Lights Camera Music How To Shoot A Music Video That Will Go Viral

Contents show

Hello there! Are you an up-and-coming artist who dreams of producing a music video that stands out from the crowd? You’re not alone! Shooting a music video can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t have the right guidance. In this article, we’ll impart valuable tips and tricks that will help turn your music video vision into a reality!

By reading this article, you’ll learn the techniques that pro videographers use to make stunning music videos. You’ll discover the essential components that make a music video visually appealing and captivating to viewers. Best of all, we’ll provide you with actionable advice that you can put into practice right away. So if you’re tired of producing lackluster music videos that fail to capture your audience’s attention, then read on!

Don’t worry if you’ve never shot a music video before, we’ve got you covered. Our tips and tricks have been tried and tested. We’ve consulted with successful videographers who have worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry. The advice we provide is straightforward and effective. We’re confident that after reading this article, you’ll be equipped with the tools you need to produce a music video that reflects your unique style and showcases your skills to the world. Let’s get started!

Pre-production Tips for Shooting a Music Video

Music videos are a powerful way for artists to promote their work and connect with their fans. While the final product may appear effortless, a lot of planning, efforts, and strategies go into making a successful music video. The pre-production stage is a crucial phase to ensure that you are able to effectively communicate your vision while staying within budget and timeline. Here are some pre-production tips for shooting a music video.

Setting the Budget

Before beginning the planning process, it is important to determine the budget for the music video. The budget will dictate what can and cannot be achieved, and it is important to be realistic about what can be accomplished within the allotted amount. There are several factors to consider when setting a budget for a music video, including artist’s fees, location fees, equipment rentals, post-production editing, and visual effects.

It is also important to breakdown the budget into categories and determine the percentage of the budget that can be allocated to each category. To ensure the budget is managed effectively throughout the production process, it can be helpful to have a line producer on board to oversee spending and ensure that everything remains within budget.


Scheduling is another crucial aspect of pre-production. A detailed production schedule should be created to ensure that all aspects of the production process are completed within the allotted time. The schedule should include deadlines for casting, location scouting, rehearsals, equipment rental, and other pre-production tasks.

When creating the schedule, it is important to build in contingency time for unforeseen events such as weather delays, talent not showing up or equipment failure. By allowing ample time during pre-production, it can help to ensure a smoother production process and reduce stress and pressure during shooting.


Storyboarding is a visual representation of how the video will unfold. It is a series of illustrations or images that are placed in sequence that represents the shots that will be captured during the music video. The storyboard should help you envision the final product and communicate your vision to the production team.

Storyboarding helps to determine the camera and lighting setups, shot compositions, and camera movement. A storyboard can also help to reduce the time and energy needed for production and post-production by ensuring that everyone involved is on the same page. Storyboarding also allows producers to determine what kind of special effects or visual effects are needed to shoot the final product they envision.

Location Scouting

Location scouting is an important aspect of pre-production. A well-chosen location can significantly enhance the aesthetics of a music video. When selecting a location, it is important to consider factors such as accessibility, lighting, noise, and permits. It is important to scout a location thoroughly and factor in any logistical issues that could occur.

Location scouting can be done through various means, including Google Maps or physically visiting potential locations. Once locations have been identified, it is vital to visit them in person to check the suitability of the location for the music video.


Casting is another key aspect of pre-production. Casting the right talent is important as it helps bring the vision of the music video to life. When casting for a music video, it is important to create a casting brief that outlines the characteristics and look of the desired talent.

Casting auditions should be held, and arrangements should be made for callbacks. It is important to have an open mind during the casting process, as sometimes the most unexpected talents can bring unique perspectives that enhance the overall production.


Pre-production is essential in ensuring that your music video is executed as planned. By properly budgeting, scheduling, storyboarding, location scouting, and casting, you’ll be able to achieve your vision and make your music video a success. It is important to remember that a well-planned pre-production process greatly reduces stress and uncertainty during the production process, and ultimately helps to achieve the best results possible.

Pros Cons
Budgeting ensures effective use of finances Limitations set by budget might negatively affect video quality
Pre-planning of shooting schedule reduces stress and pressure during filming Underestimate of timing might cause a delay in deliverables
Storyboarding allows the team to visualize the shooting process and reduce post-production time and energy Production team might encounter unexpected situation despite thorough location scouting
Location scouting helps determine if a specific location will help in creating the desired visual effects Some locations might be too expensive for the budget
Casting allows the team to find the right talent to enhance the video The casting process might require a lot of work and time consumption

Best Camera Settings for Filming a Music Video

Music videos can be a powerful tool in establishing an artist’s brand and identity. Capturing a visually stunning and dynamic music video is no easy feat. The camera settings are one of the critical aspects that need to be attended to when shooting a music video. In this article, we will dive into the best camera settings for filming a music video.


Resolution is a critical aspect of camera settings for filming a music video. It determines the quality and clarity of the video output. Generally, higher resolutions offer better image quality, but it also means that the video files will require significant storage space. The two most common resolutions used in filming music videos are 1080p and 4k.

  • 1080p: It is a standard video resolution for most music videos. It is ideal for music videos that will be primarily viewed on online streaming platforms like YouTube, Vevo, and Vimeo. It offers high-quality visuals and is adequate for most music videos.
  • 4k: 4K is a higher resolution than 1080p and offers more detailed visuals. It is best suited for music videos that will be played in larger screen formats, such as on television channels, cinemas, and live concert events. However, it requires a more powerful camera and plenty of storage space.
See also  Rock Your Own Music Blog The Ultimate Guide On How To Start A Music Blog That Makes Noise
Resolutions Pros Cons
1080p • High-quality visuals

• Takes up less storage space
• Not suitable for larger screen formats

• Limited details and sharpness
4k • Offers high details

• Ideal for larger screen formats
• Requires a more powerful camera

• Requires more storage space


Framerate determines the smoothness of the video and can help produce a visually stunning music video. The three standard frame rates used in music video production are 24, 30, and 60 frames per second (fps).

  • 24 fps: This frame rate provides a classic and cinematic feel that lends itself best to mood-based music videos. It is commonly used in slow and mid-tempo songs where the visuals can be synced with the beats effectively.
  • 30 fps: This frame rate is the standard for television and is suitable for music videos that will be shown primarily on traditional broadcasting channels. However, it can produce a slightly jarring and unnatural visual experience, especially when capturing fast movements.
  • 60 fps: This frame rate delivers the smoothest video output and is best suited for music videos that involve action scenes, stunts, or fast-paced choreography.
Frame Rate Pros Cons
24 fps • Classic cinematic feel

• Ideal for slow or mid-tempo songs
• Not suitable for fast-paced music videos

• Can appear jarring and unnatural
30 fps • Standard for television

• Can accommodate traditional broadcasting channels
• Jarring effect during fast movements
60 fps • Smoothest video output

• Ideal for action sequences, fast movements or choreography
• Requires faster shutter speed

Shutter Speed

Shutter speed determines the exposure time of the camera sensor to light. It plays a significant role in creating different effects in video. In music video production, the shutter speed is adjusted to achieve a specific effect, such as a sense of energy or motion blur.

  • Slow Shutter Speed: A slower shutter speed of around 1/50 or 1/60 seconds produces a motion blur effect, creating an illusion of movement and dynamic energy. This effect is best suited for music videos that involve fast-paced choreography, dancers, and action sequences. It can also be used to capture interesting light trails or soft backgrounds.
  • Fast Shutter Speed: A faster shutter speed of around 1/125 or 1/200 seconds can freeze motion and create a crisper image. It can capture fast-paced movements with more definition and clarity. This effect is ideal for music videos that involve fast pace music and stunts like parkour.
Shutter Speed Pros Cons
Slow Shutter Speed • Motion Blur Effect

• Captures dynamic energy

• Ideal for fast-paced choreography and action
• Risk of introducing camera shake

• May lead to overexposure under bright lighting conditions
Fast Shutter Speed • Crisper Images

• Able to capture images with clear definition and clarity

• Ideal for fast-paced movements and stunts
• May miss motion effects and details

• Can look unnatural in some cases


ISO determines the camera’s sensitivity to light. The higher the ISO value, the more sensitive the camera is to light, which can lead to brighter images. However, higher ISO values can also introduce noise and graininess in the video. In music video production, the ISO setting is adjusted based on the lighting conditions.

  • Low ISO: Low ISO settings (below 800) offer less noise and graininess, which can result in a cleaner and sharper final video output. They are ideal for shooting in well-lit environments, with ample natural or artificial light.
  • High ISO: High ISO settings (above 800) are best suited for dimly lit environments, such as nightclubs, concerts, and outdoor evening performances. They can introduce some noise and graininess in the video, but can help produce a brighter and more visually appealing video.
ISO Pros Cons
Low ISO • Clean and sharper final video output

• Ideal for bright lighting conditions
• Not suitable for dimly lit environments

• May require additional lighting
High ISO • Brighter and more visually appealing video output

• Ideal for dimly lit environments
• Introduces noise and graininess in the video

• Can create an unnatural look under certain lighting conditions

In conclusion, selecting the right camera settings for filming a music video is crucial in creating a visually stunning and dynamic music video. The resolution, framerate, shutter speed, and ISO are critical settings that filmmakers must consider. By understanding the different effects produced by different camera settings, filmmakers can create a visually captivating music video that resonates with viewers.

Mastering Lighting Techniques for Music Videos

Music videos are a great way for artists to showcase their talent and creativity to a worldwide audience. Lighting is one of the essential elements involved in creating a visually appealing music video. It can set the tone, create a mood, and add depth to the story being told. In this article, we will take you through some practical tips to master lighting techniques for music videos.

Understanding the Basic Lighting Techniques

Before you start making a music video, it’s important to understand the basic lighting techniques. Professional lighting involves using a combination of the following techniques:

  1. Key Light: It is the main source of light that provides the subject’s main illumination.
  • Pros:
  • – It draws attention to the subject’s face

    – It illuminates the subject in a way that highlights key features.

  • Cons:
  • – It can cast shadows that may require additional light sources.

  • Fill Light: It eliminates shadows created by the key light by bouncing another light source to provide supplementary illumination.
    • Pros:
    • – It softens shadows by providing more even lighting

      – It helps to ensure that features normally hidden by shadows are visible.

    • Cons:
    • – It may create an unnatural look if overdone.

  • Back Light: It’s a light source placed behind and above the subject to create separation, depth, and a halo effect around the edges of the subject.
    • Pros:
    • – It provides depth to the scene by creating layers between the subject and the background.

      – It creates a sense of drama and aesthetic beauty

    • Cons:
    • – It can be overdone, creating an unrealistic look.

  • Ambient Light: It is the light already in the environment where the video is being recorded.
    • Pros:
    • – It creates a natural look in the video.

      – It can also be used to create mood or atmosphere, depending on the environment being used.

    • Cons:
    • – It can create unwanted shadows or effects that may detract from the final product.

    Choosing the Best Lighting Equipment

    A great lighting setup starts with choosing the right equipment for the job. Lighting equipment can be purchased or rented, depending on budget and needs. Here are some critical factors to consider when choosing lighting equipment.

    1. Budget: Determine what you can spend on lighting equipment, then make an informed decision on which equipment to purchase or rent.
    2. Type of Video: The type of music video, the location, and the video’s mood will determine the lighting equipment.
    3. Luminosity: Measure the light’s wattage and total output to ensure it is bright enough or dim enough for the scene being shot.
    4. Color Temperature: Consider the color temperature of the bulbs to create the desired effect, style, and mood.
    5. Portability: Consider lightweight and portable lighting equipment for ease of transportation, set-up, and break down.

    Creating the Mood with Lighting

    Lighting can be used to create different moods for music videos by adjusting the light direction and intensity. Here are a few ways lighting can be used to create various moods.

    1. Romantic Mood: Use warm, soft light and a low-light environment for an intimate setting.
    2. Party Mood: Use high-energy and colorful flashing lights to create an ambiance of excitement and fun.
    3. Dramatic Mood: Use hard or angled lights to create depth, shadows, and texture for added drama.
    4. Soft Mood: Use diffused, almost shadowless light to create a relaxed, calming atmosphere.


    Lighting is an essential element in creating music videos. Choosing the right lighting equipment, mastering the basic lighting techniques, and creating the mood are all critical steps in achieving a successful music video. By using the information provided in this article, you can create visually appealing music videos that leave a lasting impact on your audience.

    See also  Discover The Best New Haven Music Venues With Our Insider Guide

    Post-Production Editing for the Perfect Music Video

    After a long and tiring day of production, your footage is finally safe and sound in your hard drives. What’s next? Post-production, of course! In this section, we’ll discuss the essential post-production editing process that will turn your footage into a memorable music video.

    1. Importing Your Footage

    Before you proceed with the editing process, it is crucial to import your footage into your post-production software. This process involves transferring your raw footage from your camera to your computer. Here are some essential details you should know when importing your footage:

    • Sort and organize your footage into folders.
    • Choose the right file format for your footage.
    • Use a reliable transfer method to prevent file corruption.
    • Create back up of your files for safety.

    Interesting Fact: Did you know that importing your footage is not only limited to raw footage from your camera? You can also include stock footage, sound effects or other post-production elements that will enhance your music video when importing your files.

    2. Assembling Your Footage

    The next step is to assemble your footage to form your music video. This process involves carefully selecting the right shots that suit your music video, arranging them in the correct sequence, and adding effects and transitions to create a cohesive and seamless video.

    Here are some essential tips to guide you in assembling your footage:

    • Take note of your vision and storyline for your music video.
    • Choose the footage that best suits each part of your music video.
    • Arrange your footage in a logical sequence that flows naturally.
    • Place effects and transitions strategically to emphasize key moments.
    Pros Cons
    Allows you to showcase your creative vision. Requires time and patience to perfect the final outcome.
    Provides flexibility in creating your story. May require significant effort to achieve a consistent flow.

    Real-World Example: The music video for “Happier” by Marshmello and Bastille is an excellent example of a video that carefully strings together a series of scenes in a linear narrative. The music video follows the story of a little girl and her dog, conveying a message of loss and moving on.

    3. Color Grading

    Color grading is an essential part of the post-production process that involves adjusting the color and tone of your footage to create a consistent look and feel throughout the music video. The right color grading can enhance the mood and atmosphere of your video, making it more visually appealing and captivating.

    Here are some essential tips to guide you in color grading your footage:

    • Choose a color scheme that suits your music video’s mood and message.
    • Adjust the brightness, contrast, and saturation of your footage to create a balanced feel.
    • Apply color correction filters to specific footage that needs enhancement.
    • Compare shots side by side to ensure consistency in color output.

    Case Study: The “Old Town Road” music video by Lil Nas X creatively uses color grading to create a retro-Western feel throughout the video. The video utilizes vibrant colors that emulate the ’90s era cartoon style, contributing to its nostalgic charm.

    4. Sound Design and Audio Mixing

    Sound design and audio mixing are essential in post-production editing and creating a perfect music video. Audio can make or break your music video, so it is crucial to invest time and effort into perfecting it.

    Here are key factors you should consider in sound design and audio mixing:

    • Choose the right music that complements your video’s narrative and mood.
    • Adjust audio levels to make sure the music and voice-over/dialogue are balanced.
    • Remove unwanted background noise that may distract your audience.
    • Add sound effects to enhance the viewing experience.

    Key Concept: Sound design and audio mixing are essential in creating a perfect music video because it provides a multi-sensory experience for your audience.

    Proper post-production editing can make a massive difference in the final outcome of your music video. By following these essential tips and tricks, you can make your music video more captivating, enjoyable, and memorable to your audience.

    Innovative Music Video Ideas to Stand Out From the Crowd

    Music has the power to touch our souls and bring us together, and music videos take this experience to the next level. Today, more than ever before, there has been a significant rise in the production of music videos, with new artists releasing groundbreaking videos to capture the attention of their target audience. Here are five innovative music video ideas that can help any artist stand out from the crowd.

    1. Use Creative Visual Effects to Create a Memorable Experience

    Visual effects allow an artist to bring their imagination to life and create a memorable experience for their audience. There are so many different techniques you can use to achieve this effect, from playing with colors to incorporating animation.

    Color Grading and Lighting

    Color grading and lighting are extremely powerful tools in creating an emotional response in an audience. Playing with contrasting colors or changing the temperature of the lighting can set the mood for a video.

    For example, in the music video for “Humble” by Kendrick Lamar, the director used color grading to create a warm, vintage look. This made the video feel both classic and modern, perfectly capturing the message of the song.

    Animation and CGI

    Animation and CGI offer endless possibilities to create unique visuals that are unattainable in the real world. Incorporating these techniques into a music video can result in breathtaking visuals that will make the video stand out.

    A great example of this technique is in the music video for “Take On Me” by A-ha. The animated scenes for this video were created through rotoscoping, where animators manually traced over each frame of the live-action footage to create the effect.

    2. Incorporate a Storyline to Connect with the Audience

    Telling a story through a music video can help an artist connect with their audience on a deeper level. By creating a relatable story, an artist can evoke an emotional response and create a stronger bond with their fans.

    Focus on a Strong Narrative

    To create a memorable story in a music video, it is important to focus on developing a strong narrative. This can be done through exploring the lyrics of the song or choosing a specific theme that aligns with the overall message of the music.

    For example, in the music video for “Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel, the director built a set that included a rotating camera that displayed maximum depth of field. This provided the illusion of Gabriel falling into the background sets, and the various camera tricks that were involved in the production of the video helped the narrative come to life.

    Use Visual Metaphors to Reinforce the Story

    Using visual metaphors is an excellent way to reinforce the narrative of a music video. By using deceptively simple imagery, artists can capture the essence of a song and tell a story that is simultaneously modern and timeless.

    One great example of using visual metaphors is in the music video for “Somewhere Only We Know” by Keane. The video features a woman walking through the streets of London, with a glimpse of a rabbit leading her through the streets. The rabbit is a metaphor for imagination and dreams, and it helps reinforce the theme of the song.

    3. Choose an Unusual Setting to Create an Engaging Experience

    Setting is a key component of any music video. Choosing an unusual setting can provide a unique experience and make the video stand out.

    Use a Location That Aligns with the Song

    When choosing a location for a music video, it is important to consider how the location aligns with the song. This can be done by choosing a location that matches the mood or lyrics of the music.

    For example, in the music video for “Tightrope” by Janelle Monae, the video was set in a 1930s-themed nightclub. The setting perfectly captured the energy of the song, creating an immersive experience for the audience.

    Experiment with Unusual Settings

    Choosing a bizarre or unconventional setting can instantly make a music video stand out. Unusual settings can range from natural landscapes such as forests and deserts, to artificially created settings like the inside of a spaceship.

    One great example of an unconventional setting is in the music video for “This Too Shall Pass” by OK Go. This video was shot in a single take and utilized an elaborate Rube Goldberg machine, which included more than 5,000 parts and took over three months to build.

    4. Showcase the Personality of the Artist or Band

    Incorporating the personality of the artist or band into the music video can make it more relatable and engaging for the audience. This can be done through style, fashion, or even including behind-the-scenes footage.

    See also  Music To Their Ears How To Add Soundtrack To Only Part Of Your Reel

    Embrace a Unique Fashion and Style

    Style and fashion are powerful tools that can be used to showcase the personality of an artist or band. By dressing in a unique and memorable way, an artist can grab the attention of their audience and make their music video stand out.

    For example, in the music video for “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga, the artist used a variety of bizarre and outlandish outfits to create a memorable visual experience that perfectly matched the mood and lyrics of the song.

    Show Behind-the-Scenes Footage

    Another way to showcase the personality of an artist or band is by including behind-the-scenes footage in a music video. This can include interviews, impromptu performances, or backstage shenanigans.

    A great example of this technique is in the music video for “Changes” by David Bowie. The video included behind-the-scenes footage of Bowie during his 1976 world tour, and the footage served to showcase his unique style and personality.

    5. Incorporate Interactive Elements for a More Engaging Experience

    Interactive elements in a music video can provide a more immersive and engaging experience for the audience. By breaking the fourth wall and inviting the audience into the video, an artist can create a deeper connection with their fans.

    Use Interactive Annotations and Links

    One way to incorporate interactive elements into a music video is by using annotations or links. This can allow the audience to click on specific parts of the screen to access additional content or links to related content.

    For example, in the music video for “We Used To Wait” by Arcade Fire, the director incorporated a website that the audience could type in their hometown and watch the video morph into a personalized experience.

    Create a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Experience

    Another way to incorporate interactive elements is by creating a “choose your own adventure” experience. This can be done by providing the audience with choices that will affect the outcome of the music video or provide a different viewing experience each time.

    One great example of this technique is in the music video for “Like A Rolling Stone” by Bob Dylan. The video provides viewers with a “television” that allows them to flip between channels and see actors lip-sync the song, which perfectly captures the essence of the song’s message.

    In conclusion, there are countless ways to create an innovative music video that stands out from the crowd. By using creative visual effects, incorporating storylines, choosing unusual settings, showcasing the personality of the artist or band, and incorporating interactive elements, artists can create a memorable experience for their audience and connect with them on a deeper level.

    FAQs: How to Shoot a Music Video

    What equipment do you need to shoot a music video?

    To shoot a music video, you will need a camera, tripod, lighting equipment, microphones, and audio recording software. A DSLR camera is a popular choice for music videos as it provides high-quality video and great control over the settings.

    What are the important steps to consider when shooting a music video?

    Some important steps to consider when shooting a music video include creating a storyboard, choosing the right location for the shoot, selecting the right equipment, and working closely with the music artist to bring their vision to life.

    What is a storyboard, and why is it important?

    A storyboard is a visual representation of your music video, which includes detailed information about each shot in your video. It is important because it helps you plan each shot and ensure that your music video tells a cohesive story.

    What are the different types of shots used in a music video?

    There are many types of shots that can be used in a music video, including close-ups, long shots, medium shots, and tracking shots. These shots offer different perspectives and help to create a dynamic and visually interesting music video.

    What is color grading, and why is it important?

    Color grading is the process of adjusting the color and tone of your music video to create a specific mood or look. It is important because it helps to enhance the overall feel of your music video and can set the tone for the entire piece.

    What is a treatment, and why is it important?

    A treatment is a proposal that outlines the concept and vision for your music video. It is important because it helps to ensure that everyone involved in the project is on the same page and has a clear understanding of what the final product will look like.

    How do you choose the right location for your music video shoot?

    To choose the right location for your music video shoot, consider the mood and tone of your music, the lyrics, and the story you want to tell. Additionally, think about the lighting conditions, the availability of props, and the accessibility of the location.

    What is a shot list, and why is it important?

    A shot list is a detailed list of all of the shots you plan to capture during your music video shoot. It is important because it helps to ensure that you capture all of the necessary footage and helps to keep your shoot organized and on schedule.

    What is the role of a director in shooting a music video?

    The role of a director in shooting a music video is to bring the artist’s vision to life. They work with the artist to develop the concept and treatment for the video, oversee the shooting of the video, and work with the editor to create the final product.

    How important is communication when shooting a music video?

    Communication is essential when shooting a music video. It ensures that everyone involved in the project is on the same page and understands their role. It can also help to prevent misunderstandings and ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal.

    How do you ensure that your music video stands out from the rest?

    To ensure that your music video stands out from the rest, focus on creating a strong concept and visual aesthetic. Think outside of the box and find ways to make your video unique and memorable. Additionally, consider collaborating with other artists or incorporating elements like animation or special effects.


    Shooting a music video can be a complex and time-consuming process, but if done correctly, it can be a powerful tool for promoting your music and establishing your brand. To shoot a successful music video, be sure to plan carefully, communicate clearly, and collaborate closely with everyone involved in the project. After reading this article, take some time to create a storyboard, shot list, and treatment for your music video, and consider all of the different elements that can make your video stand out. With careful planning, hard work, and a bit of luck, you can create a music video that truly captures the spirit and essence of your music. Thank you for reading, and be sure to check out our other articles on music and video production.