Some people believe the first music video was made in 1894! Others point out that Bohemian Rapsody by Queen was the first contemporary and meaningful music video effort. 

Whatever the case, music videos are an integral part of the music industry these days. Shooting a music video can take your song and artist persona to new levels in so many ways. 

Yet, the question of how to shoot a music video is a tricky one. After all, there is a huge mix of concepts people use in their videos to try and stand out from the crowd.

We will now run through a step-by-step guide teaching you a fundamental approach to making a music video. You can use this guide as a starting point from which you can then explore your ideas and turn them into reality on film.

Read on to make your music video ambitions come to life!

Choose an Appropriate Song 

You might have a song that you and others adore. Yet, this song may not make much impact compared to another one of your tracks in visual form. So, the first step in making an impactful music video is to highlight a track that’s going to pop with visuals! 

Consider that longer songs will mean you need to film hours more video footage than your standard 3-minute track video. Also, longer tracks may not have much appeal to certain audiences while other audiences will prefer them. So knowing what your fan base or target audience wants is crucial in the song-choosing process for your music video production.

Casting and Equipment

Depending on the type of music video you are making, you may need to go through a casting process. If your video will be entirely computer generated, then there will be no need.

However, whatever style you make your video, you’ll still need to think about all the equipment you need to make it professional-looking and attractive to an audience. 

With a team of actors, you need to consider all their needs throughout the filming process. We’re talking about food, transport, and even accommodation in some cases. 

If you do hire camera people, it’s best to try to find those who have their own professional equipment to save money. It would be ideal if the people you hire also have other equipment such as lighting and drones for filming dynamic and scenic shots.

If you are doing a live recording of your band playing, then you need to get all your recording equipment in order. Plus, to give your video an extra dynamic, why not consider renting a car for the shoot like so many celebrities do these days? For example, you could rent an Escalade and drive it through Denver as an idea!

Planning Your Shoot

Whatever the style of music video you make, a storyboard is a go-to technique to get everything in order. Once you have all your shots in order, you then list beside them who and what needs to be included for that period of shooting. You can assign the number of hours you think each scene will take too to provide you with a rough estimate of how long the total shoot will take,

You should run through each scene with your cast and crew with good notice before the time of the shoot. This way they will know what you expect of them on the day. 

Let the Filming Commence

On the first day of the shoot, you must try to stick to your plans, or chaos could ensue! And any chaos will surely cost you time and money. 

Also, be realistic about the timeframes of each shot and scene. Don’t make your schedule so tight that you can’t get the shot you wanted and end up with a video that’s way below the standards you envisaged. 

Try to get a few decent takes of every scene and make some of them a little different. Later down the line, the different ones might end up making more sense in the overall video concept. Make sure to label your shots with care so you don’t have a nightmare at the editing stage.

Consider Stock Footage

If you are on a budget, incorporating stock footage into your video can work well. Stock footage can pad out your video so that your actual filming time doesn’t need to be so extensive. Just make sure you are tasteful with the stock footage you use and ensure it flows with the content you create.

One other clear advantage of using stock footage is that you can add an element of high-level professionalism to your videos. You’ll also be able to show visuals that would almost be impossible to capture on a low budget. 

There is the option of finding free stock footage from some websites. Just be aware that some of this footage may be low quality compared to paid options. 

Use the Right Editing Software

To deliver the impact your song deserves in a video, the video editing software you decide to use can make a huge difference. With basic video software, you’re going to get predictable and sometimes unprofessional-looking transitions and effects. 

Yet, it all depends on the video style you are shooting. If it’s a minimalistic video that relies on the quality of the footage more than anything else, you could get away with using basic video editing software.

There is always the option of outsourcing your editing too. Be sure to check the editor’s previous work to see if you like their style of editing. One major plus when hiring a professional music industry video editor is that they will know how to inject an element of music marketing into your video as well. 

Some Useful Tips on How to Shoot a Music Video

You now should have a better idea of how to shoot a music video. Use these tips in the fundamentals of music video making and then get those creative juices flowing!

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