If you are a musician or a director and you’re looking to get into shooting music videos there are a few important lessons you should learn before you pick up a camera and start recording. For those of you who are looking for a comprehensive program on this subject you can see our one month intensive online music video production course.
For starters music videos are generally more non-linear than many film and television productions. The moving images are loosely tied together with sometimes nothing more thana “mood”. Therefore it’s important that you know what the mood of your video is going to be. This will be set according to many factors including, but not limited to:
The type / genre of music
Quick vs. slow editing
Characters and actors
It’s best to start your music video idea with a statement about what story you want to tell. This can range from very obscure to very basic. Unfortunately, many music video directors don’t invest enough time when creating their story. The result is generally a music video lack any type of clarity or coherence.
Techniques for creating a music video
The first thing you should accomplish is get the individual or band to play their song 5 times and capture it from a range of different angles or locations. This will give you the ability when you edit it to cut between shots quickly without loosing continuity. However, during this time it is important that you direct your “actors” to sing or perform in the following way:
They must sing and perform as in sync as possible to the recorded version of the song. You shouldn’t be using any of the audio from the actual shoot day. Instead you’ll be using the audio from the professional produced and mastered CD.
However, when you edit the footage you need to make sure it looks believable. This means that everything needs to be in sync. This requires that you play the professionally produced version of the song during the filming so the band members can duplicate the “look” of the sound as best as possible. If they are out of sync you will need to make sure you re-take the shot. If you do not do this, it will be impossible to match up the audio and video in post production editing.
On a similar note you’ll need to ensure your singers facial expressions and volume reflect the mood of the recorded song. They can’t sing it quieter and they can’t sing it louder. Their vocal levels need to both look and sound the same as it does on the recorded version of the song. Otherwise, the singing in the video will look fake if the singer is either singing louder or quieter than the professionally recorded version.
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