Getting Serious About Your Music Videos, Part I

How many videos have you uploaded onto your Hello Stage page? Find out why video matters and how to get serious about filming...

We live in a very visual era - on a daily basis we are used to seeing and consuming vast amounts of relatively high quality media, whether we are talking about your favorite online magazines or the bloggers of your choice... The internet thrives on visual imagery. A while back, you might have been able to get away with a couple of portraits and a decent recording as a classical musician, but over the last couple of years, Youtube & co. have become the industry standard for self-promotion.

What is the first thing you look for when you google your favorite artist?

If you are genuinely curious about a musician, the first thing you want is to hear how they play - if there is a video of a live performance, even better. By being able to see the musician, as well as hear the music, we are subconciously able to connect to the performer on a deeper level. It's the next best thing to seeing them live!

Many musicians, often lack video material, even though, now more than ever, it has become so easy to create. Today's equipment is very advanced, whether we are talking about the latest cameras or smartphones, many of which have impressive technical abilities...

So, if you are lacking a couple of videos in your media section, and would like to step up your personal video presentation, here are a couple of tips to help get you started:

1. Decide on the video material you need to leave the impression of your choice.

Make a realistic plan: which pieces do you feel portray you best? Would you like to share something with your audience via a personal video message? Is there any particular concert coming up where you know it's going to be filmed beforehand, or do you have a chance and the funds of getting it professionaly recorded? How would you like to be perceived by your fans? Put all of these thoughts and conclusions on paper!

As soon as you have an idea of how many and which types of videos you need, get organized and plan the execution of the next steps that you need to take in order for them to get filmed!

2. Make it a point to think about and plan the video recordings for your upcoming concerts.

If you happen to see some cameras at a concert, ask about who is recording and how you can get your copy. If you are performing you might want to consider placing a smartphone/camera on the stage in a convinient position and filming the whole concert yourself - you can always edit it later! Just be sure to check the angles and test the settings and lighting beforehand...which brings us to our next point:

3. Consider learning some video editing basics.

There are many online courses available, but better yet, pop down to your local arts university or film school and see if there are any short courses on video filming and editing for beginners available there - this is a great way to meet people in your area who are interested in making films and to get to know the local film crowd - you might even find that there are many film students who will happily record your concert for free in exchange for the learning experience and your music!

Liekwise, if you are too busy or simply have no interest in learning new skills, reach out to your local film community anyway! Chances are you already know someone in your circles who can help you out - either will filming and editing or by recommending someone who can do it for you and maybe even specializes in the field.

4. If you do decide to dig a bit deeper into the world of video filming and go DIY with your videos, consider investing in some portable, quality equipment for your future video recordings . This will give you great results every time you film once you discover your ideal setup.

5. Do you have a colleague with a great music video that you admire? Ask them how they did it!

Maybe it's an agency that you can book to come and film your concert too, if you never ask you will never know! In any case, even if it is not possible to book that very same team or setting, you can learn a lot about asking for tips, experiences and takeways...sometimes a tip such as which material or colours to avoid wearing as it looks awkward on film can save you a lot of hassle for your own recordings, so get interested!

6. Watch your favorite recordings carefully and make notes.

Maybe it's the casual setting in the studio, the way the camera frames the stage, details such as mood, lighting or even a particular filter that give the video and edge you personally like - the more you watch and learn the more you will discover and get inspired for your own ideas! Make it a point to pay attention to videos as much as to the music itself.

7. Finally, make your videos your own.

With time, you will surely find a style that feels right for you - once you discover your winning formula, stick to it! Maybe its the colours you wear, a personal spoken message before or after the music, the use of graphics or some clever editing - if you feel comfortable, your audience will feel and appreciate it and it will help to bring the magic of your music even closer to the people who care most - your fans.

Nina K Lucas is a pianist, sound creative, yoga teacher, Belgrade girl, chocolate lover, foodie & your Community Manager on HELLO STAGE! "I love what I do - managing this fantastic community - thank you all for being such an inspiration! :)" Follow Nina on Twitter and Instagram - you can also always reach out to her at nina@hellostage.com.

Author: Nina Lucas HELLO STAGE
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