In order to make a good music video, a lot of things are required. A suitable song, which the director and the whole team should try to feel. This way they will be able to create a good plot and to pick the best shooting sites. After this is achieved, there are still a lot of preparations to be made, before the filming itself begins.
After listening to the song a couple of times and getting familiar with the text. It’s a good practice to talk with the artists. You must learn if they have any ideas about the video you’re about to make. After all, they gave birth to the song and they should know best what its meaning and message are.
Some artists would only set general guidelines about their ideas and give you complete creative freedom. It is my personal opinion, that this is the best way of doing it.
After you listen to the song over and over again, the ideas start coming. This is where the whole team of operators, director and editors should get together and start thinking about the plot. You create a storyboard and choose a style. Then you begin looking around for suitable locations for the different takes. Costumes and makeup for the performing musicians are being carefully selected for all different shooting locations. Everything considering the general looks of the video and its components should be specified, even the tiniest of details. If you’re going to shoot some scenes outside, you should consider taking a look at the weather forecast in order to avoid any last-minute unpleasant surprises.
On many occasions, you will need to obtain a shooting permit in order to film at a certain location. As you can see for yourselves, the whole process of designing and carefully planning every detail is crucial for the final result. Looking at the project and its needs from many different angles and being prepared for anything, ensures that when the camera starts rolling everything will go smoothly and according to plan.
Generally, if you have a nice song that you like, a good plot and strong preparations – you shouldn’t worry too much about the filming process itself. What I do when I’m working on the storyboard, is this. I open the editing software and I start placing markers on the music. Each of those markers represents an idea about scenes we should film for this particular piece of music, or effects we should use there. If you have a good, meaningful text for the song, which hopefully you will, you may try to find and choose the keywords and lines in this text, and start thinking of filming key scenes, that match those words. This will enhance them and bring the audience’s attention to the important messages your music video is supposed to send to the world.
Filming process! After you have a good plot and you are finally done with all the necessary preparations, you can start filming the scenes for your video. There is an infinite number of things that can go wrong during shooting. Don’t be afraid of that fact, because you just can’t foresee everything. Prepare for what you can think of and then just plan some extra time for unexpected circumstances on each shooting location. Always. As a director, I can assure you, that this is a very good practice.
One of the most important requirements for creating a good, professional music video, is having a good team. I have the honor of working with the best cameramen around – people that I truly admire. Together with them, we work as one perfectly synced mechanism.
There is, of course, a number of other outside factors, that can greatly influence the workflow and the final product. One such thing is whether or not the singers and the musicians participating in your video are also good actors. I already mentioned the music video we made for F.O. and Peeva, so I will give you an example with them. Working with them, I was very happy to find out, that they both maintain a very good performance. I didn’t have to make any corrections and with just some minor pieces of advice and adjustments, we were able to film all the scenes very quickly and without taking the same shot over and over again. This makes it easier for the whole team and adds a nice entertaining and pleasant feeling to the otherwise long and exhausting work process.
On the field, some things start changing and deviating from the original storyboard you have created earlier. This is normal, and part of the reason for that is the influence, that the artists and their performance have on you and your thoughts when you start filming the whole thing. At that point, it’s much easier to see and remove the excess and poorly thought out parts of the video. And one last advice – always shoot more different scenes than you originally planned in the storyboard. It’s better to have some scenes you might not use in the end, instead of ending up short on footage.
So the video is finally filmed.
The time comes for the so-called post-production. For this, you will need a good, experienced video editor. In my case, I’m doing most of the editing for myself. If you’re not familiar with the montage software and techniques, you should find a video editor. Someone whose work you had the chance to observe and approve.
After the editing is done and all the frames found their places on the timeline, it’s time to make the color grading. This is so important and for me, it’s really strange to see big and expensive productions with terrible colors and looks. You have a good song, you filmed unique scenes, everything is set and ready. At this point, it’s absolutely necessary to equalize and adjust the colors of the whole video. We as a studio, always put great effort into this final stage of the production, in order to bring the best results to the table. This brings satisfaction not only to our clients but also to ourselves.