Even though producing a music video may seem simple enough, thanks to hundreds of new videos on MTV each week but in reality it’s not even half as easy as it may seem. All the people you see having fun in the music video are doing so because the person behind the camera directing everything is a professional. That said you don’t have to spend upwards of $50,000 just to hire an expert video producer to do your debut band’s video, you can do it yourself with some determination and with the tips below.
Music videos have stories too
In order for a music video to be interesting and look professional at the base of it there needs to be a story which is told via the song sung by the band. So speak with the band to get an idea of the type of story that they want to tell via their music and then draft a script accordingly.
Selecting the right crew
You should have a small crew, so hire as few as you possibly can to manage everything. Ideally, you will want to add members to your crew who are diverse and can multitask. For instance, you can have a production assistant who also doubles as a makeup artist and handles the wardrobe too.
Shooting the music video
Music video production focuses a lot on the lead singer and so this person needs to be instructed to sing properly, so no miming, half hearted signing or just trying to wing it. This is because if they mumble or they mime it shows that way in the video clearly since the tension and the movements of the body and face will not be very consistent with the music and the song being sung in the background. The signing should be as if this was a real time recording of them singing.
You should be organized and prepared on the day that you are shooting. Make sure that you keep an inventory of the shots you’ve taken as it makes editing a lot easier and less time consuming. Allow lots of time for shooting, because even though the finishing shot is meant to last just 10 seconds but it can take several hours to first setup and then shoot. When you are finally happy with the shot, if you still have the time shoot that same one again.
B-Roll for music video production
With music videos you just have two B-roll choices. You can either mix multiple angles and show different shots of the person performing or you can just cut away to show images related to the theme song for instance show snow capped mountains or ocean waves. These can be full motion video but they can be still images too. That said still images work remarkably well in today’s music video production so search through old albums to check if there are images that you want that are already taken. A video montage can also be created by having the music run in the background.
Using Stock Footage
If you have a small budget which is mostly the case with startup bands try buying back stock footage. These are cheap and useful. This type of stock footage can easily be purchased either from shoots which are close to completion or from a good film broker.
Music video editing
A neat music video production tip which can be used during editing is to place all the clips which you select on the software’s timeline above the other on stacked video tracks. These all need to be in the right positions but relative to the song. They should be synchronized apart from the cutaways which you can put wherever you want.
Don’t forget to enjoy the process
Experts like Australia based Tom Haramis has a few wise words for people who are just getting into music video product, he says that it’s important that people have fun because it will end up looking like they have had fun in the video. So, the more fun you have during the shooting and production of the video the more fun the video will look and the more creative freedom you’ll give yourself.
Mark has been in the music video production business for over twenty years. He has a number of popular music videos to his name and has written extensively about producing videos. He strongly advises that people be creative when making music videos and start off with a good plan which is then followed through for best results.