Digital Video Tips: How to Make a Music Video

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Musicician’s Alley

A music video is one of the most difficult forms of filmmaking because it exists both as its own product and as a reflection of a previously existing one. To create a music video you have to try to reflect the rhythm and tone of the song, the lyrical content, and bring in stylistic elements from the artist. Learning how to make a music video requires a lot more instruction than other types of narrative filmmaking since it is a very specific type of video. Here are a few tips for how to make a music video for those that are just starting out in digital video filmmaking.


The first thing that you have to consider when figuring out how to make a music video is how to come up with a general concept. You will begin with a song, and from there you will have to figure out how to bring visual elements that will compliment the music. The video cannot vear from the point of view of the song originally, and instead should only take it a step further in the direction intended by the artist. the Director of the music video is still a creative element to the video, but they are secondary. Usually, a Director will take the song and develop a script or treatment to then give back to the artist. Once the concept has been agreed upon the Director can then try to execute it with some amount of freedom, but they will still be accountable to the artist as the artist will be on set during production.


Most music videos do not have a cohesive storyline, but they do have some sort of progression and narrative element. Instead of writing a fully detailed script, you want to write a detailed outline that will lay out exactly what you want out of the production. You are not going to be filming full scenes, normally, but you will have to develop a shot list that will give you the materials to put together the progression you want during the post-production process. Start out by writing a very basic story in a few lines, then expand it to include different visual and performance elements. From here you should put together a complete outline stating what shots you want to go from at a time, that way you will produce all relevant shots when you go into your production schedule and you will know how to build the music video when editing.

Lip Sync

It should go without saying at this point, but the most important principle for how to make a music video is to not have the artist perform live. Instead, you take the recorded track and then have them play and sing in unison with it. The reason is that you would not be able to link together live recorded tracks during the kinetic editing of a music video and the quality will never be the same as the studio recorded sound. Make sure that you have a reasonable sound system in the area you are shooting in that way they can sing along, and you can sync it to the music during post-production.

Music Video Editing

Music video editing is much different than conventional continuity editing because you are not trying to portray a realistic story space where a viewer will give themself over to the film. Instead, they need a kinetic sense where the cuts of the edit are done in conjunction with the sound of the music. Try to go through the song track in the video editing file and set markers at different beat points, that way your music video editing process can begin at the principle parts of the track itself.


Source: Author’s own experience.