I Spent $200 on a Music Video. Here’s How It Turned Out…

The cost of shooting a music video has been plunging over the past decade, though this is getting crazy.  Bands like Interpol started breaking the $10,000-mark back in the early 2000s, though now, simple videos can easily drop below $1,000.

Like this video for the dark-sounding rock song ‘Man It Hurts,’ by Christopher Michael Ferrall, a nighttime video shot in-and-around a construction site.  That setting allowed for a number of different backgrounds, and probably didn’t require a permit.  Video production was handled by Amor Armour Videos, with camerawork by RealPartyKid, who charged $200 for their services.

Elsewhere, video budgets are getting slashed by a myriad of low-cost options, some of which are comical.   Last year, Canadian singer-songwriter Drew Smith  outsourced his video to India for $2,000, just to see what happened.  The result was a pretty-decent Bollywood-style video, though Smith himself obviously wasn’t in the action.

Another option is the lyrics-only video, which remains a decent first release for bands with little promotional cash.  In fact, depending on the genre, that’s more than enough for fans, especially if another, full-blown video is on the way.

And what about live? Rigging a venue with cameras can get really complicated really fast, especially when it’s crowding space for beer-buying fans.  But if you can pull it off some decent live camerawork, the results can be fantastic if combined with a good audio out.  Just be sure to arrrange things ahead of time with the sound guy.

11 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Sure you can make a video for $200. And it will look like a video made for $200…

    • Anonymous

      But, as Paul suggested, people don’t really care. I saw a funny picture yesterday of pewdiepie sitting in his studio: He used a cheap consumer video camera, not even a dslr, though I think he could afford something better.

      • Anonymous

        Sure they do. I bet you if you show 100 people that video, 95 of them will turn it off within 20 seconds.

  2. Rick Shaw

    Not a great example of making a budget music video. I’ve done videos that are broadcast-quality for under $1k. Had the example showed someone good-looking who performed a halfway decent song, not used a tabletop BBQ from Rite Aid and other minor elements I think this would be viewed very differently. This is a poor example of what can be done DIY.

  3. Jackie Gage

    Yes yes yes about the sound! Listen to these differences:

    My first legit video, created w a company that now charges around $3-4k (4 shooters, high-quality cameras, slides, audio and other gear, awesome editing): https://youtu.be/L0ep7XJ59kI

    Recent snippet was done by a friend for $50, and you can hear the audio quality was a problem (1 shooter, room audio only): https://youtu.be/U3IpOGbVIBQ

    And this is a video also shot by a friend with great gear, and a connection to the sound board; he’d charge someone around $1k: https://youtu.be/3do_YGYqoGQ