The cost of a Music Video

What makes up the cost of producing a music video

    1. Cameras

    2. Locations

    3. Set Design & Props

    4. Casting

    5. Scheduling

    6. Post-Production

Cameras

The choice of camera makes a huge impact on your budget. So lets first look at camera options. There are (simplified) three levels of camera choices.

    • HDSLR Cameras. eg: "Sony A7s", Black magic Cinema Camera, Canon 5D

    • Video Cameras: eg: Sony Fs7, Sony EX3, Canon C300, Black Magic URSA

    • Film Cameras: ARRI range of cameras, RED range of cameras

Dry Hire Verses Wet Hire

Dry Hire means you can rent the camera and accessories by itself. You can select all your camera crew independent of the camera.

Wet-Hire means that you must rent with the camera a camera team and all required logistics such as transport etc. You can have your own Cameraman and 1st Camera assistant (focus puller) but the full supporting team is supplied with the camera as well as Camera van and driver and other costs depending upon your requirements.

The reasoning is simple. Your working with very expensive equipment and the supplier needs to ensure the camera is well taken care of during the hire period.

The Qualities of Each Camera

HDSLR Cameras

These are great cameras. you can film in 4K and obtain fantastic footage. This is providing good quality images but clearly not cinematic in effect. HDSLLR cameras are better used inside studios or closeup environments. The following videos used HDSLR cameras

Video Cameras

Here you get HDSLR camera format on steroids, or a halfway point between HDSLR and Cinema cameras. Always in my view a better choice. These cameras producer better qualify images, You have more filming setting options which gives editors more choices when manipulating the image. The sensors in these cameras are just of a much higher quality. These cameras allow for a closer cinematic look and are great for outdoor shots. The following videos were filmed with this style of camera.

Cinematic Cameras

All big artists always select cinematic cameras if they have the budget. They are what is used when filming Hollywood blockbuster movies. Beyond the camera you get to choose a wider range of lenses and "Anamorphic Lenses" are a popular, but more expensive choice. These lenses give that real pop-out look betwwn foreground and background and you can always know when an Anamorphic lens is used by looking at any scene where their is a light in the background. If you see the light stretched vertically rather than round. its an Anamorphic lens. I have over simplified the above, but you can tell the difference in the following videos.

Locations

Locations is one of the most expensive additions to any music video.

If you are filming primarily on Private land with a local crew such as in a studio, there are no location costs other than renting the studio. If you are using Dry-Hire Camera equipment you can even get some shots on a quiet beach or some B-roll on the streets. But this is very limited.

Film Permits

If you wish to film in public, you must apply for a film permit. The starting price for a film permit is around 50,000.00 THB, plus each foreign crew member must get a short-term work-permit which costs 3,500.00 THB per person. You must also pay for a licensed Film Coordinator(6,000.00 THB day) and Film Office Film Monitor (4,500 THb day) to come on-set during filming and their associated costs (transport, meals, accommodation). Even if filming is just one day. These are a must. Failure to get this and you will be caught as Police and Police reporters are everywhere in Thailand as anyone who reports a film-crew to the police, who will then go and ask them questions, shares in the reward (think of motor-bike taxis). Any you can receive fines, jail time, confiscation of equipment, black-listed from coming back to Thailand etc. Not worth it.

National Parks, Beaches & islands within National Parks

For these you need additional permits and additional costs. The costs vary depending upon where but for each location add costs starting at 10,000.00 THB per location.

Streets & Public Places

Each location and I mean each precise location costs money. If you are filming a street view, you have to pay a "City Administration fee" a "Police Fee" and possibly parking fees etc. Fees start at 20,000.00 THB up to 70,000.00 THB per location. Go to another location and you have to pay again.

Private buildings or People Working

Scenes within any building or restaurant, hotel, bar, hospital, or street-vendor cooking all require more fees, starting at 20,000.00 THB per scene up to 50,000.00 THB scene.

Some popular destinations such as Soi-Cowboy" involve multiple payments as if someones bar is in your street view, you might have to pay them as well.

So, look at a video above and count the number of scenes and count the number of locations. Youc an see how quickly the costs rise.

Set Design & Props

This is often a hidden expense that can quickly mount up. So you have a particular set. Now you need to "dress" that set. maybe a bar needs to have particular drink bottles or maybe bottles you can break, or particular furniture in it. This has to be hired (maybe wrapped) and transported by truck to the location and then you will have a prop-master or set-designer who will lay-out the set for you. Maybe you need a car in your set. This has to be hired, special insurance must be paid as your filming and you might fit cameras to the car that could cause damage. Lets take a single chair. Hire cost maybe 2,000.00 THB day (usually 25% of the purchase cost) Then its wrapped in bubble-wrap. put onto a truck and transported to your location. its unwrapped, used, wrapped again and put back onto a truck and returned to the prop shop. All added costs.

The following Urber commercials we made demonstrate this well. Each location was a barren empty building and we had to add props and set design such as drum kit and tables & mannequins for the dress-maker and cars etc. Count the props and you will get quite a surprise.

Casting

Casting has several steps. Advertising for the cast. gathering samples of their work and sharing with the client. Selecting cast, maybe by having a casting session and finally having the cast appear on-set on the day of filming. So you need a "Talent Agency" (we have our own) a "Casting Agent" again we have this internally and then the cast. if you are looking for extras in the background without any specific skills prices start at 3,000.00 THB per cst for a short scene. if you want them in multiple scenes where they need to hang about for a long day (a standard film day is 10 hours on set) then expect to pay 5,000.00 THB each cast member. If the cast needs to have a specific talent, then the costs rise. Prices for "Featured Extras" are around 7,000.00 THB to 10,000.00 THB each, (sometimes we can get lower) If a part is a speaking part which normally requires a trained actor and is more often a lead-role then prices start at 15,000.00 THB.

For a music video we most often are requested to find dancers.Untrained model type extras who can dance usually cost 3,000.00 thb to 5,000.00 thb each

If you are looking for trained or professional dancers prices usually start at 10,000.00 THB each.

Scheduling

Most music videos are filmed in 2-4 days depending upon the amount of locations. A studio video is usually filmed in a single day.

These are just a few of the costs that are involved in filming a music video. Of course there are other costs but this will at least give you an idea of what builds up the cost.

Post Production

The costs of post-production are usually defined by the amount of special effects or motion graphics involved. The time to edit is usually 2-3 days to 1 week for a more complex edit. Editing costs start at 15,000.00 THD day per editor. But editing involves several skills and often different editors to become involved as follows:

    • Line Editor (Cuts and lays out the film/video into a timeline

    • Motion Graphics Editor (SFX) might lay-over the track special effects

    • Coloring Editor will correct the color of each scene to make the video more seamless and then might overlay a particular color tint to give a special effect (like blue for mystery or orange for romance)

    • Sound Design Editor will match the sound with the video and make any adjustments to various soundtracks that might include background sounds as well as the musicians.

Summary

I am not going to give specific quotes for creating a music video but as a general guideline filming costs start at around 50,000.00 THB day minimum up to 150,000.00 THB minimum for a cinematic camera.

Editing starts around 35,000.00 THB for the most simplistic edit upwards depending upon the complexity.

So start thinking around 85,000.00 THB starting costs. - Of course everything is negotiable and we do do deals so talk to us and lets see how we can support your next music video