$4,000 Music Video VS $300 Music Video

There are many music video producers out there. Many more around you than you may think. When choosing to create a music video for your next song, the first thing you look out for are the prices. I already made a blog to help with financing your project, but what is all that money for? What is the music video good for? How do you value a music video? Let's take a peek of how I work with budgets.


There are two different clients I currently work with. The smaller local bands that have their budgets set between $300 - $500, and the musicians that have sponsors and have budgets starting no lower than $1,000.

The point of a music video is to market the musicians and create loyal fans. Creativity, Individuality, Consistency and Visual Aesthetics are incredibly important. Unfortunately, a fixed budget limits the ability to do many things, and not everyone has the labels and sponsors ready to throw out money. So where do I come in?

Either my client knows a lot of helpful people and can creatively produce their own video so I only charge to film and edit, or I am given the honor of figuring all that out. I listen to the ideas and desires of my client, and decide on the budget plans depending on two things:

Client's Image/Concept and Their Available Resources.

"What can I do with this budget that best fits their desires and sells their image?" I rely heavily on the resources that the client already has. If the client would like a scene with a live stage and crowd cheering them on and their budget is only $300, the first thing I will ask is, "Will you be providing the location and the extras, at your own cost?" or, "Do you know someone who will lend you a stage and know enough friends that will volunteer long hours for this video?" If the answer is yes to either, great! I will construct a plan that will be simple enough so that I can plan, film ,and edit the project in under 5 hours. If not, we will have to seriously reconsider either concept or budget.

Now let's look at a budget plan for a project where I wore the producer and creative lead hat.

$4,000 Budget Plan

The Concept: 1950s Hollywood Dinner Date

Story: A young couple goes on a cheerful dinner date and end in a somber dance together. The husband is part of the military and the wife begs he not leave her again, but he cannot promise that.

Client: Korean War Veteran Sounds like Frank Sinatra Sings of Love and Precious Old Days

Goal: To create a truly eye catching 1950s Hollywood Themed Music Video with emotional impact that would compliment their voice and the music.

Where is the money going?

Cinematography: A cinema camera with an anamorphic lens for that Hollywood 50s look. A steadicam operator, and a cinematographer to make sure the lighting and picture stays true to the theme. Total: $1,300

Actors: Two college seniors with many years of experience in acting and dancing. Professional hair/makeup and vintage 50s night-out outfits.

Total: $900

Location: Elegant venue with stage for the client to perform. Meals for all the extras to make it look like an actual restaurant. Downtown location so that it goes even better with the theme. Total: $800

Equipment rental: Appropriate lighting, stands, etc. to stay true to the theme. Total: $200

Producer/Director/Editor Salary: $800

As you can see, the client would spend most of their money on cinematography due to the importance of the theme. The storyline was simple because the focus was to sell that the client brings 1950s Frank Sinatra to the 21st Century. I needed complete control over the image for this to come out as successful as possible.

This budget could really be used in many ways. I could do the cinematography myself, and use the extra money for a professional editor. I could find a cheaper location. I could change the storyline entirely and do something very, very simple for less. I laid out three different budget plans with three different totals. My main goal is to sell the client to their audience, and have the audience love the video enough to become loyal fans. If the client reads the plan and budget and they approve, then they agree that this will be valuable to them as a musician.

This client had originally come to me with a budget of $2,000 but found value in the highest budget plan, and in the power of video marketing.

That is what my job as a producer is about after all, and that is how all video producers should think when making a music video.

Coming up with the band's or musician's concept is an entire blog on it's own, so stay alert for my next few posts!

Thank you for taking your time to read through. Have a wonderful week!


As always I am an email away for all questions!

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