October 22, 2019

How to Make a Music Video

Meet Tim Owens, a Digital Filmmaking and Video Production Instructor at Orlando’s F.I.R.S.T. Institute. On today’s episode of Tips and Tricks, he tells us exactly how to make a music video… from pre-production to post-production and all the good stuff in between.


The music itself is the most important part of video production. Without it, you can’t have a musicvideo. So, you must get to know your artist and understand their vision for the track.

What do they want to see with the song? What type of song is it? Are we talking a love song, a fast-paced Hip Hop track or an EDM piece? What is it that the artist wants to convey on screen?

Making a Music Video: When Does Pre-Production Begin?

You’re ready for pre-production once a song is selected. Pre-production varies, based on the scale of your project. When working alone, the scale will be pretty small. In this case, you really need to simplify the process.

However, you may be working with a big artist with a big budget who wants a high-quality production. Maybe it’s going to be on MTV or YouTube or national television. In this case, the project’s scale will be much larger. And the project elements are crucial when it comes to what you put in the music video.

Either way, pre-production is mandatory. This umbrella includes everything from:

  • Budgeting
  • Location Scouting
  • Auditioning
  • Storyboarding

Music Video Pre-Production Pro-Tip

When it comes to budget, it’s very important to account for everything you need from gear to talent to special effects. You must cover all the bases when it comes to your budget.

How Do Storyboards Fit into Music Videos?

Interjecting a story into a music video makes it more appealing to the eyes. Never start off with your artist right away, because it’s a bit of a “dead giveaway.”

Instead, keep the story arch in mind:

  • Act 1
  • Act 2
  • Act 3

And a simple way to do that while building a foundation for it is to take the song and break it down. You can break a song down into the following:

  • Intro
  • Versus
  • Choruses
  • Bridges
  • Endings
  • Outro

Now, that you have your foundation, you should be able to navigate your way through the video production from start to finish.

Music Video Production Tips

Once pre-production is complete, now it’s time for production. Your crew is one of the most important tools when producing music videos. You must have a good production crew.

Production days can be long and hot. And if multiple locations are involved, there will be a lot of movement. So, be prepared.

Also, whether you film outdoors or in a studio, lighting is key. Determine how things will look during the post-production process ahead of time.

Music Video Post-Production Tips

Post-production is where the “magic” happens. A lot of the work done here depends on your pre-production. Your editor must have all the material needed to make the editing process go smoothly and efficiently.

So, here are some things you need to incorporate during the production phase:

Post-Production File Management

This is key to a smooth post-production process. Whether you use Adobe Premiere, Final Cut or Davinci Resolve, the editing is very important to producing a quality video.

Post-Production Editing Tips

If you’re cutting a fast-paced song, put a lot of cuts in it. However, don’t overdo it. You want your audience to stay engaged and not get distracted.

For slower songs, try incorporating some cinematic elements into your production. This promotes feelings and invokes emotions, keeping the audience engaged longer.

Post-Production Editing Pro Tip

You do want to apply effects and transitions to your editing timeline. But once again, don’t overdo it. If you do, your viewers may become distracted and turn away from the video.

Also, to make your images really stand out, incorporate color correction.

And remember, it’s very important to keep your artist involved in every single aspect of the project. Always keep in mind that, ultimately, this is their baby. And they want to be able to brag about how their music video production turned out in the end.