Captain’s advice (together with MOKOST): 10 steps to the perfect first music video

It’s certainly (almost) every musician’s dream to have a video accompanying their release! But in trying to realize this dream, inexperienced musicians easily miscalculate the amount of work and money necessary to create a music video. The Discmakers’ blog already gives you some good advice, but that’s not everything! Together with our co-pilots Robert and Jens from MOKOST, we give you some tips on how to produce your first music video:

10 steps to the perfect first music video

1. The story: To develop a great story for your video, it’s helpful to listen to the actual song. Ask friends and creative people: What do they feel when they hear your song? What do they see when they close their eyes while listening to it? Take your time to collect ideas. A flash of inspiration may strike you after 10 minutes or after 8 weeks. Don’t be satisfied until you think: YES, that’s it! You should also ask people who may not share your musical taste or who are not part of your band’s direct target market. There are always some surprises. And always remember that the video and the song often end up representing an integrated whole.

2. Planning: Think about how your video should look on the basis of your story idea. Should it be computer-animated? Classic cartoon? Stop motion? Or do you want to shoot scenes with the band members or actors? Who is supposed to participate in the acted scenes? Who will create the animations? Who can do these things and how expensive are these services?

3. The production method also determines the cost calculation. Students from design academies and film colleges are less expensive than professional agencies and studios. The least expensive way is to work with talented (!) and creative (!!) friends or acquaintances. If you want to shoot scenes, use a screenplay to try to estimate how many days of shooting you will need in order to calculate the costs for camera and equipment rental. ALWAYS include some buffer time in your schedule – sometimes it takes hours to shoot a scene that’s a few seconds long. There are always some days where nothing seems to work, and sometimes when you want to shoot a sunny scene, it rains.

4. If you realize that your calculation is too expensive, try to modify everything you can: How could you change the screenplay to require less shooting days? Could you possibly borrow a camera or some equipment for free (e.g. from a youth center, university, etc.)? If the scene with elephants is too expensive, can you use dogs? Okay, that was a joke… but you know what we mean.

5. Use the snowball effect: Tell everybody you know about your video plans. You will be surprised how often word of mouth can lead to useful synergies: Suddenly, a friend of a friend has a cousin who is at a design academy, and, by chance, is still looking for a project for their homework. JACKPOT! Or somebody knows somebody who is a parachutist and will stick your camera on their helmet for you. Sounds far too way out? Those kinds of coincidences do occur every now and again, and they can help you increase the value of your video. Spread the word!

6. Cooperate: Mutual support is an enormous driving force in the so-called “creative industries”. Is there a little fashion boutique in your town that produces everything on their own? Wear their clothes in your video – the label gets some promotion and could cross promote you on Facebook and Twitter, for example. You need a scene in a café? Collaborate with the little, hip cafés that are close to your target group. The list of possibilities is endless, and small companies in particular are often happy to cooperate and support each other mutually (if your music fits in with them).

7. The technique: Think about where the video will be shown – only online, or maybe on TV, too? Do you want to shoot in HD quality or even in Full-HD? Make sure that your equipment can handle your ideas.

8. And now that you have it all organized: Making-of videos or outtakes mean extra effort, but they can be useful when it comes to getting your video and you as musicians known (e.g. via social media).

9. Take the time to market and promote your video. Our blog contains some tips on how to promote your music, your band and also your videos. Professional promotion agencies are also very much worth their money (you can find two excellent agencies in our services area here).

10. Last but not least, Robert and Jens point out an important (but unpleasant, and therefore often neglected) aspect: Rights!You should definitely try to find out if, and where, you need permission to shoot your video. Furthermore, you should ask all the people who appear in your video to sign an agreement”. You should also check whether you have to respect certain copyrights in your video, and if yes, which ones? A lawyer’s office specialized in media law may help you with this.”

Was all this information too much for you? Do it like our passenger St. George and get professional support (see video below). Robert and Jens from MOKOST in Dresden are real masters in their field, and absolute professionals concerning moving images. You can find all services by MOKOST in our service area.

S T G E O R G E /// the rescue from MOKOST on Vimeo.

As a motion and communication design studio, MOKOST & VeiTV are specialized in moving images. MOKOST & VeiTV do not focus on striking mass products, but on innovative motion design solutions. In cooperation with recordJet, MOKOST & VeiTV offers you various packages that are adapted to your individual needs. MOKOST & VeiTV will look after conception, production and post production of your video. There are no limits. From live action to green screens or animations, they will work with you to find a suitable concept for the design of a video that meshes with you. To do so, they use modern production standards and benefit from their years of experience.

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