5 Tips How to Make a Music Video
A Band’s Guide to Music Videos. Making a music video is a fun and exciting experience for your band. Avoid some common pitfalls by following these simple tips.
1. Decide on a song that represents your band as a whole.
Maybe the sweet lullaby with the dulcimer twinkling in the background is your favorite song, but if your band’s fare is usually severely punk, then spending all that time on that one song may mislead fans who are looking for a mellower sound. Find your signature tune (usually the most popular tune you have), and work with that. Make sure everyone is familiar with the tune, inside and out, even the new drummer who replaced the old drummer who only lasted three gigs.
2. Decide on a budget.
How much can you afford, really afford, to spend? At the least, even with borrowed equipment, a free location, and your brother doing post production, you will probably blow at the least a few hundred making this video. High end videos, like those on MTV, run into movie-budget type numbers, so if you don’t have the dough to make the next Thriller, then go for a style that fits your band and where you are at right now.
3. Decide on a style.
Most likely, your music video will be low-budget. However, bands like OK Goproved that even cheesy choreography and treadmills can become a major hit! (Brief pause as I enjoy their wacky video for the hundredth time.) Find a style that will appeal to your audience. Think about things like location, costuming, color palette (notice OK Go’s choice of pink versus gray), props, choreography, lip syncing, optional story lines, scenery, etc. Will it fit into a genre (sci-fi, historical, club scene, etc.) It is up to you and your band whether you want to storyboard the whole video or improvise. Most likely you are not going to be working with professional actors, so ad lib is probably the way to go.
4. Get a location.
There are thousands of free locations around you, from churches, to parks, to universities, to warehouses, and the woods. Find a location that fits with the style of your video and then find out whether or not you need permission to tape. Then go from there. Think about things like whether you will need lighting and electricity.
5. Get the gear.
You can borrow or rent most professional level gear. If you want to go for that “amateur look”, which is perfect for venues like You Tube, then you can buy consumer video cameras and equipment. Don’t worry about sound. Sound will be dubbed in later in post production. Think about aspect ratio, lighting, graininess, if you are shooting at night, weather, and other conditions that will affect what you will need for the shoot.