HOW TO MAKE A GOOD MUSIC VIDEO
Talk to the artist or band.
They may have ideas about how they want their video to look. Some of them will be good. Some might even be great. Some will require a cast of thousands, cutting-edge CGI, and Peter Jackson at the helm. If you have the budget, there's no limit to what you can do, but it's up to you to decide which of the artists' ideas to incorporate in to your video. Have a realistic outlook - know which ideas are feasible, which are unfeasible, and which ones are just plain bad.
Before making any plans, listen to the song.
Don't do anything else the first time — just listen. Then, listen to it many, many more times. Listen to it with the artist or band members. Even if you know the song by heart, try to listen to it as if it's the first time. How does it make you feel? Does it make you want to dance, cry, act silly, or head for the bar? Or does it make you feel strange combinations of feelings? Jot down your reactions.
Refine your ideas.
Once you have an idea of the song's emotional core, brainstorm ideas for your video. It can be very useful during this process to consult with members of your technical staff - they'll know what's easy to film and what's not so easy.
Odd, abstract ideas for music videos can make for great videos. Footage doesn't necessarily have to closely reflect the lyrics - having a contrast between the visual and lyrical content can make for a striking contrast. Some videos are even bizarre or nonsensical. Don't be afraid to confuse or shock viewers if you think it's the best choice for your video.
Before you start shooting, you'll need to know exactly where you want to shoot. Sometimes the video concept can necessitate traveling to a remote location or building a custom set. Talk to the owners or management of any location you want to use. Make sure they are OK with your shooting. If you're lucky, they may also be a perfect fit for a character in your video (if they're willing.)
Create a storyboard.
One of the most effective video-planning tools at your disposal is a storyboard. Storyboards are shot-by-shot sketches of a video that are consulted to direct the video's action. See How to Create a Storyboard for detailed storyboarding advice.
It's also a good idea to notify neighbours about your shoot beforehand. If you don't, they may be confused or distressed by your shoot. Know local noise ordinances beforehand so you'll be prepared if they complain to the police.
Music videos often employ special cinematic choices or visual effects to create a unique experience. If you plan to incorporate either into your video, be sure to incorporate them into your storyboard.
Storyboards don't have to be flashy. They can be as simple as the position of actors and props in each scene, or they can be as detailed as individual cutaways, expressions, direction of movement, etc. If you can't even draw a straight line, don't worry: make a text storyboard. As long as you have an idea of what is going to happen in each shot, and you can communicate that to your crew, you'll be good to go.
Look to break your video into "scenes" that match your vision. You can minimize shooting time if you shoot all the footage in a certain location at once (even if it's out of the order it will appear in as a finished video.) Plan your shooting so that you travel as efficiently as possible.
Find your crew.
Depending on the scale of your production, you may be able to rely solely on yourself and your actors, or you may need to create large a crew for the video. Here are some positions you might consider filling based on what work you'll need done:
- Director: This will most likely be you. You'll be managing all the different parts of the shoot, from sharing your vision to the cast and crew, to mediating disputes between lighting and sound, to making sure there's gas in the car and that all your locations are cleared for shooting. You're the boss, but you're also responsible for more than anyone else.
- Videographer: The videographer will be in charge of capturing the action on one or more cameras. You'll define the shot, but she will actually frame the scene, work with the gaffer to ensure the set is properly lit, and let the sound guy know when the boom is in the scene.
- Gaffer: Somebody needs to make sure all the lights are lit, the actors are visible, and everything is right for the shoot. That person is the gaffer.
- Sound man: On a movie set, he's the guy sticking mics in everybody's faces. For a video, which often doesn't feature dialog, he'll be the guy cuing up the song so the actors have something to work with. In between pressing "Stop" and "Play" and "Rewind," he'll be running to get Cokes, pizza, and other sundries.
- Grip: This is the lucky soul who gets to move all the wires, all the lights, all the gear, seating, tables, props, and everything else that is brought on set. It's a lot easier to run a shoot when you have somebody to handle those things while you handle the bigger-picture items.
- Wardrobe: Depending on the budget, you may simply provide direction to the talent ("wear jeans and a tight shirt,") or have costumes made to order for the actors. Whichever way you do it, if there are costume changes involved, make sure somebody can coordinate that between scenes, and that your actors have a bit of privacy for changing.
- Props: Again, this might be you, but somebody has to find the vehicles used, plus things actors on the set use—mustard bottles that squirt reliably on cue, anything an actor picks up or puts down, or is not part of the location.
- Continuity: Unless you are going to shoot from start to finish in one take, there will be need for somebody to make sure that where people start is where they stopped previously. That is what continuity does. They make note of positions, usually with the aid of a camera. They make sure the mustard stain on the suit in the first scene it still there 3 days later for the last scene's shoot. (Or, conversely, that the mustard stain is *not* there if shots prior to the staining are done later.)
- Dancers: This part is unnecessary, but if you are a great dancer you can hire back-up dancers.
- Choreographer: If you do want dancers and it's in your budget, get a choreographer. They will make sure the dancing is smooth and coordinated.
Find the right acting talent.
Make a list of all the characters in your video. If your video tells a story, write down any characters, making notes about what they look like and how they behave. Hold auditions and choose the talent best-suited for each character.
Set the stage.
Now that you have all your ducks in a row, the actors are well-rehearsed, and your crew is loaded, it's time to prep your set and shoot your video. Pick a scene to shoot. Put the vehicles and anything else that's in the scene into position, and have the actors stand on their marks.
Set the camera.
You may want to shoot part of your video on a tripod, for static scenes. Jiggly cameras can sometimes distract the viewer from the video itself. Other times you may want to use a handheld Steadi-Cam for more dynamic shots, or a totally free-form "shaky cam" for higher energy shots. If you have the people and the budget, shooting a combination of angles and styles will boost creative options in the editing suite.
Get your actors in place
If they're in the scene as the camera rolls, have them take their marks. If they come into the scene as it plays, have them at their entrance point.
Cue up the music.
Have Sound locate the proper point in the song, and give it a good lead in time so people can "get in sync" with the music. Longer is better, at first. If you do multiple takes, you may be able to shorten this part up. When Sound is ready and music playing, he'll shout "speed!" (An expression that hearkens back to when recordings on set were done with magnetic tape driven by motors, which took a moment to come up to speed). The sound guy may also want to feed the sound into the video, so there is a reference track for the post editor later.
Power the Lights! Have all your lighting people in position, and all powered lights on and Action!
Repeat for all the scenes in your video. You may end up with multiple takes, multiple angles, great takes, and awful takes. This is where the fun begins!
Set your lighting.
As this is an outdoor shoot, if you don't have powered lights you might be able to use a reflector, which is a large piece of white fabric or poster board that reflects the sunlight, softening shadows and brightening a scene. For the most effective way to focus light, use more than one reflector, or even a mirror. Your gaffer will manage this, under your direction, if you have one.
Remember, the main person on screen is always the brightest on screen. When outside, always have the main character's back to the sun except when the sun is in the middle of the sky. This way, the reflectors can illuminate the person's face and front. Although there is a lot to do to get efficient lighting, it is worth it when you want a high quality video.
Movie making is a complicated, detailed process that can't be completely described in one article. for full training come to MAGNUS FILM ACADEMY and gain practical knowledge.