8) The Performance. Our band are all used to shooting in TV studios and doing videos for record labels, so most of this stuff wasn’t necessary to bring up, but here are some pointers for those without that experience. If you’re miming, it’s important to know how you’ll look on camera. It’s sometimes hard to convey the energy of a live performance, particularly for drummers and sometimes vocalists. For this reason, wherever possible hire a PA system and ACTUALLY PLAY along to the backing. This will convince the viewer much more. Of course, make sure that your chosen location is ok with the noise levels that are necessary to do this. The film studio we hired had mirrors along the back wall too, so we were able to see how we looked during each take. I’d highly recommend this.
You’d be surprised how many times I’ve come across musicians who don’t know the parts they’re miming to on videos. It may sound obvious, but learn the parts as if you’re preparing for a live gig. Have it down to the same standard and it will come across well on the video. Remember on a gig if you fluff up it will mostly go unnoticed, but on camera every detail is recorded and much more noticeable.
9) Be realistic about the number of songs you plan to shoot. Even if you’re having fun, shooting your own band video can be very tiring. On top of this, a photography studio can get very hot and this can take its toll on the band’s energy over the course of a full day. I don’t recommend more than 8 hours for a shoot, although I know many will be happy to go all day and all night. IMHO, keeping the workload manageable always makes for better quality outcomes. My own advice is to plan for NO MORE than 3 songs to get the best results. I’ve tried for more and the overall shoot suffered as a consequence, due to lack of good usable footage.
10) Have fun! This may sound like a given, but believe me, making your own band video can be a very stressful thing when you’re all in the moment. Being well prepared will help to keep the tension at bay and keeping the mood light and relaxing is going to make everything run more smoothly. Make a day of it, bring your favourite wine, beer, non-alcoholic drink, tasty snacks etc and let yourselves go. Having fun in your video will sell you so much better and the interaction of happy people on camera is an important part of the performance.
If you have your own experience of shooting a band video and have any further tips for our readers, please get involved on the comments page. We’d love to hear from you.
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