The Exact Costs Of A GOOD Rap Music Video (Broken Down)
In this video I am going to break down how much a QUALITY music video cost to get completed from start to finish.
I recently shot a music video that looks like it cost around $20,000+ to shoot… but I spent WAYYYYYYYY less and I’ll tell you what it really cost at the end of this video.
We are going to talk about casting people, renting locations, renting clothing and props, a camera guy, editing and everything that goes into getting a CLEAN QUALITY music video.
Being that I came from nothing, worked over 30 day jobs, used to live in homeless shelters and understand the power of a dollar, I really try NOT to waste a single penny when it comes to doing anything I do.
So when I shot my recent music video, I made sure we were careful with how we spent the money and I’m going to pass that knowledge on saving money onto you.
I just shot the music video for my new single SPRAY that is already at 50k on Spotify in just a few weeks.
The video is SUPER high quality WITH a cast of over 20 people in it and you won’t believe how cheap it was to shoot.
I’m going to break everything down for you so you can see how you can do it yourself for the low.
Hiring Music Video Talent
Hiring Talent – Your video might require extras, background people or actors to be in your video. So you are going to have to either find friends to do it for free, or hire people to be in the video.
In our case for the video we hired about 15 people to be protesters. We couldn’t just hire 5 because that’s not a protest or riot, that’s too small for that.
Believe it or not and I just learned this, you can use websites for casting and people will want to be in your video just for the credit. We only paid 12 of the people $25 to be there for almost 2 hours and we paid the main people $50 each.
The total for hiring the people to be in the video was around $400 total. Not bad for all those people
How To Rent Music Video Costumes
Renting The Costumes – If you want to play the part you need to play in your video and it’s not clothing you own, you can go to a costume rental shop to rent ANYTHING you want to rent. These costume shops are generally HUGE.
I live in LA so there are a few of them but I’ll be honest with you, the cost to rent the stuff is actually pretty close to the cost of owning the items so if you want to have a costume or outfit for yourself for a video you can probably just buy it online.
In my new music video spray I was playing a newscaster reporting news on the protests. We also had a talk show host that needed to look the part.
So I had to rent full newscaster suits and shoes to match for me and my co star as well as the outfit for the Talk show host. Then a couple other things like the outfit for the scientist and preacher.
Total cost of clothing rental was $500
How To Rent A Place To Shoot A Music Video
Now a lot of times you can get away with this part of the video because you can find a random place to shoot. But since we wanted to make sure this video was way higher quality than just a normal street video I wanted to make sure that we rented a great space to really set the video off.
We had to rent a talk show set, a newscast set and needed a green screen for all the scenes so we rented a place that was $300 hr. PLUS the cost of guy who sets it up.
Total cost to rent the set for 4 hours was $1,500.
But look at how insanely high budget cost this video looks. And you would think that it cost WAYYYY more.
Again, this cost can be avoided if you just shoot somewhere else. But for only $1,500 the video now looks like it cost $20,000 to shoot which means people will really take you a lot more seriously.
How To Rent Music Video Props
There may be things you want to use in your video that your character in the video needs. In this case we needed a reporter microphone with the box thing around it that says channel 16 to be able to report on the street.
We also needed the beakers for the scientist to pour liquids from one to another to look like he was doing science to figure out if it was too much tiddy.
Interestingly the props cost like $200 to rent.
Another circumstance where I believe we could have purchased the items and owned them for the same price. But would we even use them again? I don’t want to worry about storing them.
How To Hire A Camera Guy For A Music Video
Now, generally this is what everyone is going to have to pay for if you don’t have your own camera, plus you need someone to man the camera for you.
If you find someone to shoot the video for you, you could pay as little as a few hundred bucks.
In this circumstance, I got somebody who had a $10,000 camera set up from a local film school and he shot the video for $200.
Realize he only had to be there for 4 hours so he made $50 an hour to be there.
And like most camera guys, he also knows he gets the credit of saying he shot the video which is also worth thousands of dollars to him in the long run.
So yes, $10,000 camera set up for 4 hours for $200. The quality is outstanding.
How To Edit A Music Video
If you don’t know how to edit, you are going to have to pay someone else to edit your video.
I know how to edit, I edit all these Smart Rapper videos as well as a majority of my music videos like God Fearing, Way Up and Talk To’m. .
So I am still part of the editing process as a producer saying yes and no to how it’s edited by now, luckily can afford to pay someone else to do it as I oversee the process.
To edit the video I had to pay my camera guy $300.
I Flew Out Burger Man The Music Video Co Star
Because my cor star lived in Houston and I wanted to make everything as easy as possible for him I bought his plane ticket. It cost around $300 to fly him out.
Obviously you won’t be flying out other rappers for your videos but I wanted to make sure I included all of the costs of the video so you knew.
Setting Up A Music Video
Days Worth Of Set Up Time And Setting Up The Video – This generally would cost money for someone to come up with the idea for you and plan it and get it all set up as well as direct the video. Instead, we did all of this ourselves for this video. We are creative enough to do it, have experience doing it, and were super excited to do it, so why hire someone else.
Generally this would have cost on the low end around $500 but for the real work we put in and level we are at it we would have charged around $2,500 for what we did in the process.
Because someone had to find all the actors to cast, find the right props, go to the costume shop for over 4 hours and find the right outfits, location scout to shoot the video, frame all the shots and figure out what was going to be shot.
Total cost to shoot this music video that looks like it cost over $20,000 to shoot…. Only $3,400.
Now, minus the set, the props and the costumes you could have shot this whole video for less than $1,000 including the high quality. But you can see how everything adds up and makes everything look even better.
If you want to see the finished music video, it is out now I’ll put a link in the description as well as a link in the top comment.
– Rob Level