily camera checks and management. As well as leasing the camera system and equipment.

  1. Mobile Data: The camera systems incorporate a SIM card for mobile data. This operates the camera programming, the upload of images and transfer of images to the software used by our clients.
  2. Image and Film Software: All clients are given their own client login to the system portal. On this portal they are able to view the live feed to their camera, review the site / project footage, create an update film and download images and films.
  3. Daily Camera Checks: Our team check all camera systems on a daily basis and inform the client should there be any issue with the system. Our engineers will attend site for any camera fault. If the system suffers a fault from a 3rd party or a site issue, this repair visit is chargeable. If the fault is an issue with the system, the repair is not chargeable.
  4. Environmental Factors: During the camera leasing period, the camera system may face issues from environmental factors. Such as lack of sunlight for the solar panel or weather conditions which causes debris / dirt on the system screen. For these instances we liaise with the site team and attend site to carry out a battery swap or camera clean.

Taking these maintenance costs into consideration when planning your time lapse project is important to ensure the quality of your videos.  

Camera removal

Upon the completion of your time lapse project, the removal of the cameras becomes necessary. The costs associated with this include:

  1. Professional Camera Removal: To ensure a smooth and hassle-free process, it is advisable to have a professional accredited engineer handle the camera removal. They have the expertise and knowledge required to safely dismantle the camera system and remove it from the site.
  2. Costs of Camera Removal: The cost for camera removal typically amounts to £350, plus any additional mileage charges. This fee covers the services provided by the accredited engineer, including their travel to the site, access to the installation area, and the actual removal of the cameras.

Post-Production Costs

After capturing the time lapse footage, the post-production phase begins. The key factors affecting post-production costs include:

  1. Frequency of Video Delivery: Consider how often you would like to receive the edited time lapse videos. It could be interim videos throughout the project or a final compilation at the end. During the quoting process, we will agree on the number of videos to be provided, ensuring that your expectations are met. Of course, the more videos you require, the more time and therefore cost is incurred.
  2. Length of Videos: The desired length of each video is a factor that influences post-production costs. Longer videos may require more extensive editing and production work, as well as additional time for rendering and finalising the footage. It’s important to communicate your preferences regarding video length to ensure the editing process aligns with your expectations.
  3. Editing and Production Fee: Inside Out Group has an in-house editing and film production experts, and they are available at a rate of £300 per day. This fee covers the expertise of our team and includes the creation of bespoke music tailored to enhance the overall visual experience of the time lapse videos. As a rough estimation, we assume one day of editing for every 12 weeks of footage captured.
  4. Delivering the Finished Footage: Once the editing and production process is complete, we ensure the smooth delivery of the finished footage to you. This can be done through various means, such as online file sharing platforms or physical delivery methods. The delivery method will be discussed and agreed upon based on your preferences and convenience. Physical delivery as you would expect costs more than file sharing.

By understanding the considerations and costs associated with post-production, you can effectively plan and budget for the final stages of your time lapse videography project.

Optional extras

In addition to the core time lapse videography services some time lapse companies including Inside Out Group offer additional services to enhance your final film production. These extras increase the overall cost of the time lapse project but can greatly enhance the final visual experience. They include the following:

  1. Photography: Still photography can be a valuable addition to your final film production. Our experienced photographers can capture stunning images that showcase specific stages or key moments of your project. These high-quality photographs can be integrated into the final film as well as being used for promotional purposes.
  2. Aerial Filming: For a unique perspective, consider incorporating drone filming into your time lapse project. Our skilled team can use drones to capture captivating aerial shots that highlight the progress and scale of your project. These aerial perspectives can add a fresh and engaging visual element to your final film production.
  3. On The Ground Filming: To add dynamic real-time footage as well as slow motion to your time lapse film use on the ground filming techniques. Inside Out Group can capture key moments of your project in unique ways.
  4. Enhanced Final Film Production: By incorporating these optional extras, you can enhance the overall quality and visual appeal of your final film production.

While these optional extras may increase the overall cost of your time lapse videography project, they offer a valuable opportunity to create a captivating, multiple angle, and comprehensive final film production.

If you are interested in adding any of these optional extras to your project or want more information on how they can enhance your time lapse videography, our team at Inside Out Group is available to assist you.

Type of Provider and its Impact on Cost

When considering the cost of a time lapse video project, an essential factor is the type of provider you choose. Providers can vary, ranging from freelancers with limited overheads to companies with accreditations to work in specific industries such as construction or rail. Additionally, the extent to which a provider undertakes the work in-house or outsources certain activities can also affect the overall cost.

Freelancers vs. Accredited Companies: Working with a freelancer can sometimes be cost-effective due to their potentially lower overheads. However, it’s important to consider the limitations that freelancers may have in terms of equipment, expertise, and necessary accreditations or certifications required to work in certain industry environments.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the cost of a time lapse video is influenced by several key factors. These include equipment costs, installation complexity, maintenance requirements, camera removal expenses, post-production charges, and optional extras. Additionally, the type of provider chosen whether it’s a freelancer or an accredited company, can impact the overall cost.

By considering all these aspects, you can better plan and budget for your time lapse videography project. Remember to consider the quality and expertise offered by the provider, as well as any necessary accreditations for specific industries. Overall, understanding and considering these various cost components will enable you to create a captivating and successful time lapse video within your budget.

Inside Out Group for your Time Lapse Filming and Photography

We provide specialised time lapse filming and photography services for projects across the UK. Our in-house team is fully CSCS accredited, and all staff hold Personal Track Safety for the rail industry, and as a company we hold Construction Line Gold, Risqs Audited and Verified, Builders Profile Premium and ISO9001 accreditations ensuring high-quality and professional work, every time.

Contact us to discuss your next project.

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