How Do You Make Your Own Music Video: Learning how to make a music video for one of your tracks is a great skill to have. Especially when your music career is in its infancy and you can't afford a professional film company.
Making a music video doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. In fact, with the proper planning and some essential equipment, you and your bandmates could make the video yourselves. Choosing a great song for your first music video and setting up a detailed storyboard is vital. Setting and sticking to a schedule for the day of shooting will also help.
You don’t need a massive budget to create an entertaining and engaging music video. Actually, you and your bandmates could easily shoot some decent footage with a good smartphone or DSLR camera.
There may, however, be certain elements you don’t feel you’re equipped to handle. In this case, you could hire freelancers or film students inexpensively to tackle the trickier parts of the process.
Irrespective, thorough planning will save you a great deal of time and money when you make a music video. It'll also help to ensure that you get all the footage you need for the best possible results. That said, there are a few steps involved when planning, filming, and editing a stellar music video. Let's take a closer look at these in more detail before getting started on your project.
How Do You Make Your Own Music Video: 8 Essential Steps
1. How Do You Make Your Own Music Video? Choose the Music!
When looking to make a music video, you must choose one of your best songs for the video. This may sound a little strange. But you'll want to make sure that the video you release represents who you are as a musician or band. Especially if it's your first.
Be honest with yourself when choosing the track for your music video. If possible, get a few other musicians and producers to weigh in on the decision.
It might even be a good idea to let your fans have a say in which song you select. In fact, if you've released some music and have a particular track that's already popular with fans, you should choose that one.
However, you should also make sure that it's a song you or your band loves. There's nothing worse than shooting multiple takes for a music video of a song you don't particularly enjoy performing.
If you or your band have a good time with the video, the camera will capture that. And when viewing the video, your audience will likely pick up on the enjoyment and excitement you exude.
This will also add positive energy to the song and help to make the filming process more enjoyable.
2. How Do You Make Your Own Music Video? Determine Your Concept!
So, you’ve chosen your song. Next, you’ll need to think about a concept before you make a music video. An excellent place to start would be to listen to the song a few times.
Think about the mood and tone of the song. Is it upbeat, or is it a somber track? Ask yourself how you feel and what imagery comes to mind when listening to the music.
Are there perhaps any lyrics in the song that jump out at you? Consider whether you’d like your video to tell the story behind the track. Or if you'd prefer the narrative to follow a different concept.
If you’re still unsure, try watching a few popular music videos within your genre of music. This should help spark a few ideas to develop a concept and storyline.
The key is to be original and creative when you make a music video. The goal is to elevate your music and draw your fans in at the same time. And you’ll want to differentiate yourself from other artists as much as possible.
However, try to keep your budget in mind at all times. It’s all well and good wanting unicorns to bounce around on clouds of candy floss in your music video. But can you afford to hire half a dozen white horses and a special effects wizard?
3. How Do You Make Your Own Music Video? Picture the Visuals!
Before you make a music video, it’s important to flesh out the concept and determine the visual elements that tie in with it. In other words, think about the colors and styles that best suit your track.
For instance, some music might compliment bold graphics, colors, and clothing. While other music could work better with a monotone, minimalistic, and spacious environment. The idea is to meld the visual with the audio to create an experience for your audience.
Putting a mood board together might be helpful. A mood board comprises a collection of images representing the visual style and feel of the music video you'd like to create.
Perhaps you’re considering incorporating some effects. In which case, you’ll need to find out whether you need a green screen and how to use it. You may have to enlist the help of a film student or freelancer to help you with this.
It may be a good idea to start scouting for possible locations at this point. Identify a few suitable spots to film and ask for permission to shoot there, if necessary. It’s also a good idea to ask when the area will be at its quietest so you can plan accordingly.
Granted, you are still in the early phase of planning. But having an idea of the types of locations available will help you plan your scenes later.
4. How Do You Make Your Own Music Video? Include Live Footage!
Introducing some live footage when you make a music video can add a level of energy and exhilaration to it. Your audience gets to be part of the crowd for a moment. And it’s always great to see an artist or band performing live on stage.
In this case, you'll need to determine whether you have a suitable gig coming up. Or, if there’s an appropriate location, you could set up to play with a crowd. You could also play live without an audience in an interesting location.
For example, Linkin Park filmed themselves performing in the California Desert in their music video for “What I’ve Done”. And the music video for “A Beautiful Lie” by Thirty Seconds to Mars shows the band playing on an iceberg in Greenland.
Remember, though, that incorporating live footage in sync with the original audio track could be tricky. Songs performed at live shows are often not the same as the audio track. If you go this route, you’ll have to hire a professional team to film and capture the live audio.
5. How Do You Make Your Own Music Video? Understand What Your Fans Want!
Another aspect to consider is your fanbase. It's essential to have a firm grasp of the audience and what they love about your music. This should give you some clues regarding the type of music video they might respond to.
And, if you’re unsure, you can always ask them. You could even build a competition around it when you make a music video. Get your fans to put their ideas forward. And award the winner with a cameo in your music video.
6. How Do You Make Your Own Music Video? Plan, Plan, Plan!
It’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty of the process as you make a music video. You've decided on your concept and ideas, and now it’s time to work out how to bring this video to life.
First, you should determine precisely what you can afford. Drawing up a budget is essential to keeping the project afloat. And it might also influence the direction your music video takes.
Next, you'll need to create a storyboard. This is a visual representation of the necessary video frames. You don't have to be Picasso to draw up a good storyboard. As long as you illustrate the angle of the shot and what will be in the frame, you should be fine.
You'll need to consider how long each shot will be and how you'll pace the music video's narrative. The best way to do this is to combine your storyboard images with the audio track in basic video editing software.
A well-thought-out storyboard can help you work out the kinks and plan effectively. Efficiency is crucial, especially if you’re hiring a crew.
Consider how long you might need to shoot each segment and what you might have to set up or break down between takes. Then draw up a schedule for the day(s) of filming.
It’s a good idea to meet with your crew and actors to run over the schedule before filming. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page when they get to the site. And it should help to avoid delays.
In terms of crew, you’ll need at least one cameraman, a lighting team, and a director. Remember to plan for all the equipment, props, and costumes you’ll need on the day.
7. How Do You Make Your Own Music Video? Shoot the Footage!
You've done your planning, and you're finally ready to film. There are several factors you'll need to consider during the filming process. And you might have to adapt should conditions not be as expected on location.
First, understand that filming a music video for a 4-minute song could take you anywhere from 10-30 hours to shoot. Therefore, you and your crew will need to take breaks. And you may have to provide refreshments and food for everyone involved.
The type of lighting you’d prefer will determine the time of day you’ll be shooting your video. You might want direct sunlight or the softer natural light of a cloudy day. Don’t be surprised if you have to adjust your schedule to take advantage of the ideal conditions.
Ensure that you get an early start. Remember that you'll need to offload and set up equipment and ensure everyone knows what they’re doing.
Don’t forget to bring a portable speaker for lip-syncing. And make sure that you’ve practiced lip-syncing to the track before shooting. This will reduce the number of takes you need to film, saving time.
Be innovative about the shots you need. If you don't have access to specific props, see if you can’t replicate them with what you have. And use filters and camera angles to communicate the ideas you want to convey.
Zooming when filming requires skill for a steady shot. So, try to avoid zooming when filming. And don’t rely on special effects to finish the music video, especially on a shoestring budget.
Most importantly, stick to your schedule and storyboard, weather permitting. You may be forced to make an adjustment here and there. But it's essential to stick to the plan as much as possible.
8. How Do You Make Your Own Music Video? Combine and Edit What You’ve Captured!
Here’s where you’ll put your ideas and shots together following your storyboard and planned timeline to make a music video. This next stage is known as the postproduction stage.
Using professional software like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro would definitely be to your advantage. However, inexpensive and free basic video editing software is available that can do the job well enough.
You might not be able to stick to the exact timings as planned, depending on what you’ve captured. Be mindful of each clip's length and how it fits into the overall timeline for the song.
You may have to edit shots to adjust the coloring or remove or add elements. However, this can prove difficult if you’re not used to using video or photo editing software. So, it’s recommended that you enlist a video editor for this type of work.
Perhaps you’d like to include stock footage for some sections of the music video. If so, multiple websites and platforms make royalty-free footage available to creators.
The postproduction process will also include adding text, such as the credits and overlays to the video.
Be prepared to spend some time editing the video, as it can be a time-consuming task. But once you've successfully combined the footage and audio to make a music video, it'll all be worth it.
Learning to make a music video for your song doesn't have to be a stressful and costly experience. On the contrary, it can be enjoyable and rewarding to make a music video with the right song, creative inspiration, and meticulous planning.
After making your music video, you’ll want to market and release it to your audience. Consider using the footage you’ve shot to create a few 15-30 second teaser videos. You could release these on social media to generate some hype before releasing the actual music video.
You should see your fanbase and sales rise with a successful music video. And with all the experience you've gained, you'll be better equipped to tackle the next music video.