How much does music video production cost?
Creating a music video can cost next to nothing, or it can be tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. The cheapest option is for musicians to do it themselves. However, they will get what they pay for. A professional video production company has a lot to offer and costs can vary widely. Costs depend on the video concept, how many crew member are needed, gear requirements, location(s), editing and post-production work.
The concept of a music video can be a huge component of the overall cost. The cheapest option is a simple performance video in a single location such as a club or practice space. Concept videos involving effects, locations, costume changes, props and complicated camerawork, among other things, can cost a lot more.
Making a professional music video requires several key crew members, including a director, camera operators, lighting experts, makeup artists and sometimes even cast members. All of these crew members cost money. Many music video production companies offer a package deal that includes all cast, crew, equipment, planning, editing and post-production for one price. Crew members typically work on a half-day or all-day basis. In many cases, the cost of feeding crew members is part of the overall price.
Video equipment is expensive, and most video production companies account for the cost of acquiring and maintaining cameras, lights and other gear in their pricing structure. If a company has higher quality gear, production costs tend to be more expensive. Many production companies will have the necessary gear on hand, but depending on the needs of the production, they might need to rent it at a daily or weekly rate. The longer the rental, the lower the daily rate will be.
Locations for video shoots outside of a musician’s own house or studio need to be reserved for at least a day. The cost of location rental fees varies depending on the specifics of the location. Some public locations require paid permits. Shooting in multiple locations adds to the cost quickly because the crew needs to pack up, travel and set up again, which takes quite a bit of time.
Editing and post-production
Once all of the footage is shot, an editor must turn it all into a finished video. Editors typically work on an hourly basis. Post-production includes color correction, audio mastering and other fine-tuning to create the finished piece. These tasks are usually billed by the hour as well.
A video of you or your band playing live at a venue can save serious money on locations and lighting. Go with a simple concept that can be easily and inexpensively achieved. Have a student shoot your video as a class project. Shoot the video on your own property to save on location costs.
Production – Industry Day rates based on 1 day:
- Director: $800 – $3500
- Producer: $600 – $800
- Director of Photography: $600 – $2000
- Camera Operator: $400 – $600
- First Assistant Camera: $250 – $500
- Assistant Director: $400 – $600
- Second Assistant Director: $250 – $500
- Gaffer: $300 – $600
- DIT: $300 – $600
- Rigging Grip: $200 – $400
- Dolly Grip: $200 – $400
- Electric: $200 – $400
- Steadicam Operator (With Gear): $800 – $1600
- Crane Operator (With Gear): $800 – $1600
- Production Assistant: $75 – $200
- Hair and Makeup: $400 – $800
- Wardrobe: $400 – $800
- Production Designer: $500 – $1500
- Art Director: $400 – $800
- Set Dresser: $200 – $400
- Sound Engineer: $300 – $600
- Boom Operator: $150 – $300
Post Production – Industry Hourly rates
Editing $50 – $125/hr
Color grading, $80 – $250/hr
Animations, and visual effects compositing $70 – $250.00/hr