Today, music videos have evolved to the point that they blur the line between typical music videos and pure cinema. So much so that Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade is considered to be one of the best movies to come out of the 2010’s. If you’re inspired by this and want to make a fresh and interesting music video but don’t know where to start, read on for our five tips to help you do just that!

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One-Shot Music Video

One thing you can try that will make your music video more unique is to include a one-shot sequence. This means filming a sequence (or if you’re up for it, the entire thing) in one continuous shot. Bands and artists have utilized this over the years to give their music videos a little something extra to keep their fans entertained. One of the most recent examples would be Childish Gambino’s This Is America, a music video that netted him the Best Music Video award at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards.

What’s great about this approach is that it’ll take very little when it comes to resources. However, what it lacks in resources it makes up for with the immense amount of planning that it takes to pull off shots like these. Our tip would be to meticulously plan out every aspect of the one-shot sequence. Treat it as a dance that you’ll have to choreograph with no room for improvisation, as everything needs to line up to properly execute it. For those with little video making experience this will also make editing it much easier.

Live Music

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Another thing you can do to liven up your music videos is to introduce the element of live music. Most music videos nowadays have bands and artists lip-syncing to their songs. By introducing live music, you give your music video a feeling of authenticity that lip-syncing just can’t give you.

However, this won’t be as simple as just recording a regular live performance. Since this is being done to create a music video, you’ll need to focus on the audio quality as well. Luckily, some pretty accessible tools can help you out with this. Vocal effects pedals can be used for pitch correction, as well as giving your voice an extra oomph to get the clarity that you want for your performance. The voice can easily sound different when played back, so you need to make sure you invest in the right equipment so everything will sound perfect when reviewing the performance. Another thing that’ll be extremely helpful is doing a thorough sound check. Doing so will ensure that everything is to your liking and the proper arrangements can be made at the mixing desk.


Vertical Video

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If your goal is to create something new and fit for the times then going vertical may be just the thing for you. And while this may sound like a completely odd thing to do, take into consideration how much time people now spend on their phones. The average American teen spends two hours scrolling on their phones per day so it would make sense to cater to this medium.

One thing you have to take into consideration is how you frame the shots. Unlike regular videos, vertical videos will have more empty space to fill at the top and bottom of the screen. A quick fix to this problem is to move closer to your subject, which will allow you to fill up the space within the frame.

Go Retro

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Here’s a tip that’s perfect for people that are trying to get around having a low budget or limited resources. Instead of trying to use the best cameras that offer pristine images, why not go retro? This is perfect for people with old video cameras lying around at home, as what they lack in video quality they make up for in character. The graininess of old video cameras can add to the overall aesthetics of your video, making them feel like they’re straight out of the past. And in today’s high definition world, a retro video will keep your video looking professional despite the fact it is less pristine.

If you don’t have an old video camera, there are also free apps that will give you the same effect. What’s more, all you’ll need to film your music video if you choose to go this route is a smartphone.


Stick To A Theme

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Lastly, one great way to give your music video a lot of character is to pick a theme and stick to it. What’s great about doing this is that your music video will be able to convey a specific message through both the music and the visuals that you choose to show. Having a strong and clear theme will give viewers something to hold on to, increasing the chance that they’ll be able to relate to your content.

The only tip we can give you here is to plan everything to the dot. Make sure that everything that goes into your video is working towards the theme of your choice. Whether it be lighting or the locations you choose, try to ensure that it contributes to the overall effect that you want to convey.

If you’re looking for examples of great music videos, be sure to check out the top music videos featured on our site!

Written by: Jane Boigher