How Do You Plan a Music Video?

How Do You Plan a Music Video?

Video is one of the most powerful digital marketing tools. If you are a musician with recorded music, your next priority should be making a music video. A music video can get you the increased exposure you need. You need to know how to plan a music video.

If you decide to take the plunge and make a music video, you may be asking, how do you plan a music video? Planning a video includes a few essential steps like finding a videographer, a location, a budget, and deciding what you will do in the video. Your funding limitations will play a key role, as it will help you determine what you can and can’t do.

There are ways even a starving musician can make a great video. This article will give you tips on how to plan a music video and how to save money doing it.

How Come Up With a Concept for a Good Music Video

The first thing you will want to do is come up with a concept. However, your budget may limit you as far as what you can do.

The cheapest and easiest thing will be to shoot your band performing together. This recording is an excellent way to introduce yourself to the masses via a visual platform.

A lot of bands, including some very well-known ones, go this route. It’s an easy option to film out of one location, and you don’t need to deal with any additional actors.

However, if you want your video to get attention, you should add a little interest. Remember, the more enjoyable your video is, the more likely it is to get people talking. A great video can go viral, or you can submit it to film festivals to win awards.

To create an exciting concept, think of your song’s lyrics and figure out how you can act them out using props, actors, etc.

If you can’t afford to do anything elaborate, keep your video fun by having your band wear elaborate costumes, making sure the performance stands out, and choosing an interesting backdrop.

How to Find a Videographer

A videographer will make up a good portion of your budget, and you can’t make a video without one.

If you don’t know someone willing to shoot your video cheaply, try reaching out to film schools. Likely, students are looking for experience and will shoot your video without asking for a lot of money. You can also search on Google or look for freelancers on local Facebook groups.

Finding The Right Vidoegrapher for your Music Video

However, you want to make sure that the videographer you work with is right for you. Ask to see samples of their work so you can make sure the quality is good. You should also pay attention to their style.

If you are looking to make a video with a dark, spooky theme, make sure their samples represent that style. If you want your video to be light and funny, look for a videographer with a portfolio that includes comedic work.

Ask them about their process. If your videographer does have one, that’s a sign of flakiness. If they have a sporadic organization method, you may find your timeline stretched.

Find a Location That Meets Your Video’s Needs

Once you have a video and a concept down, you will need to find a location.

Whether you decide to do a video that is just the band playing live or decide to do something more elaborate, I recommend adding some live footage. This footage will let everyone know who the band is, and it will show some interaction between the members.

So the first location you want to think about is where you will film your live footage. If you have an affordable rehearsal space, this could be an excellent place to film the band playing together. Just make sure the room is vibey and has enough space for your videographer to get various angles.

Do I Need A Place With Good Acoustics?

Remember, you don’t need sound during your video. The recorded song will be the soundtrack. With no need to worry about audio, it opens up your options as you can even set up in an outdoor space or one of your band member’s houses.

Remember that even though you don’t need live sound, you will want to set up amps and drums to make it look like you are genuinely playing. Ensure your location has enough space for your gear and that you won’t create too much disruption while filming.

Once you decide where to film your live footage, go from there to find other locations where you can film for free. For instance, maybe there is a park nearby. Or, if you’re filming at a studio, perhaps you can use the lobby or other rooms in the facility to film additional scenes. The change of scenery will add interest to your video.

You can even add something as simple as footage of the band members joking around on the street outside the studio. This venue will offer candid moments of the band, giving viewers a change of pace.

One great example of a band getting creative about the location is Slipknot’s video for “Duality.” The band did a live video of themselves playing for a large audience of rowdy fans packed into someone’s Iowa home. The band got to use the home for free as long as they paid for any damages. They ended up with a $100,000 bill.

See the video below.

Bring in Actors to Make Your Video More Engaging

If your song has exciting lyrics that lend themselves to a concept, you may want to bring actors to play out the theme. Alternately, you may want to bring in a few people to make it look like you have an audience watching you play for the live scenes.

If you have many friends, you will likely find a few that want to be in the video to be a part of something. If your friends have acting skills, don’t be afraid to use them.

Acting School – A Great Place to Find People for Your Music Video

Another option is to call up an acting school. There are probably student actors available who are willing to be in your video for little or no money in exchange for the opportunity of building up their portfolios.

If you can find actors willing to work cheaply or for free, be sure to treat them well. For instance, whenever my band has actors in for our videos, we always have snacks and drinks available for them on the set. If there are just a few actors involved, I usually slip them $20 each as well.

Change Up the Shots

I know 10 seconds doesn’t seem like a lot of time, but it sure feels that way when you’re watching a scene of footage that doesn’t go anywhere. Even if you’re doing live footage only, make sure your videographer gets various shots and angles. These shots will help the video look engaging.

A music video is a terrific vehicle for your band. The guidelines in this article will help you film a video that looks good and suits your budget. What tips do you have for musicians that are venturing into the world of cinematography?


Do music videos make money?

Good question!

Yes, there are ways for music videos to make money, and this a great way to reduce some of the financial strain.

The best way to make money off your video is to post it on YouTube. However, you will need to work hard on your YouTube channel to get it to the point where it makes money.

YouTube has several requirements channels must meet before they can make money. Those requirements include joining the YouTube Partner Program, which includes the following:

  • 1,000 subscribers
  • 4,000 watch hours on your videos over the past year
  • Compliance with YouTube’s policies
  • Having a Google AdSense Account

If you are serious about making money, one video alone is not going to do it. Figure out other types of engaging content you can add to make your channel more watchable.

Going this route is not easy,, but if your channel becomes widespread, it will be a great way to advertise your band and videos and make money.

How much does it cost to make a music video?

There is no one answer to that question. I have spent as little as $250 on a video. My band did a video where we dressed up as different characters, so we didn’t have to pay or buy food for any actors.

We were also able to film in a room and on the lot of a rehearsal studio where my husband works. The only fee we had to pay was to our videographer, and he’s pretty affordable.

However, bands with major label backing will generally spend anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 on their video.

What was the most expensive music video ever made?

That honor goes to Michael and Janet Jackson, who spent $7 million on their video for “Scream.” Other contenders include:

  • Madonna: “Die Another Day”- $6 million
  • Guns N’ Roses: “Estranged – $4 million
  • George Michael” “FREEEK – $2 million
  • Duran Duran: “The Wild Boys” – $1 million

See the video for Scream below.


To film a music video, you need the right budget, videographer, and location. All of those three sound expensive, but they don’t have to be if you know where to look. Contact your friends and use your connections to find the right locations and people. By asking around, you solve half of your problems when planning an awesome music video.

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