How Music Videos are Made

March 5, 2020By

One of the many reasons why product placement, advertising and the music industry have so much in common is the financial aspect. A less-known headphone brand will pay a lot of money to end up in a three-second scene of a famous rapper’s music video. There is the other side of the story though. While many artists perhaps would prefer to remain neutral in terms of advertising and not promote products, the costs involved in making a music video often don’t leave much choice but to comply with the need to use branded products. In order to understand where those costs I’m talking about are coming from, we must first analyze the process that needs to be carried out in order to successfully produce a music video and avoid mistakes.

How Music Videos are Made
How Music Videos are Made

Casting and equipment

If you want for anyone other than the musician himself or herself appear in the video, casting will need to take place. If there is a chance you want any kind of dance scene, crowd scene or scene that involves some specific skills, the casting will be a lot more specific and the person you’ll end up hiring will most likely be more costly than usual. On top of their salary, you will need to make sure your camera crew is there for both the casting and the actual filming, so take those expenses into account as well.

Equipment is yet another question. Not many have expensive cameras, tripods and other technical gear just laying around the house. Ideally, the camera crew you hire will come with their own technical miracles, but in a case where you need to rent it separately, it might prove to be a very time- and money-consuming job.

Planning the video

This is where you will make or break your bank for a music video. If the main interested parties do enough planning and visualizing in advance and bring in the people from the outside meaning the camera crew, the actors and perhaps a director only when everything is truly ready, a lot of precious time and money can be saved. Most people in the industry work on an hourly-pay basis, so every minute counts. However, it is natural that the plan gets adjusted a bit as you go, so it is important to have a proper mindset and not try to save up in every single way possible.

The filming process

People see a 3-minute video and they oftentimes fail to understand that hours of hard work went into all the different scenes. And it doesn’t even depend on how long the scene is – a 10 second one might require good several hours of planning, setting up and filming, all of which will count towards everyone’s paycheck, and rightfully so. Also, there is a good chance the time spent filming will come at a higher price than any assistance works since it requires extremely specific skills.

Video editing

We have all these hours of video, now what? There needs to be a person who will go through all of that and select those shots that truly embody the vision everyone had going into this. It is a very responsible and time-consuming job; thus, a substantial investment is to be anticipated. At this point, it shouldn’t be that hard to see how advertising in music videos sometimes is simply financially necessary.

Video editing
Video editing

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