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How To

How To Make A Music Video Without Breaking The Bank

Photograph of the blog post author, Georgia Carter

Georgia Carter

24.8.2022

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Making a music video on a budget may seem unattainable, but we assure you it is and we will show you how. DIY music videos are completely different to the ones with a considerably bigger budget obviously, but don’t let that deter you from creating an epic music video for maximum effect for you or your band. How much does it cost to make a music video? Well now that is up to you and your budget, but I’m telling you there are plenty of examples in the past where this has been done, so keep reading for more info. 

Why Are Music Videos So Important? 

Music videos nowadays in this ever visual world are crucial to the life of a band or solo artist. Fans want to see more content, and musicians now need to adapt to bringing this to the fold, and not just rely on their songs to bring in money. Now of course, you want to know how to shoot a low budget video as you can’t exactly splash the cash right now. 

You can then upload these music videos onto your social media and your website, so people can view them and share them around the internet. Music Promotion at its best! So, if you want to know how to make a diy music video and how much it will really cost you, then here we go. 

Brainstorm Ideas For The Music Video 

Whilst listening to the song you chose to make the low budget music video for, try out ideas and see what might work. This may inspire locations, props, costumes as you brainstorm. Remember this will be used as promotion for you or your band, so what is it that you want to convey? Who will the video be for and what particular story do you want to tell? Emulate who you are as an artist and let that be the leading light for your music video. Fans like consistency, so your videos have to match the energy of your music if that makes sense. 

What have other artists done and do you feel inspired by them? There is no shame in pinching a few ideas in terms of style and tone of a piece – as long as you don’t copy them frame to frame!

Create A Treatment For The Project

Once you have the basic idea for the music video, then you can move onto the treatment. The more prepared you are beforehand when you are creating a music video, the better. A treatment will entail the vision, style, aesthetic and drive of the music video. Share these with those you chose to work with and then everybody will be on the same page before shooting. 

This will include the location where you shoot the music video, if you need to have extras on set or keep it to just the members of the band and you need to be able to demonstrate this with the use of images. Make it as visual as possible, otherwise people will lose interest. 

Choose One Location And Stick To It

Choosing a location is going to be crucial to the video, especially as you want to lower production costs. So this is why I suggest keeping it to just one location. 

  • What does it add to the track or does it have significance to you as the band?
  • Does it have a strong visual presence and can you shoot in more than one place when on location? 
  • Is it a private or public location and what issues will this create? Members of the public may get into your shot, or there may be more additional noise you hadn’t factored in, so maybe scout out the area first to see if it works. 

How To Make A Video At Home

It is now even more possible to shoot a music video at home, and this would help with finances but still create an epic video if this works for you. 

If you have these things; a microphone, a tripod, a good camera and a monitor, maybe even a flip-out screen, then you are ready to create your own video from home. This will help with camera angles, so you just need to perform and it will take care of creating the best shot. Film multiple angles, and if you have a tripod this is very useful for this. It will make your video look more visually interesting. 

Camera Equipment

I do realize that with a lower budget, you may not be able to afford the best gear out there, but I would suggest investing in a good DSLR ($1,000) and if you can buy a gimbal. With the two you can create some great shots. Of course everybody has a great camera on their phones now so it is actually easier than ever to film your own music video. So if you can’t afford a DSLR right now, then just start out with your own phone and go from there. 

Shoot in 4K, as you will be able to zoom in and out, choose the best angles for your shot and you can film using a high resolution.  

Produce A Gear And Set-List 

In terms of the low budget music video cost, of course you are more than likely going to be doing this on a shoestring, so don’t make it too complicated. 

For everybody involved, you all need to be on the same page, so ensure you have what you will need for the day. 

Choose Creative People To Help You 

Ask your friends to get involved as this will lessen the financial burden – they will probably do it for free as your mate, and this means you can use the best videographer you know but one that isn’t going to charge extortionate prices. Do any of your friends act, or are they a whizz at video editing? Well get them on board. It is a win-win situation for both of you, as they are able to hone their craft, and help you create a stunning piece of work that will hopefully get you noticed by industry individuals. You are creating a visual performance for your followers, so get the best people on board that you know. Also if it works out, then you can keep working with them. 

Lighting 

Lighting is going to be your best friend when knowing how to make a music video as it can make or break the project. I would suggest using as much natural light for your shoot. The easiest way to do this is filming outdoors and during the day. If you have bad lighting on your shoot, it is so noticeable, so really think about this. However, if you want to create a contrast and shoot in the nighttime, then ensure you have the equipment to fulfill this creative choice. You can always hire a lighting kit for the day, so you do not have to spend a load of money if you do not have the largest budget.  

Allocate Time To Editing In Post-Production  

Post production is something that will make the distinction between an epic music video and one that is just ok. You can learn how to do this all by yourself and there are plenty of videos to watch online, and there are apps which you can download on your phone or computer that will help you achieve that final effect you are searching for. Because after the shoot, you need to make the best of all your hard work and enhance this to create the best music video. 

You need to download some video editing software such as iMovie, Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro, which are useful for you as an artist and you can download them on your phone. 

It means that you can do this by yourself as well, so great news for someone who is on a low budget. It doesn’t matter if it looks too DIY, as this is what may tend to happen if you are on a low budget. Lean into this and with more practice and hopefully more of a budget further down the line, then you can create music videos that look more aesthetically pleasing to the eye.  

You could also consider using automation as well in your video. It is a fairly new concept but one that has actually been favored by artists more and more in recent years. It is a useful tool in terms of mixing and mastering your music video. 

Examples of Low Budget Music Video Success Stories

  • Yellow – Coldplay
  • Praise You – Fatboy Slim
  • Subterranean Homesick Blues – Bob Dylan
  • Cornerstone – Arctic Monkeys
  • Daylight – Matt & Kim
  • The Hardest Button to Button – The White Stripes
  • Short Skirt/Long Jacket – Cake
  • Oxford Comma – Vampire Weekend
  • Here it Goes again – Ok Go

Final Thoughts 

I hope that this has been useful and just remember to keep it simple and bring on board as many people you know to help you create a stunning music video. Making a music video will only help you in promoting your music and as you can see from all the tips given above, it can be done without breaking the bank. So get out there and make a music video. We can’t wait to see it.

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