How do I direct my first music video?

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    • #91598

      I would like to try my hand at creating my first music video. Any advice, hints, do’s and don’ts will be appreciated.

      The music genre is Gospel (Contemporary Worship), the band consists out of 2 vocalists only and no instrument players as backtracks will be used and mixed afterwards. The location of choice is the Botanical Gardens in my area.

      My level is Prosumer and using the following equipment:
      Canon Legria HF-r36,
      Sony Handycam DCR-sx88
      Nikon Coolpix L340 (Bridge camera that doubles as a camcorder)
      3 Tripods ( 2 fixed and 1 ballhead)

    • #214811

      I suppose much depends on your level of technical skill, or the skill of the people you use if you are just an ideas person?
      What do you want the video for? Is there a message that you need to get across? Are the performers they focus, or the content? Have you got some kind of narrative that needs to be told – as in, is there a story? I’m no expert on religious music, although I’ve had some involvement with the people and the technical over the years. As a non-religious observation, I’ve noticed plenty of ‘message’ content, but the songs themselves are often rather bland. A Botanical garden in the winter isn’t that visual is it? Unless you’re in Australia I guess?

      Assuming you have the narrative sorted, then you move to important technical and performance issues. The critical one for me is nothing to do with equipment technical, it’s simply about how good your two singers are at convincing miming, or lip-syncing as it’s now called to give it more status. Some people cannot mime. If they cannot mime – you are stuck. I’m assuming you are recording them and mixing in the studio? You could try to do it live, but then it moves into a pop video and the location probably won’t work if you need good mics and controlled acoustics. You’ve detailed the cameras – which are basic but might do a reasonable job, but assuming you are miming – then you need some portable replay kit for them to mime to. I assume too that you then realise you sync it up in the edit with the decent backing track and the the vocals. You’ve not mentioned audio equipment which is why I believe you’ll be miming – but if you were thinking about recording their real voices on location, then you need some much more capable equipment, and even then, getting video and performance right would be a nightmare.

      So we can help once we know your plan or vision or what the story is. I annoy my religious friends when I ask them to remove the religious content and see what’s left. Sadly, often there is very little. If you watch it with the sound turned down – would it still hold up. There seems to be opinion that it’s the content and lyrics that are the key – and I understand that, but for a successful video, the picture needs to hold together. I suspect if there’s a greenhouse full of colourful flowers then I’d perhaps be thinking about tracking or slider style shots with the subject fairly stable and the foreground and background moving. Although I absolutely HATE shallow depth of field as a fad technique – this could well be a feature with foreground and background very soft, putting the attention onto the subject.

    • #214876

      There are two basic elements that make a successful manager (and yes, that’s what a director is). The first is to plan everything. Every shot needs to be not only known by you, but written down and thought through in detail. That may seem over the top for something like this, but if it’s your first you want it to work. Keep the plan simple. Simple means less things can go wrong, and you can focus on making those simple shots look their best. Make a checklist, don’t forget anything. Stay organized.

      The second most important rule is to use your resources properly. By resources I mean people. A director doesn’t have to know everything. That’s something a lot of newbies get in their heads. All a director has to do is be able to fill in the gaps when they don’t know something. Rely on the people around you, take suggestions whenever possible.

      Secondary advice: too much footage is easy to edit. Not enough footage is hard to make up for. When you don’t have enough experience to know exactly how much to shoot, just shoot more in case it comes up. If you stayed organized you’ll know which shots you definitely need, so if those work the extras won’t bog you down. But how much of that you need to worry about depends on what exactly you mean by ‘director’.

    • #214996

      It depends that what kind of theme you want to set on your music video and what kind of music genre you have selected, as these two things are dependent on each other. As recommends that you should have at lest one video editor and one good camera man for completion of video.

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