Your Complete Guide to Music video production
Here’s everything you need to know about music video production.
10 minute read
Your brain is really one big organ for making sense of the world, and it does that almost entirely through vision. Yes, we use other senses, but seeing is our primary sense, by a long distance. Colors and movement captures our attention. For instance, adding color to documents such as safety notices has been shown to increase recall of that technical information by up to 82%.
Listeners are no longer just hearing, they are seeing too. Nowadays, there is a tacit expectation for a visual reference associated with your music. This is where your ideas come into play! Music videos communicate to your audience, promoters, and bookers that you take your music project seriously and professionally. Music videos have existed for a while now. With better film technology and the rise of pop culture, the late 60s and 70s was a time of promoting music as an artist through video. From David Bowie to The Beatles, there were many artists that started releasing music videos. So how are music videos made? We’re going to get into all that goes into music video production here. Check out our music video production showreel here.
Music video production
1. Why are music videos important?
2. Steps to creating music videos
Why are music videos important?
A music video can help you promote your band on social networks such as YouTube, Facebook, and then enhance your performances. And contrary to what you may think, a music video doesn’t have to cost a fortune. The most important thing is that you have a good idea, a good team and a well defined budget.
But how important are music videos, in the 21st century, as a promotional tool for an artist or record label? To what extent is a good video a key factor in the always difficult road to success for a band or artist, whatever their musical genre?
Here are some key reasons for their importance:
- Videos are able to attract more audiences to an artist and their brand.
- Videos are easy to watch and less time consuming. They are also easy to share, which again, attracts a larger audience.
- Music videos are useful for artists in two ways: exposure and revenue.
- When brands enter the scene and strategically place their products in music videos, they can generate a new revenue stream for the artist and, at the same time, raise brand awareness. → this means that product placement can happen in music videos.
For example, days years ago in 2013, the late Swedish DJ Avicii is seen playing a concert in front of thousands of fans in his music video for ‘Wake Me Up’. From 2:56, one of the fans can be seen pulling a Sony Xperia out of her pocket and taking a photograph, with the glimmering Nokia logo clearly visible throughout the frames.
How to produce a music video? The ultimate guide
How to make a video with music? And I’m not talking about the filming yet. Before you start producing your music video and become a rockstar, it’s important to plan and consider a few key things. Here are some key steps that we will get into:
- Determine a budget
- Shooting locations
- Technical equipment
1. Determine a budget
Like any production, music video production can be costly. It can cost up to 300 euros to create home-made music videos. For low-budget music video productions, it could cost between 5000 euros and 10000 euros. A high-end music video can cost up to 300,000 euros and even several million when you are an international star.
In other words, music videos can be costly and so it is important to establish a budget in the planning stages before approaching any concepts or ideas for a music video. Remember, simple music videos can be just as effective as elaborate music videos. Just look at Coldplay’s music video for ‘Yellow’.
2. Brainstorm and write a script.
To make a music video, you need to make a plan. Get together with your group. Lock yourself in for as long as it takes. Laugh, yell, cry, but don’t go out without an idea that appeals to all members and reflects your musical vision. You have your idea. Now you need to pre-write to build your world; to gather the means to get there and the elements that will make your audience want to stay. Define your characters, their relationships, their character traits, what drives them, the place in which they exist.
3. Choose a location
Depending on your vision and idea, your location could be anything. Maybe you shoot outside or maybe you’re shooting in a studio. Maybe you use a green screen studio? That’s what we did for Le Flyyy’s music video, shot completely in our green screen studio.
Finding a venue can take a long time, without even knowing if you will be allowed to play there. Sometimes, a studio is an easier option and then you can always change your ideas in the editing process without having to go back to shoot more.
4. Technical equipment
When recording a music video, it’s best to use at least two cameras: one for a long shot with a tripod, and a handheld camera for closer shots. This will make your music video more interesting.
You can film music videos using your phone. For example, Selena Gomez shot her music video for ‘Look at Her Now’ using the iphone 11 Pro.
Just make sure to not use portrait mode. To film a quality clip with your phone, take into account:
- A location with good light, preferably sunlight.
- A format in 1080 pixels and 60 FPS, with the stabilization mode
- Add filters and contrasts to give the illusion of a professional work
Lighting and color design play a major role in video clips. Although you will have many options in post-production, it’s better to ensure clear and consistent lighting conditions when shooting. You can use the cheapest and brightest light source: sunlight. Pay attention to cloud formation and the time of day. When using artificial lighting, it is best to combine three light sources: a strong spotlight above, an indirect light in front and a spotlight from behind (three-point lighting).
Once you have shot your music video, all you have left to do is edit. But the editing process can be made easy by our services here at SmartCuts Creative.
As established, music videos are still extremely important for singers. Music videos can help promote your brand as an artist through social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube. But creating a professional music video requires help from a team. SmartCuts can help produce your next music video if you are based in Switzerland, and more specifically, Lausanne and Geneva. Feel free to contact us for a free consultation. Check out our music video production page to see some of our previous projects and clients.
Give us a call or reach out now: