Making Music Videos

When most new filmmakers think of making a Music Video, images of beautiful dancers, exotic locations and slick musicians come to mind.

On big-budget productions that scene sometimes plays out. In the low to no-budget realm of independent video production the “scene” will be far more modest. Despite real-world limitations facing indie video producers, there’s nothing limiting you from creating a visually artistic and memorable video to highlight a song.

Before you can make a memorable music video, (often called MV in the trade), there are two critical areas you must consider first; the Aesthetic Style and Logistics. Logistics involve the hard realities of how your video will get made. Ultimately, the size of your production budget and available resources will determine your options.

The biggest influence on your MV will be its aesthetic style. In a nutshell, aesthetic style relates to the artistic elements and manner you present your music video. Aesthetic Style is what we’ll focus on.

During your initial brainstorming session, seriously listen to the music and let your ideas flow. Filter out all the “wouldn’t it be great if…” ideas like explosions and car chases from the process. Extravagant ideas will cost time, money and resources you most likely can’t afford. Since the music is the force driving the video, you’ll need to decide what style of video you want to make. The most common styles feature the Musician(s) only, a Narrative Story, Musician(s) – Narrative Mix and Abstract Montage.

Music videos have been around for a long time. Music Videos are pieces of art just like any painting or sculpture. Memorable ‘artworks’ come from the artist’s own ideas or personal experience. Though your budget will create limitations, limits are just like rules as they can be bent or broken. Some of the best creative solutions in film making have come from budget limitations. Yeah, you might not have those hot girls and explosions, but they might not have been necessary. Remember that you are an artist and your canvas is video so your MV’s aesthetic style will be limited only by your creativity.

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