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Thread: How do I start out filming low budget music videos?

  1. #1
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    Arrow How do I start out filming low budget music videos?

    I'm saving towards 5,000. I want to film low-budget music videos from local rock bands and rappers.

    What would be a good camcorder to buy or should I RENT the cameras instead? Also what equipment do I need like Apple IMAC computers and Final Cut Pro?

    And what IS the minimum should I spend on a camera? I want to film videos like McFly's "Friday Night". They used a camera crew with DV cameras and "directed" it themselves.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    You can either use a prosumer HDV camera such as the Sony FX7, or prosumer/professional MiniDV cameras that record in SD, such as the Canon XL1s (oldies, but goldies), as for editing, I'd recommend PC over Mac, just considering versatility and options. Have in mind that you'll need a super-duper fast computer (dual core or even quad core, 2 GB of RAM, lots of hard drive space), two good monitors, lots of accesories (lights, mics, tripods, bags)... so I'm not sure your budget can cover them all.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mihai View Post
    You can either use a prosumer HDV camera such as the Sony FX7, or prosumer/professional MiniDV cameras that record in SD, such as the Canon XL1s (oldies, but goldies), as for editing, I'd recommend PC over Mac, just considering versatility and options. Have in mind that you'll need a super-duper fast computer (dual core or even quad core, 2 GB of RAM, lots of hard drive space), two good monitors, lots of accesories (lights, mics, tripods, bags)... so I'm not sure your budget can cover them all.
    Thank you for responding. You obviously know your stuff! So, OK you said 5,000 wouldn't be enough. But let's say I could go higher to a maximum limit of 10,000. Remember, I can't OWN EVERYTHING BRAND NEW that I want, so I'm prepared to rent or buy second-hand. It's suprising you recommend a PC over Mac, I was always told that Apple IMacs with FireWire were the way to go. My PC doesn't have a Firewire connections, but I know you can buy them on PCI cards. What about the programs? I heard that Final Cut Pro was the best for on Imacs. But is Adobe Premiere was good for PCs? Is Adobe Premiere as good as Final Cut Pro? And how much is a "quad-core" computer? I don't even know what that is! "Two good monitors", I suppose is two good CRT TVs? The lights, mics, tripods could be rented depending on cost? But I would appreciate it if you could tell me what YOU'D buy if you only had 5,000 or 10,000.
    Last edited by 2deal2; 06-11-2007 at 05:12 PM.

  4. #4

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    I like the advice that has been given here, and I agree as you don't need all the flash gear to produce a good music video. From my experience it takes a lot of planning, storyboard (stick men is fine yes),and understand the song your put image too. My rule is with my clients as I ask what they want, and they tell me something that they like, I then think how to either do just wat they want and think big with what little I have, or I exspand on their ideas depending on their song.
    I do alot of low budget M videos due to my clients pocket. Just keep in mind a few things of our past and history, it took Thomas ed to invent the light bulb right? and he saw it this way, it took him 2000 tries to get it right, he was asked about his 2000 mistakes, he said they were not mistakes just 2000 ways of how not to do it. In other words not everything needs to be perfect, but if it works for the song and whatever you do have in your pocket or clients pocket, then it will happen and not get forgotten.
    And when you do need the look that you think the mistake happend with once before may end up being a blessing on the next vid.

    So if you got the basic gear, then you got a good start. Try using the best computer there is around!? your brain! trust it and work it, don't be scared to make mistakes cause you will, but that part of the fun cause you then narrow down from 2000 ways not too do it that way to 1999 to go.

    Hope some of this helps?

  5. #5

    Default low budget music videos

    I like the advice that has been given here, and I agree as you don't need all the flash gear to produce a good music video. From my experience it takes a lot of planning, storyboard (stick men is fine yes),and understand the song your put image too. My rule is with my clients as I ask what they want, and they tell me something that they like, I then think how to either do just wat they want and think big with what little I have, or I exspand on their ideas depending on their song.
    I do alot of low budget M videos due to my clients pocket. Just keep in mind a few things of our past and history, it took Thomas ed to invent the light bulb right? and he saw it this way, it took him 2000 tries to get it right, he was asked about his 2000 mistakes, he said they were not mistakes just 2000 ways of how not to do it. In other words not everything needs to be perfect, but if it works for the song and whatever you do have in your pocket or clients pocket, then it will happen and not get forgotten.
    And when you do need the look that you think the mistake happend with once before may end up being a blessing on the next vid.

    So if you got the basic gear, then you got a good start. Try using the best computer there is around!? your brain! trust it and work it, don't be scared to make mistakes cause you will, but that part of the fun cause you then narrow down from 2000 ways not too do it that way to 1999 to go.

    Hope some of this helps?

  6. #6

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    I sniff a Mac Vs Pc debate :-o

    Take Mihai's advice with a pinch of salt. I started up my own production company doing promo/music videos on a now ancient 800MHz iMac. (which is still running smoothly 7 years on, although it isn't used for anything major anymore). Processing power is only required if required. if you're shooting HD and then compositing and adding loads of effects, you might need something with more 'oomph' than you would for shooting SD. A 2year old iMac can handle HD with loads of effects no probs, and comparing it's performance with other peoples experiences on this forum it seems to come out on top for the spec (Using Final Cut Pro).

    I started off using Windows PC's for video editing using Adobe premier, but as soon as I discovered the Mac I never looked back as it was much more stable, and everything I needed was already on/in it. People say they're more expensive, but in reality if you spec up a Dell to the same specs as an Apple there'll only be maybe 50 in it (which was the case when I last looked into it).

    Also don't forget to budget for insurance! and if you're working on live videos you'll need an audio recording device to record from the mixing desk.

    I'd say look into renting the cameras for the first couple of videos, especially if you're just testing the water, as you would be able to hire a top end camera for a relatively small amount. The actual camera/s you will need will depend on what the client wants. If you get into this in a big way you will probably end up with a collection of many cameras for different purposes. In many situations 'bigger isn't necessarily better', and many "pro" commercial music videos (as well as TV programs) have used nothing more than a bog standard consumer camcorder, which in some instances will be more viable, not only in terms on cost, but also where you can put it, how you can hold it, and how 'disposable' they are.

    So really the big question really is what sort of video are you looking to make? Studio videos? location videos? art/high concept videos? live videos?
    And in what style?

  7. #7

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    At the end of the day, if you got something that works for you then go with what you can.
    I have a panasonic DVCpro 25, and a Canon 3CC camera and both of them do pretty good. Its a matter of how you use them. I edit using premiere pro and after effects if needed, my PC is pent4 2 gig memory and I use a Firebird cature card that allows to see in realtime all the effects.

    It took me awhile to get to this point tho, and I had to start with borrowing gear and hire some gear. I got some lights off trade me and other deals from other people who up grading, and made the most of what I have. I believe it turns you into a better operator as you have to get what you can with very little.

    Thats my opinion anyway.
    Thanks for all the feed back, any comment is considered

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