How To Film A High-Quality Music Video

Filming a high-quality music video takes a lot of patience, perseverance, and skill. After recording the song, you should take the following five steps to create a stunning music video.

1. Choose your concept.

At the brainstorming phase of the music video production, you need to decide on a concept. Check out this previous post for ideas.

2. Choose your cast.

Casting applies to both dance music videos and regular music videos. If you plan on filming a more elaborate music video (not just of yourself lip-syncing and dancing to the song), then this is a crucial step. The easiest thing to do would be to ask friends and family if they’re interested in playing roles. Be sure to clearly explain their characters (e.g. parents of a rebellious teen, the cashier at a pharmacy, etc.).

In the following example, there wasn’t much casting involved. The concept centered around the three singers, and they simply cast a girl for effect. So, the casting wasn’t a huge task in the making of this type of video.

3. Gather your staff and equipment.

The production staff and equipment are so, so important. It’s impossible to film a high-quality music video on your own; you need directors and cameramen to facilitate the whole show. Whether it’s friends or professionals, just make sure you have people in charge of certain parts of the production. You definitely need a director, at least two cameramen (to achieve different angles), someone in charge of the music, and a choreographer if necessary.

In terms of equipment, if you’re working with a tight budget, just work with what you have; as you move up the ranks later on you can work on improving your camera quality. Make sure to have two or three cameras (best if they have manual and auto focus), tripods (moving tripod dollies would be ideal), speakers for playing the song, a megaphone for the director’s comments, a green screen if necessary, and the right props.

4. Scout for locations.

Especially for indie filmmakers, this task is a tedious and challenging one. First of all, some places don’t allow filming (e.g. coffee shop, supermarket, etc.). Second of all, your setting may be easy to visualize, but you’ll realize it is hard to find. You’ll also have to do a lot of furnishing and spending on your own for certain places, such as adding props to an abandoned warehouse or parking lot.

However, you should focus on finding a location that allows filming, is large enough for the scene and staff, and looks aesthetically pleasing on camera. Do plenty of test runs and film at additional locations just in case.

In Justin Chon’s vlog below, you can see just how hard it is to cast and location scout for an indie film .

5. Edit.

Editing is the magic behind every video online. Whether it’s adding graphics and animation to clips, piecing together a storyline, or putting together different angles to achieve a stunning visual, editing is unarguably the most essential step in filmmaking. Editing can also hide mistakes you may have missed while filming.

Remember that for music videos, vlogs, and films alike, the movie magic is the editing. It’s all about how you tweak what you have to create something out of nothing.

Filming a high-quality music takes a lot of time and plenty of work. However, just smoothly walk through the above five steps and don’t rush. Put out the best result at your own pace.

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Angelina Hue enjoys listening to a wide variety of music, from instrumental movie scores to alternative indie to Korean pop music. She also likes to make short films and write fiction.

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