I know it can feel overwhelming when you’re a DIY artist who has to plan a budget-friendly music video, but it doesn’t always have to feel that way. That’s why I’ve whipped up 12 tips as to how you can prepare for a music video shoot! Having these tips will definitely make life easier, so if you want to see more blogs like this, be sure to leave a comment and subscribe to our website for more updates.
So without further adieu, let’s get on with the tips!
1. Visualize the concept
When you’re planning a music video, it’s important to visualize what your music video is going to look like. If this isn’t your strong suit, I strongly recommend watching music videos of some of your favourite artists. From there, create a mood/inspirational board that includes things like wardrobe, hair, makeup, colours, locations, word references, and anything that captures a certain mood for your video.
It’s always helpful when an artist presents a mood board to us. It helps us get a sense of who you are as an artist, your taste and what you like and don’t like.
2. Plan ahead for your music video release
I can’t emphasize this enough, but it’s important to plan your music video release date around your single release date. For instance, you just finished a song in the recording studio and you want to release it NOW because you’re just so excited!!! But, a good question to ask yourself is: when are you planning on releasing your music video? At the same time as your single release? Or two weeks after? Or one month after? If that’s the case, have you booked your videographer yet? What about the rest of your team (ex: hair stylist, make-up artist, wardrobe stylist)? Securing a filming date ahead of time will make your team less stressed, and it also ensures the availability of each team member. It sounds really simple, but trust me, I’ve worked with a lot of artists where they put all their time and energy into their music, but when it’s time to make a proper release, they forget to plan everything else.
My advice is to plan your music video at least 2 months ahead of time, that way you’ll have more time to secure locations, find extra cast, and you’ll be able to book your makeup artist, hair stylist and wardrobe stylist in advance. Or start planning your music video before your song is complete! It’s not fun working on a rushed project. It’s best to give your video producer and editor more time to plan and edit the video. Sometimes video editors have a long turnaround time, so it’s important to plan for that as well.
3. Establish your budget
Music videos can range from very low to very high costs. It’s a good idea to tell your videographer what type of budget you have right away so that they can help you plan the concept around your budget. These are some things to think about: Do you want extra cast members in your music video like backup dancers or actors? How many locations are you filming at? How long is it going to take to film your music video at these locations? How many outfits do you need for each location? How many props do you need? How much does everything cost? These are things to keep in mind when you’re planning the budget of your music video.
4. Secure your team
At Nolita Studios, we personally love working with a team because it helps us work faster and more efficiently. Music videos are very creative work, and you’ll want to give your team ample time to think about how they can execute your vision for your music video as best as they can.
If you’re required to sing/perform/play instruments in your music video, you’ve got to practice! This means, memorize the lyrics to your song, and practice singing and moving/dancing to your song. I highly advise practicing in front of a mirror because you’ll get a sense of what you’ll look like on camera.
I’ve been filming music videos for awhile now, and I’ve showed up to music video shoots where the artist or band is practicing their song on the day of the shoot. This is a big no-no!!!! Your videographer will not be impressed because you’ll be wasting your time and their time on the shoot. If you’re not well rehearsed, it could cost you more money because it’ll take longer to edit your singing/playing parts, and it could hurt the final product of the video.
6. Wardrobe Style
Create a Pinterest board or inspirational board with looks that you want for your music video. For instance, if you’re filming a video for a slow song, would you want to wear muted colours? Or If you’re going to be filming an upbeat song, are you going to wear fun and crazy colours? What is your hair going to look like? Your chosen wardrobe style should match the concept of your music video.
7. Secure your props
Props are used in music videos for symbolic reasons. Again, I always say this, but if you need specific props for your music video, you have to plan for that ahead of time. I’ve had instances where artists order props very last minute, and their props didn’t arrive on time. I highly recommend getting your props ready a couple weeks before your scheduled music video shoot.
8. Secure your locations
Thinking about your set is important. You can have the best outfit, hair and make-up, but if your set looks like garbage or it doesn’t have anything to do with the concept; your location can make or break your video. Keep in mind that your location will set the whole tone for your music video.
9. Secure extra cast
Finding extras can be challenging, so if you need extras in your music video, I suggest asking your friends and/or family first. If that doesn’t work, put a call-out on all of your social media outlets. Your call-out should include vital information like, what day is the shoot? What clothes are they supposed to wear? What does their hair and make-up need to look like? Are they getting paid? Having quality cast to work with will make a huge difference in your final video.
10. Communicate with your videographer
Music videos are typically done in one day, so there’s a lot of preparation that goes into it. Depending on the artist’s budget, sometimes they’re in charge of planning the whole concept of the video. If you’re in charge of planning your whole music video, your videographer will most likely ask you a bunch of questions to see how things are going. However, if you take weeks to get back to them, there’s a slight chance that the video production will not go smoothly. Your videographer is supposed to help you plan the video, but if you’re not communicating with your videographer accordingly, it could really pause the whole production of the shoot. It’s okay to tell them that you haven’t secured locations, or found extras, outfits, etc, they just need to know where you’re at in case they need to step in to help you.
11. Be mindful of everyone’s time
Music videos run on a tight schedule. It’s important to be considerate and respectful of your team’s time because they may need to get to other gigs or appointments on the same day as your shoot. There’s a lot of moving pieces in a production, and if you’re not on time, it could really affect the production of your music video.
12. Be well-rested and hydrated on the day of your shoot
Music video shoots involve very long days. Sometimes I shoot videos for 12 hours with a couple of breaks. You have to keep your energy levels up throughout the whole day by having a good night’s rest, eating properly, and being well-hydrated. I recommend bringing energy drinks (it works for me), and bringing snacks like granola bars and protein bars to keep yourself well-fed throughout the whole day.
I hope this information helps! Overall, music videos are a lot of fun. I’ve filmed over 20 music videos this year, and each one has gotten easier to plan and film as I gained more experience with the production process. If you have any questions, leave a comment below or reach us on our website, Facebook and/or Instagram. We’d love to have you be a part of the Nolita Family!
Andrea from Nolita Studios