How To Shoot a Music Video

These days, one music video can kick start an entire career! If you have a good song and a good idea, you are halfway there. But before you start shooting your music video, check out these helpful tips:


Develop a creative shooting concept for your music video, building up a dynamic connection between sights and sounds. Write down a list of camera shots or draw up a visual storyboard for your music video, and describe what you want to put on screen during each part of the song.

Choose the location for your music video shoot – in-studio, on-location or both. Make the necessary bookings or get permission waivers to use the site. Have a way to quickly reach all participants in case there’s a change of plans.

Schedule and confirm the availability of your crew, cast, musicians etc. for all the shooting day(s) and location(s) in your schedule.

Collect and inspect the equipment needed for the shoot, including cameras, lights, sound or playback, props, costumes, make-up and any items required for set decoration. Have lots of record media, and as much back-up gear as possible.


On production day, you and the crew will spend time getting the set ready and dressed, the lights in position, and the camera angles set. Review the shot list and arrange your shots in a practical or easy sequence. Be ready to use different lights, camera angles and props for more visual pace or creativity.

Set up microphones and do a sound check if recording live off the floor. Set up playback monitors and test levels for pre-recorded music.

Bring in the performers for a ”˜dry run’ but be prepared to record the rehearsals as well.

Record lots of video; extra footage from each take, scene or location will be useful in editing. Check the video often, take lots of notes and refer to your shot list regularly.


With those shooting notes and your original storyboard at hand, review and log your video footage as you capture or import it into your editing system. Become as familiar as you can with all the scenes, takes and outtakes.

Lay down the entire song and start adding scenes to your edit timeline. Eliminate shots that are technically poor, then whittle away at footage that is less than the best. Work with the best video most suited for the music and your creative concept.

Stay true to your vision, but be ready for inspiration in the edit suite. Special effects can alter the footage and create a new feel to the music video you are making.


When the edit is done to your satisfaction, export the final product from your edit system in a format most easily viewed by your friends, family and target audience. Web videos are widely accessible, but Blu-ray DVDs have the best quality.

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3 thoughts on “How To Shoot a Music Video

  1. Paul Chinyama

    Thanks alot for the tips,i find them to be helpful as a prepare to shoot my first gospel music video next weekend.
    Stay blessed.!!

  2. Jay

    nice, but would be helpful if you tell us a bit more on how to start & finish the shoot. Do we need to shoot the master first , and then add on various frames ?

    1. Hal Post author

      You’ve got the right idea. Shoot a master of the whole song, then shoot it again this time getting various shots, close ups, reverse angle, two shots etc. That’s a basic, but workable approach. Good audio recording is key. That’s a little more complicated to explain. One simple approach is to hand a quality mic over the band and listen to the results. It will depend where the drummer is and so forth.


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