How to make a music video on a budget

A PR campaign might include a music video in its budget as part of its strategy, but if you are not signed up with a PR agency you might find it difficult to pull together the funds to make a good music video. But you don’t need a full wallet or healthy bank account to make a high impact music video! Check out some of my tips on how to make a music video on a budget!

1. Go guerilla 

Deliberately go low budget. You don’t need an expensive camera to film you and your band doing daft things, playing a gig, chatting with fans, in the pub, having a cuppa with your mum. Literally anything with a song layered over the top could pass as a music video. Don Broco, now one of the UK’s biggest bands, filmed their video for Thug Workout in what looks like their own street. Cruising down the cul-de-sac in a red Ford Fiesta and playing on a kids play park clearly had a huge impact as the music video now has over 600,000 views.

2. Edit the video yourself

Don’t waste money on paying someone to edit your videos for you, Windows Movie Maker and iMovie do exactly the same as the expensive alternatives that professionals use, such as Sony Vegas or Premiere Pro. And if you don’t know how to use the software, YouTube has a wealth of knowledge with step-by-step videos on how to do pretty much anything. The hard part is learning how to put the video together but once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll be editing your own videos in no time!

3. Be simple

Minimalist music videos can have a huge impact, and simple and minimal is very cheap. Take Radiohead’s video for Lotus Flower for example. It’s literally 5 minutes of Thom Yorke doing what seems to be an improv dance routine in a bowler hat with a black and white filter chucked over the top, this strange concept detracts the attention away from the mediocre song too. This could be super easy to recreate if you like crazy dancing and bowler hats.

4. Consider making a lyric video

Lyric videos attract a lot of attention on YouTube and they are super easy (and cheap!) to make. Once you know the basics of video editing software you can knock up a lyric video in no time at all! If you want maximum impact, go to the beach, film some waves, put a black and white or sepia filter over the footage, and you have an awesome, hipster-esque flick! Your stills will be doing the rounds on Tumblr in no time!

5. Involve friends and fans

Need extras or an audience? Ask your friends to get involved to hang out in the background or jump around pretending they like your music – only joking I’m sure your friends love it! Your fans would also be ecstatic to be part of your music video I’m sure. Write a Facebook status with the time and location of your shoot and see who turns up to be a part of it! (TIP: Only do the last bit if you have a relatively small fan base. If you have a larger fan base it’s probably not a good idea to advertise it on the internet as you probably don’t want half the city turning up to a small video shoot!).

6.Partner up with students

Film and media students will often work for free or cheap if your video idea could be passed off as an assignment. They’ll be doing you a favour, and you’ll be doing them a favour. The only downside is you may have to adapt your idea to fit their vision too, but it’s a small price to pay as students will often take on your video as an entire project, so you’re getting it filmed and edited for absolutely nothing – or you could chuck them a crate of beer as payment just as a goodwill gesture!


If you’re planning a music video, I hope this list has helped you think of ways to save money! Can you think of any other ways? Let me know in the comments!

 

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