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Guess How Much That City-Produced Sewage Rap Video Cost?

It cost dolla dolla bill y'all.


Fans of the city’s sewer system finally got their theme song last week. You’ll remember that the city’s Public Utilities Commission premiered a rap video starring PUC employees with lyrics penned by high school interns. It was cute and informative and great and all that. But it wasn’t free.

Like the earlier Muni ad buy, this rap video is meant to announce the forthcoming multi-billion dollar Sewage System Improvement Program (SSIP). Those bus ads cost $65,000. And, it turns out, producing this musical extravaganza ran $16,000.

Without wading into the merits of this sewage rap, many of you may be left wondering “what cost $16,000 here?” Well, $10,000 of that was labor costs. Two city workers spent 24 hours apiece supervising interns and providing feedback. One employee spent eight hours coordinating with BAYCAT, the firm that produced this video, and four more workers spent eight hours a pop recording the song’s vocals.

So, that’s $10,000 for around 88 work hours, which comes out to just shy of $114 an hour in wages and benefits. (And, yes, that represents a very healthy payday for a San Francisco musician or sewage worker turned musician). Some $6,000 more went to BAYCAT for actually creating the video, as well as “taking underserved youth and giving them experience in digital media editing,” per the PUC.

Which, again, is great. But, like the massive sewage construction plan for which these ads are meant to serve as a spoonful of sugar, it’s not free.


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