The costs for creating a professional music video have definitely dropped over the last 10 years with developments in production cameras and amazing video quality and flexibility offered from 4k DSLR cameras regularly used in all types of productions from movies, commercials, TV and music videos.
This means professional quality is more accessible but doesn’t mean you don’t need to pay for all the extra equipment, locations, crew, actors and costs that make your music video really stand out. On average the most popular music videos you see most will cost anything from £10,000 – £50,000 but can easy get into the millions for biggest artists.
One of the most important aspects of a stand out music video is the concept and locations that fits the style and feel of the music and adds impact to the song or lyrics. This can range from calming beauty of nature and open spaces to gritty industrial, urban locations, interiors and buildings. In general it is cheaper to film outdoors in public spaces as hiring any interior locations, houses, warehouse spaces can add £1000s. However then you have to consider weather, lighting and power access etc.
Luckily we have a photo gallery and vast knowledge of great free locations and own plenty of location lighting equipment running on battery or remote power sources for location shoots in the middle of nowhere.
Apart from expenses of camera equipment and lenses (which can easily cost £5K-£20K each), other critical equipment are lighting, stabilisers ( gimbal, Steadicam, camera dolly, tripods) as well as drones. You then need to consider expense of purchase, upgrading, training, licenses and insurance for all these items as well as cost of upgrading and repairs which alone can add up to many £1000s per year.
After the planning or pre production stage, which can take weeks to plan and prepare concept, locations, cast, lighting design, props, costumes, set designs and logistics, transport, food, parking etc. The next consideration is planning the crew you require to get the best for filming, lighting and managing all elements of production as well as keeping schedule on time.
Apart from artist and cast on the day of filming you will generally need camera crew, ( DOP, camera operator, camera assistant) Director ( plus assistants ) Gaffer ( lighting assistants and sparks ) and Hair Make up, styling or wardrobe. Below are listed some of main tasks for each stage of production process with key job roles and industry rates.
After filming you will then have people to look after post production and editing, color correction, post-production, motion graphics, visual effects, video encoding and digital delivery.
Planning, Pre Production
- Storyboarding and concept development
- Research creative approach
- Visual concepts, Camera techniques
- Sourcing locations, venues, casting models, actors, dancers, make up artists. Finding props, cameras, lighting, specialist equipment
- Set dressing, decoration and props
- Lighting set up, coloured led tubes, lasers, disco balls, globos, smoke machines.
- Hair and make up for artists
- Filming, B roll and behind the scenes
Post Production, Editing
- Editing and sequencing footage
- Edit FX, titles and graphics
- Music and sound recording and mix down
- Colour grading, after effects
- Initial render
- Amendments approvals
- Export and optimization for online media use or broadcast.
Key roles and Industry day rates based on 8 hour days:
Director : £600
Overseeing the filming, working with cast and actors on concept, script development advising characters on roles, acting, positions on set to get what he wants to see on camera.
Producer : £400
Develops the project from the initial idea, planning required locations, logistics and arranges the financing as well as manage the different teams involved on set.
Director of Photography : £500
Responsible for capturing the mood on film or video. The DoP must pay attention to lighting and the camera’s technical capabilities to achieve the right visual or atmospheric qualities
Camera Operator : £300
First AC Camera assistant : £200
Gaffer/ Lighting : £300
Works with director or DOP to achieve the lighting look and feel each scene requires. They will guide grip and electrician when required on where and what lights are required for each shot.
Hair and Makeup : £100 – £250
Wardrobe/ stylist : £200 – £500
Models, actors + dancers : £50-150 half day
Locations and extra costs:
Photo studio hire : £25hr – £500 day
Music Studio / rehearsal space : £25 – £300 day
Apartment / hotel room : £100 – 300 night
Warehouse space / luxury apartment : £500 – 1000 day
Car hire : £100 – 400 German Sports car or £500 – 1000 day Italian Supercar
Small speed Boat / Motor Yacht : 50hr – £900 half day