How to Make a Music Video

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Ben Jacklin Edited by Ben Jacklin

Every musician dreams of being famous: people noticing the face in the crowd, songs playing in bars and coffee shops, music videos shown on TV. How can one achieve this? Nowadays, the Internet provides outstanding opportunities for everyone to get noticed.

The four steps to make a music video

One of the first things that come to mind is to make a music video and upload it on YouTube. This is a great way to promote yourself as an artist, as proven by Justin Bieber, Pentatonix, and Ed Sheeran. Just get yourself a good camera and be ready to get famous.

Making a music video from scratch sounds too difficult? Don’t worry, Movavi’s got you covered! Here’s your step-by-step guide on how to shoot a music video.

1. Come up with a concept

What’s the use in filming when you have no inspiration and no idea what to start with? First, you need to decide what you’re going to show the viewers on YouTube. Is it some kind of a story? Then what’s the plot? Or your idea is to record yourself singing the song? Everything’s up to you.

2. Make a plan

What do you need to film your music video? There are four aspects to consider: the storyboard, the team, the equipment, and the place.

If you decide to make a complicated video with different scenes or even a plot, don’t forget to write the script. One of the methods for this is creating a set of storyboards. A storyboard is a visual map of your video. It has all the shots you need for the future montage. Make up a detailed picture of the entire music video and bring it on paper. Here’s an example of a storyboard for you to take inspiration from.

Image source: Wikipedia

Now let’s discuss the team. Of course, if you haven’t planned anything big, just footage of you singing, you may not need a team. However, if your idea is to tell a story with several characters, you’ll need at least a camera person and one or more actors. Depending on the budget and/or how many friends are ready to help you, your team may grow. It may include a lighting person, a director, a makeup artist – or any other person you need to turn your concept into a video.

Think about the equipment you might need to record a video. It’s great if you have everything necessary, but if you lack something – decide whether you are going to buy it, or maybe you can borrow it from your friends.

Talking about the place, choose the one which fits your idea. You may film at home, or ask your friend for permission to do this at their house. If you choose a public place, make sure that the owners or the managers don’t mind. If there’s a lot of people around (for example, if you’re filming on the street), make it obvious that you’re making a video. This will help the people who don’t want to be on the record get past the filming zone. This is especially important if the scene you’re filming is provocative (for example, a fight). If people are not aware that it’s staged, they may interfere (in case of a fight – try to calm the fighters down or call the police). So, consider inviting a couple more people to your team to explain to the passers-by that everything’s alright.

3. Record the video

Gather your team, take your equipment, go to the place of filming. Lights, camera, action! Follow your storyboard as a checklist and make sure that you film every scene from it. Here are a few tricks of the trade you may find useful:

  • Don’t limit the filming time to the video length you need according to the storyboard. Even though you may need only 10 seconds, it is worth filming longer sections and recording several trials. Who knows, which shot will look the best during the editing?

  • If you’re not happy with a shot you’ve made, don’t hesitate to re-take it. Sometimes one sloppy shot may ruin the whole impression.

  • Things don’t always go according to plan. Some shots keep failing, others may be taken by accident, but they fit the atmosphere and the plot. Don’t restrict yourself to just the storyboard. Think on the fly! If you feel that you need something else, that’s not listed in the plan – try this out. You can always cut the excess while editing.

4. Edit the footage and upload it to YouTube

With your footage in-hand, it’s time to get creative. Here’s how you can edit your music video and give it that professional feel using Movavi Video Editor Plus.

Step 1. Install Movavi Video Editor Plus

Download and follow the instructions to install Movavi Video Editor Plus. Then, open the program to get started.

Step 2. Upload your video files

Click Add files and then import the videos you’d like to edit into your music video. Your video files will appear in the Media Bin. And from there, you can drag and drop your files into the Timeline for editing. 

When uploading your files, it’s important to stay organized, as it will save you time and help in presenting your vision for the music video. Professional editors often organize their clips by shot types, a story timeline, or by the type of take. 

Movavi Video Editor Plus makes it easy to label and group your videos in your media bin. Be sure to take the time to go through the organization process, so you can find clips quickly and with ease.

Step 3. Edit your music video

There is no set method for editing a music video, and there are many ways in which you can put everything together. The overview below is the most common format professional editors use to arrange a music video, followed by some insights on the tools you can use to bring your music video creation to life.

Format

Music videos generally have three elements that make them complete:

  1. The performance

  2. A story or visual elements

  3. Edits to the rhythm or beat of the song

Professional editors often start by cutting together all the performance shots of the musicians to ensure that it’s the key focus of the video. Afterwards, you can trim and chop the performance and insert a storyline or visual elements to complete the video.

And last, when editing, be sure to use the rhythm or beats in the music to motivate your cuts instead of just moving to another shot arbitrarily. It will help to enhance the music video and the music piece itself.

Editing tools for music videos

With Movavi Video Editor Plus, you can use these tools and more to complete the music video format above.

Step 4. Export your music video

With your music video edited, it’s time to export. Click the Export button, and from there, you can choose the video format that suits your needs. 

MP4 with an H.264 codec is the most popular format as it makes it easy to upload on mobile devices and social media. When you’ve chosen a format and resolution, click Start to save your video.

Equipment you will need to record a music video

Below, you’ll find two lists with all the equipment you need for recording your music video, whether you’re a beginner or a professional.

Disclaimer: we use affiliate links to the products mentioned on this page. When you click an affiliate link and make a purchase, we receive commissions. If you want to support our portal, you can use the links. Otherwise, you can find the recommended products using a search engine.

Starter kit

Camera

You can shoot most basic level music videos on a smartphone, like an iPhone 11.

Microphone

  1. Shotgun microphone – Movo VXR10-PRO External Video Microphone

  2. Lapel microphone – PoP Voice 16 Feet Omnidirectional Mic

Tripod

Joby JB01503 GorillaPod

Lighting

  1. RALENO Softbox Photography Lighting Kit

  2. Neewer 10-inch LED Ring Light Selfie Ring Light – comes with a tripod

Professional equipment

https://img.youtube.com/vi/R3t5YoZBaOE/maxresdefault.jpg

Frequently asked questions

What equipment do I need to shoot a music video?

A camera and a microphone are the most necessary things you’ll need to make a music video. You may also need a lighting kit, a tripod, and a stabilizer.

How do you make a music video of yourself?

  1. Make up the idea for your video.

  2. Plan the storyboard.

  3. Prepare the equipment.

  4. Choose the location.

  5. Shoot the video.

  6. Edit your footage.

What is a good camera for music videos?

Read our review of top cameras for music videos and choose the one you like best:

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* The free version of Movavi Video Editor Plus has the following restrictions: 7-day trial period, watermark on the output videos, and, if you’re saving a project as an audio file, an ability to save only half the audio length.

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