This is a question we get asked a lot. Many up and coming artist (even established ones), don’t know the cost of creating a music video. We thought we would put this guide together to help inform people on what goes into producing a good quality music video and what the budget gets spent on.
Pre Production –
It all starts here. The pre-production phase consists of the production company and artist/management discussing what they’re trying to achieve, what style and feel they want the music video to have, and how much they are looking to spend. The director will then produce a treatment outlining everything the music video will entail.
Once everyone is happy and the treatment has been approved, the producer will get to work. Using the treatment and budget, he/she will work alongside the director, managing the costs making sure everything is practical. The director will cut and change making creative decisions but will be guided by the producer so the project doesn’t go over budget.
Why Did That Video Cost So Much? –
This is a statement a lot of video production companies hear all the time. Why did that Drake’s music video cost 200K, etc? Music videos often cost way more than what you would expect. Everything soon starts to add up.
Here is a list of just “some” of the costs that a music video needs:
- Camera hire
- Lighting hire
- Grip hire
- Steadicam operator
- Props/specialist hire
- Van hire
- Travel expenses (for everyone involved)
- Makeup artist
- Set design/art department
This list proves that the costs can get pretty big and this isn’t even taking into consideration the film crews fee. There is still the director, DOP, AC, and producer to be paid. The cost can also multiply fast, for example, let’s say the artist wants to shoot in a different country. The travel expenses can easily double the budget.
The Good Side –
It’s not all bad, we live a world where the quality of video cameras vs the price has come down drastically. It’s much more realistic for DOPs to work at a lower cost nowadays. They have invested a lot less in their equipment and mixing this with a creative idea and asking your friends for a few freebies, and you would be surprised at how professional low budget music videos are starting to look.
Here is a really good video with a Hollywood producer breaking down different budget music videos. You can really see how the budget affects the outcome of the video.
How Much Do Music Videos REALLY Cost | Challenging a Hollywood Producer
Where to get started? –
If you’re looking to shoot your first music video or just step up your production quality, I suggest the best place to start would be finding a production company. Find a portfolio you like and either drop them a message or give them a call.