Producing Music Videos for talented artists is one of my favorite video production activities to do as a videographer in Orlando. The sad part about it is, as much as I love making a music video, it is also a process that I deeply scorn at times. Reason being is that many artists just do not realize the time and effort that goes into the music video production process. High quality cameras are getting cheaper by the year, so more and more people are going to purchase a DSLR camera and now consider their selves to be music video makers. It’s definitely a fight to get music video production projects locally. However! That is another blog post and we are not here to talk about that!
My music video production process is not too different from anyone else, I hope. It all starts with listening to the song and getting a vision in my mind for how I would produce the video. When an artist inquires about me shooting their music video, I expect them to have the song ready for me to listen to in my E-Mail inbox. Typically that does not happen because the first question is “How much do you charge?” Honestly, I cannot answer that. No song is the same and nor is any music video.
A lot of the time, The artists do not have a plan when they inquire about a music video production service. A lot say that they just want something basic or something like a previous music video that I have shot (nothing wrong with that as I take that as a compliment). They want me to proceed with discussing and writing a treatment for the music video without having any idea of what their budget might be. The budget is the most important factor of the entire music video process. It decides whether I should proceed with having a conversation about producing a music video for their track.
Constructing a music video is a complex procedure that calls upon the three stages of video production.
If I am hired, my goal is to produce the best music video production for you as well as myself. The final video product is a representation of our brands. I want to be creative and make magic happen with each music video filming. I have shot a number of music videos where the budget allocated caused plans to fall through and it truly is disappointing.
Photo Courtesy Of VS Video Productions
My personal advice to the artists who want a music video is to have a clear financial vision for your project and come up with a realistic budget that will see the production completed as planned with little to no bumps in the road. You must know that a good budget is necessary for:
Your production needs crew members. When you work with a crew, they quote half day and full day rates. You have to pay people that are doing a job for you. If a promoter contacts you and wants to book you for a show, you are not going to quote him $0 because it would be good exposure for you.
Here are production starting day rates (8-10 hours) for a bare minimum skeleton crew. This is what you should at least have for an Orlando music video production.
Music Video Director: $700
Music Video Producer: $500
Director of Photography / Camera Operator: $500
Production Assistant: $75
Not factored into the video production crew is an Assistant Director and Camera Assistant. Then you have other costs not included such as talent, choreography, rentals, props, and craft services.
Now, I can shoot a music video on my own and handle the producing, directing, camera operating, lighting, and then post-production editing, but I prefer not to. My preference is to work with a crew and have the right pieces in tact to give you the best product that you can possibly receive. It will relieve the productions stress levels and I will be able to 100% focus on my task, while having other professionals do what they do best.
So, all in all to wrap this up. Do not jeopardize the success of your music video with an insufficient budget or not use what is needed just to cut costs. If you do not have the budget to hire the music video production company that you desire, then I truly suggest saving up until you can afford to or you can even try raising the funds by doing a Kickstarter campaign. But, believe me on this! Going to that freelance cameraman on Craigslist that will shoot your music video for $150 will most likely give you shaky camera footage, out of sync audio, and a badly edited video production that will end up just being a bad representation upon your brand as a music recording artist. Trust me, I know, I have personally learned the hard way from undervaluing myself and my brand as a music video producer. Little to no budget is doomed for failure right from the beginning.
Oh, so you probably are still wondering this…What do you charge for a music video? Well, my camera operator day rate (8 hours) is $500, which is a start to your budget. Next, we have to figure out everything else that I just wrote about. Interested in a lasting impression? Well contact me about your aspiring music video production project and let’s see about creating the Lasting Blueprint Production that you deserve for your music career.