Welcome to part one of the how to make a music video series. This is a two part series that will guide you through the process of getting a music video made. In this series we won’t cover how to use your own camera and record your own music video, that will be covered in a later post. We will however assume that you’ll be working with a camera man and a video editor, and that they are professionals who have their own equipment.
This guide focuses on everything that you personally need to think about and sort out to make your video come out how you want it. Many people fail to realise how much work needs to be put in to make a music video, so we’ve put this guide together to let you know step by step what you’ll need to do. In part 1 we’ll show you the importance of picking the right song to match your video’s aims, what factors you need to think about with regards to the look, feel and speed of the video, and how to create a storyboard that will get everyone on the same page when it comes to making it.
Please Note: How To Make A Music Video Part 2 is also out now. I advise you read this current article first, and then move on to part 2 once you have finished.
How To Make A Music Video – Pick The Right Song
Before we go into talking about how to make your music video, I want to talk a bit about your song selection. As you will probably know, creating a music video can be a costly process. Because of this, it’s best to make the right kind of video the first time around. Some people think they can make any type of music video and fame will reach them overnight. This is far from true however, as a music video (Like a song) is only a tool you can use to help make your name. If you pick the wrong tool, the final results can be less then effective.
Questions you need to ask yourself include:
- What do I hope to achieve from this music video?
- What audience am I aiming this video at? And
- How will releasing a video benefit me?
Depending on these answers, you may pick a different song to make a video for. For example, let’s say you make rap music. If your aim was to reinforce your underground status, you’d pick a very different song then you would if you was going to try and go commercial.
I’d always advice making a video for a song that will have mass appeal while sticking to your roots as much as possible. The more people the song appeals to, the more music channels you have the chance of getting on. The more music channels you get your video played on, the more your video will get viewed.
The main aim of making your first music video should be getting it seen by as many people as possible. You especially want to gain new fans, and get them onto your mailing list where you can contact them any time you want.
While you could make a niche video that would only appeal to a section of your potential fans, this will make it harder to gain the exposure or royalties then a wider reaching song could get. Depending on your aims however, you should pick the song that you feel will best achieve your goals.
How To Make A Music Video – Think Of A Concept
Ok, so you’ve got the perfect song which you’re going to make a music video to. The next stage is to get an idea of what you want to happen in your music video. This is creating a concept, something many of you should be good at if you already write your own original songs. Here are some things you’ll need to think about when trying to establish the concept and feel of your video.
- The Story.
So, what story will your music video be following? While at this stage you won’t need to go into every single detail, you will need to get an idea of what you want to happen in it. So for example, what are you trying to portray? And what will be the main things that happen in this video? Later we will go on to fill out the story more, but for now just get a rough idea together.
- Music Video Location.
While at this stage it may be difficult to be exact, you will need to think about what kind of setting you will be using. For example, will you be recording your video in an indoor our outdoor location? If indoors, is it somewhere that’s easily accessible? If it’s in a venue not owned by you, could you hire it or record in there for free? How much will this cost?
If you’re using an outdoor location, will it be busy around the time you’re recording? Will there be many distractions? Are you even allowed to record there?
All of these things need to be established and checked up on to see if they can work. You do this checking now so when it comes to creating your storyboard later, you will have a location to set the story in.
- Feel Of The Music Video.
Next up, you will have to decide on the feel of your video. Do you want it to be a bright video with lots of happy faces? Or a darker more moody video with lots of straight faces? You won’t have to stick to just one of those two feels of course, you can give any type of feel you want to your video.
As well as having the people on your video act a certain way, you will also be able to change the mood in post production stage. If you have a good video editor, they can give different lighting and shadow effects to change the mood of the finished music video. This can make even low budget music videos into an attractive sight.
- Pace Of your Video.
As well as the feel of the music video you make, you also have to think about the pace of things. Do you want to make a fast moving video with things coming and going quickly? Or do you want a slower moving video with everything going at a more relaxed pace? This needs to be decided as soon as possible, as depending on your answer, you will need to find a video recorder or editor that can work in this style. A video is usually given the impression of speed via moving cameras, quick frame changes, and a busy screen. On the other hand, if you want a slower calmer video,you’ll usually have a slower moving camera with fewer frame changes.
It is important to describe to your video director before hand what you want to achieve with your video, and how fast you want it to move.
- How Busy Should It Be.
When I talk about how busy your video should be, I mean how many things are going on at ones. An example of a busy video would be the main character walking through a packed train station. There is a lot of things going on, and a lot of things in frame. An example of a non busy video would be someone in a field. There are no other people, and there’s a lot of open space.
Once again, this should work with the speed of your video. A fast video is more likely to have more people in it, while a slow video will usually have less or no other people in it. This isn’t set in stone of course, as you can always have a slow moving video with a lot of people and visa versa.
Once you have thought about all of these things, you will have a good idea of how you want your music video to be made. You will know roughly what’s going to be happening in it, as well as what look and feel it’s going to have. The next stage is creating a storyboard, and planning out your music video scene for scene.
Make A Music Video – Create A Storyboard
Ok, so it’s time to create a storyboard. I have already written a guide on everything you need to know about creating storyboards, so instead of writing it all again, check out this article on how to create a storyboard for music videos (Opens in a new window, be sure to come back here once you’ve read it). This article will show you what storyboards are, why they’re vital when creating a music video, and how to make one easily. It also includes a free storyboard template for you to use. If you’re going to learn how to make a music video, you should do it the right way. Get your storyboard right.
Make A Music Video – Part 1 Conclusion
That’s it for part one. By now you should have a song to record a video for, have a good idea of what you want to include in your music video, and be well on your way to laying it all out in your storyboard.
Here is How To Make A Music Video Part 2.
In part two we’ll be looking at how to find the right company to record your video, what things you’ll need to have sorted for the day of the video shoot, and more. So check out How To Make A Music Video Part 2 now.