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 DSLR style cameras which are regularly used in all types of productions from blockbuster movies, commercials, TV shows and music videos.

Apart from expenses of camera equipment and lenses (which can easily cost £500-£5000 each), other critical items 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 will as cost of upgrading and repairs which can add up to many £1000 per year.

The next biggest consideration at the start of a music video project is planning and crew you require for filming, lighting and managing all elements of production as well as time to plan and prepare concept, locations, cast, props, costumes, set designers and logistics lighting, transport, food parking etc.

This planning or pre production stage can easily take weeks of emailing cast crew, calling or visiting locations, planning logistics call sheets and chasing up props etc. I have listed some of main jobs for each stage of production process below with key roles and industry rates.

After filming you will then have 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

Production, Filming

  • 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

  • Cutting and sequencing footage
  • Edit FX, titles and graphics
  • Music and sound recording and mix down
  • Colour grading, after effects

Final Delivery

  • 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