Practical Tips and Tricks on Shooting Music Videos

Shooting a music video as well as working with a talented artist on set can be an extremely exciting and insightful experience. Overall, this process can also develop your skill set as a filmmaker, push your creativity to the next level and help you grow as a professional. However, just as any other filmmaking production, there might be a lot of challenges along the way mostly due to time limitations and budget restraints.

The shooting process itself can get stressful at times, especially if you don’t plan carefully even the smallest details along the line. Getting the right performance out of talent and choosing an appropriate shot composition are just a tad of the things that, if done right, can bring success to your project. Below Kris Turini from KriscoartProductions shares some of the other essential considerations you should bear in mind the next time you shoot a music video.

Just as with any other form of filmmaking, the story is the most important aspect of the process and the first major consideration you should start with. Get a solid concept, be creative and share your ideas with the talent or the producer of the project. Make sure that you are on the same page long before you tackle the principle photography.

Staying within budget and time constraints can be another serious challenge when working on such a project. To be able to complete the job successfully, make a solid shot list, break down your story as well as your shots and film them accordingly. Furthermore, make a schedule for every member of your team, yourself included. If you are working with a larger crew on multiple setups, try to eliminate dead time by organizing the working hours on set as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Even though you might not like the idea, get your producer involved in the actual shooting, review the takes you’ve shot with him/her and see whether you are still of the same mind. This way you won’t be unpleasingly surprised later when filming is wrapped up, and the only chance to fix something would be to re-shoot a particular scene. Believe it or not, an additional pair of eyes can often improve the process, plus there are enough chances to make your client a lot more pleased and satisfied with your work when sharing the results of the actual shooting, long before you deliver the finished product.

Another essential element of every music video is the performance you get out of your talent. That’s why making the artist in front of the camera comfortable enough to get the right performance is a vital step in the process. Run through some of the performances, do an informal chat with your talent in advance, try different approaches and see what works best. This aspect of the process can be tricky at times, so don’t overlook it if you want to get the best results.

The following might sound obvious but when you are on set roll as much as you can. You may get the right expressions and movement from talent in between takes or during a rehearsal. Regarding camera movements, try to add more movement to wide shots and less motion to close-ups. This tip isn’t mandatory, but if it fits your concept go with it. Don’t be afraid to experiment and be creative. Usually, the best takes are those that happen by accident. Every music video is a unique art piece, so be bold and explore different options when it comes to lighting, camera movement, props, colour grading, etc.

Additionally, try to match the mood of the song with camera movements and cut to the groove of the song but not necessarily to the beat. Get a feel of the song and put the right cut wherever you feel it’s working best for the video. Just try not to overdo cutting to every beat. Finding the right balance in editing is another major key to success.

All in all, always think of the story and the tone it evokes for every particular scene and communicate the energy of the performance with your camera movement. Utilise the same approach when colour grading, as it’s yet another important aspect of the process.

At last but not least, no matter how pressured you might feel on set try to be relaxed and have fun with both your crew and your talent, be creative and enjoy the invaluable experience you get no matter how hard it might be at times.

[source: KriscoartProductions]

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