How To Shoot A Perfect Music Video.

How To Shoot A Perfect Music Video.

In this article, I will reveal to you how to shoot a perfect music video.

To shoot a perfect music video, you must ensure that you have all the necessary video clips you are going to use in post-production to really make the music video colorful and stand out.

Even if you are shooting your entire music video in just one location with the artist wearing one customer, so long as you have all the necessary video clips or footage, you are going to shoot a perfect music video.

Let’s not waste much time but dive straight into this article.

How to shoot a perfect music video.

To shoot a perfect music video, you must have the following video clips or footage:

  1. Primary performance
  2. Primary performance B-Roll
  3. Primary narrative B-Roll.
  4. Secondary performance
  5. Secondary performance B-Roll.
  6. Cutaways.

1. Primary performance

The primary performance consists of the artist performing his or her song at the main location. This performance is going to really increase the rest of your video clips or footage.

2. Primary performance B-Roll

Primary performance B-Roll is basically the same thing as the main primary performance, the only difference is that the artists are going to be at the same location but they are not singing any lyrics.

They could just be posing, moving their arms, closing their eyes, etc. And this footage is usually shot at a high frame rate so you can slow it down in post-production.

The best way to capture this footage is usually at the last take of your primary performance shot.

Just tell your artist not to speak or sing but rather to pose and move during the chorus of your last take.

The reason you must do this is that at this point, you need another additional footage that is being sung because choruses and verses are the same regardless of the take that you are doing.

3. Primary narrative B-Roll.

This footage usually avoids the lyrics being made but it really tells the story of the music video.

It consists of small things like a guy entering a party, showing the ping pong table where people are playing, showing a guy noticing a girl, and going over to flirt with her.

The little things that really forward the narrative of your music video.

It also includes aerial (drone) shots that help to establish the location or scene in the song intro.

N/B: Shoot this footage in a high frame rate so you can slow it down during post-production to have what we popularly call “slow motion”.

4. Secondary performance

Secondary performance is usually a performance shot at a secondary location.

This will give you something different to get into within any verse or chorus segment that you are in.

This secondary location usually matches similar beaming (rolling of the camera) to the primary location, but it still has a lot of attributes that are distinctly different.

For example, you can have primary footage of an artist standing on a balcony singing to a girl while you can take secondary footage of the artist sitting and singing on a staircase.

N/B: keep the camera rolling in all these shots.

5. Secondary B-Roll.

This is exactly like the secondary performance shot except that the lyrics are not being sung.

The artist is in the same location but just kind of moving, vibing, and doing anything but not actually singing the lyrics.

6. Cutaways.

This footage does not have any true significance to the narrative of the story but it will really add to the vibe of the video.

These are close shots of body parts, jewelry, clothing, brand ambiance, and anything you can use in quick succession to really add visual complexity to make your project look special.

5 things that makes a perfect music video.

Below are the 5 things you must do to make the best music video:

  1. Search for a good location.
  2. Be mindful of your camera stability and movements.
  3. Your frame rate and shutter angle/speed really matter.
  4. Use good camera angles or coverages.
  5. Do color correction or grading.

1. Search for a good location.

When it comes to making a music video, location is always everything.

Even if it is one idea you are going to have on all your music videos, so long as you have very cool locations, your video is going to look awesome.

So don’t waste any much time, go out there and search for good locations for your music videos.

2. Be mindful of your camera stability and movements.

There is always going to make a big difference with video shots that are handheld, on a tripod stand, gimbal or crane, etc.

All you need to know is how to use certain kinds of camera movements.

For instance, R&B music videos do not go hand in hand with a shaky handheld video whereas rap or hip hop music videos done with a shaky handheld camera going to make a lot of sense.

And for this reason, make sure you move the camera to the beat and rhythm of the song you are shooting the music video for.

If there is a lot of energy and bounce in the song, ensure you give it some bounce and movement.

But if it’s a calm and smooth song, never sit there rocking the camera and moving it around.

So, therefore, do critical thinking about what the song sounds like, and the mode and the tone of the song then use the camera movement that is going to enhance it.

Don’t bring it down and completely be on the opposite spectrums.

Thus, camera movements and stability of the video camera are very important if you want to achieve a quality music video.

3. Your frame rate and shutter angle/speed really matter.

If the song you are shooting a music video for has a lot of energy, make sure you crank up your shutter speed and get a raw look.

But if the song is cinematic and smooth, take your shutter speed down to 48, that’s if your camera can do 48, but if it can’t like a DSLR, then keep it around 50.

Whatever your frame rate is, times that by 2 and you will get your shutter speed.

If you are shooting at 24 frames per second, your shutter speed is going to be 1/48 and we call that 180 degrees.

But if you want to sharpen it a little bit, you can shoot at 1/120 or 1/144 at the 24 frames per second, and that is going to make it higher and therefore sharper.

Whatever your frame rate is, double that with your shutter speed.

If you shoot at 60 frames per second, which is ideal for slow motion, double that and put your shutter speed at 120, and that way you are going to get a smooth slow motion.

If you are doing a low-light scene, it might be a little tricky, so adjust it by opening up the aperture and boosting the ISO because if you change the shutter speed past 180, you are going to lose a couple of light.

4. Use good camera angles or coverages.

Never shoot one wide shot and call it quits, always ensure you shoot a wide, medium, and close shot. You can even overshoot if you can.

The best thing is to have options when you are editing.

Never have one scene where you have just one angle and nothing else to cut to. The more variety of angles you can shoot, and in editing, your cuts will make your video much more interesting and less boring because the audience will always be seeing something new every now and then.

So make sure you constantly introduce new angles and new shots to keep your audience glued to the screen.

When you are shooting a hip-hop music video, make sure you enter it with 24 frames per second take and then 60 frames per second slow motion take.

The slow motion take should be B-Rolls.

5. Do color correction or grading.

If you find yourself struggling hard but unable to achieve that cool color for your music video, make sure you use LUTS to achieve your color correction or grading.


All these 6 types of music video footage we discuss in this article must be broken up into their individual wide shot, medium shots, and close-up shots.

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