Music videos can be difficult for newcomers, as crafting them is very different from most other types of video production. For example, aside from lyrics, you’ll be working off a script that’s almost entirely visual. Also, you need to pack that entire visual story into just a few minutes — there’s no time for long establishing shots in a music video. However, when done well, music videos pay off big time as one of the best ways to introduce a band to new audiences. While music videos can be anything from a simple concert performance video to a high-concept short film, any project should keep these tips in mind.
Most music videos you see on traditional media are expensive, with some costing upwards of a million dollars to produce. However, with a little ingenuity you can craft an excellent video on a tight budget. Start by thinking about free resources you have available to you, such as locations, props, and costumes. Plan out a concept for your video that includes them, rather than storyboarding the whole thing and renting/making resources after the fact. (Just make sure you have any necessary permits if you're filming on public property.) Also, be sure to reach out to friends and family of band members who may be able to help with music video production.
This doesn't mean that you have to directly reference the lyrics — something that when too literal can come off as hackneyed — but consider doing things like syncing transitions between scenes and verses. Plan out a video where visual and audio progress mirror each other. Also, keep your band's target audience and the song's tone in mind when planning out your video's style. Finally, dub the song in post-production but have it playing on-set to make sure everything syncs up — especially to the vocalist's lips when applicable.
With few exceptions, good music videos aren't complicated. If you're planning out a video that tells a story, don't make it difficult to follow. Remember that you're dealing with a limited amount of time and that rushed scenes never look slick. Simplicity is especially important for new bands wanting to introduce themselves through video — too-busy visuals can take away their spotlight. Try to make a video that is unique and clever without being overly complex.
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