How to Make a Homemade Music Video

Music videos are a great way to bring a song to life by reinforcing a concept and establishing the theme of the music. As seen on MTV and YouTube, many musicians make music videos for their songs to further promote their content and get their message across in a visual manner. However, not every artist has access to the high quality equipment that is available on a Hollywood set. Luckily, recording equipment and video editing softwares have become more accessible to everyone, so there is no need to spend thousands of dollars on production. With these tips and your own creativity, you can create your own low budget music video that can compare to the professionals!

1. Establish your theme

What is your song about? What story do you tell through your lyrics? What message would you want to get across to your audience? Before recording, you want to answer these questions in order to determine the overall theme and aesthetic of your music video. If you have a song that encourages people to have fun and live in the moment, then it is important to include a visual representation of that within the music video. If you want to tell a story with your music, use the video to bring the story to life with a clear chronological sequence of events. No matter what kind of music you are creating a video for, it is important to understand what is the overall theme and apply it to the visual.

2. Pick your locations

Location, location, location. You may have heard this quote in relation to real estate, but it is also very important when creating a music video! Location is another important aspect in bringing music to life through video, as it sets the scene and heavily contributed to the feeling the video gives off. While many professional music videos are filmed on built sets, it is fairly easy to manipulate the space available to you through props, decor, and the angles at which you film the shots. It is also important to make sure the background of the videos are not too bland, yet are not distracting to the point that they take away from the main subject of the shot.

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3. Record your shots

Recording is definitely the most important part of creating any music video. While not everyone has access to the high quality film camera they use in Hollywood, many DSLR cameras and even smart phones provide the same crisp images that make a video high quality. When recording, it is best to consider the different angles you want to take of your subject and film as many takes as you need until the shot is exactly how you want it. Different filming techniques can also be utilized to make transitions between clips while editing, such as a spinning the camera around to create a spin transition. Lastly, it is important to keep the camera moving to add more movement to the clip. A stationary camera can make for boring clips as it relies too heavily on the subject to provide the movement. It is best to invest in a stabilizer to make sure the footage does not appear shaky from the movement as well.

A Roll and B Roll

When recording the footage to be used in the music video, it is important to understand the concept of A Roll and B Roll. Simply put, A Roll is the footage that is used to tell the main story, while B Roll are supplementary shots that set the scene and provide context for the storyline. For example, in a music video set at the beach, an A Roll shot could feature the artist singing the lyrics to the music in the sand or in front of the ocean, whereas the B Roll footage could include the crashing waves or people walking along the boardwalk. When obtaining the A Roll footage, the most important part to consider is how the shots will fit into the story chronologically to ensure a smooth flow of events. While shooting B Roll, consider what shots will add depth to the video and help the viewer construct a clearer image of the setting.

4. Edit!

Once all of the footage has been taken, you need to edit the clips together to create a concise and aesthetically pleasing video for the song. There are a variety of video editing softwares available to purchase and download such as Final Cut Pro X, iMovie, and Adobe Premiere Pro, that include a variety of visual and audio effects that can take the video to a new level. When editing, it is good to consider how you want the video to flow and the overall aesthetic. Changing clips to the best of the music helps to connect the visual to the song, for example, with upbeat songs, fast transitions and multiple effects throughout the clips generate feelings of excitement that correspond to the music. Color grading is also very important to include as it makes the different clips look uniform and can enhance different parts of the visual that you may want to stand out. Through successful editing, any low budget music video can be made to look professionally done.

5. Take advantage of what you have

When making a homemade video, it’s important to make good use of the items you already have at your disposal to prevent spending money on new props and decor. Any homemade set can be brightened up with some old Christmas lights or a colorful tapestry that may be lying around. The most important part of the video is the visual, therefore creating the illusion of a high quality music video set with the items you already own will help liven up the setting without breaking the bank.

6. Share and promote

Once your video is finished, it’s time to upload it and promote it your audience! Many music videos are uploaded onto YouTube or other social media accounts of the artist to ensure that their audience sees the content and can appreciate it. It is recommended to start promoting the video before it comes out with little teasers, short clips of footage, and pictures, to excite your audience and make them anticipate its release. With a lot of hard work and creativity, anyone can make a high quality, homemade music video that their audience will enjoy and appreciate!

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