These are some of the tips I’ve gathered from conversations with industry enthusiasts and mentors; my own observations and from research. These are mainly centered on the artist and, I believe, go a long way in complementing good quality videos. I leave the technical aspect to professionals in the field.
Disclaimer: I don’t claim to be an authority in this area but I’m a talent manager who easily gets peeved by substandard videos. Behold my musings!
- It is OK to be the only one in your music videos, definitely better than having clueless individuals on set. The director should be in a position to help you get creative with it.
- Be very deliberate on when to shoot a video, count the cost and plan accordingly. Cover all aspects from venue(s) to feeding the crew etc. If the jam is a hit and you didn’t have plans for a video, take your time. Don’t do it out of pressure, it may result in something chaotic.
- It is advisable NOT to go into debt in order to record music or shoot a video, but especially a video. An album maybe because that you can sell and payback though you may not break-even immediately. I say don’t go into debt because selling singles or a video is work and what are the odds of breaking even in today’s industry? If you must go into debt avoid the shylocks and the banks, have a workable plan to payback and communicate with your creditors.
- Put some practice into it, sharpen your skill. Don’t show up on the day of shooting that video if you haven’t practiced, it WILL show.
- If you are there to sing, sing; if you are there to rap, rap!! Don’t mumble words, don’t mime, do what you’ve come to do.
- If you have a dance crew in the video and you can dance, learn the moves. It shows me you put some work into it.
- If you must have a lot of individuals on set, discuss with them before hand what you require of them. Let them be in the know what their role is. Do not ask them to be random; you may end up wasting a lot of time.
- Ask them not to dare sing along if they don’t know the words and to hold eye contact with the cameras…the main one at least. You don’t want people looking at the ground and stuff like that.
- Dress code: If you must call up random guys in the morning, at least have a colour scheme, if you decide to colour block, do it well.
- Dress well for your shoot but NEVER go into debt over clothes, it’s not worth it. Cufflinks, fitting suits, ironed t-shirts, the works. It’s the little things. If you must use stunners, do it well.
- You are the main person in this video, if you don’t keep eye contact, who will? If you have stunners on, please remember we can still see you!
- Rest well before the shoot, if possible have a team to coordinate stuff, show up do your thing then stress the whole world later.
- The devil is in the details, watch them closely. That unwanted shadow of a curious onlooker, unrefined routine etc.
- Permits!!! Find out what the authorities require of you way before hand. A police cell is not a good way to end or worse, cut short a shoot.
(This post was initially a series of tweets and was later put together for publishing on CPR)
Any additional tips? Comment section! I’ll be sure to add them as a later update.