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Music Video Production Cost: What Does It Depend on and How to Calculate It?

Today we will talk about everything that concerns music video product costs. We will do our best to figure out all the most important factors and elements that go into calculating the budget and present some other valuable information while we are at it. We will discuss the average cost of music video production, the cost of music video production in terms of force majeure situations, the cost of video production per minute, and everything related to the topic of the budget of a music video.  

What the music video price may depend on  

What is the average price of music video production? The average music video production cost varies a lot. Low budget music video cost is somewhere around $20,000, and the stuff that you see on MTV’s is around $500,000, depending on various factors. So, as you can see, there is no single cost to shoot a music video. But what are these factors that influence music video production prices?   

Here are the three main things that the price of a music video may depend on.  

Technique  

The most essential thing that will determine the cost of a future music video is the idea behind it, and, based on that idea, you will then figure out all the needed elements that will go into it. Once you’ve got the grasp of the concept and the storyboard and wrote the script, figured out the production time, you then have to figure out all other technical aspects that go into creating a music video. Choose the direction, work with the director of photography, buy or rent production equipment, work with the crew, actors, extras, get all the needed stock footage, and use the services of a set designer or an animator to work on the video. Later on, during the post-production phase, you will have to work with editors, animators, narrators, etc.  

Talent  

The second important aspect that defines the cost of shooting a music video is the talent involved. The actors or presenters that you plan on using in your video play a big role in the final cost of the video. If you want to hire big-time actors, you will pay big-time money for their appearance in your video. This aspect of the cost of your music video is rather wide in its cost range. But just remember that there are tons of students and people that are passionate about the industry that will value the process and the opportunity to get their name out there more than getting paid a large pile of cash.  

Time  

This is also a very important aspect of music video production when it comes to figuring out the cost of it. The longer the shooting or editing process goes – the more you will have to pay to all the members of the crew that are involved. Thus, it is in your best interest to think over everything in advance so as not to stumble across a big issue that will inevitable prolonger the shooting process, and thus, steal money out of your pocket.  

So, how much does it cost to make a music video? Now that we know this and know what affects the music video cost, let’s talk about planning.

cost of music video production

How to properly plan your budget  

Now we are going to talk about everything that goes into the budget of a music video and figure out how to plan it.  

Concept planning  

Here’s the first part of the music video production cost planning. Here are the things that go into concept planning, which will affect the cost of the final product. First, you need to find the concept in your head. It will determine the overall direction of the video. You are going to have to define the concept, translate it to your crew so that everyone clearly understands the idea behind it, draw storyboards, lookbooks, and, if you are going to be in charge of it, write the script for the future video. This is the stage, during which you figure out the structure, the language, and the style of your video, and the better you can imagine in it in your head, the better you can translate it to your crew and actors – the better and more cohesive the final result will be.  

Strategy planning  

Then come such vital parts of music video production as working on the direction of the video, figuring out the duration of the future video, the location that it will be set in, the estimated production time, all the cameras and equipment that is needed to record the video, all the crew members that are needed for the video. You also need to begin the casting process, find your actors, find your extras (if they are needed), plan the shooting, make all the necessary arrangements, sign all the documents, think about the licensing, fees, etc. And, most importantly, you must have a music video production cost breakdown at this stage of production, an estimated budget.  

Pre-production  

It is a transitional process, during which you still do some planning and prepare everyone and everything for the actual shooting process. All the needed crew members and actors must know about their involvement, their payroll, and their schedule. All the needed equipment must be there, ready to be used, all the transportation that needs to be arranged. Please, don’t forget about the location - if it is not booked, if it is not properly prepared in advance – you will waste a lot of money and time, we can’t stress that enough. At the end of pre-production, you must have everyone and everything in place. Think over such things as the set, props, teleprompters, catering, hair, make-up, services of a stylist, etc.  

Production  

Here comes the actual shooting process, and not many variables are involved in this process, at least in theory. This process highly depends on the type of video you are shooting, but the most important thing here is to be time-efficient, to be extremely efficient with the footage that you need and get. When everything is set and done comes the post-production process, and there are many important nuances in it.  

Post-production  

You will have to talk to a lot of people during this process. Figure out the formats that your video will be available in, arrange all the work with people responsible for digitizing, rendering, transcoding, and uploading of the video. This is not the right time to think about stock footage and photos, but if it turns out that you need to use it – do it. It is during this phase that you are going to work with b-roll coverage, sound effects, voice-over, narration, graphics, motion graphics, animations, and all the editing that goes into making a video. A lot of running, a lot of talking, but the good thing about this stage is that you can see the final product being created in front of your eyes, and a good editing team can make a decent video out of lackluster footage.  

Is it worth hiring freelancers instead of professional companies?  

It depends on the role a freelancer or a professional is going to play.  

music video production cost breakdownWhen it comes to actors, we advise you to use freelancers, students, and passionate people that love the industry. It, of course, depends on the type of video you are shooting and the star power that you require, but generally speaking, students and freelancers will do.  

Now as for cameramen and editing crew – this is where you have to hire people that have lots of experience and know what they are doing. It is in the hands of the latter that the final product lies, so the more skillful they are at making something nice out of lackluster material – the better.  

How to avoid wasting money  

And here are some tips on how to avoid wasting money during the process of production of your music video.  

Plan everything ahead of time  

Like we’ve said, it is of paramount importance to know as much about the video as possible before it ever sees the light of date. Its duration, its direction, every crew member that is needed for the job, every piece of equipment that will be used, all the actors and extras, all the post-production and editing that will be needed. However, will all the variables that go into such a long and complex process – you can’t define the budget to the very last cent, so you should lay off a certain additional percentage of the overall production cost, like 10% of it, to cover all of the expenses that can occur during any phase of production.  

Be able to negotiate  

You can talk your way out of any situation, your word is your greatest weapon, yet your mind is the steel that this weapon is created with. The better you are at negotiations, the less will you pay to all the actors and people selling you their equipment or renting you a location that you need for the shooting. Also, the better you are, the better your creative ideas concerning the direction of the video will be translated to your crew members. But if you don’t want to hire your crew, you can negotiate with a studio.  

Carefully choose a studio  

There are many studios out there, but which one should you choose? Well, it all depends on the expertise that they have with a certain genre of video content that you need, in this case, music videos. Thus, you should study the portfolios of all the music video production studios that you consider for the job and see which of them will suit your needs and creative ideas better.  

Get insurance  

Everyone needs some form of insurance if they want to protect something dear to them. The same goes for music videos, as there are many unexpected expenses involved, and if something can go wrong – it will go wrong, maybe not at first, but at some point down the line.  

And here’s how to make a music video, folks. We have covered all of the important aspects that go into the budget of a music video, and while it can be quite scary to think over all of the things that you have to think over, the entire process will become quite intuitive with experience. You will make lots of friends that will greatly ease the burden of producing a video.