Do you remember going home in high school or middle school to turn on MTV, lay back on the couch with an after school snack, and watch your favorite musicians groove and move to the latest hit songs? Music videos were popular then, and they still are now. It is always fun to see creativity and imagery applied to your favorite hit song to create a short film. With all the technology available today, it has become easy to make your own music video. If you have a knack for combining technology with creativity, then read on as we go over how to make your own music video in 6 easy-to-follow steps.
Step 1: Develop Your Vision
Any good music video will need to develop a concept or vision for what needs to happen. When developing the concept for your own music video, there are a few things that you will need to take into consideration.
- Budget: If this is your first music video, you do not have to get overly elaborate or shell out hundreds of dollars. Some of the most creative and unique music videos are ones that are simple. Know your budget before you start planning to make sure that you have the tools you need to execute your project.
- Write down your thoughts: While managing your own project, you are going to want to make sure that you stay organized. Get a notebook or a notepad and use it to write down your thoughts, ideas, and sketches for your music video. You never know when inspiration is going to come to you.
Step 2: Get a Feel for the Song
- Consult the singer or band: Obviously, a music video is going to be based off of a song. If the song is not your own and you are making the music video for another artist or band, speak with them before beginning the music project. Generally, the musicians are going to have an idea of how they want their music video to look like and play out. However, since you are the director and in charge of making the music video, you will have the final say in the ideas that are incorporated into the final product.
- Listen: Again, before you make any decisions in the direction the music video is going in, listen to the song. Listen to the song a few times before, by yourself, and with the band to see how it makes you feel. Every time you listen to it, allow your mind to create visions and scenarios that you may want to incorporate into your music video. Use your notebook or notepad to jot down your ideas, feelings, and inspirations you get from listening to the song.
- Refine: Now that you have a better idea of the emotions and feelings that an audience can achieve from the song, you can better brainstorm ideas for your music video.
Step 3: Create a Storyboard
Whether you are making a movie or a music video, one important tactic that filmmakers and creative artists use is a story board. A story board will provide you with an effective video-planning tool at your disposal during shooting. Storyboards will incorporate shot-by-shot sketches of your video to help direct the video’s action To learn how to create a story board for your music video, enroll in this course on layout and design. Here are some things to keep in mind when creating a story board for your music video:
- If you are going to incorporate special visual effects or cinematic choices into your video, include them on your storyboard. This will help give direction and you will not forget these details during the shoot.
- Remember that storyboards are not complex or flashy. They are simple notes that will help position actors, props, and point out details for you during the music video shoot.
- Break your music video into scenes that are in line with your vision. This will help minimize shooting time and ensure that things progress smoothly.
Step 4: Shooting
Once you have your music video staffed and you have all your actors and talent ready, you can begin to make your own music video. This is where things get fun, but they can also get hectic as well. Split things up so that you can have a smooth music video shoot execution.
- You can choose to start shooting with the first scene on your story board, or you can choose the scene that is going to be the best fit for your location.
- Make sure that you have good lighting available. To learn how to create ideal lighting for your shoot, check out the evolution of light and how you can implement it here.
- While shooting, remember that the main person in the scene is always going to appear the brightest.
- For your camera, you may want to use a tripod for shooting static scenes. Cameras that have too much motion or jiggle can distract from the scene and distract the viewer as well.
- During your shot, you will want to have the person in charge of Sound cue the music at a certain point. However, you may also choose to feed the sound into the video later on post-shoot.
- Keep in mind that your music video will probably go through multiple takes. Do not get discouraged, and look at this as an opportunity to get everything perfect.
Step 5: Post-production
Once you are finished shooting your music video, you can start the process of making your music video come to life.
- Transfer your music video onto a computer. You can do this using a USB, Firewire, or other various proprietary connections. No matter how you do it, you will want to load everything into your computer for safe keeping and store it in onto one directory.
- Choose the type of editing software you wish to edit your music video in. Check out: Sony Vegas, iMovie, Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro, or a deluxe Avid suite. Usually this is where all the magic happens and things start looking clean.
- Pick out the best scenes and takes to choose the best material for your music video. This will require that you look through what was shot multiple times, from beginning to end. This takes time, but it will be worth it when you see your final product.
Step 6: Insert the Music
When you have finished editing your music video and choosing scenes, it is time for you to insert the music track over your video footage. Load the track in and see how your edits sync up with the music. Hopefully they will be close and in-sync (although probably not perfect). At this time, make any adjustments that you need so that everything happens when it should in cue with the music.
- If you are using footage of an actual performance, be prepared to cover up mistakes while you edit.
- Do not edit your music video to death. A lot of short and choppy cuts can prove disorienting to viewers, and it could result in making your music video look fake.
Bring Music to Life
Music videos have always been in demand and are widely popular. To make your own music video requires time, patience, creativity, and commitment. Take your time with the process and use your best judgment. With some practice, you will be able to come up with a unique visual style that is all your own.