Do you want to produce a music video and want to know the cost breakdown? If YES, here are 7 factors that affect the cost of making a professional music video. The total cost to make a professional music video in the United States can range from $20,000 to $500,000 and up. Note there are plenty of music videos each year in the seven – figure budget range, but those are exceptions in the overall market.
Music video production budgets normally cover concept development, storyboards, pre – production, casting, on-camera talent, choreography, rehearsals, location fees, props, costumes, production equipment, production crew, post – production, editing, motion graphics, visual effects, colour correction, video encoding, and digital delivery.
If your budget is on the lower end of the above mentioned range, you will have to forego fancy visual effects, expensive locations and all the bells and whistles that big dollars can buy. However, a creative production company might still be able to convey the essence of your story in a powerful way.
But if your budget is on the higher end of the above mentioned range, then the sky is the limit in terms of wonderful creative things you can do: Mind – bending concepts, name – brand directors, jaw – dropping locations, complex visual effects, elaborate stunts, car chases, and celebrity talent – you name it.
For artists who are really trying to stand out from the exhausting music industry with music videos, higher production values can offer an amazing bang-for-your-buck, relative to other ways you could get this same level of attention.
Nonetheless, here are the primary factors that will influence the cost of music video production budget in the United States:
7 Factors That Determine How Much It Cost to Make a Professional Music Video?
Table of Content
1. Concept Creation
Normally artists already have a general idea of the type of visuals that they want in their music video but some are willing to leave it to the production studio to write the script, direct the filming, and develop the concept. The extent of development as well as the number of support staff working on the development will once again depend upon the all important budget.
Creative thinking” services such as scriptwriting can cost from $400 to several thousand dollars if you are looking for an award – winning scriptwriter. Otherwise, you can sketch out your primary vision and also attach some video references of music videos you liked to illustrate that idea. Normally, that would be more than enough for a music video director to follow your direction.
2. Talent Fees. Principals And Extras
It’s pertinent to note that professional talent fees may vary from $300 to $800 per one shooting day with additional 20 percent as a talent agency fees. Background people, so called Extras, are usually more affordable. Howbeit, you are still expected to pay at least $50 to $100 per day compensation.
Some of the talent agencies will make you sign the retainer which requires you to secure food on the set. So if you are planning some big crowd or party or music concerts scenes for your music video, you will have to do the math first. Maybe, you can invite your friends of fans from a Facebook page that will come over and take part in the shooting.
3. Venue/Filming Permits
The venue can make or break a music video. If you want an exotic look or even many different looks, the venues can quickly affect the remaining budget. Few venues are free, and even the free ones typically require insurance, generators, lighting, rental equipment, construction, and cleanup.
All of this costs money and will need an adequate budget to ensure completion. You venue can also be friendly businesses or your work office, your parent’s house, public parks, and recreations, other friendly facilities etc. Paying high price for the location permits for your music video production in Los Angles can be crucial for your final budget.
4. Film Crew Costs
Note that music video makers will provide you with the crew costs and fees based on your concept. Have it in mind there is no recipe set in stone but the least head count for a music video production day is approximately 4 people. Director of Photography, Cameraman or Camera Assistant (sometimes DP also can be a cameraman), Gaffer, and PA.
You might need makeup and hairstyle expert. If your music video requires running a specific heavy gear like dollies, big sliders or cranes – technical operators should be considered as additional production unit. As well as the drone operators, this is expected to have a special permit, basically, a pilot license of some sort.
The good news is that in 2023, professional grade equipment is cheaper than ever. It is possible to film music videos in ways that simply were not possible for a fraction of the cost.
However, there is still a noticeable difference between the Hollywood grade equipment and budget constrained video shoots. The budget will definitely affect the final quality of the footage simply because it is unrealistic to expect a music video with a budget of $3,000 to be filmed on a Red Epic ($60,000.00) camera.
6. Travel, Parking, Food Etc.
Maybe you eventually found a beautiful place for the music video production and all is set for the full day of filming, then count a number of people involved in the shooting, film crew, talents, yourself. All those people have to commute to the spot somehow and have at least a lunch and water supply enough for an efficient working day.
7. Post Production and Music Video Editing
This is where and when the magic really happens and scattered pieces become a solid product. The cost of the post – production in Los Angeles can be almost equal to video production expenses due to the specific of the creative process.
Video editors are meant to determine a unique style that will make your music video shine bright and make it last throughout the video. Various visual and sound effects used in that type of the video, syncing the music and the life action footage, creating these tiny accents and working hard on the details are what make the music video a gem.
Many artistes are able to produce quality music videos in the $2,000 – $20,000 range. Budgets are known to directly affect the end result.
At the lower end of the range, the video will probably be a single location, outdoors or indoors at a venue that is not a professional studio or built set, with a single cameraman, no special effects, no fancy props, etc. But at the higher end of this range the video could include professional models, professional dancers, multiple locations, aerial drone video, makeup artists, hairstylists, and lighting and equipment assistants.