Studio 20 - large film, video, casting studio -  Mill Hill Music Complex, London

Making promo videos for your band – creativity is the key

If you have are thinking of making promo videos and you want it to stand out, then you have to be creative. The more visually interesting the video is, the more likely people are to take notice of it and share it. Many bands use our studios to shoot videos. Some are great and some are less so. If a band does something interesting and innovative, we take note. Here are some tips that will help you get more video for less money.

1. Plan the storyboard in advance. Sketch out the frames.

2. Make sure you have great, dynamic close up action shots. Shoot a couple of takes of close ups of the vocalists face. Also ensure you have a few dynamic close ups of key drum rolls, guitar solos and tasty bass licks, etc.

3. For distance shots, try three different angles.

4. Lighting is the key to great videos. Shoot some test clips to work out how best to light your subjects.

5. Make sure that colours don’t clash. If you are using green screen, ensure people don’t wear green clothes.

6. Make a list of the elements you like in your favourite videos. Work out if you can do any of these on the cheap.

7. Make sure that you have some makeup. If people have big spots/blemishes these can be really offputting.

8. Make sure that the mode of the video reflects the theme of the song. If the song is sad/serious this should be reflected in the video. Make it dramatic.

9. Checkout the “worst pop videos” – take notes of why they are so bad and avoid the same pitfalls. The NME helpfully compiled this list –

10. Be bold !

One of our customers, Rob Findlay made a really visually outstanding video of his band, even more interesting in some ways for those of us who are interested in the technicalities of what he did is the accompanying documentary which details how he put the ideas together. If you are thinking of making a video of your band, check this out. It should give you a few ideas as to how you can prepare the shoot and how important doing your homework is !

It also has some great footage of the studio during the production of the video.

3 Responses to “Making promo videos for your band – creativity is the key”

  1. Great post and the tips are great. As mentioned in your post, plan out your storyboard before hand to ensure the filming of the promotional video stays on track. I liked Rob Finlay’s promotional video great visuals and the Red Epic camera’s are awesome.

  2. G’Day Mill Hill Crew! Rob’s music video is so creative even three years on, it kicks ass! There seems to be a real push for ultra real ‘live’ band promotional videos going around so I thought I would put myself to the challenge of creating a promo video for a band I met on a River Cruise in Port Macquarie Australia. I had never heard them play before I stated filming and they did not know I was going to make a raw little video for them so in terms of preparation – the exact opposite to Robs amazing process of creativity.

    OF COURSE preparation is going to produce a much better video every time but there is something to be said for grabbing a camera and just shooting something to get you going. There are some ‘issues’ with the video I made but I still think I was able to create something useful for both the Jazz band ‘The Black Birds’ and any band out there interested in a tutorial on how to film a song at a live gig and create a usable video to promote their band to fresh venues.

    Here is the link on Youtube guys, I hope it makes a nice extension to the great band video tips you posted here.

  3. When working with a band show up to at least one practice if not many to get to know the members so they are comfortable with you. Talk to the writers to know what the song is about and what it meant to them as they wrote it so you can write a short treatment similar purpose in preparing characters for a screen play giving you a basis to develop a story. Then script the song to storyboard and review this with the band to make sure you all on the same page. When that is concrete start putting it in motion with the crew to develop a lighting plan, shooting layout of cameras and their shots. Start producing rest of crew, actors and props. Depending if it’s live, sync’d and a story concept is created make sure tests have been shot to review to make sure everyone is on page or last minute adjustments can be made making for a more successful takes captured in fewer takes and some cases captured right in that one take if it’s live.

Leave a Reply