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10 Cool Music Video Ideas to Bring to Your Next Shoot

You’ve got an amazing concept for a music video. The musicians and crew are ready to go. You have booked an amazing location on Peerspace. Before you start shooting, however, check out these 10 creative music video ideas that will take your production to the next level. 

1. Shoot during golden hour

Lighting is critical for any type of shoot, especially when it comes to a music video. If you are shooting any exterior shots for your music video, shoot during golden hour. “Golden hour” is a photography term that refers to the time right after sunrise and before sunset. On an overcast day, you will be able to capture amazing, warm tones. The light is nearly perfectly diffused at these times, and your lighting will feel warm and rich. You might even capture some lens flare in camera. Let the sun do the work for you. 

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2. Make your light move with the music

If you are shooting your musicians playing their song in an interior environment, a cool and affordable lighting idea requires a fishing net and exposed lightbulbs. Hang the net over the area in which the band will be playing, then hang exposed lightbulbs through the net. Attach a rope to one side of the net and, when the band plays, have a production assistant or another member of your crew pull on the rope to the music. One of the neatest music video ideas, this will create a cool effect in camera. 

3. Record your footage at different speeds

Music videos tend to break traditional filmmaking rules in a variety of ways. Try recording your footage at variable speeds. Slow motion can create a dramatic effect. Remember that if your musician is singing along, you will need the speed of the song to match this footage. Slow down the playback for them to lip sync to as you shoot the shot. Speeding up your footage is another cool and easy way to add a sense of urgency and drama to your music video. 

4. Craft the slow reveal

Another excellent music video idea is the slow reveal. Set up a tight shot that focuses on your singer’s face. As they sing, slowly pull out of the tight close-up with the idea that you are revealing something unexpected to the viewer. Perhaps it appeared the singer was alone, but they are in fact with the band at a live show. Maybe your singer is singing behind a photo background and, as the camera pulls out, you reveal that they are actually outside in a desolate location. The slow reveal can add a lot of drama and a bit of a surprise to your music video. 

5. Create a one-shot video

While this technique can be a challenge to shoot, the one-shot music video is a cool way to impress your viewers. This requires some expert shooting and a polished performance from your singer and/or musicians. The great thing about the one-shot music video is that it requires only one camera and one location. You will be moving backwards with the camera, so have a production assistant or a friend help guide you as you move.

The singer should be singing while looking directly into the camera. You don’t even need to move to create an amazing one-shot video — you can shoot the entire one shot with a tripod. The effect of having your musician look directly into the camera for the duration of the song can be profound.  

6. Shoot on a green screen

While locations are key to a great music video, sometimes you need to create a space that doesn’t necessarily exist in real life. Shoot your video or parts of your video against a green screen. You can key out the background in post-production and take your viewer to magical, unknown worlds. 

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7. Add stop-motion animation

Stop-motion is an old-school animation technique and a great way to create some “video magic.” Be mindful, though, that it is labor intensive. Shoot stills of your musicians performing. Shoot plenty of stills. This will give you an old-school flip-book effect when you assemble the photos in post. Plus, it’s an affordable way to make your video stand out. 

8. Use a drone

If you have access to a drone operator — or if you are one yourself — consider shooting part of your video with a drone. This could be establishing shots, B-roll, or the performance itself. There has been a real saturation of drone footage in documentaries and features, and for good reason.

9. Let the musicians shoot the video themselves

If the band is on tour, in the studio, or goofing off backstage, have them shoot video of the action on their phones. Make sure to have them shoot horizontal video instead of vertical video. Use this footage to cut between your live performance or construct your entire video out of it. Either way, this is an affordable and creative way to give your viewers a look into the lives of their favorite musicians. 

10. Produce your video with animation in mind

Plenty of amazing music videos integrate animated elements in post-production, but like all good productions, you need to plan for this before you shoot. You don’t need to shoot on a green screen to integrate animated effects over your video. Think about how you can integrate the popular “scribble effect” into your video. Plan out your animated elements and compose your shots with post-production in mind. This can elevate your final video. 

Be it a performance-based video, a narrative video, or a video with heavy animation, keep these 10 cool music video ideas in your production toolbox. They are sure to take your production to the next level.  

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