Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Creating a Budget Music Video

download this track at https://www.facebook.com/dadeft/app_178091127385

Being all inspired to make videos with my new Canon EOS 60D has got me hyped up to make a video before my semester break ends. At times, I will day dream stories in my head about the videos I can produce. It’s easy to imagine stories, but it’s hard to write scripts and to record the video itself.

I won’t say that I have professional equipment but I know it’s sufficient. In this post, I’m just going to talk about how I made my MV just to share my thoughts and knowledge with you. My equipment line up was simple.

  1. Canon EOS 60D
  2. Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS (kit lens)
  3. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II (cheapest Canon lens in the market, but awesome)
  4. Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 (discount on Amazon.com)
  5. Zoom H1 (cheapest range but great quality by brand)
  6. 160 LED Video Light (cheap light)
  7. A few tripods and gorillapods.

Zoom H1

Samsung Galaxy S2 Metronome Beats

I’ll be honest. This is actually more than enough to make a good video. I’ve seen people out there like Dreambitious, The Salad Show and other college film productions making great videos with just a dSLR and their kit lenses only. But if I have these lenses so, why not use them?

Before making the video, we needed the soundtrack to be the backbone of our video. Aaron a.k.a. A.RON wanted to do a cover by Teddy Geiger, For You I Will. Do note that this video was only made by me and Aaron. I went to Aaron’s house to do the audio recording. We set up the Zoom H1 onto a tripod at the corner of his room and padded its surroundings with pillows and blankets. This was done to prevent echoes from bouncing back on the walls. To prevent any other external sounds, we turned the fan off and also the air conditioner.

All of the sounds were recorded separately. For instance this acoustic cover involved 1 guitar and 1 vocal recorded separately. A pair of headphones was plugged into the Zoom H1 for monitoring purposes. In one ear, Aaron also plugged in another earphone as that was used as a metronome. The metronome was an Android App on my Samsung Galaxy S2 called Metronome Beats. It was used to make sure that his timing was accurate which makes editing and post processing easier.

The earphone was added under the headphone. 

Basically, one instrument must be recorded on perfect timing before another instrument or vocals come in. If you record for a band, the drummer will do his recording first before the other instruments and the vocals will be last. In this case, we recorded Aaron playing the guitar first while guided by the metronome.
For the vocal recording, we used the recording of the guitar instead of the metronome in the earphones. The headphones as usual was for him to monitor himself during the recording. Both recordings were then combined and added with certain sound effects.

On another day after the song was ready, we started shooting our MV. We decided to go to Sunway Pyramid car park roof top to shoot. It was a cloudy day, but dramatic too. We had no script as we just wanted to shoot random scenes. I think this isn’t a good idea as it’s always better to have a script ready. Doing that will save a lot of time. Another tip for creating an MV is to always have a backbone track. A backbone track, in my terms, means to have a full video of that song taken in one take. It doesn’t matter if it’s a still or on a dolly, but just have one video rolling throughout the song. This is a backup plan during post production as sometimes when editing, you will find out that you don’t have enough scenes, you can just take any from the backbone scenes. Backbone scenes also can be used as main scenes, intro and outro too.

Above: Shooting a scene on the roof top
Below: I use Magic Lantern in my 60D

Do check online or magazines to learn good camera angles, rule of thirds or many other tips in filming. A normal advice is to always keep your camera as stable as possible, which I still need to work on a lot. It is advised to use lenses with Image Stabilizers as much as possible. Do take note that post processing is important in making an interesting video. My thought at first was to not apply colour correction at all to my video to keep it natural, but instead I decided to add leave colour and set a cool temperature to my video. It’s all up to you.

This was what I had in my mind while doing and learning from making an MV. I hardly read articles on videos and photography, which is a bad thing, as I prefer to try things on my own and learn from them. If you have any more tips or suggestions to improve my video, do comment below.


If you notice, there was a lot of jitters in my video during motion. This was a known irreversible error in the video editor. Fixing it will result in redoing the whole video again. This is one downside of this MV. 

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1 comment:

Laliv Gal said...

Thank you for sharing, looks like you put lots of efforts in making it!