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escozooz
09-23-2005, 02:50 PM
I have an artist who would like to shoot a video that is up to par with day-time BET. I told him that those have 20k + budgets and are shot on 35mm. He agreed.

He said he would like to get as close as possible to the look of the new JulezSantana video, its just like the "drop it like its hot" video on a big white cyc wall. For a sound stage and lights and grip its about $1700 for a 10 hour day in NYC.

He said if that if the budget allowed he would love to shot on HD, who wouldn't. I told him that a variCam is prolly going to cost around $1300 per day with accessories and tape. Not too bad.

The problem is editing. I have G5 which can tear up SD but I have never edited an HD video. A HD vtr is around $1000 a day. My alternatives? Pay a post house to transfer an SD version onto a harddrive and do an offline then bring the EDL and do an online at the post house. How much would this cost?

What I am going to pitch to him is shooting SD with a mini35 and digiPrime lenses. Then I can DP and edit this and save money there. Spend the rest on actors, dancers, locations. Seeing that BET is still SD, HD is probably just a waste of money at this point.

Anything thoughts or insights into this situation would be great.

*I realize that BET day-time is not easy to get into and is prolly more politics than quality but he just wants similar quality. Also film is out of the question.

Scottdvx100
09-23-2005, 03:37 PM
You could consider a high end SD 24p camera since you're end result is still SD. That would provide better quality and less of a need for a full 35mm lens package.

Even for the HD the post house could probably transfer to a firewire drive allow you to edit or conform an edit yourself.

Walter_Graff
09-23-2005, 07:25 PM
So does he have $20k, cause sounds like that is what you will need? That's actually a low number for most videos you see on Tv. But the artist pays for them anyway so no one cares as long as the artist can be billed for the video. you can not edit HD on your system without proper drives. you could certainly shoot on DVX but your master will need to be digibeta or some other delivery format. $1700 for a studio? And what about the crew, lunch, etc. Add another $5k for crew. etc. And the studio will probably want to be named additional insured on your insurance. Don't have insurance, add $3-6k for that. Were almost up to $20k. So what are you asking, can you do it on SD? Sure. Do you have the funds necessary? Another question.

escozooz
09-23-2005, 09:27 PM
Hey Guys,

Thanks for the help. I am pretty new in this level of production. Most of my crews have been peers who are really looking for experience. We usually only pay the actors and major crew members. The labels have been paying for the food, locations, etc.

Although I would like to step it up and start shooting in a studio and renting equipment it sounds like it needs a much larger budget than we have. I definitly need to still contact some studios and ask about inurance. Our company is not insured annually yet.

Once we finalize the budget I will try to bring on an NYC producer who can help guide us through some of the intricacies, I know a few.

*I am content with shooting videos on the DVX with a 35mm lens adapter but I am also looking for a good opportunity to try a higher quality format. If the artists budget can pay for the production perhaps I will invest in an HD capable workstation. ie. RAID, RAM, no HD monitor or deck.

franck
09-27-2005, 09:25 AM
Hey if you have a good dp, you can make the dvx look like 35, I bet you $20.000 that the artist will never see the difference.

natob2
09-27-2005, 11:55 AM
The problem is editing. I have G5 which can tear up SD but I have never edited an HD video. A HD vtr is around $1000 a day. My alternatives? Pay a post house to transfer an SD version onto a harddrive and do an offline then bring the EDL and do an online at the post house. How much would this cost?

What I am going to pitch to him is shooting SD with a mini35 and digiPrime lenses. Then I can DP and edit this and save money there. Spend the rest on actors, dancers, locations. Seeing that BET is still SD, HD is probably just a waste of money at this point.

Anything thoughts or insights into this situation would be great.

*I realize that BET day-time is not easy to get into and is prolly more politics than quality but he just wants similar quality. Also film is out of the question.

First I want to mention that $20,000 for a professional shoot to cover a 2-3 minute song is pennies. Music videos you see on MTV and BET are AT LEAST $100k+. Many are in the $250k to $500k range.

If you want to stay sub $20k and your not getting tons of freebies (let's assume you pay market rates for almost everything) you will have to shoot SD on a camera like the DVX100 or SDX900. You'll easily blow through $20k on stage rental, equipment rental, talent, crew, food, wardrobe, tapestock, lab fees, etc. I dont care who your DP is it just isn't going to look like 35mm with a good transfer and colorist like you see on MTV and BET. Still, you can make this option look quite good.

If you shoot HD your talking $30k-$100k range. To answer your question about post options you're going to want to transfer your HD to DVCAM or BetaSP for the offline. You're going to hear all this stuff about "You can buy a G5 from the apple store with a firedrive and cut HD just like the pros". This is such a fairytale for one reason: dependable storage that is cheap enough for consumer/home use. Assume HD will be offlined in a DV format on your G5. Having your footage downconverted (HD to DVCAM or BetaSP) for an offline typically runs around $150 per 60 minute HD tape plus tapestock. So assume $175 per 60 minutes of footage. To conform your EDL with your HD originals at a post house to do an HD master or an SD master your talking half day of work x $350/hour plus tapestock your talking around $2k minimum. So all in all if you shoot 2 hours of footage you're going to spend around $4k on post (this includes no color correct of course, also this is assuming you own a DVCAM or BetaSP deck hooked to your G5). If not add 2 days x $250. So $4,500 approx. This is why HD is not feasible for a $20k budget. (unless your getting freebies of course)

If your shooting 35mm your talking $100k plus. For an unknown or little known artist this is completely out of the question.

franck
09-27-2005, 02:56 PM
I dont care who your DP is it just isn't going to look like 35mm with a good transfer and colorist like you see on MTV and BET.

I disagree. First off, 99 percent of people watching the video will never even know what 35mm is and how to differentiate it from 24p dv, people have no clue.

And if you're smart, you can make 10k look like 100k. Think in easy setups, after all, all you need are lights. Renting a small sound stage is not that expensive, look for a new one, one that is hurting to find clients, they will hook you up.
Models, dancers, etc... will often come out for free, you just need to spent lots of time in preproduction, it is after all the most important part of your production.
Find some student friends of yours to get you student discounts on lights and grip rental, and with 20k you will have a banging video, so banging the artist will be blown away.
Like I say, the DP is crucial. Get one that has lots of experience with the dvx, one that will shoot bright and low contrast, and then you can crush the blacks in post, and people will think you shot on film. I've tricked professionals DP's and graduate film students with the dvx who thought it was 35mm.
We shot quite a few videos on the dvx which are on rotation on MTVespanol. If the artist just wants the MTV look but does not have the caliber to be on MTV/BET yet, then he will at least get the look he wants, no problem.
Just preproduce, preproduce, preproduce, and get a good DP.

natob2
09-27-2005, 04:31 PM
I disagree. First off, 99 percent of people watching the video will never even know what 35mm is and how to differentiate it from 24p dv, people have no clue.
.

People may not have a clue what 35mm is or care what it is. However, I promise you they will percieve a difference. I produce TV commercials. There is a reason why our clients spend 3-5x the money to shoot on Super 35 versus MiniDV or other video format. MiniDV will never be 35mm no matter who shoots it. Trust me I've shot video to Super 35mm with some of the best DPs in the world. It this wasn't true the market for 35mm for SD broadcast delivery would have taken a nosedive when cameras like the DVX100 and SDX900 were introduced. This did not happen. If my clients could save 3-5x their money and shoot MiniDV or DVCPRO50 without sacrificing quality, believe me, they'd do it. This is simple economics.

franck
09-27-2005, 06:43 PM
You're missing my point, the artist for who this video is destined is not going to be on BET, he wants the BET look. Of course film is better, heck I choose film over dvx any time of the day. But if you got to squeeze the budget you do what you can.
Just got done shooting 2 videos on the f-900 cinealta for a south american band, the budget total for both of them was $6.000
If you know how to cut corner you can make anything happen. For these videos we had a sound stage setup, a green screen setup, a strip club with strippers, the local trolley around town, a desert location...etc... Of course nobody got paid, but we made it happen.
What I'm saying is escozooz is in the same boat as me, and he does not need a $100.000 budget to shoot on hd. Hell with 10 grands you could shoot it on film. ;)