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How to Make a Music Video: A Producer’s Guide

You’re making a music video. Maybe you’re just starting or a professional. Building or maintaining a strong reputation in the industry requires the right processes, regardless of status or budget. Post-production can be busy.

The nature of the work will likely cause bumps. Others may be more concerned with hip hop music licenses rather than reputation. We’ll walk you through every step of making a music video in this article, from getting your foot in the door to best practices.

1. Set cast and crew


Choosing who will be behind and in front of the camera is key to making a successful music video. Smaller budgets may limit the cast to band members. DP, camera operator, and you may be your crew.

It’s crewing up just like any other shoot on larger budgets. Even if you hire non-locals, you likely already have the go-to crew you’ve worked with before.

Whatever you do, just do it. It is an important creative and financial decision. Make logistics easy for yourself and streamline them. Time and money will be saved.

It’s a good idea to have a film crew list so you can easily hire your team. If you work on a lot of projects, it’s better to have a solution that allows you to easily onboard regulars and new hires. If you already use it, you may easily find onboard anyone you’ve ever worked with from the auto-generated film crew list Wrapbook creates.

2. Clarify your expectations

Being a producer means working with many different people. That’s not surprising. You, as the producer, must set expectations. Our first consideration should be clear communication.

Work with many people on multiple projects, and prioritize larger-budget projects first when working with many people. It might be necessary to tell your other clients (without mentioning their budget) from the start. Communication between you and the client, artist, or artist’s team boils down to being upfront about what you can and cannot do and when.

Making a music video is all about setting expectations. A low-budget project might require you to explain the nature to the client. Although awkward, it’s all for the project’s benefit. Budgets limit video concepts.

3. Prep for Musicians


Artists should also know that their performance in the video should reflect their studio recording. It may be necessary for the band or artist to run through the song on their own.

The cast and crew information can also be exported out of Wrapbook. If you prefer, you can save this info elsewhere on your computer, such as your drive. It doesn’t matter what your system is – have one. There are many moving parts in music videos. A pro-tip? Make it simpler.

4. Minimize gear costs

A community arts program where you can rent on the cheap is ideal for smaller-scale projects, especially with your equipment. Finding someone else who can bring their camera if you’re a new producer is possible. Kit fees may be required for larger projects so crews can use their gear.

5. Lower the decibel levels on set


A drummer may also need mesh drum heads and muted cymbals if the live band has one. Removing the kick drum beater on set is okay if the drummer is comfortable.

6. Create a storyboard and shot list

Use a storyboard to illustrate the critical shots in your video. An AD (if there is one) can schedule the shoot based on the shot list the director and DP create. By doing that, crew and feature talent won’t be sitting around or wasting time.

Music labels and managers might be interested in seeing the storyboard for a video. Use a slicker storyboarding solution like Boards for this.

7. Affordability


You may need production insurance depending on your budget. Also consider a filming equipment insurance policy. Check with a lawyer if you’re unsure about your liability.

8. Filming

When filming a music video, it’s important to keep in mind that you are creating not only an audio experience but also a visual one. Producers should pay attention to both details, such as camera framing and sound levels, as well as larger concepts like mood.

Whether you are filming on location or in a studio setting, taking time to properly light each scene is essential for creating an engaging viewing experience. Additionally, producers should work closely with their crew to ensure that all images captured conform to the artist’s aesthetic vision.

9. Editing


After shooting has been completed and footage has been acquired, it’s time to bring everything together in post-production. A common way of doing this is through non-linear editing software like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro; these platforms allow users to combine imagery with audio tracks and add effects such as transitions or color grading.

Choosing an appropriate pacing pace is also essential; if too much time passes without any activity onscreen can lead viewers to feel disconnected from what they are watching. Ultimately, producers should strive for clarity while also staying true to the creative vision they worked so hard to capture during filming!

10. Adding Visual Effects

Adding visual effects to your music video helps bring it to life. Effects can range from the subtle, such as adding a color tint, to the more dramatic, like digital animation and motion graphics. Some of the most popular effects include slow-motion playback, picture-in-picture cuts, light flares, and lens rings.

When considering visual effects for your music video shoot, there are several factors to consider:

  • Figure out how you want to incorporate these elements into your video – what changes will they make in terms of look and feel?
  • Decide whether or not it’s something you can achieve using pre-existing software or if it’s something that requires professional help.
  • You may find that there are some effects that are better left up to professional artists or teams of graphic designers.
  • Finally, test out any desired visual effects on a project first before moving forward with your full-budget production.


Making a successful music video requires a lot of planning and preparation for it to be successful. It is important to carefully consider what the core message or feeling of the video should be, determine the overall look, budget for all the necessary elements, and work with a team you trust with their professionalism and experience.