HOW TO MAKE A BUDGET MUSIC VIDEO
As I understand the situation is:
– you have a rock band
– just recorded a new material
– not much money left
– need a video to promote new music
Cut in half whatever budget you have. One half is for making a video and the other is for the promotion (FB ads, paid promos on websites etc). Organic reach on social media is pretty much dead. If you want to gain new people outside of your fan circle, you have to invest some money. I’ll add links to tutorials for FB ads to the end of this email.
Try not to buy instant/fake streams, comments, followers etc. Professionals will check your accounts with online services like socialblade, hypeauditor and phlanx. Bots don’t come to your gigs and don’t buy your merch.
Use the smartphone or whatever video thing you have. That’s already good enough because it’s going to be raw and real.
If you’re planning to buy a new smartphone on a contract, here’s the list of cameraphones. All of them are good. It doesn’t really matter.
Another cheap alternative is a used camcorder or a DV camera that you can buy online. It gives a raw and gritty image.
Proof of concept:
Metallica: Whiplash (Live at The Metro – 1983)
In a rock video, you need dynamics, so you’re not gonna use a tripod. You will hold the phone. To make it more comfortable you can: attach it to a folded tripod, car mount, selfie stick or tape it to a wooden plank. It doesn’t really matter. I would suggest buying a grip or a gimbal (used stuff is good). But make sure that you’re buying just the mount, cos you don’t need a mic.
Any stage lights that you can borrow. Lights are important, cos smartphones work not that great in low light.
If there’s nothing, you can buy/borrow construction lights. It depends on what energy sources you have at the location. If you don’t want to buy anything, then just use your home lamps.
Try finding the most unique and cool looking place. Forbidden places are cool, but they are tricky, so don’t get caught. Check what other bands in your area have already done and try to avoid those locations.
– your music gear
– the smoke machine
– the power source (if outside)
– extra batteries, storage cards
– extension cables
– speakers, laptop (or a player) for a playback
– tools like pliers, duct tape, gloves etc.
Ask friends to come if you need a crowd. They will gladly come if you provide food and drinks. Look at all those happy faces in our video.
Remember about WC, parking, weather, food, hangover etc.
How are you getting to the location? Do you have enough people to film, watch over the gear, etc? Who’s filming?
You will need one day and one location. For example, it took us 6 hours to shoot the band performance. Plan accordingly, respect people’s time. Decide the general look of the band beforehand. Plan, plan, plan, cos there will be no time to think during the shoot.
Two budget ways of the shoot:
– You can shoot the performance over and over again with one or several smartphones and then edit the footage. The low quality of a DV camera or a smartphone makes a natural retro filter. You can convert everything into black and white if you see that colours don’t match at all. It’s still gonna look fine if the music is good and you’re moving in the frame.
– Just go completely raw and shoot the performance just in one take with one camera and without cuts. It is genuine. People can relate to the real you and your music. It’s the easiest thing to do. Here’s the video that explains why such video is good for Facebook as an ad.
DaVinci Resolve or Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro X or windows whatever or your phone editor. Again, it doesn’t really matter, just go raw.
The other half of your budget should go to Facebook/Instagram ads or other promotion.
You just need to watch this video to understand (11 min):
Fan Targeting Cheatsheet for Facebook & Instagram Ads
Each band is different, so if you have any questions about the shoot, just hit “reply” or contact me.
While you’re reading this I’m working on new material so stick around.
Below are the materials that might help you make that video.
PS Send me a link to a budget killer rock DIY music video that you love.
Best Stoner Rock Music Videos
How to Make a Music Video on a Budget – Indy Mogul
How Much Do Music Videos REALLY Cost | Challenging a Hollywood Producer – Indy Mogul
Top 10 Most Creative Low Budget Music Videos
Lesson from our Fan Finder training!
In the Blink of an Eye: A Perspective on Film Editing by Walter Murch
Rebel Without a Crew by Robert Rodriguez
The filmmaker’s handbook by Ed Pincus