I've haven't written the editing section yet, but here's the rest of it. Tell me what you think, and feel free to suggest any changes. Thanks.
How To Make a Music Video

I?ve seen some of the videos posted in the ?promote your band? forum, and frankly, they leave a bit to be desired. A music video, if done properly, can attract the attentions of bookers, radio programmers, managers or record labels. If done improperly, it can also cause these same people to label your band amateurs.

In this article, I will assume two things: 1) that you know how to operate a camcorder, as in, you can turn it on, put in a tape and press ?Record?; and that 2) you are starting with a strong song as the basis of your video. If you?re just strumming one or two chords and rhyming ?fire? with ?desire,? your video will suck because it?ll be based on a song that sucks.

I. Planning Your Video

Here are the two main components you need to make a video.

Live Concert Footage- Very simple: just perform the song as you normally would (on a stage, in a skate park, wherever) and have a friend shoot it. A tripod (camcorder stand) is recommended, but not necessary. Then again, you might want to use a lot of camera movement for a swirling, psychedelic effect (My Bloody Valentine does this magnificently in their videos for ?You Made Me Realise? and ?Feed Me With Your Kiss?).
Performance Footage- More or less the same as the previous example, except the band isn?t actually performing, just miming to a prerecorded track. You can do cool stuff with this one as well (in the Nirvana video for ?Smells Like Teen Spirit,? Kurt Cobain?s fingers are nowhere near where they should be for the guitar solo).

Next, you would choose the basic style of the video. A story video needs to have some semblance of plot, characters, conflict and resolution, though it need not be coherent (Guns n? Roses, ?November Rain?). A surrealistic video (see the My Bloody Valentine clips I mentioned, as well as The Smashing Pumpkins? ?Siva?) needs elaborate, colorful costumes and interesting background sets, as well as some of the trippy camera effects I will teach you shortly. The message video doesn?t have to coherent (Madonna?s ?Like a Prayer?). Just pick a political or social statement and try to get the gist of it through in the video through imagery or a brief story. Nirvana?s anarchist cheerleaders or Madonna dancing in a field of burning crosses are good examples. The sex video is really demeaning to women and involves very little creative work, but if that?s the route you?d like to take, just place several hot women in prominent positions in your video. Any mainstream hip-hop video of the last seven years is a good example, but a rock video that does this is ?Cherry Pie? by Warrant.

II. Shooting Tips

Have lighting- Assuming you?re filming in a sun-drenched meadow, having lights other than the one on the camera is a good idea.
Hold the camcorder steady!- Big duh here. If your video is more herky-jerky than the Blair Witch Project, no one, not even you, will want to watch it.
Use manual focus- Autofocus can be unpredictable. Use at your own risk.
Rehearse- Another obvious one. For example, if someone if supposed to be dead, make sure they aren?t moving (or waving to their boyfriend). And if you?re using live footage, please don?t let it sound like discordant diarrhea. It will really **** up your video.
Frame your shots- Don?t cut off someone?s head.
Keep shots short and active- Longer than necessary shots are boring.
Don?t overuse the zoom- Overuse of zoom is the most common amateur mistake and it can be a monumental one. Use it purposefully. See the live videos of ?Candy Perfume Girl? by Madonna and ?Creep? by Radiohead, where the director zooms in and out on the guitar during particularly forceful musical sections.


Make sure that you have your location arranged from the shoot. Have the band members and any extras show up and just do your thing. Do keep in mind, this is the easy part. Don?t let anyone get to be too much of a primadonna, or your fun video shoot will get real ugly, real quick.

IV. Special Effects Without Video Editing

Video feedback- Jimi Hendrix, the Who, My Bloody Valentine and countless others have used audio feedback artistically, but few people know that there is a similar effect in video. For this, you will need your camcorder and a TV monitor. Set up the TV (preferably a colour set) and mute the volume to make sure you don?t get any audio feedback. Connect your camcorder to the TV so that you can see the image from your camcorder on the TV. Aim at the TV screen. Move the camcorder around a bit and mess with the zoom. See the different effects and if you can utilize any of them.
Filters- These are fitted over the lens to affect the light as it passes into the lens, creating an altered image. You can purchase filters, but you can also make filter effects using household items. Simply hold the filter in front of the lens and shoot as you normally would. Items you can use include colanders, coloured plastic wrap, loosely woven baskets, drinking glasses and glass bowls, cardboard with a design cut out, sunglasses, binoculars, kaleidoscopes, a piece of stained glass, a piece of window screen, fish nets, bottles and sheer stockings. Feel free to experiment.
Video collage- I?m sorry to refer to a My Bloody Valentine video once again, but the ?You Made Me Realise? clip has the ultimate example of video collage, a montage of random images edited together to create a sensory overload. To do this, just locate a bunch of shots, film them for about two seconds each and there you have it- a video collage. A more sophisticated version of this effect is discussed in the editing section.
Good article - also maybe mention some more sophisticated methods such as motifs and various shots and angles and how they can be used to create certain effects.
Very original and interesting article, I would give it a 9/10 if you posted it on the site tomarrow
Cool, its a also good idea to storyboard your vid too otherwise it could get messy. And also make a log off all your shots if theu are taken out of the running order, it make finding certian parts in the editing process easier.I learnt that the hard way! lol