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 budget music video production. 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 music and where you are at right now.
Decide on a style
Even though your music video budget is tight, bands like OK Go have proved that even cheesy choreography and treadmills can become a major hit! Find a style that will appeal to your audience. Think about things like location, costuming, color palette, 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 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.
Location, Location, 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 film there. Just don’t forget things like whether you will need lighting and electricity.
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 platforms like YouTube, 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.
Use a DSLR
Even when compared to shooting with a professional broadcast camera, filming video with a DSLR camera provides an unexpected freedom that can be fun and exciting while giving your budget music video production a high end feel. DSLRs are capable of shooting professional-looking video, and they’re cheaper and more accessible than your average professional-level camera. One nice thing about using a DSLR for video is that you can pull the camera out of the box and start shooting right away. When budgeting for your DSLR, be aware that you’ll need to set aside some cash for accessories if you want to get a serious result.
Whether the artist brings a stereo, iPod with speakers, or just blare it from the car, you are going to need the song to playback to make lip syncing as painless as possible. Once you start taping, take multiple takes, even if you like the first take. The first few takes will be the freshest, but you may need the third or fifteenth take to cut in where the bass guitarist was picking his nose.
Dubbing is a pain, but most music videos show at least a few sections where the band is actually “singing” to the tune. Watch several of your favorite music videos and try to see how often the video is spliced up. Also, frames are often lost during transfer; so don’t be surprised if suddenly the band is out of sync after thirty seconds of being right on.
Post production is the art of taking hours of video footage and splicing it down to three minutes of perfection. While pros use Avid, Final Cut Pro, Premier, or other editing software, basic software like i-Movie or Windows Movie Maker can be used for post if that is all you have available.
Play the rough to a “test” audience and honestly listen back to their feedback. Can the colors be played with a little bit more? What about lighting? Is the lip sync convincing? Were too many effects used (often a sign of amateur videos which focus on the coolness of effects instead of the quality of the whole). Does it tell a story? Does the video represent you?
We always get asked about promotion and maybe I’ll write an article in the future. For now; what is the quality of the DVD album cover? Who is pressing the DVDs or are you launching online only? Where are you planning to distribute? Can you have a launch party for the first music video? Are you selling the video separately?
Making your first video is a fun and amazing experience, and the more videos you make, the better you will become at capturing your style in a few short minutes. Remember even though it’s a low budget music video production, a good idea is free!
Written by Mark A. Wilson the Managing Director of London based video production company Phink TV. With over 10 years experience in Digital Media and the Creative Industry working for the likes of Sky TV, The Times, and The Arcadia Group. I now feel it’s time to give back some of the valuable information and insight I have attained. Amongst my many loves include, video production, digital media, design and marketing trends, hoping I can be a useful contributor to this site on these subjects. Phink TV
Question by : What exactly is a Condenser Microphone?
I’m looking up some components for low-budget filmmaking, and for the microphone, it says it’s a “Line + Gradient Compact Shotgun Condenser Microphone”
Now, I don’t know any sound/microphone terms, in fact, the only word in the whole product name that I know is “Microphone.” So can someone explain to me what each word means, and give me the gist of what this microphone does so that a bumbling high schooler would know what you’re talking about? 😉
Answer by Big
A microphone consisting of a capacitor with one plate fixed and the other forming the diaphragm moved by sound waves…
Add your own answer in the comments!
Be aware of legal issues in filmmaking and learn all about release forms for Indie films with expert tips for producers and directors in this free filmmaking video. Expert: Kevin Lindenmuth Contact: www.lindenmuth.com Bio: Kevin Lindenmuth has worked in the film/video business for more than 20 years. He received his BA in film/video production from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1987. Filmmaker: Travis Waack
Video Rating: 5 / 5