Great music videos are no longer the sole purview of signed bands and record companies. In this age of digital media, anyone with enough savvy and passion can create successful music videos on any budget. That said, there are some secrets that will help a budding producer capture the quality necessary to go viral, and not in the Rebecca Black sense.
Invest in the Right Tools
Creating a video requires a camera and a multimedia editing suite in addition to everything else necessary for recording music. Skimping here can leave a music video looking like a ninth grade student project. The production quality boost from good gear is more than worth the price tag. For a cheap program that will get the job done, Nero is a good choice. Currently in its twelfth iteration, Nero is a reasonable buy at $80 and will save a lot of headache with a comprehensive set of features design to help create professional quality videos. If a song is worth making a video for, it is worth dropping $80 on tools. In the meantime, curious users can try a 15 day trial before buying.
Know the Video
Shooting a video is a complicated process. Before anyone lifts a camera, the entire video should be planned from start to finish. A strong creative direction will unify the video and give the song a powerful quality. Even if most of the video is as straightforward as shots of the band in action, consideration should be given to any set, acting, choreography, effects, or B roll needed to round out the production.
A music video should be a showcase of the artist’s best skills, both as a musician and as a visual communicator. The format, plot (if any), effects, and message of the video should all reflect the character of the song and the creator. There are no marks for effort in the world of digital entertainment. The finished product should impress viewers. The easiest way to do so is to stick with strengths and avoid areas of creative weakness.
Get Too Much
Once everything is planned, it is important to shoot way more material than necessary. Repeat takes, longer shots, and extraneous scenes will give more options during the editing process. Otherwise, budding filmmakers could find themselves reconstructing costly or difficult work just to get a few seconds of additional footage. It is better to leave behind a pile of scraps on the digital cutting room floor than have to improvise and stretch.
Once the video is done, the real work begins. Most people don’t create music videos just for themselves. Music videos are the single most successful music marketing tool available. Getting exposure everywhere is key to success. While posting the video to YouTube is a good start, that isn’t the end of the road. Uploading to every video sharing site on the web broadens the potential audience. Vimeo, Dailymotion, Viddler, Blip.tv, and more are just as important as YouTube in their own right. Links on Facebook, Twitter, band websites, and other social networks grow the potential number of impressions. Following other bands, commenting on blogs, every available tool should be used to spread the video.