1. It All Starts With A Good Idea
This may seem obvious, but if you have a small budget, you can’t get away with a mediocre idea. The more creative your idea is, the more attention you will get. If you don’t have a huge budget to shoot the music video professionally, you need a concept that overshadows your budget shortage.
“It’s not about the technology used. That’s merely a tool. It’s about creativity and having fun with it.” – Matthias Gottwald, photographer and video producer
2. Budget Planning
Especially when your budget is limited, it is important to use it sensibly. Ask yourself the question “What and especially who do I need for the production?”. It is, of course, an advantage if band members already have experience with music videos, cameras or editing. If not, the alternative is to hire a person who is familiar with everything.
Friends or family members can help you as well. This was the case with the band OK GO. For “Here it Goes Again” the band decided to produce a choreographed video, with the dance taking place on treadmills. The video was conceived and directed by the sister of the frontman Damian Kulash. It was shot in one take. It took the band 17 attempts to get the dance on the treadmill right. This was one of the first truly viral videos that attracted more than 50 million views and earned a Grammy with OK Go.
3. The Location
Solely the place where you shoot your music video can make it a success. Whether on the street, in the studio, at home or in the basement, don’t make it unnecessarily difficult for yourself. Safe time, avoid tedious travel plans and choose only one location which suits your song. You and your team can put all the energy you would use for travelling back and forth into the production. Recordings from your concerts can also provide a little variety. The lighting is important here. It can be expensive to light a set properly. Ideally, you should shoot outdoors, where “mother nature” also offers the light free of charge.
Your idea and location can be as cool as you want. But if the cutting of the video goes wrong, the whole thing will be useless in the end. Nowadays, cheap or even free software can provide decent video editing: Adobe Premiere or iMovie are frequently used tools. Practice and patience are the most important things here.
5. Be Prepared
It’s best to plan each sound and each movement in advance so that you know how to move in front of the camera later. If choreography is planned, practice is key. Knowing who does what and when will save you a lot of tedious time during the production.
Conclusion: Be creative but stay minimalistic!