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How much does it cost to record a live concert?

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Adam Stephens
How much does it cost to record a live concert?
on Apr 15, 2010 at 11:59:23 pm

Hello all, I just started a video company and there is an artist that would like me to video their live concert. I've been doing weddings and some commercials, but I never done a live band before.

My question is:
How much does the average videographer charge to shoot a live concert?

Thank you in advance for your input and let me know if you need more details about me and the event for a more accurate price range.


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Walter Soyka
Re: How much does it cost to record a live concert?
on Apr 16, 2010 at 6:05:25 pm

[Adam Stephens] "Hello all, I just started a video company and there is an artist that would like me to video their live concert. I've been doing weddings and some commercials, but I never done a live band before. My question is: How much does the average videographer charge to shoot a live concert?"

I think that's a risky way to set your pricing, because without understanding your costs, you could easily undercharge and hurt your business. Better questions to ask might be how much it will cost you to produce, how much overhead cost do you need to offset, and how much profit would you like to make.

Threads like this one pop up pretty frequently on the Business & Marketing forum; here's a good thread that goes into this in detail on setting prices.

There are also many excellent articles on business here on the COW.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Richard Crowley
Re: How much does it cost to record a live concert?
on Apr 21, 2010 at 11:06:41 pm

It is far easier to estimate how much it costs to do a 60 second commercial or even cover a wedding than to "shoot a concert". It depends a great deal on what "concert" means. Is it one person playing a guitar in a coffee-house? Or is it a 200 voice choir and 100 piece orchestra in a big concert hall? Or likely something in-between.

And, it depends on what the expectations of the production are. Do they just want to see what their performance looks like from the audience, or are they making a PBS special? There is no practical answer to your question as asked.


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Brent Dunn
Re: How much does it cost to record a live concert?
on Apr 22, 2010 at 3:00:45 pm

If your doing a local band, chances are they don't have a big budget. I typically approach them with a range of production estimates and try to get them to set a budget and then develop the project based on that budget.

If they only have a budget for one or two cameras, then you have to explain that they won't be getting the big budget concert edit or MTV style final video.



Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Video.com


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Adam Stephens
Re: How much does it cost to record a live concert?
on Apr 22, 2010 at 3:46:58 pm

Thanks for all your comments; the shoot is at some local high schools. The girl is an up coming pop artist named Linzee Nicole and I believe it's just her singing with a DJ playing the music. Their wanting to play at the local high schools so she can get the attention and create a fan base with the teens. I'm thinking their renting out the schools auditorium.

Right now I have one camera, a Panasonic DVX-100B, so I'm sure I'll have to rent some more equipment. As far as money goes, she has an investor that will get back what he puts into her once she gets signed with a record deal. I'm just thinking I should have at least 3 cameras, 2 stationary and 1 moving around. I can piggy back off the sound board into one of the cameras for the audio. I'm thinking I should make the video as close to what you would see on MTV, because their going to want to put it up on YouTube to increase her fan base.

Hope is sheds more light on the situation. Thanks again.


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Brent Dunn
Re: How much does it cost to record a live concert?
on Apr 23, 2010 at 3:02:47 am

For a 3 Cam shoot, I would use a crane, steady cam or glide cam, and tripod for wide stage shot from the back.

Gym's have the absolute worst audio, so if she is singing to a track, you should be able to mix the audio from a pre-recorded track and a crowd mic. If there is a local small concert venue, such as a cultural center, or other sound worthy spot, maybe you can convince them to switch. Again, if you can use the actual soundtrack, then it doesn't really matter. Venue looks and lighting will then be more important. Also, if you have any say on the lighting, keep them all on and tell them no flashing light show, it'll kill your cam settings.

Hope this helps a little.

Brent

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Video.com


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Walter Soyka
Re: How much does it cost to record a live concert?
on Apr 23, 2010 at 3:28:31 am

Since this thread is becoming more about how to shoot live music than how to charge for it, I'd encourage you to read through this recent thread (if you haven't already):

http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/158/856046

The big takeaway I'm getting from that thread is that well-produced concert video isn't a literal reproduction of how the music is made on stage. The good stuff is more expressive, matching the mood of the music, catching the feel of the crowd, and moving the audience through the little details of the performance and the environment to tell a story. If your video is going to be used for promotion, I think this level of production value will be even more important.

Another critical element of the discussion -- most concerts are switched live. The director is literally calling the shots over headsets to the camera operators, continually ensuring there's a good shot to screens or records. (That said, sometimes bad switches happen -- you can always record iso's of the individual cameras if you want to be able to replace a bad switch in post.)

If the budget allows, you could hire a director with some experience to call the show for you. You'd learn a ton on the job, make some money at it, and deliver a stronger video to your client.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Adam Stephens
Re: How much does it cost to record a live concert?
on Apr 23, 2010 at 8:51:13 pm

So, do you guys think I should film with more then 3 cameras? And hiring a director would be great, but I don’t have the first clue on where to look for hiring a director in the Phoenix area. Any ideas?

I really appreciate all the idea’s you guy’s are giving me and the links are really insightful, thanks again and sorry for the subject of this post going astray.


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cowcowcowcowcow
Ben Avechuco
Re: How much does it cost to record a live concert?
on Apr 24, 2010 at 6:41:15 am

I've had a great time directing and shooting live performances here in Phoenix.

I've got a great group of guys I've worked with for years. One of our recordings was worked into a promo here:



(4 cameras)

and another here (3 cameras):





These cameras were recorded separately then edited later...

Here a live-to-tape production with the intercom recorded in...







Ben Avechuco

ben@videographicdesignstudio.com
http://www.videographicdesignstudio.com




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Ben Avechuco
Re: How much does it cost to record a live concert?
on Apr 24, 2010 at 7:20:42 am

I did not know the Cow would replace the links I posted with the YouTube videos! Interesting.

Ben Avechuco

ben@videographicdesignstudio.com
http://www.videographicdesignstudio.com



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John Livings
Re: How much does it cost to record a live concert?
on May 3, 2010 at 4:14:07 am

Hi Ben,

Very Nice.

Please share with us (me) your set up, the type of equipment you use,Video Mixer, Audio Mixer, Mic's
Cameras, Communications with the Camera operators, Mixer operator Etc.

Also on video # 3 (the one you are talking on), How much if any of the camera changes did you do in Post or was that all done on the fly?

Regards, John


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