Music video production

With Bell Biv DeVoe, Summer 2013

Independent artists and bands have never had better access to music video production with such potent media tools to enable them show their work in cinematic and broadcast quality. It is quite common however, that the visual story telling skill and production experience is rarely available. More than likely, there isn’t a knowledgeable filmmaker in the band or crew, so employing an experienced music video production director/producer is a key component. A music video is pretty much a short film which is why a Director and Producer is required. It is interesting that the history of the music video concept existed before television, and back when cinema with sound started to occur, a number of music short films were produced. Musical films in the 50’s and 60’s then started to make their way onto the big screen and all of these productions happened well before video was even thought about.

The making of an awesome music video production

Music video production takes the same amount of effort as producing a short film. The more care and attention as well as input from experienced film professionals, the more amazing the music video will be. In reality, the objective of the music video is to give the viewer a visual understanding and interaction with the music. So what points need to be considered when making a music video? Here is a list of important details:

  • The video should tell a story that pays tribute to the song
  • It should deliver an emotional, visual performance from the artists
  • It must look great on all devices including desk top, smartphone, tablet right through to home cinema
  • It must have good camera work including composition, lighting and colors to keep the attention of the viewer
  • Ensure that it is made like a short film by a great film maker
  • Provide transitions and depth of field when needed
  • Interprets the artist as believable and strong in character
  • Provide a signature shot that is a memorable part of the video

Finding a filmmaker

The music artist will need to work with a dedicated film maker, someone who is enthusiastic and highly experienced in the art of filmmaking. It is important to hire someone who genuinely believes in the project and is really excited by it. Always take a look at what the chosen film maker has previously produced because it is possible to find out whether the look and feel of their films are a perfect fit for the music video. It would be no good hiring someone who only produces dark, gothic style movies if you are after clouds, fairies and butterflies. It’s also good to consider film makers who have not produced a music video. If they have all of the necessary skill and you really like their work, they should be able to produce an amazing music video.

From The Drums-Down By The Water

From The Drums-Down By The Water

The song arrangement

Before starting to plan the music video production, it is highly recommended that the song must be the final arrangement, with all final instruments recorded. The Director/Producer will also need to get acquainted with the song for them to create their visual interpretations for the story telling in the music video.

Connection with the filmmaker

There really needs to be a connection with the filmmaker that you need to have. It can be very difficult to work with someone if you feel awkward or have no common connection with. You can usually tell if you are employing the right person from the initial face to face meeting.

Once all of the initial work has been done and the film team has been selected, the natural course of progression is to develop the story, start the filming, edit the video and hopefully at the end, you have a music video that is exactly what you wanted.

From The Strokes - Under Cover of Darkness

From The Strokes – Under Cover of Darkness