Why the music video is an artform in its own right

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It’s time to rethink what a music video is. It isn’t merely an adjunct to the track itself. It isn’t a necessary evil either that artists carry out to tick a box. It’s an opportunity to accentuate the meaning of the track and give it some visual punch.

Imagine the scenario. You’re a new artist. You’ve ploughed your resources into getting yourself off the ground, into the paying the producer, the studio etc. All being well, you might have a polished-sounding track to release to the masses.

But the truth is that there is so much more potential to unlock if you don’t stop there. A well made music video will give the track some additional presence online, it will give a new dimension to the story-telling, and it will help listeners connect with you as an artist.

Not all music videos are created equally, and that’s part of the problem. Even before we get to the visual creatives that you work with, the quality of the video will also depend on your attitude towards music videos. Is it an afterthought? is it an unimportant sideshow? It will translate into your video if that’s the thinking and if so, there’s no point in making the video in the first place. Why hamper your creativity from the get-go?

Creativity vs cash

Here’s one bit of good news. You don’t need to be a millionaire to commission a great music video. But you do need to be pretty flush when it comes to creativity. Some iconic Christian music videos have been created on small budgets. What they had on their side is the ability to break the mold, not the ability to throw cash at the project willy-nilly. They harnessed that shareability which is so important in the social media world. In short, they caught the attention of the viewer without taking away from the original track.

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The vital ingredients

So, what makes a great music video? Firstly, it’s the ability to create some form of narrative. What’s the story you’re trying to tell? What’s the beginning, middle and an end? Even a great initial idea can become tiresome quickly so how are you going to add some variety and move things on, without losing overall uniformity?

Next up is style. You can have some fun here. You should coordinate everything from the location, wardrobe, post production effects to bring everything together to reflect the style you want to convey. No one likes a copycat but be inspired by the things around you that you see every day, maybe a favourite film, maybe even a certain spot you like to visit.

What about you as the artist? What are you going to be doing in the video? Are you going to be in it at all? Performance videos are popular but the ones that really capture audiences are the ones that go off piste. If you’re really committed to the story you’re trying to tell, maybe that can be at the centre of the production, not just the artist singing or rapping away.  

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Don’t outsource everything

The chances are, you’re probably going to bring in the professionals to help make your video. They know what they’re doing after all. And although the video producers know all the technical details, they won’t know you as well as you know yourself. Neither will they know the inspiration behind the track straight away.

It’s important to work with your video team to guide them and add your creative input. You might not know exactly what you want to see and of course, you should take some of their creative guidance. But you should be prepared to share your ideas and the background story behind the track. A two-sided conversation at the start could yield something very special. Just make sure you’re happy with the direction the project is going. Make sure the vision isn’t lost.

Shoot for success

The music video is very much an expectation in today’s music industry. People searching on YouTube expect to see something to represent your music. What will you give them? It’s time to invest in the creativity of your music videos in the same way you invested in the creativity of your track. There are some talented experts in the field to help you to make a splash with your video. Make it happen!

Want some inspiration? Check out our pick of seven epic videos you HAVE to watch

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