5 Tips to Making Better Music Videos

music video

Are you new to videography? Here are five tips to help you make your best music video.

Make Sure You Have the Right Camera Settings

It is important that you get your camera settings just right. As for fps (frames per second) and shutter speed, the rule of thumb is that shutter speed should be double the frame rate; this will allow the  video to have natural-looking movements. So, the shutter speed you choose should depend mainly on the frame rate you want to go with. If your shutter speed is too high, the movements will look robotic, and if it’s too low, the video will look blurred in places. 24 fps and a shutter speed of .02 seconds is ideal. For slow motion or B-roll shots, 50 or 60 fps or even higher is recommended to make the video look smooth. If you decide to shoot at 60 fps, you should set the shutter speed to .008 seconds.

If you have quite a bit of time to work on a particular project, choose to shoot a flat profile. The benefit of shooting a flatter profile is that you’ll find it possible to edit the video much more effectively than you would shooting a non-flat profile, and you will have some room for edits. Technicolor Cinestyle is a good enough flat-picture profile on Canon.  

As for focal length, a higher focal length is suggested as it offers a more cinematic look than a video shot at low focal length. As far as aperture is concerned, a lower aperture would give you greater depth. So, set the aperture low if you are looking to have a lot of focus on a particular object or person up front and want a blurred-out background.

These are the settings we recommend, but we’d suggest you learn more about and experiment with the settings that would work best for you before you head out for the shoot.

Plan Your Video

Planning the video ahead of time isn’t something you should take lightly. The best videos aren’t a product of last moment video plans. You need to have it clear in your head as to what you are going to do. Having the video properly planned is one of the most essential aspects for making the video come out looking its best. Listen to the song multiple times and plan the video accordingly, in a way that will keep pace with the music.

You should visit the location where you are going to make your video prior to the initial shoot. Plan out the props, the type of shots you can consider, the camera movements, a series or sequence of shots, etc. For example, if the song is energetic you can plan to have a few extra camera movements. Having it all planned out will ensure you don’t walk onto the shoot with a shaky camera having no idea what’s going on or where to start.

Select the Right Location

The location is right at the top of the list of things that make a huge difference in your video. The location you choose is one of the top determinants of the effect and beauty of your video. Even if your idea might be a great one and you have the shoot-series planned right, choosing a bad location could ruin those efforts.

Let’s say your team suggested and selected a location; don’t just sit back until it is the day to shoot. Visit the site at least once, if not a couple of times, as suggested in the previous tip. Imagine and plan based on that very location, such as how and where the shots are going to be taken and what bit of creativity you can bring in. Don’t get stubborn with a location if you think, at all, that the location may not fit in with the whole idea of the video. It is easier to find the ideal shoot location now, especially with several location-finding sites out on the web. Use them to the fullest to be sure you get the right location and set up.

Get Plenty of Footage

If you don’t want to spend hours figuring out what to do with all the left out gaps, make sure you shoot as much footage as you can. Shoot close-ups or medium-distance shots with whatever creativity you can prop in. The truth is, audiences now have a much shorter attention span than they used to, and you need to have a lot of good shots to keep them engaged and interested.

Another tip, as an add-on to this point, is that when you are shooting a video, take the set over. What we mean here is, don’t let people simply perform the way they want to. Rather, get the shot the way you know is best, and the way you have planned, or at least suggest the change. If you do this, it is likely you will end up making a more satisfactory video than what it was going to be.

Play Around with Editing and Colour Grading

Finally, editing with a bit of care is a key. Colour grading is something that can either give you a smooth, professional look and make the video really attractive, or can totally ruin the whole effect of your video. The worst thing to do after working hard to get the video right will be making it a waste with a bad colour correction. So gear up your colour grading skills!

We hope these tips help you to improve your next music video!

julienpatrick@makingmusicmag.com'

Julien Patrick is a 35 year old writer and marketer. Feel free to check out his personal blog here.

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