How to make great, low cost music videos
Don’t have several hundred thousand to spend on a music video? No worries – getting a solid video together on a shoestring budget, that promotes your music well, is very possible…
Obviously you can hire pros, and that’s great if you have the cash. Most independent acts though, especially when starting out, need to cut corners – but that doesn’t mean they need to knock out poor quality videos. And even if you do have the cash to hire pros, it’s worth remembering that it’s not always necessary, and you don’t need to fork out a fortune.
Work out the general details ahead of time, to make sure the whole process goes as smoothly as possible, which can save you time, as well as money.
Establish the location; arrange/agree with any people to be involved, like extras, camera person, editing person etc.; dates/times; what’s going to happen in the video (the storyline or general idea); everything you can think of…
Basically be organised about it all. It can save you a lot of headaches.
Shoot in just one location
The more locations, the more time, money, and work involved.
One location can be amazing if done well. You can do multiple setups in just one place, and think up all kinds of ways to keep the video interesting without the need for different locations. And it even helps to keep an overall theme for the video.
In the editing stage, you can always splice in some footage from live gigs… Or stills/animations (see below).
Ask around for volunteers to help out – and credit them all at the end of the video or do whatever you can in return, such as link to their own websites or something else not involving money.
You may have friends or friends of friends who are studying media, have related interests, work or skills that would be helpful. It could be fun for them…
No need for fancy equipment
Major TV adverts have been filmed using iPhones! Decent enough technology is available to most people now.
Just make sure there’s plenty of light, or get some help and advice about lighting and audio etc. from knowledgeable friends, social networks, tips/lessons found on YouTube…
Editing is where it matters
Editing is where the final story telling and polished product is put together.
It’s pretty easy to edit the video yourself or with friends, or other band members. Again, the technology is available, cheap or free.
It might take a bit of time to learn the basics of the editing software you use, but once you get familiar with it, it will be easier for future videos. Maybe there’s someone you know who could help out here too.
It doesn’t need to be live footage
You can of course create videos in other ways too… You could use cleverly spliced still photos (a creative slideshow type thing), or use music visualisation software, that generates animated imagery, usually generated and rendered in real time and synchronised with the music beat, tone, frequencies…
These kinds of methods can also be edited in with the live footage, as separate scenes/parts, or superimposed with the live footage in some way in the editing.
… and it could all work out better, doing it yourself
Doing it yourself and/or with friends’ help, could help a lot with getting your vision realised in the way you would want. You have full control.