Music Video Budget- 11 Factors to Consider

A HDV camera recording some musicians on stage: Music video budget
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The cost of creating a great music video can vary depending on numerous factors beyond the level of expertise of the producers you hire. Technically, a music video budget can be as low or as high as you want it to be. Understanding the factors that influence music video production costs can help you identify areas where you can potentially cut corners. The idea is to save money without jeopardizing the overall quality of your videos.

As such, you can create a DIY music video using a shoestring budget of as little as $300. You could also opt to create a high-end music video and spend 100k – 300k. Moreover, you can go for a low-budget option and pay between $5,000 and $10,000. Your budget will dictate the blend of film experts, cameras, lenses, props, and locations you can afford. To avoid frustration, simply don’t expect champagne taste on a beer budget.

  • Introduction
  • 11 Top Factors That Influence your Music Video Budget
  • 4 Tips to Ensure Your Music Video Shoot Is a Complete Success
  • Conclusion 

11 Top Factors That Influence Your Music Video Budget

It remains imperative to understand that a music video budget structure can significantly change the final product. On the bright side, creating music videos is fun, irrespective of the costs you are prepared to incur. Remember that your final product is a powerful marketing tool you can use to put yourself out there. Hence, it is best to invest in producing an outstanding visual piece of art accompanied by great music that can entertain your fans.

Even though you get what you pay for, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg. Here are factors to consider to help you create a reasonable budget for your music video.

Script & Storyboard Creation

First, you need to envision what your music video should look like at the end. Think about the activities you will do during the video. Additionally, consider the message you want to send out to your audience and how you want to send it. Creative thinking services can easily cost several thousand dollars if you’re going to hire an award-winning scriptwriter. Fortunately, for about $400, you can hire a qualified expert to sketch out your music video vision.

The quality of the storyboard creation services you choose may make or break your music video. Take your time to shop around and request prospective candidates to attach a few video references. You need someone who can vividly paint the picture your music directors should follow to achieve your objectives.

Location

Based on the script from your scriptwriter, you can now choose an ideal location to shoot your music video. The right site will ensure the smooth execution of your preferred concept. Even though music video shooting often happens at a professional soundstage, you could consider various other outstanding locations. It is, however, necessary to note that some areas are out of bounds or impractical. For instance, shooting in public spaces may not be illegal, although it may be hectic or simply impossible to avoid capturing random onlookers.

Furthermore, you can’t just film on private property —this is illegal. You will need to seek permission from a property owner before you can film on a privately-owned space. Unless you are prepared to shoot and scoot during filming, it is better to stick to a professional soundstage if you have a tight music video budget.

Location Fees & Filming Permits

Location fees can drastically increase the cost of your music videos. If you have your eyes set on a privately owned space, you may have to part with some cash before shooting your films. You may also need to acquire a filming permit to use public parks or recreational facilities. Fortunately, you also have the option of settling for locations that you can use at no extra cost. It could be your work office, your home, or your parent’s house.

The filming location plays a fundamental role in defining the overall feel of the final clip. If possible, you can choose no-cost sites to trim down your budget. Consider saving the extra funds for other essential filming expenses.

Music Video Budget: Extras/ Talent Fees

Unless you are Childish Gambino, don’t try the sorry attempt of being the only person featured in a video. Such a move is likely not to work for you, especially if you are just getting started in your music career. Including other characters in your music video makes it easier to execute your music video concept. You can always tag along with your friends and family, ready to be featured in a video that will hopefully go viral. Alternatively, you can spend some cash on hiring extras that can smoothly fit into the concept of your video.

A good reason not to be stingy with talent fees is that professional extras are likely to take the job more seriously than your hood buddies. When you are footing the bill and paying top dollar to keep the best producer and a camera crew around, the last thing you need is for your so-called buddies to fail to show up on time or fail to dress up accordingly. Those minor glitches can turn your expensive video into a dingy-looking clip that may scare away your fans. Because the stakes are high, it is better to hire professional background people you can count on to show up prepared for the occasion. As you create a budget for the extras, also remember to include food and refreshment expenses.

Director/ Producer

In case you are wondering where the big monies in a music video budget go, well, they go towards retaining the best music directors or producers. The creativity and levels of expertise of your director of choice can make or break your video. Therefore, it is in your best interests to retain the most outstanding specialist you can find. Hiring the best there is in the field is worth it!

To be on the safe side, take your time to scrutinize various professionals’ credentials and track records before depositing a retainer check. Check out the previous works of different directors to evaluate their levels of experience. Additionally, make sure you choose someone whose style of filming blends well with your music video concept.

Film Crew 

Your producer will provide an estimate of the film crew costs and fees depending on your music video concept. The crew cost is not usually permanent. Typically, it will highly depend on how you want to execute your idea. Roughly, the crew should consist of at least four people. The team includes the director of photography (cinematographer), a production assistant, a gaffer, and a cameraman. 

Even though the cinematographer may stand in as the main cameraman, he is likely to require a camera assistant. Again, depending on your music video budget and the concept you wish to execute, you may also require technical operators, such as drone operators, as part of your production unit.

Cameras and Lenses

Hiring a cinematographer and cameraman is one thing, and getting suitable cameras and lenses is another. Even though the director of photography is likely to have their equipment for the job, you may need to buy or hire more equipment, especially if you need a top-quality music video. Be sure to discuss this with the cinematographer to ensure you only spend money on the necessary equipment.

Props and Rentals

Here’s the deal, great music videos don’t just happen. You need to have a reasonable music video budget that also includes expenditure for props and rentals. For instance, if your music talks about high-end life, you may want to have a few high-end cars, bikes or boat features in the film. Moreover, you may require special insurance coverage for the rentals for your peace of mind.

Again, it may sound like a good idea to incur no costs and instead borrow your friend’s car. However, this may also mean that your friend has to put up with the inconvenience of letting you borrow their car for a few days. Sometimes, it’s simply more convenient for everyone if you spend a small portion of your budget on rentals from licensed companies.

Travel & Parking Costs

As you set your music video budget, don’t forget to include travel and parking costs. Especially if you intend to drive to a unique location away from your home or town, remember that your entire team, including the music director, film crew, extras, and yourself, need to commute to your chosen spot. Additionally, you will highly likely spend the entire day on-site This makes it crucial to make proper arrangements for food and refreshment.

Music Video Budget: Post Production

Post-production mainly involves video editing, and this is where all the magic happens. Your producer will likely demand that you shoot the video several times and make a few changes here and there with each shot. All these scattered pieces will be analyzed during post-production and put together to make one solid, professional-looking video.

Video editing is an intense creative process. The editor must adhere to a unique style that will make your video stand out. This unique style must be constant all through the video, not to mention that it must enhance the execution of your music video concept. Furthermore, the video editor must ensure that the music and live-action footage are in sync. All the details, including the sound effects, must be perfect for ensuring the final clip a true gem.

Hair & Makeup Artist

Nothing is as important as ensuring you look your best when shooting your music videos. A sweaty nose may not necessarily be a turn-off to your die-hard fans. However, we can all agree that good grooming is guaranteed to earn you some extra fans. You will need a hairstylist and a professional makeup artist. These are two distinct expects who play different roles. However, they must work together to give you the correct look and feel.

The hair and makeup budget should also extend to other people who will feature in your video. It may include models, dancers, and extras. Again, depending on your music video concept, you may also need to hire a wardrobe stylist. What counts is how everyone featured in your music video looks -more so if you are hoping to get on top of the charts.

4 Tips to Ensure Your Music Video Shoot Is a Complete Success

Whether you are working with a low music video budget or looking to go overboard and spend several thousand dollars, your efforts will make your fans appreciate your talent on a different level. A video allows your audience to take a peek inside your head and enjoy an exceptional artistic experience. 

Here are a few simple tips that can help ensure your music video shoot is a complete success.

Develop a Strong Artistic Vision

Using a video, you can utilize words and visuals to take your fans on a fun trip to a place they have never been before. Whether your clip involves live performance, your experiences in life, or any other concept you choose, make sure you execute a solid vision that has no gaps. Take the time to draw a storyboard and ensure your end product with be a seamless creative piece.

Find Your “Wow” Factor

Any creative will tell you for free that not everything you can put in a video is gossip-worthy. Today, it takes intensive labor and crazy shoots to make a name within the highly competitive industry. Sometimes, what truly captures fans is not the storyline of a video but the insanity in your artistic vision.

Finding your brand of “wow” is not easy, especially if you lack the right team in your corner. You need a highly creative producer, cinematographer, and video editor to shoot something awe-striking.

Have a Realistic Budget

It is not necessary to spend a fortune to create an awesome music video that can go viral. However, you must understand that with a reasonable music video budget, it is much easier to get the attention of millions of people globally. Investing in the right wardrobe and hiring stellar dancers are just some of the necessary expenses you must not overlook.

Trust Your Filmmaker

 It takes research and patience to find the right filmmaker. Do some serious detective work and find experts who are worth the salt. Additionally, check out their past work and find out whether they can bring your vision to life. If everything about a specific filmmaker checks out, trust them to do their job and do it right. Micromanaging your filmmaker may only make them refrain from introducing fresh ideas. On the other hand, a bit of freedom will give them the drive to spruce up your video and turn it into a true gem.

Focus On What Matters!

Whether you have a small, generous or huge music video budget, you must keep your eyes set on what’s important—finding the right production team. Although experts in the industry work to earn a living, they also enjoy doing a great job. Even with an underfunded project, they will still make the most out of an opportunity to create something authentic, engaging, and personal.

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