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How To Make a Music Video in 2023

music promotion strategies Feb 01, 2023

Music Video Making 101: Beginner's Guide


Music videos are all the more important in 2023 because the tradition of releasing the lyric video to create a buzz and then the music video has made visual storytelling possible. The idea of a music video is to have fun, best represent what your song is trying to say, and understand the story you are trying to narrate. Music videos also help with visual marketing because wouldn’t you remember Taylor Swift chopping down a cake if you listen to Blank Space


A lyric video is pretty easy to make because you don’t have to shoot anything outside unless you want to make an official lyric video like FINNEAS’s Angel. Music video on the other hand takes effort and time, but it also achieves two goals, first is effective music promotion and the second is artist branding. So how do you make a music video in 2023? 



With so many apps that are user-friendly and very easy to navigate, you could take basic videos and edit them into a music video. Not everyone will have Adobe Premiere, but you could work through apps like VN which is a pretty cool app for quick editing, especially if you want to post clips of your video in the form of reels and shorts, and so on, while a majority of them are even phone-friendly.  


You could make a fair enough music video with a good DSLR that you could also borrow if you don’t own one, a user-friendly app, along with your music, and upload it on your YouTube channel. However, the purpose of producing a minimal music video and posting it to Vevo or YouTube is to showcase yourself and your appearance, enhance the interpretation of your songs, and communicate with audiences around an imaginative point. Speaking of YouTube, read our article on How To Market Your Music on YouTube.


Be honest about your resources


If you only have access to a phone camera but you are trying to edit and enhance your video quality using apps, it will show. So instead of that, try to make the best out of what you have. You could do a music video that just shows you walking by the beach, lip-syncing your track, and wearing pretty clothes for a sunset. Or, it could be you chilling with your homies drinking beer at 2 a.m. in the night by your porch. The point is, the more honest your production is, the more authentic and sincere you will appear in your music video. 




For example, take Sam Tsui’s Trust official music video. It has lighting, cameras that move in circles around the artist, and lip-syncing. He builds a story and says it pretty traditionally. You see what you he is talking about and you relate to it. Be practical with your resources and have realistic expectations of the outcome.


Making your video appear low budget even though it is, could also be intentional and that could become something unique to only you. Try to not make a video that pretends to be something that it isn’t. A music video does not have to appear to have a large budget for individuals to choose to watch it. Rather, emphasize how it's quite the opposite. 



Organization is important


Imagine that it is shoot day, you know you have to shoot at this location but you don’t know what you will wear and what exactly you’ll do in the video. Chaotic, eh?

Try to avoid such things happening in the first place by always keeping a schedule and organizing things beforehand. Pull that outfit from your wardrobe and keep it ready before shoot day. Always have some sort of plan or an idea in your mind. If you are feeling inspired by Pinterest, keep a record of the stuff you’d like to recreate. Are you going to dance in your video? Then hire a choreographer or get help from a friend who dances well. Learn your dance before you shoot. Do multiple rehearses.  



If you aren’t comfortable dancing or lip-syncing to your music in front of a camera, see what else you can do. Sit in a cafe, drink coffee, text someone, anything. Write the story you want to tell - the script, at least a week before the shoot day because you will want to edit things later. See the aesthetic you want to present and jot down everything you need for that, be it props, lighting, location, and so on.


Making a note of everything you need, everything you already have, and everything you need to either borrow or buy helps things move forward in the process. But keep things organized. The organization will help you follow a schedule and do things on time. It will also give you room to be spontaneous and try something out on shoot day once you are done with what you initially planned. Dedicate the major part of your funding to the most crucial elements, such as light sources, venue, backdrops, and video equipment. 



Collaborate or hire other professionals


In 2023, you will always find someone who is good at something you are not and is willing to work with you or collaborate with you. It might be your friends, cousins, colleagues, and so on. This is why networking becomes very important in the music industry - it allows you to not only meet other singers and performers but also gives you a chance to get the contacts of the professionals who worked with the singers for their music videos and other work.

Collaborating makes so much sense because you can’t do everything on your own - you’ll be stressed out and the result won’t please you either. In most cases, appointing individuals you know is a better option than employing professional actors or extras to constitute the video's storytelling or to provide the appearance of an audience.

However, involving individuals you're familiar with could be a fantastic way to save money on tools and experience. Do you know a friend who owns a video camera and post-production experience? Perfect.


Even if you have friends with a good enough phone camera, that should do. Imagine a sequence but from multiple camera angles. Good, eh?



Choose ONE venue


Don’t shoot one minute in your home and another down the street or something even though you’ll be much motivated to do so. We’ll tell you why - getting from one location to another, can cost you and you could cut that out. Plus, you could do so much in just one location while exploring different angles. But make sure that the venue you choose is something unique, visually pleasing, adds to your image, resonates with your music, and has different spots to film from.

When you are debating on private locations versus public, choose private because it will give you more space to be yourself, do your thing, and complete your work without getting nervous or getting conscious of yourself. 


Sure, green screen is pretty cool, but we’d say that it is not better than watching you lipsync to your song by a bonfire with a guitar in your hand. 


Natural Light over anything and everything 


The golden hour is real and you need to make good use of that. Sure, if your script has something for a night shoot, do it. But sunlight can enhance your appearance, and make a lot of difference in creating the ambiance of your video, especially if your music is Indie, Acoustic, Singer-Songwriter, and so on. But the truth is that if you don't have the best lighting, it really doesn't matter how great your choreography is or the amount of money you've managed to spend on high-quality video equipment.

The best time of the day is to shoot either early in the morning, say 7 - 8 a.m., and 3 - 5 p.m. in the early evening. It is best if it’s a little cloudy because you don’t want to look washed out under sunlight. 


These are certain things that you should always keep note of when you are making a music video. Try to be you, and showcase your music the best way possible. Do not forget to credit whoever you need to in the video. 


If you are just starting out with music marketing, we recommend you check out our release strategy with our ‘Full-Time Musician Gameplan.’ Got new tracks to get playlisted? Submit your songs on our submission platform and get a chance to reach more than 2 million listeners! 


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