I see you want to learn about how music video production is done. Well, video production is not some kind of rocket science. However, it’s not simple either. It would’ve been a lot easier if you had some money to spend.
Then music video production companies would’ve taken care of everything, you know? However, most of us only so have so much at the beginning.
Let’s be honest; it’s not like anybody will be watching it anyways.
It’s mostly to show your moms and dads, am I right?
However, we still want to make our music video as good as possible for as little as possible. I’ve written down a few steps to consider here, so how about we start already? Let’s go over the music video production process!
Which song to use in order to make a music video?
You may think this is a cliche question, but it’s essential. Artists are releasing 20 songs+ albums and having only a couple of music videos. The explanation is quite simple. By listening to one’s album you can tell which songs are the better ones, let’s call them hits.
Because you would want your hit to stay a hit for longer, you go and shoot a music video. Now you are all over YouTube, Instagram, music videos streaming TV channels etc.
Therefore, picking the best one and putting all efforts into one video is a lot better than filming ten low-quality vids and embarrassing yourself, you feeling me? Not really something new, but a quick reminder!
What equipment do I need to film? Do I need a crew?
Okay, let’s answer the crew question first. All famous peeps have crews with professional filmmakers, video editors, etc. You don’t have this kind of money just yet.
Honestly, you can shoot it with a couple of friends and a camera. Depends on where you are filming you may use studio lights (I have a pair just in case), but that’s not a requirement. I have a pair of LimoStudio ones, and they work fantastic for how much I’ve paid for them. It’s up to you if you want to use more expensive lights or avoid using any at all.
- Contents: [2 pcs] Soft Box with Bulb Socket / [2 pcs] 86-inch Tall Light Stand / [2 pcs] 85W 6500K 120V Photo Bulb / [1 pc] Carry Bag
- 24 x 24-inch Dimension Softbox Lighting Reflector with E26, 27 Standard Size 120V Bulb Socket and 6 ft. Long Power Cord and External White Fabric Diffuser
- 50-86 inch Height Adjustable Light Stand with 1/4-inch Standard Screw Thread Tip
- Photographic Spiral Bulb: 85W / 6500K / 120V Daylight Neutral Tone CFL Bulb
- Premium Quality Fabric Carrying Case Bag
If you are looking for the best camera to shoot music videos, I personally suggest Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV. I think it’s one of the best cameras for this kind of filming, and it has a fantastic price for a high-quality Sony, trust me.
- World's Fastest AF acquisition speed of 0.03 sec. Optical image stabilisation technology developed by Sony is valuable for handheld still and movie shooting, especially in low light or at the ultra-telephoto end of the zoom range up to 600 mm
- 315 phase-detection AF points covering Approx. 65% of the frame. Light Metering Mode- Multi Pattern, Centre Weighted, Spot (Standard/Large), Entire Screen Avg, Highlight
- ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* 24-600mm3 f.2.4-F4 ultra-zoom Lens
- 20.1MP 1" back Illuminated Exmor RS stacked CMOS sensor w/ DRAM. Dimensions (W x H x D) (CIPA)-5 1/4 x 3 3/4 x 5 3/4 inches, 5 1/4 x 3 3/4 x 5 1/8 inches (from front of lens to monitor). Weight-2 pounds 6.7 ounce(Battery and SDXC Card included)/ Approx. 2 pounds 5.1 ounce) (Body Only)
- 24 Fps4 continuous shooting up to 249 Frames5 with AF/AE tracking
If you are on a budget, maybe go for a Sony Alpha A6500, which you can buy for just over $900.
How to shoot a music video?
I) First, you probably want to plan it.
You can start by just going over the main points, such as time of the day, scenery, etc. The process of making a heartwarming video for your pop song in nature will be very much different from filming a rap song music video about money, partying, and recording an album at a studio. Very simple, more of common sense, but I still clarified.
If you want to be very picky, you can even think of every single scene and shot, but I feel like that’s overkill. For an amateur, at least.
II) The planning part is hard, but you know what’s even worse? The filming part.
Ok, it’s not worse, but there is just so much going on. Sometimes I feel like the less you know about the actual filming techniques, the better. Because once you know how it’s done correctly, you don’t want to do it the wrong way, and it’s just driving people crazy.
Rule of thumb, try filming A LOT because it’s never too much footage. The worst thing that can happen is not having enough material for a 2 or 3-minute video.
It’s a lot of fun to edit, especially if it’s not something you do very often. If you are a band, you maybe want to film yourselves performing the song on stage and edit a few snippets into the music video. You have probably seen it a million times, but I am still reminding you.
Right angles and light is something you can write a book about, but for budget “home-made” music videos it’s not something crucial, you feel me? P.S. Be smart and check if you have enough memory and battery. Anyways, let’s move to the editing stage.
How to edit a music video?
Editing a music video is, as I mentioned earlier, a lot of fun, especially if you don’t do it as a full-time job. Then you slowly start hating it. However, that’s not the point. There is a ton of professional video editing software out there. You can even use the Windows Film Maker (please don’t).
I mean some people use it here and there, so why not? I would personally suggest either picking Sony Vegas or Adobe Premiere for your music video production.
- Edit and produce movies with special effects and transitions
- Create DVDs and Blu-ray Disc media with custom menus and graphics
- Includes Sound Forge Audio Studio 10
- Follow along with Show Me How tutorials and learn as you go
- Share movies on Pixel cast, YouTube, iPod, iPhone, online, and more
All of them will come with different interfaces, workflows, shortcuts, and functions. Pick one and stick with it long term!
Should I use stock footage? Can I even use it legally?
I don’t even bother with stock footage because it looks like stock footage. It seems dull and cheap.
Only in case of an emergency, I will even think about using it. Maybe the only example is when you don’t have enough material and need something for the last 20 seconds.
Again, don’t use any stock footage unless you have to.
Done (Okay, almost done, just need to render)
Well, after cutting and pasting, adding effects, and cringing like crazy while watching all 10 hours of raw footage, you are pretty much done. All you have to do is to render the video correctly. You have to check your original video specs and use the same numbers in the software.
Then the quality will stay the same.
The video streaming services tend to decrease the uploads’ sizes and compromising quality, so you are better off aiming for an overkill quality. Then after uploading the video online, you end up getting a decent quality music video.
Just imagine putting in all this work and end up having your video in 720p like a vlogger from 2010. I would’ve been upset.
Look, this is nothing more than a clear and handy guide and a few critical points about filming a music video.
If you are a filmmaker and not a musician, there are way more in-depth guides out there. There are also a few books about music video production I found on Amazon. If you play piano and keyboard or guitar and don’t have a clue about what filming is, this guide should clear a few things up.
Remember that you don’t have to overcomplicate things just to shoot a music video for your album once in a while. Make it look clean and neat, maybe add a little message, and you are good. Don’t look at the big boys of the industry.
They pay tens of thousands for a shoot, and a lot more for their music video promotion after. Here is such a sweet vlog about music video production that will give you more ideas and inspiration!
Last update on 2019-02-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API