Music video production can be seen as a type of filmmaking that has a direct connection between what is being sung in the music (audio) and the visuals. Shooting a music video in Nigeria can be quite challenging, especially when you do not know what to expect in terms of cost. A good music video production must capture the essence of music through visually stunning, compelling visuals and emotionally charged videos that not only entertain the audience but lead to record sales.
The economic situation has made it even worse, contributing largely to video production’s high cost. The quality of music video production in recent years in Nigeria has significantly changed. It could be compared to those in Hollywood in terms of quality. The amount of music and videos being made is much higher than it used to be. This has made the budget range quite broad and can be quite confusing, especially for first-timers. Although some people use record labels to fund their music video productions, others pay right out of their pocket.
As a music artistes, when you approach a music video director for your music video production, they usually want to know three things from you to aid the direction of the shoot.
- Your central ideas
- Your budget range
- Project Timeline
Most times, they are usually no answers to number 1. Very few music artistes are visually inclined and want an inventive music director who gives them a very good production at an affordable cost based on their budget.
If you are looking at shooting a music video in Nigeria, there is a lot to consider when determining how much you need to get a perfect music video that captures and sends an emotional message to your fans. Luckily, that is why I am here, to break it down for you to understand and utilise the information shared to your advantage. Let’s go.
The Cost of Shooting a Music Video in Nigeria
Currently, there’s an increase in the production of music videos, more people are choosing to release video singles over audio singles, and this is a result of several video-sharing platforms encouraging artists to share and promote themselves in creative ways. It is safe to say that people are likely going to purchase a record that they have seen the captivating music visuals more than the one they have not seen.
To create a music video here are some things to consider:
Creating a Budget
The budget for your music video usually covers but is not limited to pre-production, storyboards, concept development, casting, motion graphics, location fees, rehearsal, choreography, production equipment and crew, on-camera talent, props, costumes, post-production, and editing. There are many more.
For a professional music video in Nigeria, you can budget anywhere from $15,000 (13,725,000NGN) to $200,000 (183,000,000NGN) using an exchange rate of an average of $915.
TG Omori, an A-list music director, revealed in a tweet that it cost $165,000 to shoot Asake’s hit single Joha. Sometimes, because of the high exchange rates, it costs even more.
The kind of concept you are looking to achieve is also a contributing factor to the high cost. If you want a Hollywood kind of music video with all its car-chasing stunts and all, your budget or how much you are willing to part with will determine that. But if you have a lower budget, you would have to let go of the inclusion of high-end visual effects, expensive locations, and many more. That notwithstanding, the essence of your story can be creatively conveyed powerfully with a low budget.
Estimated Production Costs
For an artist looking for a lower budget, the estimated cost of production for a day can range from $300 to $1,500. This usually depends on your location and the permits you need. Along the line, there might be extras, but this is about the average amount to budget per day.
If you are shooting scenes in different outfits, you might also have to budget rental fees. This could significantly increase the cost of production, even without the inclusion of more factors like transportation and food during the shooting process. However, these are important because they determine how your video looks at the end. In addition, good locations are very pricey, especially if the location has all that is needed for good video production.
According to a professional in the business of making music videos, he affirmed they had paid as much as 800,000NGN for a single-day shoot in a really fancy location.
Additionally, artists have to consider the cost of production equipment, renting equipment is very expensive, and it actually takes a large chunk of the budget. There are a lot of professional options like the 8K camera and lighting kits that can be used. It will drastically increase the production cost as they cost a lot to rent and maintain. But for a lower budget, you could stick with consumer-grade cameras. However, note that the better the equipment, the higher the cost.
Estimated Production Days
Depending on the concept and storyboard of your video, it will normally take 2-4 days to edit your music video after production. Sometimes, the editor’s fee is determined by how much editing will be carried out on your video. What makes up the cost of post-production includes the storage device for your video and the hourly cost of your editor.
For example, if your editor would be using advanced visual effects, they could charge between $50-$150 for each hour.
Colourists are also part of the post-production cost, and their fee usually depends on the final product quality you would like to achieve.
Apart from production and post-production costs, there are more additional costs you need to consider. These costs are essential because they help make your video beautifully pieced together.
Another cost to consider is the cast and crew. A great music video requires a lot of talented people, at least 7 to 10 professionals, on a standard set. But on a larger scale, it could range from 20 to 30 people at the location, or even more. It is difficult to determine the cost of the cast and crew because while some people work on day rates, others accept payment at the end of a project.
You should also consider the cost of food as everyone has to be in the best state to shoot the music video.
The cost of transportation and moving equipment from one location to another is very important and should be considered when determining the additional costs to add. The shooting schedules should also be factored into additional costs.
A well-planned shoot could take a day or two to wrap up, while a bigger production could go for as long as a week or two, depending mostly on artist availability.
Make sure you factor in rental days for equipment and crew so you can estimate how the additional cost caused by delays is adding to the budget.
Reasons to shoot a Music Video in Nigeria
While a music video seems like a lot of work to do, there are several benefits to shooting your music video in Nigeria, as a rapper or an artiste.
- Music videos help give the fans/audience a better understanding of the song.
- Shooting your music video in Nigeria grounds your song in our country’s culture making it more relatable to the average Nigerian.
- It helps with creative collaboration. A lot of people are involved in music video production, so there are a lot of interactions and great relationship building
- The videos invoke a reaction that will keep you remembering the song
- They develop your brand identity
- It helps to expose the talent of the artiste and increase their profile
- A great music video brings about increased sales
Problems of shooting a Music Video in Nigeria
- The economic issues in Nigeria – light outages, high electricity tariffs, fuel subsidy removal, rising inflation, etc, – make it very music video production expensive.
- Hiring the very best video equipment is very expensive.
- To move around from one location to the other and also transport those pieces of equipment are extremely expensive. If a shoot is to happen in a location in the famous city of Lagos by 9 am, you won’t see those involved on that set arrive earlier than 12 noon, citing reasons for lateness on high transport fares and traffic congestion on the road.
Solving the problems
If TG Omori were to shoot a video for another A-list artiste this year 2023, like Joha‘s quality, he would probably charge more than the $165,000 he charged Asake. Would you blame him for the high fees? Hell no! The exchange rate is almost a thousand naira to a dollar (1,000NGN), and the cost of shooting a high-end music video production now in Nigeria, factoring in what is needed to get an excellent shoot, is ridiculously high.
I believe the government has to intervene by making funds available for people in the creative sector to access grants, loans, rebates, etc.
They could also bring in the sophisticated equipment needed and lease it to artists or directors at an affordable rate. They should also put the right policies in place that will help beginner artistes who cannot afford a big-budget music video shoot.
The cost of making a music video in Nigeria can vary due to different factors.
Production costs like the length, concept, location, and actions you would like to take in the video can significantly change the cost. Additionally, you have to factor in the extra costs of cast and crew, transportation, feeding, etc.
Do not let the high figures scare you. I am sure there are video directors’ not as expensive as TG Omori and the like. Get Started with what you can afford. If your video’s budget is $3000, don’t make it look like a $10,000 video shoot, there is no reason for the pretence.
Make your fans see that your video is low-budget and highlight what makes the video low-budget. As long as they can see the honesty in your visuals and hear it in your sound, you have emotionally connected to your fans and earned a strong fanbase that will always buy your records.