How to make a music video
Updated: Dec 2, 2022
How to make your music video - In just 4 steps
1. What DO I need to think about first before making a music video?
You need to understand the process about making a video which is not complicated at all once you break it down into 3 simple steps:
I'll be breaking this all down for you right here, right now!
What is pre-production you may ask?
It is quite simply planning and answering your own questions like:
What kind of video do I want to make?
Who do I want to make it with?
Where will I shoot it etc.
This is the filming Process itself.
This is the fun bit.
The bit where you can keep it simple and just edit
Get creative with effects, colour saturation and so on. Just watch some of GoTo's videos.
They always blow my mind with their ingenuity.
The key to Post Production is to get the right movie editing Apps to make it easier for you.
I would highly recommend:
Movavi – www.movavi.com
WeVideo – www.wevideo.com
InShot – www.inshot.com - InShot is for mobile devises only.
HOWEVER.....Before we get into all of the techy stuff, I've got a question for you...and answers too of course :)
Why make a music video?
So you have your single and you want to release it.
Here's why you need a music video:
Most of the bigger radio stations want to know that there is a video coming out with your single.
Most SM algorithms prefer video, so it's a great way for your single to gain popularity.
You will undoubtedly get a lot more fans due to the existence of the video.
Your existing fans will enjoy it.
The Music Industry will have something of you singing to watch.
It's another way to promote yourself and your music.
You need to get used to making music videos, it's another string to your bow, another skillset.
You can get more media coverage.
if you are signed to a label, part of the budget for a single release includes a music video. This should tell you how important a music video is for your single release.
WHERE DO YOU START
The very first thing you need to do is decide what you want from your music video.
Here are some suggestions:
A story video like a mini movie – like Pink Floyd's - Another Brick in The Wall - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YR5ApYxkU-U
Or Gabrielle Aplin's - Home - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mVbdjec0pA
Or Michael Jackson's - Thriller - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOnqjkJTMaA
To act out and show the meaning of the song – like Taylor Swift's - You Belong with me - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuNIsY6JdUw
To be abstract like David Bowie's - Ashes to Ashes - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyMm4rJemtI
Or Rihanna's - Sledgehammer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXhIT4MpRis
To have multiple scenes or a one shot video – like Coldplay's - Yellow - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKNxeF4KMsY
To be a performance video like Passenger's - Let Her Go - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBumgq5yVrA
To be shocking/thought provoking - like Childish Gambino's - This is America - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYOjWnS4cMY
To be black and white like Ed Sheeran's - The A Team - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAWcs5H-qgQ (Plus in Ed's The A Team video, he isn't even in it, apart from a small Cameo non singing moment.)
To be a dance music video like Brittney Spears' - Baby One More Time - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-u5WLJ9Yk4
Or Black Pink's - Shut Down - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjrAwC4TIPA
To be glamorous with lots of fun outfits – like Lady Gaga's - Poker Face - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bESGLojNYSo
How much will a music video cost?
The average cost of a simple decent music video is around $2000-$5000, including post production.
The first thing you should do is set up a budget, so you know exactly what you're going to need for your video and how to go about getting it to fit into your budget.
Your budget should include:
A director's fee
A camera man
Every time you add something to your video it will cost you more...
A Public Space License:
If you are filming outside in public spaces, you will need a license $25-$1000 (depending on your country – also depending on whether you need road closures etc).
Location fees & rentals - $150-$2000/day:
So if you're hiring a barn or a dance floor or even a pool in a hotel, all locations will cost you. You may know people who have a space you could use for a reduced fee which would be brilliant!
Actors & Dancers - $200-$1500/day:
If you are wanting anyone else in your video, you will have to pay for them. Again, if you have any actors and dancers as friends and they're up for it then that's amazing and will save you a bundle.
YOU MAY ALSO NEED OR WANT:
The hiring of any recording gear/lighting equipment:
You may need to hire equipment – I've gone in to more detail on this in the 'filming' section later on.
The hiring of a make up artist – Around $500:
Maybe you have in mind that you want special make up or make up effects.
Filming away from home:
So you've found the dream location...but it's miles away.
Now you have to bear in mind:
Also, are you then going to hire a local crew and team? If you are wanting to take your home crew, actors and whole team with you on location this is going to get really pricey.
You'll have to pay for their accommodation, food and travel as well as your own!
I would definitely choose a local area for your first video to keep the cost and the stress down!
Which segues nicely to the next bit...
Keep costs low by doing these simple things:
I would go for a simple video with just you in it.
Do your own hair & makeup
I would spend my money on the production & post production:
I'll go more into this later on...
Single Person videos:
I thought I'd show you a couple of examples of unsigned artists who have done videos with just themselves in.
Example of Unsigned Artists single person videos:
Amanda Jordan's - Somebody's Maybe - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQaPNYaCLyM
Johanna Dadap's - The World's Gone Up In Smoke video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tA9wmr-SdU&t=27s
2. CREATE A STORY BOARD
So you've decided what kind of video you want..Now you can create a story board.
This is a plan for the order that you shoot your scenes.
It's a great way to put down in writing to see how your video will flow.
Plus, when working with your director/videographer they will need to see your Story Board and work through it with you, making sure its all do-able.
Remember your Brand?
How you want to be seen – your brand – will play a key role in your video.
It will link your single promos with you and your music. Your photos, your website, your One Page & EPK will all follow the same 'look' so that your audience and the Music Industry can recognize you instantly....
Think The Spice Girls.
Think The Beatles
In fact think any artist. They ALL have a brand. And each video reflects this brand.
You want your video to gain traction for your single so you can get lots of lovely streaming hits.
The best way to do this of course is through social promotion before your single drops.
As I said earlier SM algorithms love VIDEO, so video teasers (about 30 seconds long) are perfect.
As are Behind the Scenes clips. (Video and still)
3. FIND YOUR RECORDING TEAM:
How do you find the right team for you?
Budget and talent.
That's the simple answer.
Friends & family:
Many of you may know people or have friends who are great film makers..and you are the lucky ones.
Rely on word of mouth and then research.
My best advice is to find a local artist's video that you love and reach out to them. Ask them who did their video.
Failing that, I would turn to the trusted Google and do some research for videographers who specialize in music videos.
You can also contact your local schools and colleges to see if there's any talented students who'd love the chance to record a video with you for their portfolio. Please check out their work first!
Filming your own video:
I personally would be far to intimidated to do this!
However, for you tech savvy musicians/entrepreneurs, it is possible to record your own music video.
Please bear in mind that you will need the following before you even start filming:
Check that you have the right gear & equipment Including a TRIPOD.
You have a way of transporting and hauling all of this equipment
Extra storage memory
The lighting is correct
Just a few things to bear in mind whilst filming:
Keep track of the completed shots
Get several good shots of each scene (if you're using multiple scenes)
Play the music as you film. This get's you in the mood, and obviously helps with lip syncing.
Remember to bring refreshments for all of you. There's nothing worse than being tired from lack of sustenance.
Just a bit on lighting.
As many camcorders lose recording quality with less light, you really have to think about your locations. Outside with bright light is a good option.
Or just hire good lighting and get advice from where you're hiring the lighting gear from.
Tell them the location you're using and they should be able to advise you the right lighting.
4. POST PRODUCTION
If you like this side of things then go for it.
Plus if you're feeling super creative or even brave, then maybe get ideas from watching videos that experiment with colour saturation & special effects.
As I mentioned earlier, there are some excellent post production apps out there for you to have fun with. Some are free, others not and some have in app purchases available.
Here's that list again:
Movavi – www.movavi.com
WeVideo – www.wevideo.com
InShot – www.inshot.com
So there it is. How to make your music video.
I would absolutely love you to share any music videos of yours on my Social.
Just go ahead and make your video.
Be brilliant, and most of all...