It can cost from to $300 for DIY option, $5,000-$10,000 for low budget music video productions or up to a $100-200K or even $300K on a high end. A different combination of the film experts, a different type of cameras and lenses, a number of talents and locations, even props can crucially affect music video production costs and fees. Especially in Los Angeles, where you have to obtain a filming permit almost for each spot you want to have in your video, such as Downtown views, Venice Beach, iconic building, even regular streets.
It would be very helpful if you will start to understand the structure of the music video expenses and how it changes the final music video cost. Acquiring some of the options from that list by yourself can really help you to save money without losing the quality of the music video.
Types of expenses for the music video:
1 Script and Storyboard creation. You should have at least a rough idea of what is your music video about, what should happen in your video and what you want to say to your audience. "Creative thinking" services such as scriptwriting can cost from $400 to several thousand of dollars if you are looking for an award-winning scriptwriter. 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. Professional talent fees may vary from $300 to $800 per one shooting day with additional 20% as a talent agency fees for securing that talent. Background people, so called Extras, are usually more affordable but still, you will have to pay at least $50 to $100 per day compensation. Most of the talent agencies will make you sing the retainer which requires you to secure a food on the set. So if you're planning some big crowd or party or music concerts scenes for your music video, just 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 Location fees/ Filming permits. Think about the locations that can be utilized with no extra cost - 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 fatal for your final budget and will make you cut the budget for other essential expenses and put you in the risk of failing to produce a good music video.
4 Film crew costs. Music video makers will provide you with the crew costs and fees based on your concept. 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. Then 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 crew. As well as the drone operators, which had to have a special permit, basically, a pilot license of some sort.
5 Cameras and lenses. The variety of the cameras can be used is so broad so there is no reason to name all the marks. Some cameras like Canon C 100/C300, Black Magic Mini Ursa and RED are most popular in music video production in Los Angeles and are easy to find and book.
6 Props and rentals. Think about props and potential rentals (cars, boats, bikes etc.) That also should be included in the costs, don't assume that the film crew will use their own transportation to accomplish the task. So consider rental expenses as well as insurance coverage within your music video budgeting. Or just borrow best friend's car!
7 Travel, parking, food etc. Let's say, you eventually found a beautiful place fo music video production and all 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.
8 Post production. Music video editing. And last but not the least - music video editing. It is when the magic 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 editor should determine a unique style that will make your music video shine bright and make it lasts 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 is what make the music video a gem.
So our best advice is to be ready to define your budget limits. Generally speaking, it's not a good idea to make music video director guess what level of the video production you are aiming for. But with a particular level of trust in your communication filmmakers will be able to assemble the best price package that will stay within your budget limits but still will be able to provide you with a quality music video.
ABOUT AD.JUST VIDEO PRODUCTION | LOS ANGELES | ORLANDO
AD.JUST is a full-service Los Angeles video production company delivering a unique style to music videos. We approach each project with a fresh, comprehensive and sophisticated manner to deliver the one-of-a-kind, outstanding video.
Our extensive marketing background spans 10 years of experience making videos of any kind: commercials, product videos, Kickstarter videos, testimonials, corporate videos, music video production, and of course luxury video production. In addition to our video services, we provide post production services (editing, SFX, visual effects, audio mastering), and green screen video production.
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