How To Make a Music Video In 4 Easy Steps

A music video can help promote your music and garner immense exposure. Advanced technology has made it easier than ever to create quality music videos. For instance, Robert Koch’s “Dark Waves”, Kanye West’s “Only One” and Kate Nash’s “She rules” are testimony that you don’t need a huge budget or expensive equipment to shoot music videos.

Below is Kanye West’s “Only One”, shot entirely using an iPhone.

This proves that creative ingenuity and a small team of passionate individuals can create a stellar music video.

Follow these steps to create a music video and save thousands of dollars:

1. Plan your shoot

The first step in producing a music video is intensive planning. This step includes four sub-categories.

a) Plan the budget

You can create a high-profile music video with a shoestring budget. Pool all your resources to determine how much money you have to invest into the project. A well-thought-out budget will help cut costs and get better results.

b) Brainstorm ideas for your music video

Sit down with the rest of your band members, or if you are a solo artist, with a group of friends to discuss ideas for your music video. The video should be a visual representation of your music and therefore, should be meticulously planned. Try to come up with ideas that are creative, innovative and unusual. Further, keep a notebook with you at all times to pen down ideas as they occur to you.

c) Develop a storyboard

A storyboard is the most essential planning tool required during the video-making process. It is a shot-by-shot sketch of the entire music video. In essence, a storyboard is essential to map how your video will look and feel, scene by scene. In addition, it should also list the props and actors required for each shot.

d) Pick a location

Spend time scouting for appropriate locations for your music video. You might also require prior permission from authorities to shoot in certain locations. Therefore, it is vital that you sort the required legal work before you begin shooting.

2. Gather a team and essential equipment

You will require a small team to film your music video. You might need actors, a camera person, a lighting person and a director to ensure smooth flow of the filming process. Depending on your budget hire amateurs or approach photographer friends to fill in roles. In addition, you could contact an arts college and request film students to help out. Offer them credits and recognition for their assistance.

As mentioned earlier, you don’t need expensive equipment to shoot your video. The basic essentials are a camera, a tripod, lights, reflectors and a few props. Avidly look for places where you can rent affordable equipment. 

3. Shoot your video

Below are a few tips to follow while shooting your video:

  • Be very organised on the day of the shot.
  • Follow your shooting schedule diligently to avoid wasting time.
  • Shoot the same scene from different angles to give the video a cinematic look.
  • Film retakes even if you have achieved the perfect shot. More footage will give you more options when comes to editing.
  • Be open to improvisation while shooting. You don’t have to follow the storyboard very rigidly. For instance, you could also record a live gig and use parts of the footage in your music video. This way, you can capture the raw energy of the band and the natural reaction of the fans.

For example, the official music video of “Fix You” by Coldplay uses footage of the band’s live concert. 

4. Edit your video

There are multiple video-editing tools available on the Internet. For instance, iMovie or Windows Movie Maker is extremely user-friendly. However, I recommend you use Adobe Premier Pro or Sony Vegas as they have additional useful features.

After you have picked a video editing software, create an edit log. An edit log is a list of all the shots you will use in sequential order. This will make the editing process a lot quicker. Next, use appropriate cuts, angles, effects and filters to make your video visually appealing. Finally, export the video to a good quality format.

An important note on music video editing: Check if the actors’ lip movements are in sync with the lyrics. Ensure the video is perfectly integrated with the audio before you export the final product.

It’s not very difficult to produce a music video. The evolution in technology has made it easy to create quality videos with simple equipment and a shoestring budget. Follow the above tips to produce your next viral music video.

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Manasa Boggaram is a writer and has a strong passion for music, positive news and constructive journalism. When she is not researching story ideas or writing blog posts, she spends her time reading books, discovering new music and eating lots of street food.


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