Unlocking the Value: How Much Do Video Studios Really Cost?

In today’s digital age, the demand for high-quality video content is higher than ever. From corporate videos to creative films, having a professional studio to shoot in can make a significant difference in the final product. However, many clients are often taken aback by the cost of hiring a professional video studio. Understanding these costs can help clarify why studios charge what they do and why investing in a professional studio is worthwhile. At Tannery Film Studios, we believe in transparency, so we’re breaking down the costs associated with running a professional video studio.

Converting a Warehouse into a Studio

Tannery Film studios wide
Tannery Film studios studio 1

One of the significant expenses of creating a video studio is converting a space, often a warehouse, into a suitable filming environment. This process involves extensive sound treatment and structural modifications.

Sound Treatment

Sound treatment is crucial for any video studio to ensure high-quality audio recording. Converting a warehouse into a video studio often requires:

  • False Ceilings: Installing a false ceiling can help control sound reflections and reduce noise from external sources. This involves materials and labour costs, which can quickly add up. The installation of a false ceiling is not a simple task; it requires precision and expertise to ensure it effectively improves the acoustics of the space. Additionally, false ceilings often need to be made of specific materials that enhance sound absorption, which can further increase costs.
  • Rock wool Insulation: Filling the ceiling and walls with rock wool insulation helps to absorb sound and prevent external noise from interfering with recordings. This material is very effective but also relatively expensive. Rock wool is chosen for its superior soundproofing properties, but it requires professional installation to be effective. The cost of rock wool itself is high, and the installation process is labor-intensive, adding to the overall expense.
  • Acoustic Panels: Acoustic panels are essential for managing sound within the studio. These panels can be custom-made and installed in various areas to ensure optimal sound quality. The cost of acoustic panels varies depending on the materials used and the size of the area that needs to be covered. Custom panels, designed to fit the specific needs of the studio, can be particularly expensive, but they are crucial for achieving the best possible sound quality.

Structural Modifications

Other potential modifications include:

  • Shutter access: Adding vehicle access is a serious benefit to a video studio as it allows the load in of equipment and sets to be as easy as possible. For example, at Tannery Film Studios, both of our large spaces have shutter access which has meant that both studios have been able to be used as locations for large car shoots, technical workshops, and spaces that have housed extravagant set builds. Adding shutter access is not as straight forwards as you would think. Its important to have a shutter door that is built with acoustic properties in order to prevent road noise ruining your sound operators day.
  • Lighting Grid: Installing a lighting grid allows for flexible and efficient lighting setups, which is crucial for any professional shoot. A lighting grid needs to be robust and versatile, capable of supporting various lighting equipment configurations. The installation process is complex and requires careful planning and execution, further contributing to the overall cost.

The Cost of Electricity

Running a video studio involves significant electricity consumption, particularly due to the extensive lighting required in film production.


At our White Cove studio, we include six bicolour space lights within our hire, which are typically on all day when clients are present. These lights, designed to provide high-quality, consistent lighting, consume a lot of electricity. The cost of running these lights can be substantial, contributing to the overall cost of studio hire. Each light is specifically chosen for its ability to deliver the perfect illumination required for professional shoots. The continuous use of these lights, sometimes for 12 hours or more a day, significantly impacts the studio’s electricity bill.

Equipment Power

In addition to lighting, various pieces of equipment such as cameras, monitors, and DIT stations require power. Keeping these running efficiently and reliably is another aspect of the studio’s electricity usage that impacts costs. High-end cameras and monitors, essential for professional video production, consume considerable amounts of power. A Digital Imaging Technician’s station, often equipped with powerful computers and additional monitors, also contribute to the high electricity consumption. Maintaining an uninterrupted power supply is crucial, which means investing in power management systems further adds to the costs.

In today’s digital age, the demand for high-quality video content is higher than ever. From corporate videos to creative films, having a professional studio to shoot in can make a significant difference in the final product. However, many clients are often taken aback by the cost of hiring a professional video studio. Understanding these costs can help clarify why studios charge what they do and why investing in a professional studio is worthwhile. At Tannery Film Studios, we believe in transparency, so we’re breaking down the costs associated with running a professional video studio.

Studio 1
Studio 1 Power
Aston Martin

Staff Overheads

A professional video studio is not just about the space and equipment; it’s also about the people who ensure everything runs smoothly. Staff costs are a significant part of the overheads for a studio.

Studio Assistants and Managers

  • Studio Assistants: These are the hands-on team members who who will be on hand for any on-set needs. Their expertise ensures that shoots go smoothly and efficiently. Studio assistants are essential for maintaining the Studios and ensuring that everything is reset correctly and on time ready for the next booking. Our studio staff, including our assistants are film industry professionals and can be brought on set to fulfil crew duties as well as being your point of contact for anything studio related.
  • Studio Managers: Studio managers oversee the day-to-day operations, coordinate bookings, and ensure that all equipment and facilities are maintained. Their role is crucial in keeping the studio running effectively. A studio manager is responsible for the overall management of the studio, including scheduling, client relations, and problem-solving. Their experience and leadership are vital for maintaining a professional and efficient studio environment, as well as providing greater expertise in areas such as lighting, grip, & camera work.

Administrative Staff

Behind the scenes, administrative staff handle bookings, client communications, billing, and other essential tasks that keep the studio operational. Their work is vital for maintaining a professional service and ensuring client satisfaction. Administrative staff play a key role in the smooth operation of the studio, managing everything from initial inquiries to final invoicing. Their organisational skills and attention to detail are essential for providing a seamless experience for clients.

Studio 1- Shutter door looking onto the white cyc
TFS Studio 2 White Wall
Studio 3 at Tannery Film Studios

Hidden Costs

Beyond the obvious expenses, several potential hidden costs can arise, which clients might not initially consider.

Overtime Charges

One of the most common additional costs is for overtime. If clients use the studio beyond the agreed hours, overtime charges are typically added. This covers the additional time that staff need to be on hand and the extended use of facilities and equipment. Overtime charges are necessary to compensate for the extra hours worked by the staff and the additional wear and tear on the Studio and the equipment. Clients should be aware that going beyond the scheduled time can significantly increase the overall cost of the studio hire. Here at TFS we understand that striking kit can be time consuming, so we offer a 30 minute grace period at that end of the day before overtime gets applied. Other studios offer this as well but not all do so it is worth asking about prior to booking.

Electricity (Sometimes)

A cost that catches a lot of productions by surprise is precise electricity costs. A lot of studios will calculate how much electricity that you used and bill you the precise amount after your shoot day. Whilst we understand why other studios do this, we prefer to keep things simple at TFS so our electricity fee is baked into our day rate to help you with your initial budgeting (with the exception of virtual production days).

Repainting White Coves

Maintaining the pristine look of white cove studios is crucial for achieving professional-looking footage. However, this requires regular repainting, especially after shoots that involve a lot of movement or messy setups such as car shoots. The cost of repainting is an ongoing expense that studios must manage. At Tannery Film Studios, we take pride in maintaining our white cyclorama to the highest standards, ensuring it is always ready for the next shoot. Repainting the cove is a lengthy process that can involve pricey paint ranging from £50 per 5L can to over £100 depending on colour. It takes about 5-8 litres to repaint the floor (depending on how dirty it is) however when painting to a different colour such as chroma green, this can easily double to get a perfect finish.

Space Light Wear and Tear

Space lights are expensive and require regular maintenance and occasional replacement. The cost of keeping lights, and other gear in top condition is another factor that contributes to the overall cost of studio hire. Regular maintenance ensures that the equipment is always in optimal working condition, preventing any disruptions during shoots. However, this maintenance comes at a cost, as it often involves specialised technicians and sometimes replacing parts or entire pieces of equipment.

Utilities and Maintenance

Running a studio involves various utilities beyond electricity, such as water and internet. Additionally, regular maintenance of the building, including HVAC systems, plumbing, and general upkeep, is necessary to ensure a comfortable and functional environment for clients. The cost of utilities can add up quickly, especially when considering the need for high-speed internet for uploading and downloading large video files. Regular building maintenance is also crucial to provide a comfortable and professional environment, which clients expect from a premium studio like Tannery Film Studios.

Studio 1 Floorplan
Studio 2 Floorplan
Studio Floor Plan

Pricing Structure of Studios

Understanding the pricing structure of video studios can help you make informed decisions when choosing the right studio to suit your needs. Generally, the cost of hiring a studio depends on its size, level of soundproofing, and the type of studio.

Size-Based Pricing

  • Studios under 1000 sq ft: These smaller studios typically cost between £400 and £600 per day. Some studios in this size range may offer the option to be hired out hourly, providing flexibility for shorter shoots or smaller projects.
  • Studios between 1000 sq ft and 3000 sq ft: Studios within this size range generally fall within the £600 to £1250 price bracket. These studios offer more space for larger productions and more complex setups.
  • Studios larger than 3000 sq ft: For studios larger than 3000 sq ft, costs can go up to over £5000 per day. These larger spaces are ideal for extensive productions that require ample room for sets, equipment, and crew.

Soundproofing and Treatment

The level of soundproofing in a studio also significantly impacts its cost. A 100% soundproofed space can see up to a 50% increase in day rate compared to studios that are only sound treated. While a sound-treated studio, like those at Tannery Film Studios, still offers excellent sound quality, it cannot guarantee the absolute silence required for certain high-end productions. Therefore, clients needing perfection in sound isolation might find the higher cost of a fully soundproofed studio justified.

Types of Studios

Different types of studios come with varying costs:

  • Traditional Video Studios: These are generally priced based on size and amenities but provide a controlled environment for standard video production needs.
  • Virtual Production Stages: These advanced studios, equipped with cutting-edge technology for virtual sets and CGI integration, can cost north of £10,000 per day. The high cost is due to the sophisticated technology and expertise required to run such setups.

The Value of Professional Studios

While the costs of running a professional video studio can seem high, they are reflective of the value and quality that such a studio provides. Here’s why investing in a professional studio like Tannery Film Studios is worth it:

High-Quality Results

The sound treatment, professional lighting, and high-quality equipment available in a professional studio result in superior video and audio quality. This can make a significant difference in the final product, whether it’s a commercial, music video, or film. At Tannery Film Studios, we use top-of-the-line equipment and industry-standard soundproofing to ensure that every project meets the highest standards. The investment in high-quality infrastructure and equipment translates into better results for our clients, making the cost worthwhile.

Professional Environment

A professional studio provides a controlled environment where variables such as lighting and sound can be precisely managed. This is crucial for achieving the desired look and feel of the video, which can be much harder to achieve in less controlled settings. At Tannery Film Studios, we offer a professional and controlled environment that allows you to focus on your shoot and ensuring a perfect technical experience. Our white cyclorama, for instance, provides a versatile backdrop that can be adapted to various production needs, from corporate videos to creative video production.

Support and Expertise

The staff at a professional studio bring a wealth of experience and expertise. Their support can be invaluable, helping to solve problems quickly and ensuring that the production process is as smooth as possible. Our team at Tannery Film Studios includes experienced studio assistants, managers, and administrative staff who are dedicated to providing the best possible service. Their expertise and commitment to your positive experience ensure that every project runs smoothly, from initial setup to wrap.

Note: River Wey Studios was Re-branded to Tannery Film Studios at the end of 2023.


Understanding the costs associated with running a professional video studio helps to appreciate the value that such a studio offers. From extensive sound treatment and high electricity usage to the overheads for skilled staff and hidden costs, running a studio involves many expenses that contribute to the high-quality service provided.

At Tannery Film Studios, we strive to offer transparent pricing and exceptional value. By investing in our facilities and team, we ensure that our clients receive the best possible environment for their productions. We hope this breakdown clarifies why professional studios cost what they do and highlights the many benefits of choosing a dedicated studio space for your video or photography projects.

For more information about our services and facilities, please visit Tannery Film Studios.

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Ally Oliver