music video cost


how much does a music video cost?How much does a music video cost ? Sometimes I really don’t know how to answer this question without scratching my head and looking a little baffled. Some clients look at me with a poker face thinking that,  I am either resisting to give them a price or, that we are too expensive. The truth is that every song, every artist and genre needs a different creative approach and visual treatment. I know how much a music video cost in 2017 ! Music Videos go from  $10,000 to $200,000 as an average (with some being made for 2,000,000 or more) Yes, $10,000 is really cheap and $200,000 is not much if you compare it to Music Videos that were made years ago. The Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson music video for the song “Scream” was $7,000,000. Madonna’s music video for “Express Yourself ” was $5,000,000. Think those are big numbers ? Yes, but the results were amazing! The artist and director had the freedom to paint on the film canvas all the visuals, themes and stories they envisioned  for these Music Videos. For them, it was not really about cost, but creating the ultimate piece for these artist and their songs.

Director : Cesar Perez

Some Music Videos are filmed with a very small crew of no more than 5 crew members.

The variables that affect a music video cost are many, so let’s get to it !  You can film a Music Video in a park with a Smart Phone, or you can film it in a luxury yacht with three top of the line ARRI Alexa cameras, a helicopter and a crew of twenty people. Many of our Music Videos are filmed with a very small crew of no more than 5 crew members. Some clients have a budget to pay for a larger crew  with the expensive cinema cameras, cine lenses and top of the line accessories. How much does a Music Video cost? Continue reading the world is your oyster !

Director : Cesar Perez

The more crew members, the more it will cost

First we need some basic information from the artist in order to figure what the visuals for the music video will be. We always listen to the song, not one but countless times in order to understand the meaning, the artist statement, etc. In one of the meetings, the director and talent will discuss the look and feel for the Music Video. Storyboards and shot-lists are created in order to inform everyone involved about the angles, scenes, shots and the visual approach for the music video. One of the most important decisions is crew size. It is very important to know how many crew positions you will have in your music video. The more crew members, the more it will cost. If you plan to shoot the artist with a group of dancers in several locations, you have to go with a big crew. The artist and the dancers would probably need hair and make-up, costumes, etc. Don’t forget that a choreographer is a most for a dance Music Video. The Director of Photography will more likely suggest a crane to get nice swaying shots from above, or steady cam to follow the artist and the dancers. When you are filming only one performer in a single location, you can get by with a small crew. The cost of a Music Video mostly depends on the concept, sets, art direction, camera package, lighting , crew size, script and concept for the music video.

There are always ways in which you can cut corners.

Music Videos can be very conceptual, that gives the director freedom to create.Sometimes minimum resources are sufficient to create an outstanding music video .The most important thing is to have a talented artist, a great performance and very creative director (with a small crew) to help him achieve the final task : Create a music video that sells the artists and the song.

Director : T. Demos

Cost / Quality balance with the famous “Film Production Triangle”.

Keep in mind that with a small crew, everything will take more time and a well developed plan in order to make it happen. For example, some productions don’t  know about the importance of a good A.D. (Assistant Director). They simple forget to hire one. He/she is the crew member that helps the Director and runs the set. When you don’t have one, the Director has to run everything on the shoot day , as well as staying creative and directing the talents, camera set-ups, etc. The Assistant Director is the one that manages the set and schedules among other things. He basically carries the weigh so that the director can concentrate on directing. Another key position is the Producer. He will make sure that locations, permits, insurance and equipment are secured and ready for the shoot day. One crew member that will certainly make or break the video is the Director of Photography (D.P) He/she is in charge of the camera and lighting department. The main duty of the D.P is to compose every shot with the right camera angle, camera movement and lighting. The right camera angle and lighting is good when helps the audience get immersed in the story. Director and D.P work together as one unit composing every shot.

 Every single crew position is an important piece of the process.

I like to compare a film set to a very sophisticated cookie factory. Every single crew position is an important machine in the factory. When you don’t have all the necessary machines (crew, equipment, etc) you are missing parts of the factory. Not having all the pieces will result in going over schedule, expending more money, not getting all the shots, etc.  The best way to explain the cost-quality balance is with the famous “Film Production Triangle”. It is one of those things you learn in film-school and never forget. When you have (2) corners of the triangle the third is compromised. Ex: If you want your music video  to be good and need to shoot it fast , it will not be cheap. If you want it to be cheap and good, it will take more time to shoot.

how does a music video cost

I will stop rambling and get to the point in question. How much does a music video cost ? Our music Video Production Packages start at $ 4,000 and that includes :1 day of shooting  / 1 filming location / Alexa or Red Camera / Lights / Grip and a professional crew.  Once again, the more resources  you put into a Music Video Production the better. The music videos presented in this post  were shot with a small crew and didn’t cost a fortune.

Director : David Liz

 Some details we need to know.

Do we need more than 1 day to film? Do you want to film in more than one location? Do we need to hire actors? Do you need extras? Do you need a make-up artist? Do you want us to shoot with a specific camera? Are there any animals involved or animal handlers? Do you need dancers? Do you need a rain machine? Do we need to film in a Sound Stage ? Do you need complex VFXs ? Don’t  get discouraged after everything I said above.  Frankly, we can work with you if the budget allows for a camera, lights and a small crew on a location of your choice.

How much does a music video cost ?

Call us at 855-642-3456 . We will be happy to help you produce your next Music Video.


One Comment

  1. Octavio Perez-Beato

    I is a comprehensive information about the topic. An excellent article.

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