They say there’s a million ways to skin a cat (who are these people who are skinning cats?).
Making video is a team sport and a great team usually consists of at least seven to ten people. Below are some typical day rate ranges for video professionals in the Atlanta, Georgia area. Most music videos will take at least ten hours (one full day) to shoot, but some will take significantly longer, especially if there are a lot of company moves*.
The amount of time it takes to edit a music video can vary based on the complexity of the concept, the amount of cameras used, the total amount of footage captured, the need for animation or special effects, and color grading to name just a few. In closing (and I mean this in the absolute nicest way possible), if you have $500.00 to produce your music video, you should probably be looking for a college student on Craigslist, not calling on professionals. HOW TO MANAGE CREATIVES: Why being more appreciative of your creative vendors actually makes YOU money! Been in the business twenty years and never heard of a PA making more than seasoned professionals.
A Key PA (ie experienced) or one with some kind of equipment rental might take home $350, but your average gofer coffee type college intern PA won’t make any more than $150.
I also however had pulled teams for 24 and 48 hour film festivals and made films for less than 100. I certainly agree, expectations need to be set, especially in my industry where everyone expects something for nothing. I think bands are coming in with a budget of $500 because they see other things on youtube getting made for $500, getting lots of views paving the way for bigger and better projects and rocketing other bands to stardom. Unlike others in our industry, we process and check every order by hand here in our high-tech studio in Kidlington Oxfordshire UK. We understand how important these moments are, so we’ve developed an amazing order tracking system that provides you updates every step of the way. The DVDs you receive from us will be customized with a printed title, and built to last for a very long time.
All artwork of your choice is designed, printed and packaged into our professional gloss DVD cases. In 1985, Austrian artist Falco released his eventual number one Billboard single Rock Me Amadeus and introduced me to a technology in the music industry that hadn't really been exposed to the masses at that level. So after blood letting my ears from the 12 speaker sound system in my 77 red Chevette from listening to that tune over and over, I wandered into my local music store at the mall.
Thirty years later, I'm still enamored by the production process and how technology can make a song come alive. I decided to write this from my viewpoint as a 30-year music enthusiast who has had a college level education the past few years with Grammy and Dove winning producers and industry veterans to guide my understanding.
Many new artists begin their career by singing along to a karaoke track and then proceed to record their vocal with that karaoke track. A true multi-track recording is when every instrument, vocal and sound effect are all layered on top of one another in the software.
A mistake often made by new artists who write their own music is to create a song that is more like a novel and less like a newspaper column.
Again, if it's the artist also composing the music, this may not be as concerning, but in cases where a song is created for an artist, knowing the vocal capabilities like octave range and whether the vocalist is capable of technically handling the style or required skill for the vocal part is paramount.
Composers are often able to envision ways to fill out a track with other instrumentation including vocals. It's easy to replicate the current sound and make a similar riff or chord progression of what's hot on the radio. In part 2 of this blog entry, I will cover the rest of the areas of importance in music production for the beginning artist to consider. We like to listen to the song first to evaluate if it has commercial viability or strong viral potential (or both). The crew ECG Productions employs typically fall within these ranges (though rarely at the bottom of the range).
Because your gear and crew rates are all based around time, the longer you shoot the more it will cost. Editing, color grading, animations, and compositing are all typically billed at an hourly rate. A crew of ten on a hot day can burn through beverages and ice quickly.  Combine that with one (sometimes two) meals in a day, plus snacks, and costs can add up quickly.
The reality is that the proper amount of money and resources is the key to making any video endeavor successful.
We’d love to help you make your vision a reality and tell the story of your song with the power of the moving image! PAs have to know every job on the set from cinematography to lighting to sound as they assist all of the pros on a shoot. Even in Los Angeles where everybody and their Uncle has a video production company, music videos don’t cost $500! Not only did you hit it out the park, you totally verbalized for me how frustrating it is trying to make something out of nothing.


Trying to explain this to an artist with a DSLR who thinks cause he has a DSLR it shouldn’t cost much if you use his camera.
I know they don’t have endless piles of money but they just need to have realistic expectations. They maybe dont realize that it was the band themselves that did all the work and got investors. Tell them to be creative, do the work, get the film experience, hash out the idea, and cut them a deal on specific shots or equipment the second time around? They don\\’t go into a doctor\\’s office and ask him to perform surgery for 0 well think of us as doctors of your vision and when it is all done, you want it to look healthy and great!
Add that to the fact that VHS tapes are notoriously poor stewards of your memories a€“ tapes get chewed up, the film gets ripped out by the VCR, and even in perfect condition they only last about 20 years! You can play them in your DVD player, digital projector, or computer a€“ all of which you can find at your local electronics emporium with no trouble whatsoever. The song featured a cool stuttering vocal lead that, at the time, was mesmerizing to hear in the midst of a funky beat and catchy gang vocal of men yelling the song title.
A new portable keyboard, small enough to tuck under your shirt, called the Casio SK1 was prominently displayed. I went to a friend's studio which had an 8-track reel to reel machine after spending nearly two weeks perfecting my 32 key maneuvering. More than just the technical cool factor of computerized production is the rude awakening I received the more I delved into working with Spencer on his career.
I often listen to other new emerging artists and their recorded releases and am saddened by the fact they probably spent a lot of money on cool packaging for the CD, renting studio space, invested a lot of emotion into the lyrics and music, but left a lot of quality out of the project because they didn't understand some fundamentals about how to assemble a good production. There are roles and processes in music production that I want to share for those learning how to get the best out of their music production projects.
The industry slang term for singing along to a karaoke track is called a two-track or two-mix recording. It's called a session and in order to get the best possible sounding production, this is the best and only method used by professional industry artists and labels. Often times this person may be the artist, but many times it involves a person or persons who are proficient in music theory and understanding industry related facts that will affect a song's success. Not to say that long songs aren't nice works of creativity, but if the artist intends to make their music commercially viable, song length is imperative. Often times a track may have emptiness or clutter simply because the arranger of the song doesn't understand the complexity of sound space.
These include understanding the role of the sound engineer, recording engineer, producer, vocal producer, mixing engineer, mastering engineer and a few tips on how to vet them properly. My hope is that this post will serve as an education for people who are looking to make music videos, but have very little knowledge of the business. Often if we like the song, we are more likely to make a sweat-equity investment in the form of gear, reduced crew rates or extra edit hours.
However, more complicated music videos with high-end visual effects, motion graphics, complicated camera moves, and intricate costumes or props take time and resources. There are a plethora of high-quality professional camera options, countless lights with widely varied wattages and color temperatures, and a myriad of support equipment choices, all of which creates a multitude of options for directors and DPs. The music business has changed drastically over the years and a good music video can be the cornerstone of creating your band’s online image. I promise that we will always be honest with you, listen to your ideas and try to point you in the right direction. Granted, I’ve been gifted and lucky to have done so so far but it comes a time to take a stand and that is just what this article will help me do. Simply, there is one track of music that has already been mixed and mastered and there is one or more of the vocals.
Things like how long it takes before the chorus starts, which ideally should be within the first 45 seconds of a track, can affect listener attention span or industry executive attitude.
A lot of bands or artists are heard as similar to so-and-so because their production wasn't scrutinized by experienced composers who know the genre and are highly skilled in avoiding replication, but also skilled in including elements within the composition that a consumer likes.
A day rate is typically a set amount of money for a set amount of time filling a crew position. Recently Billboard even started calculating their charts based on internet views, downloads, and listens.
The idea that a person could record their voice and digitally reproduce it in different note values was just mind boggling to me. I say this not to belittle an artist's ability or skill, but music production is an art that must be respected and if executed well, can truly earn an artist credibility among industry peers, executives and fans alike.
I'm certain that I could go into minutia detail about this topic, but I'm going to give a highlight of what aspects should really be focused upon.
This is easy to detect when listening to the mix and is a quick indicator of an amateur production versus a professional production.
Song length of under 4 minutes make it a likely candidate for radio stations to consider for rotation.
The artist can clutter the canvas with so much color and detail that it can be overwhelming to the viewer.


A simple thing like a kick bass in the percussion and the way it's tuned can make a huge difference in the composition of a song. That means every time you get a location for free you are potentially losing it as useable location for future projects.
So, as you can tell, $500.00 does not go far in the post-production phase of the project either.
I’m all about helping artists and I encourage anyone who loves the art of making music videos to do it! For commercial shoots PAs can make 0 a day but never anything near what your talking about.
Consider this a loose checklist of what to think about before spending money on a recording. Many artists buy pre-made tracks and do a two-track recording because it's less expensive than a full studio project which creates the song one instrument or element at a time. So having experienced composers who also know the vocalist on the song can help make sure the song is created in a way that suits the ability and image of the artist singing or band members playing. Knowing what the A level artists are using is very important to know before finishing a track's composition. Early in the electronic infusion of music in the 60's, cutting edge production included the use of unique sounds within a composition.
If the artist has a vision for the video, we want to evaluate how much it will cost to realize that vision successfully. Knowing what funds are available helps us create or refine the concept so that it can be executed properly. Its also important to understand that planning, booking, and cleaning up the location cost time, and time is MONEY (READ: man-hours cost money). I just want musicians and small time mangers to realize that professional work comes with a price.
It was amazing to record a burp which could then be reproduced like the bellow of an eery giant or quaint chipmunk. I mean the ability to discern the layering of each piece of a composition and how it's fit together (or not) like a complete puzzle in a recording. Often times when you buy an artist's album the song may be longer or have more creative instrumental parts than what was made popular on the radio.
It may be the odd, but appropriate inclusion of an orchestral instrument in the midst of a hard rock song.
If the artist does not have a concept, we will determine what concepts we can effectively execute with the funds available, which leads into the final question: the budget. Trying to produce a concept that is unrealistic for the budget simply sets you up for failure. A good location will typically run you at least $1000.00 for 10-12 hours, and frequently much more. Having a compelling video can mean the difference between making a living making music or waiting tables. Rather it be locking up set, first team, background wrangling, basecamp pa, or just getting coffee.
Understanding all the elements and steps in that process is a cost that must be factored into every project. Let's face it, radio is a business and the more songs they can pack in an hour, the more money there is to be made. Understanding the delicate balance between the music and the vocals is where experienced composers can be spotted by industry executives and music aficionados. It may be the odd computer glitch squeals that are arranged in a rhythmic pattern that sets a song apart. The budget dictates nearly every facet of the music video production and post production process. When you engage our services, you’re paying not just for the production, but for the execution. Often you can get three-day weeks and eight-day months to incentivize longer rental agreements. And remember, you don’t just have to pay them, you have to FEED them too (see below). Knowing where a vocal part can fill that sound space or where an instrument is needed requires a trained ear. You can be sure you’ll get the absolute best video possible for your available budget.
In contrast, a well executed natural instrument like an acoustic guitar can equally make or break a song depending how it's mic'd and recorded. That falls more into the studio engineer's world, but a composer should have an understanding of how to capture the sound that will make the music illuminate the melody to please the listeners' ears.



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