How Much Do Music Videos Cost
When an artist approaches us and asks how much a music video cost, the better question to ask is how much money you have to work with. The good news is that artists continue to see the value in creating music videos, and the even better news is that music video production costs have dropped dramatically since their peak in the 1980s, but the reality is that music video production still requires resources, and those resources continue to be expensive.
1. What is your idea?
Some video production companies have in-house creative services departments with a team of writers, directors, and designers who can develop and storyboard a variety of creative options for you to choose from. Obviously, this is not free.
Some artists already have a conceptual idea of what they want and simply need help transforming their vision into a motion picture. When it comes down to it, a great music video begins with a great idea. If you can't come up with a creative concept on your own, you should hire someone who can.
2. Sets, Costumes, and Props
These elements determine the ascetics of your video.
Good locations can be costly – and frequently require pre-existing relationships. Even free locations usually end up costing money in the end. The use of a friend's cabin may require the use of location vehicles, crew transportation, insurance, lighting, generators, waivers and cleanup. Some music videos are shot in dozens of different locations. Make a budget for yourself.
Props and wardrobe, as well as the prop masters and stylists who put it all together, are critical in creating a video with a consistent and stylized appearance. Do you want your music video to look like it belongs in a Hollywood film? No problem, if you have the budget it can happen.
There is a world of difference between videos shot on consumer-grade cameras and videos shot with professional cinema cameras, great lighting, dollies, steadicams, and other high-end equipment.
There are numerous professional options available, ranging from 6K camera packages and lighting kits to a wide range of other incredible production equipment. But all of this stuff is expensive to rent, maintain, power, and insure. The higher the cost, the better the image, and the better the gear.
4. Cast and Crew
A great music video requires a large number of talented individuals.
In best cases, at least three to seven production professionals are involved in a shoot. On larger projects, the crew may number twenty or more people. These individuals are paid on a per-day basis, and the project must be well-managed to avoid cost overage.
Even if you invest in the best equipment and post-production facilities, if you don't have the right people operating them, the tools are useless.
Is your concept one that requires actors, dancers, or a cast of thousands? Someone has to cast them, rehearse them, and compensate them. Volunteers are wonderful, but they are frequently unreliable.
Editing costs are determined by factors like the complexity of the concept, the need for special effects, lighting design, number of cameras, the amount of footage shot, and continuity issues.
The post-production phase of a music video can take weeks depending on the complexity of the project. Plan and budget for it accordingly.
At the end of the day, money (or a lack of) will not, and should not, deter your creative ambitions. People who are ambitious will always find a way to make things happen. That is what it takes to be successful in the music industry.
Our recommendation: Create a reasonable production budget for your music video, then hire a good video production company and let them figure out the best way to allocate your resources based on their expertise and your goals.
Do you want to make a great music video? Contact us we would love to work with you.