Music videos are quite expensive. The kind of music video that you see major label artists putting out have budgets that start in the range ofN5,000,000 and above. Honestly, most of us simply cannot afford that.
Sure, we can decide to crowdfund, save, and even get grants to make a big-budget video, but those things take time. In case you need a video, and you need it now, so how do you do it?
One spectacular thing about low-budget videos is that a lot of them are lame. Many low-budget videos have big-budget ideas, and this doesn’t work. Telling a story through video is genuinely difficult and requires a huge amount of technical and creative expertise.
That being said, there are countless examples of artists who have made great low-budget videos and some artists have even been made famous by a viral, low-budget video.
What can you do to therefore get a good low-budget video for your music?
1. Have a great, original idea: This may seem obvious but if you have a small budget ensure that you don’t work with a mediocre idea.
he video above was done with just a simple idea of having just the artiste showing at different scenes.
2. Location: Your location is important for many reasons. First, sometimes a great location is all you need to make a great video. Experiment with different ideas: on the street, on your roof, in your grandma’s house. If the location is interesting enough, it doesn’t take much to pull off low-budget. Think outside the box! (Hey, maybe you could shoot thewhole thing in a box, who knows!)
Light is very important. It can be expensive to properly light a set, so consider the quality and amount of light that your location provides naturally. Sometimes, if the location is cool enough, it’s worth spending the money on lights. Other times, you may want to consider shooting outside, where the light is free.
Consider shooting someplace you know very well. If you’re shooting in your own home, school, or workplace, you have more control over when you can use the space and what you can do with it.
3. Prioritize your budget: In my first two examples of great low-budget music videos, the band did have at least one major expense. In each case, it was an expert crew member (a choreographer and a director). Evidently, it was worth it.
If you only have $1,500 to make this video, you need to spend it wisely. In my opinion, you’re best off spending the money hiring someone who really knows what he or she is doing when it comes to directing and editing. On the other hand, if someone in your band is good at that kind of thing, consider spending the money on a better looking set, cooler costumes, publicity, or whatever is going to bring the video to the next level.
4. Keep your cast and crew small and effective: The smaller your cast, the easier it is to organize. If the only people featured in the video are the band members, that’s even better. It’s also fewer people to feed, clothe, and deal with if things aren’t going well!
And again, if you’re operating on a low budget, you need to keep the crew small. Another thing those two videos you watched earlier had in common was a small cast. Just a choreographer in one and just a director in the other. The artist and crew members must wear many hats: videographer, directors, lighting, sound techs, etc. But if it’s well organized and you leave yourself enough time, it can be done.
5. Make a thorough storyboard: I’ve made videos with storyboards and without. Let me tell you, spending the time organizing the story/action is worth it.
So many ideas and potential problems rise to the surface when you’re making a storyboard. It’s also the perfect time to organize various aspects of the story: how many extras are needed, what costumes are needed, what sets are needed at what times, etc. At some point, it turns into less of a storyboard, and more of a complete plan to make the video. Save yourself the time now, and make a storyboard.
6. Don’t be afraid of low-fi chic: Your video is not going to look like Bad Gang “Ajebutter22 Ft Falz” So forget that. Instead, keep in mind how successful many artists have been with extremely low-budget videos that look and feel like they were made on the cheap.
Watch sample videos made by KingsCrew Media via www.kingscrewmedia.com
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