Why do you need a music video, and how will you pay for it?

Do you want to bring more fans out to your shows, sell more tracks on iTunes, or simply get more gigs?  In today’s social-media-centric world there is no better way to promote yourself and your music than with a YouTube video.


The ultimate goal for any independent musician, and the hardest to achieve, is for a video to “go viral” on the internet, propagating itself first among existing fans (Twitter/Facebook followers & friends) and ideally expanding beyond regional borders.  For a video to be considered “share worthy” it needs to have good sound & video quality, entice an emotional connection with the viewer, and most importantly, be unique.  Producing such a video requires planning, time and usually some money.  What many don’t realize is that there are already many financial resources available to local musicians specifically designed for video production.  Applying for these grants can be a daunting task, but your chances are best if you work with an experienced and reputable production company.


“There are many music video and electronic press kit (EPK) funding sources available to local artists, such as MuchFACT, FACTOR, and BAND TOGETHER” says Tim Dashwood, founder of Hamilton-based 11 Motion Pictures.  “The trickiest part of applying for these grants is preparing a first-class creative pitch with an appropriate budget proposal.  I’ve been doing it for almost 15 years now, and in that time I’ve managed to come up with the ideal recipe for video grant approvals.”


Of course knowing how to allocate funds properly in a budget and ask for the correct amount is a huge deciding factor in the grant approval process.  Working with an experienced production company like 11 Motion Pictures helps increase the chances of success.


“We can produce top-notch performance videos for as little as $500, live multi-camera shows for $5000, or sophisticated concept videos for as much as $25,000” says Dashwood. “It really just boils down to what best serves the creative intentions of the artist.”



Funding Sources


MuchMusic’s MuchFACT will fund Music Videos, Web productions, EPKs and Viral Videos. MuchFACT will cover 50% of the production’s budget but each program has a maximum amount they will fund: Video $25,000, Web production $3,500, EPK $3,500 and Viral $3,500.


FACTOR’s video program helps finance original music videos that support qualifying sound recordings by Canadian Artists. FACTOR will kick in up to 75% of eligible costs to a maximum of $5,000 (Intermediate Level) or $20,000 (Advanced Level.)


BAND TOGETHER is an initiative of Hamilton-based arts service organization CoBALT Connects. It is a non-profit that facilitates a connection between musicians and media artists to work together as they create music videos that help each partner reach their creative goals.  Last year they provided funds to four local artists and are planning to expand the program in 2014.


"As someone who was involved with one of the Band Together videos, it was amazing to see so much creativity with a relatively small budget.” says local musician/filmmaker Nathan Fleet. “When artists work together with a common goal in mind, it's amazing what they can accomplish."


Of course there are always ways to raise funds for your video project outside of the grant system by using Kickstarter, Indiegogo or even a Paypal “donate” button on your website.


If you have a solid fan base "Kickstarter in Canada" is an ideal fundraising option. It is available to Canada-based creators. There is a Film & Video category and there are a very few requirements, just 18+ age, permanent resident in Canada, a Canadian address, bank account, government-issued ID or passport and  a major Canadian credit card.


Indiegogo is an international campaign so anyone with a bank account can start a campaign and contributions can be set up in Canadian dollars. You can set "flexible funding" (you keep the funds even if your campaign didn't reach it's goals) and "fixed funding" (the funds are returned to the backers if you do not reach your goal.) Flexible Funding campaigns that meet their goal are only charged 4% as the platform fee, whereas campaigns that do not meet their goal are charged 9%.


If you want to keep the campaign close to home you can use PayPal's Merchant Services to create "Donate" buttons. You have the option of letting the backer donate an amount of their choice or create different levels of funding. Once you have created your "donate" button, PayPal creates code that you can embed into your website. The benefit with this is that you can leave it on your site forever and people can donate when they want.  PayPal takes off a small fee per transaction and easily allows you to transfer money directly into your bank account.


"While it appears that this money is just sitting there waiting for you to grab, you really need to do your research and prepare a very thorough and accurate grant application" says Fleet.  "Whether you apply for a grant, start a crowd funding campaign or use PayPal donate buttons on your site, you are going to have to put in the time and effort and you never really know if either will bring in the funds you need.  That's why it is always easiest to work with someone who has the experience to submit these forms, and organize pre-production budgets properly."


If you are interested in applying for any of these grants you can simply fill out the form on our Contact page and include links to your song and website.  Before each grant deadline we look over all potential applicants and prepare creative concepts and submissions for the "best bets." It doesn't cost you anything to apply.

©2013 11 Motion Pictures Limited