Over the last few months, I've been racking my brain and doing tons of research related to music video releases.
I'm brainstorming ways I can create a video for my original content, but I'm also on a pretty tight budget, like most independent music artists are.
The good thing about being an indie artist is that you can do so many things these days when it comes to visual concepts at a low price, thanks to the advancements in technology. 30 years ago, it would be pretty tough to do on your own!
Here are a couple of dozen ideas that stood out to me as I went through my research and brainstorming. I'm sure there are endless ways to tweak these ideas to make them a perfect fit for your upcoming video release if you're in need of inspiration.
The more you can make an idea fit into your brand image and song message, the better your outcome will be.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to your background when you use greenscreen technology.
You could plant yourself in outer space, in the White House, on a boat, or in any crazy place that may perfectly match some crazy lyrics of yours. Greenscreen tech is surprisingly cheap on Amazon.
One-shots are only for the brave and for those who have a director's eye, but the good thing is that many musicians happen to have that type of skill as well. To qualify as a one-shot take, the camera must not cut at any point in your video. It brings a realness to movies, shows, and music videos.
Drone tech can make for some really good shots for music video concepts.
If you, for example, want to have a song that shouts out what location you're from, drone shots of your neighborhood would fit perfectly. You want to get your own unique shots for this and include maybe even include people you know as well.
Lyric videos don't cost as much as you think they would.
Video professionals on sites like Fiverr can provide independent artists with eye-catching visuals, and they have an impressive turnaround time for their services. It's great for getting your fans used to your lyrics.
If you tour or gig pretty often, recording using one or multiple performances that are shot well in great lighting is a lovely and affordable concept for a music video.
This can put potential new fans in the shoes of an audience member that is enjoying your performance like a die-hard fan would.
Similar to live recordings, your fans, and potential new fans can instantly feel connected to you with some well-recorded behind-the-scenes footage along with one of your song releases.
You can even match up some sections with your lip-syncing at the perfect times to make it fit your specific song.
I've seen many videographers that suggest shooting at a time in the day called the golden hour. This time is right after the sunrise or right before the sunset, and it gives your visuals a beautiful warmth that will look good in any music video.
There's a certain art that is involved with meshing these types of videos with your unique content, and you don't want to rely too heavily on it if you want the music video to still have your unique touch.
If you're really on a budget, you could try meshing some of your original footage with stock footage clips that can be found on sites like Freepik and Videvo.
A simple way to get high-quality music video footage is to record the screen on your computer or your phone. If you, for example, have a song release about missing your significant other, you can use footage of texts back and forth or social media content in your music video.
If you've got the time or budget for it, consider using stop motion for your music video.
While it is mostly used in animation, stop motion is simply the process of starting and stopping the camera over and over to record your footage, which can give the appearance of movement to lifeless objects.
Using this technique is cool to use for humans, too.
If you have a lot of footage that can you can splice together to make a compelling story, consider using this to create a music video. This works great for love stories about romantic or familial bonds over time as people grow together.
Many bands and artists like to use the idea of shooting in one room that often has cool lighting or painted walls.
While it's done a lot, it also never gets old and is a great way to shoot a video if you're on a budget. You can get really creative when it comes to the visual effects in post-production.
Fun houses are a great way to get some interesting things happening in the back of your video for an affordable price. It may be a little vintage to do, but depending on your song, vintage could match perfectly with the aesthetic.
Another popular but never outdated way of recording is with great lighting in a lush wooded area. This works especially well for singer-songwriters that just need their vocals and their guitar, which match well with the simplistic nature elements.
Here's another vintage but cool and creative way to do visuals for your music video. Shooting some scenes in complete darkness in contrast with bright scenes can help spice up your video and make it seem like a lot went into the production process.
If your song goes along with the vibes of an ordinary day in the life, consider doing a video that captures that feeling.
You can be walking down the street, on the bus, in the store, in your house, at your job, and performing along to some of your greatest musical work for your fans to obsess over.
Some songs pair perfectly with professional dancers and don't need your presence much, if not at all.
Many video releases feature dancing only and can really catch a viewer's eye and keep them glued to the screen for your entire song if your dancers are talented and compelling enough.
We've all seen vocal collabs on the net where there are several boxes of singers at home, giving an impressive video and audio treat to their listeners as they expressively sing to the camera.
This style of music video works well for all types of music groups and can be tweaked in many different ways.
Got a good budget or a very talented friend that can create an animated video for you? Don't miss this opportunity to create it and use it as an amazing marketing tool!
Animated videos are a great way to tell a story that matches the lyrical content of your song and makes your performance even more memorable.
Would you happen to have access to a very beautiful location or national landmark? Use that for your music video! You can even do a montage of you traveling throughout a beautiful location and make that relevant to your song.
Similar to recording a live performance, you can record highlighted footage from your studio recording. This way, you can even include some behind-the-scenes type of footage that will combine two great and affordable video concepts into one.
If you want to get creative with your animation style, consider using toys or dolls to create a weird and compelling video for your music release that will get stuck in people's minds way after they've watched it.
The weirder, the better (In some instances; don't get too weird, now).
If you've got the budget, hire a professional crew and some great actors that will provide you with a high-quality short film that can have your music as the background.
While it can be pricey to pull off, it's one of the more popular and compelling ways to create a music video.
If you're an instrumentalist, don't let anyone forget it! Take your baby out to unique places and shoot yourself performing.
I've seen great videos featuring instrumentalists at locations like the beach, a crowded street, a national park, or something else visually enticing.
This is another concept that works well if your video has some type of old-school elements to it that would pair well with VHS-styled recordings.
This method proves to be very affordable and allows your viewers to feel like they know you personally through this type of lens.
Videos don't need to feature you or any other person. You can simply have great visual effects like the ones you'd see on a screen saver, but even more creative and crafted in a way that matches your song perfectly.
Consider this method if you have an abstract sound that may not need people's presence.
Related Post: How Much Does A Music Video Cost?
As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 200 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, and features, Yona spends her time creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Her recent collaborations include work with PBS Sound Field, Tribe of Noise, and the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Check out Yona’s latest releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share if you like it!
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