Music Video Production 101
Get Smart

Make smart choices before producing your music video

By Ben Ari

Making a music video has a very wide meaning. It ranges from simple lyrics videos to massive productions involving a large team of video production professionals. It’s true that most artists cannot afford high end music video productions. Luckily the selection of video making solutions that will promote your song is huge.

The key is choosing the right production method for each music video campaign based on your goals, as different techniques perform differently in different areas. 

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The difference between video production and music video production

True, both are types of video productions, but there are some points to consider before planning your music video:

Unlike most video productions, in music videos the music production is the key element. This means that the story and mood compliment the song and not the other way around.

Films and videos are often created for the enjoyment while watching. Music Videos are made with the clear intent of getting the audience familiar with the artist and song, ultimately leading to following them.

Videos are often a “watch once” experience that cannot be changed once revealed to the audience. Music is very different and often requires multiple listens to recognize. That’s why a common practice is to edit and even remake music videos multiple times, using the same song or part of it.

Keeping these differences in mind is important when the time comes to plan you music video production. You’ll need to make sure you’re getting the right people and using the right tools. Even the most eye catching video clip may not be very efficient if the focus is not on the music and artist’s goals.

An example of audio synchronized 2d animated music video 

4 Common production types of music videos

To help you choose the right music video production, let’s look at the 4 common groups of music video making styles:

The holy grail of music video productions where you get to swing off a million dollar chandelier into the back seat of a Bentley on your way to Abbey Road studios. On a more modest production, that includes professionals for most tasks, from actors to editors.

Today’s computers allow an amazing range of production styles without a single frame shot. All design and creation is done with software – hence the name “in the box”. Common styles include 2d and 3d animated music videos as well as more organic methods such as stop motion and time lapse music clips. Although not as hard to plan and host as full productions, they can still be very time consuming and expensive depending on the detail level. 

This group increased in popularity due to the massive amount of creative media most artists already generate. Hybrid productions use existing source materials such as images and video clips to compose a music video. This method reduces costs significantly by minimizing the production phase and focusing on post-production tasks.

You can find many online services and apps that automate the process of visualizing music. Most of them are very easy to use and provide immediate results at the expense of creativity and design flexibility. Although very cheap compared to the above 3 production methods, they are considered less effective because end results are less unique, organic , or appealing to audiences. 

Of course there are many other types of music video making techniques but most will fit in or between the above 4 production groups. Next, let’s take a look at the important differences between them when planning a music video.

An example of audio synchronized hybrid stop motion music video 

Music video production type comparison - which is right for you?

It’s time to compare the 4 methods and understand their production pros and cons.

Production Type Scoring Matrix

To Make things simple all 4 production groups will be scored in 5 key areas:

Estimated cost of an average production

Estimated timeframe to complete the production

The amount of work required to execute the production

How much control the artist has over the outcome of the production

The perceived quality level and attractiveness of the finished music video. 

Each production group is ranked from 1 to 4 relative to the others on each key area, where 1 is poor  and 4 is great.

Music Video Production Types Compared

The graph bellow shows each category and score:

Lets compare results:

In the overall score automated production scores highest and full video productions comes in last. But that’s still a general cost to benbefit comparison.

Overall Score

Automated Music Videos (14/20) 70%
Hybrid Music Videos (13/20) 65%
In The Box Music Videos (12/20) 60%
Full Production Music Videos (11/20) 55%

To dig even deeper, let’s divide our scores into two categories: Originality and Difficulty. 

The Originality Score tells us which method will produce the most unique creative result. It’s calculated by using the “Creative Control” and the “Production Quality” scores:

Originality Score

Full Production Music Videos (8/8) 100%
In The Box Music Videos (5/8) 63%
Hybrid Music Videos (5/8) 63%
Automated Music Videos (2/8) 25%

As you can see, full productions will provide the most original results with both hybrid and in the box in the middle. Automated music videos are least likely to be original. 

Finally the Difficulty Score tells us which method will require most effort. It’s calculated by using the cost, time, and effort scores:

Difficulty Score

Automated Music Videos (12/12) 100%
In The Box Music Videos (8/12) 66%
Hybrid Music Videos (7/12) 58%
Full Production Music Videos (3/12) 25%

In this case it’s clear that automated music videos require the least amount of effort and budget to produce, with full productions being much harder to accomplish. 

Which production fits your music video?

Now take the above comparison into consideration and think: which of the factors is more important to you in your music video production at the moment? Do you need a music video that’s effortless and immediate? How important is control and originality at the moment?

Understanding where you are along that scale will help you find you music video production’s position between the 4 production groups.

An example of FL Studio Mobile App screen recording hybrid music video 

How to proceed with producing your music video?

Spend some time researching and finding the general music video production type that fits you most, but don’t dwell on it for too long. You’ll need to start planning your music video idea next. which you can read on the next post.

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DiscoPix is a DAPSI Ltd. service what excels in producing creative media and social content.

We specialize in video production and video editing of online content, music video production, animated video production and more across all social media and online platforms

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