Planning, shooting and editing a Music Video

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Zukatoku - Mod Scientist
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Producing a video or a track are much the same thing. Only your tools are different.

In video shooting there are three phases
  1. preproduction - getting ready to shoot and planning the editing phase.
  2. production - shooting
  3. post-production - editing

Most folks don't storyboard their tracks, but it is an important step when planning a video shoot - it makes it easier to know what shots you are going to use when. Use photographs to show the backgrounds and sketch in the characters/objects to scale to show key directions and possible lighting issues.

You will also use the storyboard to determine a sequence for shooting the video. This is because you will highlight which settings/locations are used at which points. You should plan to shoot any video in a particular setting/location at the same time to minimise travel and production time. It can be costly to go back to a particular setting/location because of distance, time, production crew or actor availability.

Think carefully about lights - the newer LED based lighting kits won't cut it for most video, as they are too cold in terms of their colour temperature (3000K is a cold overcast day, 6200K is a warm day, temps between indicate intermediate conditions). Also with lights, you need to consider whether the lights are creating shadows, are too sharp (colours fade out as you move away from the central focus of the light) or otherwise not cutting it when shooting the video. You may need to invest in some diffusers and reflectors to fix this lighting problem. Using natural light is OK, but can cause inconsistencies in the colour of the final video - you may or may not want this and it is difficult to fix in post-production.

Software for post-production is very much a personal choice. I prefer Adobe Premiere Pro for my own work and use Premiere Elements for teaching. However, your software should allow you to incorporate multiple audio and video channels that you can set up on the time-line and create transition and other effects for on the fly.

In post-production you are usually concerned with cutting the video to the audio, not the other way round. I.E. First thing you do for post-production work is to lay in the audio track. Now using your storyboard assign your video footage in sequence to one of three video channels: A, B, FX.

Adding swirly lines as if the action has been traced over by an artist is called rotoscoping; some software includes this as an option and is a cool effect if used right.

To summarise:
  • Pre-Production
    • storyboard
    • shooting sequence
    • lighting tools and tips
  • Production
    • shoot in chosen sequence at specific locations
    • minimise shooting time at each location if possible
    • manage lighting carefully to reduce the need to reshoot.
  • Post-Production
    • Choose your editing software carefully making sure it can handle multiple video and audio streams and offers a range of usable FX and transitions.
    • Lay audio down first
    • cut video sequence in storyboard sequence
    • use at least 3 video channels A, B, FX
    • Plan and execute effects and transitions carefully (should have been considered during storyboarding)
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