What's Your Budget?

What’s Your Budget?

When clients call to inquire about hiring me to direct their music videos, one of the first questions they usually ask is, “how much do you charge?”

The short answer is, it’s complicated. The long answer is “how much do you charge?” is the wrong question in the first place. It’s much better to say, “my budget is $XYZ, what can you achieve for that price?”

Every video I shoot is different, which means every video comes with a different price tag. Let’s consider just one crucial variable: your video’s location.

If you happen to have a friend willing to lend you their beautiful home for your video shoot, my location fees will be minimal – just whatever it takes to cover liability insurance, travel to the location, and any special equipment I need for that space. For example, some indoor shoots necessitate more sophisticated lighting setups than outdoor shoots in natural light.

If I need to hire a venue, that can quickly add a lot to the cost of your video. Even shooting in public places is rarely free – plenty of city councils make film crews pay for permits/license fees to film on the streets or in public parks. And if you want to shoot at multiple locations? Be prepared to find room in your budget for the expenses of transport, travel time, parking, and multiple setups and cleanups. Of course, location isn’t the only variable factor – if your video requires extra equipment, additional crew, more extensive editing or visual effects, those will all contribute to a higher bill. 

All of this means that what I charged my last client may not even be close to what I charge you – your bill could be higher or lower, because no two projects are the same, and every video has different production costs. If you do find a director who charges a flat fee for every video, chances are his creative juices are running flat, too. 

So please don’t ask me, “how much do you charge?” It’s much better to let me know your budget along with your vision for your music video, and allow me to figure out how to make you the best video possible for your money.