February 28, 2015

wfs shoot music videosblog
This week we’re looking at some reasons why music videos are a great opportunity for filmmakers, and then I’ll be sharing my tips on how to make good ones.


I think music videos are a really nice compromise between the ‘freelance filmmakers’ who are shooting weddings and corporate videos, and the ‘independent filmmakers’ who are self funding short films and features.  A music video can be just as much of a story as a short film, and yet it’s a whole lot easier to get funding for a music video rather than a straight up short film – there will always be tons of people looking to break into the music industry.


practice concise storytelling

Most songs are between 3 and 5 minutes, so it’s probably worth condensing your ideas at every stage of production.  Making sure you’re not trying to show too many ideas for a single video, but also finding the best way to present your story without using too much screen time. The same goes for editing.

practice visual storytelling

Visual storytelling is essential in filmmaking, but even more so in music videos. The video below should work as a nice introduction to the visual tools that filmmakers have access to!

no audio complications

There’s no need to record audio for a music video, so that means at least one less person on set, and whole lot of time saved in post.

quick turnaround time

There are many benefits to shooting a bunch of shorter projects compared to something like a feature film.  You get to work with lots of different ‘clients’, and get more opportunities to evaluate your work, since you can see the final result faster.

networking opportunities

Knowing a bunch of musicians can’t hurt in terms of networking. Chances are, they’ll be looking for more music videos in the future, and will have some friends who might also be in the music scene. If they get big, it could suddenly bring a lot of traffic to your work, and improves your likelihood of moving up to bigger projects.



There are tons of these kind of websites, I’d recommend finding some local ones, or just contacting a whole bunch. They should have direct access to a lot of musicians who are willing to invest in their careers, so it might make the search for clients a lot easier. ‘Big Help’ and ‘Famous’ might be a good place to start.




If you’re looking to practice making music videos, while building your reel, then you might want to check out the contests from Genero. I’ve seen some really big names looking for music videos, so it’s pretty competitive, but the cash prize and bragging rights are pretty valuable.



This is a brilliant example of something that’s very visual, quite obscure and artistic, and yet still has a big impact on the viewer.

Regardless of your views on Coldplay’s music, I think this video is pretty powerful. Rather than just using the reverse effect as a cheap gimmick, they come up with a story that hits harder when told backwards.

For something a little lighter, I love the style of this. Been a big fan of Julian Smith for a while. And i’m pretty sure this was shot on a Canon 7D…

I used to watch Gorillaz videos all the time when I was about ten so there’s definitely some nostalgic value, but watching it years later I couldn’t help but notice how well the visuals complement the song. Each shot seems to capture the mood of the different parts of the song perfectly.

You’ve probably already seen this video, but I had to add it here. The scope of their videos just gets more and more impressive. Think outside the box!



A photo posted by Simon Cade (@cadevisuals) on

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Simon Cade

Filmmaker, and host of DSLRguide. Since I was making my first film age 11, I have always been fascinated by the way films are produced, and the effect it can have on the audience.