In my recording studio, I also make music videos for my clients. It allows them to have a final product, including their music which they can easily promote on social media and other platforms like YouTube and TikTok.
You will find in this article all my tips as a professional music and media engineer about how to make a music video.
If you and your band members need help or a well-lit indoor location for recording, at Fly Away Music and Media Recording Studio in Montreal, we have all the equipment to make your dream music video come true. We even have infinity walls like in Hollywood (including a white, black and green screen) to create the decor you want for your own music video. Check it out!
- Creating a concept: the first step in making a music video
- The art of storytelling: how to craft a compelling music video
- Pre-production planning: how to make a music video that stands out
- Choosing the right video equipment: the tools you need to make a music video
- Lighting and camera techniques: how to create a professional-looking music video
- Editing and post-production: the finishing touches of your music video
- Promoting your music video: how to get your video seen
- Music video production on a budget: how to make a music video without spending all your money
- The do’s and don’ts of making a music video: avoiding common mistakes
- The future of music videos: how technology is changing the game
1. Creating a concept: the first step in making a music video
The first step to making your first music video is to find the overall idea, your music video concept. It can simply be a visual image or a complex storyline. Most of the time, the artists align their music videos with the lyrics of their songs. When thinking about your music, you probably have images coming to your mind. What are they? What message do you want to convey? What emotions do you want to trigger in your audience? These can be good starting points. From there, you can start brainstorming and creating a mood board to elaborate on your initial idea.
Also, it would be best if you thought about your branding. What image do you want the people watching your music videos to have of you and your music? Is your idea matching with your branding?
Remember that having a solid concept aligned with your will help make your music video stand out and make you and your music memorable.
For example, most of my clients choose to film themselves while singing or their band playing in the music studio. This is a simple way to make a touching music video. They choose the ambient color of their video based on the primary emotion behind the song. Others are putting more effort into the scenario of their music clip. They choose different locations to shoot their film, hire a film crew and carefully pick costumes. It makes the video more oriented to storytelling. Some others use the green infinity wall to create creative decor or make funny videos.
So be creative and also think about the efforts you are ready to put into your first music video. Because more complex videos take more time to be created.
2. The art of storytelling: how to craft a compelling music video
Storytelling is an essential aspect of music videos and movie making in general, as it allows the audience to connect with the song on a deeper level. A compelling music video tells a story that complements the song and triggers emotions in the viewer. It can be a straightforward narrative that follows the song’s lyrics or a more abstract visual interpretation of its meaning.
First, as the video director, you must have a clear idea about your song’s theme and message. With that in mind, you can create a story that aligns with your message and showcases your unique style as an artist. Also, try to put yourself in your audience’s shoes: what type of story would resonate with them?
Remember that you are creating a video. So what would make your video visually appealing? What decor will you use? What costumes? What colors and lighting? You can even add special effects to enhance your video.
Once again, you want your video to be memorable and unique to help you connect with your audience and effectively convey your message.
3. Pre-production planning: how to make a music video that stands out
Once you have a clear idea of your concept for your song, it will help you determine the script of your video, the location where you will film all the footage, the film crew who will participate and gather the clothes and accessories you want to use before you start shooting.
It would be best if you made a clear plan before filming, so it’s produced efficiently. Especially if you want to film in several locations and involve a few crew members in your video shoot. So craft the script, schedule when and where you will film, ensure crew members are available and prepare all the equipment (filming equipment and clothes) ahead of time.
Don’t forget to check the weather if you decide that your video shoot will be outside. Depending on the vision you have of your video, you may want to adapt your schedule to it.
A detailed plan before you start filming will help you create a music video that stands out by ensuring all aspects of the footage are thoughtfully considered and executed.
4. Choosing the right video equipment: the tools you need to make a music video
One of the crucial aspects of planning your video is to figure out which equipment you will use. For sure, the quality of the equipment will determine the quality of the final product. You don’t necessarily need to have a professional video camera to film your videos. You can use your smartphone, even if the image might be less quality, and it will have less advanced features than a professional camera. Anyways, make sure that the camera you are using can handle the quality of image you want and the lighting of the place where you are filming your videos. Filming during the night or when it’s raining, for instance, can be more challenging. If you want to use special computer effects like slow motion or time-lapse, ensure your video camera supports them. Also, considering getting a tripod is a great idea to ensure the image is stable unless this is your desired effect for your video.
Regarding the microphone, it might be tricky if you are filming outside and want to avoid capturing the surrounding noises. Your song is still the main element of your music video, so it must be audible to your audience. For most of the videos I make for my clients, we rarely use the sound from the shots. We always record the sound separately in the recording studio to be sure it has the best quality possible. However, if you want to keep the sound at least in some parts of your video, you need to use a high-quality external microphone that can produce the desired sound quality for a good video.
Choosing the right video equipment makes a big difference and ensures that your own music video looks and sounds professional and appeals to your audience.
5. Lighting and camera techniques: how to create a professional-looking music video
Before filming your videos, you should learn camera, filming and lighting techniques to help you create a memorable and professional-looking music clip.
Lighting helps you give a certain vibe and emotion to your video. You can use natural light to have a natural effect on your video. You can also use artificial light to create, for instance, a more retro, romantic or dramatic look to your video. You can buy affordable lighting kits online to create the lighting you want for your video concept. Good lighting can also help control the image’s exposure, contrast and color temperature.
Filming techniques like full-length, medium or close-up shots enable you to focus your audience’s attention on the crucial details in your video. Use full-length shots in your footage to make people focus on the places where the videos are filmed. Medium shots are better if the action should be the centre of attention. In contrast, use close-up shots of the person’s face when what they say is important or to convey emotion more efficiently. You can search for and use plenty of other film techniques in the shooting process of your music video.
Camera techniques like camera movements, multiple angles, and composition can also create visual interest and convey the story. For example, a Steadicam can give the video a smooth, flowing feel, while a drone can provide a unique perspective and sense of scale. Different camera angles and compositions can also help convey a particular emotion or message.
It’s also important to remember that lighting, filming and camera techniques are closely related. Therefore, it’s essential to consider how they will work together to create the desired effect.
6. Editing and post-production: the finishing touches of your music video
Once you have filmed all your video sequences, editing and post-production are the final stages. They involve taking the footage captured and shaping it into the final video.
During the video editing process, we organize, trim and assemble the footage in a first draft of the music video with video editing software. This is where the story is put together, and we think about the pace and rhythm of the video so it’s aligned with the song. It’s also the stage where the audio track is added along with the visual and audio effects. For the visual effects, you can, for instance, modify the color of parts of the video and create transitions between the different shots. For the sound effects, you can, for example, create a panning effect in the music track to give the illusion the sound is moving around the listener or create an echo. There are tons of visual and audio effects that you can use to make your video unique.
Post-production is the final stage when making music videos. The entire video is refined and polished in this stage by adding the final modifications and touches. Once done, the finished video is mastered and exported into the final format depending on how the video will be used (e.g. MP4, WMV, MOV, etc.). The choice of the format is important for the quality of the final product but also to know if you will need extra storage memory to store it or publish it on the video platforms.
Those two final steps can be time-consuming, but it’s also where your music clip is finally brought to life. This is also a phase where you can be very creative to make your video visually interesting and engaging for your audience.
7. Promoting your music video: how to get your video seen
A thing that my clients are always forgetting is that the work is not done yet! Why would you have worked so hard on your music video if it was not for it to be seen by everyone? So you have to promote it once it’s released. Music is a product, and your audience is like your clients. So if you want to be a professional artist, consider your music career a business you want to grow.
There are a lot of different ways to promote your music video. It’s essential to consider your target audience and where they spend most of their time online.
You can use social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Those platforms will allow you to share your video with your followers and engage with them through comments and direct messages. Interaction with your audience is essential. You want to build a good relationship with them so they keep following you and looking forward to your subsequent releases. Also, TikTok and the Reels of Instagram, for instance, are good ways to reach more people than those already following you.
You can also submit your project to music video platforms like YouTube, Vimeo and Dailymotion. Those platforms can also help you reach a larger audience and increase your visibility on search engines like Google. Some YouTube videos are quickly reaching thousands of views, for instance.
You can reach out to your band members, friends, family, music influencers, and bloggers who can help you share your video. Same with radio stations, music magazines and TV shows. Some of them are promoting emerging artists, often in exchange for an amount of money. So give it a try, reach out to them and see what they propose. Additionally, keep yourself informed about the live performances and events that are organized in your area. This is an excellent way to connect with your audience in person.
Finally, if you have a budget for marketing, consider publishing paid ads to your music video targeting the audience you would like to reach.
Remember that promoting your music video is essential to make it seen by as many people as possible and grow your fanbase.
8. Music video production on a budget: how to make a music video without spending all your money
Creating a music video can be expensive, but it’s possible to make a good music video without spending too much money. You have to be strategic about how to produce it, knowing where to cut costs without sacrificing the video quality.
Concerning video equipment, you can minimize expenses by choosing cheaper equipment like your smartphone to capture your music videos. You can also rent or borrow the equipment from someone you know.
Before choosing the locations of your video footage, make sure of the budget it represents. Instead of renting a space, think about public spaces or at home. Another good way is to use a green screen to add any background you want during the edition phase.
Work with your band members, friends and family if you need additional people in your video. They will be glad to be part of it, and you will have a nice footage moment together.
Regarding editing and post-production, there is a lot of free video editing software that you can find online.
Having a clear budget will help you stay on track and avoid overspending.
9. The do’s and don’ts of making a music video: avoiding common mistakes
Making a music video can be a complex and challenging process, and it’s easy to make mistakes that can negatively impact the final product. Here is a list of 5 common mistakes to avoid:
- Not having a clear concept or story: Without a clear idea of what your music video will look like, you will lose a lot of time. And the message of your video might not have the desired effect on your audience.
- Not properly planning the production: Lack of planning can lead to delays, problems on set and a less polished final product. Also, it could lead to spending more money because you might have to shoot several times, missing some essential parts of your video.
- Not paying attention to the details: This can include poor sound quality, bad lighting, or poor camera angle. These small details can have a significant impact on the overall quality of the final product.
- Not considering the target audience: It’s essential to keep in mind the audience you want to reach and what music video type will appeal to them.
- Not promoting the video effectively: Even if you have a great music video, if you don’t promote it effectively, it will not be seen by as many people as you want, and your hard work won’t pay off.
By being aware of these common mistakes, you can take action to avoid them and ensure that your music video is thriving and stands out.
10. The future of music videos: how technology is changing the game
Technology is constantly evolving, and it’s changing how to make a music video and how people consume it.
One way technology is changing the game is through the use of drones. Drones allow for unique aerial shots and can be used to capture footage in hard-to-reach locations.
Additionally, AI and machine learning advancements are being used in music video production, such as automatic color correction, object tracking and motion stabilization.
Technology is also changing the way music videos are consumed, with the rise of streaming platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo, allowing audiences to watch music videos on-demand from anywhere in the world.
Finally, social media, such as TikTok, are also changing the game by providing a platform for emerging artists to share their music videos and gain exposure and a fanbase. They are also great for monetizing your music videos since they offer new brand partnerships and sponsored content opportunities.
To conclude, technology is constantly evolving and providing new opportunities on how to make a music video. Creators need to stay informed and adapt to these changes to remain competitive in the industry.
I hope this article is helpful for you and clarifies the process of how to make a music video! Have fun!