Shooting Music Videos: On a Budget

You’ve decided you want a music video but your budget is tight. That’s cool, not a problem. A high quality music video can be delivered on a tight budget and in order to do this you just need to remember 3 golden rules:

1. Be Willing.

If you want a gorgeous looking video, shot in a unique and stunning location with all the extras you can have it all, as long you are willing to pull your sleeves up and muck in with the production. This could mean pulling in favours, getting mates rates or biting the bullet and hiring the venue. And there’s good reason for this. Locations can be the most expensive single cost on a shoot depending on what you are after. However, it’s not unusual for venues or people to want to help out artists, especially if they like your work. However as professional video producers there are only so many favours you can call on before you start getting a rep as someone who want’s something for free – and that’s not great.

This goes for anything, location, costume, make up, production design. We’ve worked on shoots where bands family members have helped out behind the scenes with wardrobe and props. If you’re shooting on a budget that’s just one of the ways to help get it made. As an artist you have to be willing to pull in favours.

This works both ways. Taking on a video with a tight budget from a producer’s point of view means being willing to get creative with locations and other aspects of the production. It means understanding that delivering a narrative video concept with actors, multiple locations and lots of production design isn’t going to be achievable on £500 ‘off the shelf’. However, if the band know actors who are willing to appear in the video to build their show reel and the band can deliver an awesome location then this suddenly becomes a potentially viable concept.

Shooting Music Videos on a Budget

2. Be Realistic.

Being realistic about what is achievable on your budget is a guaranteed way to not upset anyone, yourself included!

If you want to shoot half your video green screen with detailed 3D painted backgrounds and the other half on location on board a luxury yacht and you don’t know anyone who owns one… yep, you guessed it, it’s not going to happen on a small budget – unless you can and are willing to put yourself out there and pull in favours. You have to be realistic about what is achievable and be prepared to leave ideas behind if they are not doable or you are not willing to compromise. It’s better to sit on an idea you want done just so, than cut corners and not get what you want. If the budgets not there now for the big idea, save the big idea for further down the line when it is.

3. Be Big.

Music Videos on a Budget

One sure fire way to turn your small budget into something big on screen is to pull out all the stops with your performance. Nothing sells a band like charisma on stage and the same goes for your video. Regardless of if you make it onto TV or not this is a piece of history you’re making, at the very least it will be published online, shared on blogs, written about, watched with admiration,  talked about by fans, music journalists, critics and producers. Charisma and presence cannot be purchased, no matter what the budget so bringing your A game to a shoot is a sure fire way to deliver big on a small budget.

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