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Thread: Help a complete novice - music video question

  1. #1

    Default Help a complete novice - music video question

    Hello guys'n'gals!

    I am a photography student and partially a professional photographer. I've recently gotten interested in directing and filming music videos and I hope to do it more and more in the future.

    I've been given the opportunity to make a music video for this really cool girl rock band, and I had no option but to accept the task. The problem is that I will be doing all of it from scratch; Directing, filming AND editing.

    Now, directing and filming shouldn't be an issue, it's the editing I'm worried about. As for now I have little to no experience of editing digital videos (I've only used Windows Movie Maker and Apple's iMovie).

    I have access to Final Cut Pro (running on a MacPro) so I guess this would be the software of choice, not that I'd know what's best for this purpose. I've got limited time to get this done, which means that I can't spend months practising...

    I'll be shooting with a Canon 5D mkII, and I've already figured out how to convert the files to more FCP friendly versions. Still, I'm completely lost when it comes to this software.

    If anyone could direct me to a source with plenty of easily understandable step-by-step tutorials I'd greatly appreciate it. Also any tips, tricks and recommendations are welcome. I am an experienced computer user and I like to think I can handle a lot of different softwares, but video editing is as said a complete myster for me for now.

    Any help and suggestions will be greatly appreciated!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Western Europe


    Editing isn't a set of hard and fast rules, it's more about a feeling you get when listening to the music and think what shots would work best with the music. Listen to the music, the lyrics, the beat, the changes, the rises and the falls and write down what they suggest to you visually.

    It's more art than science; what type of band are you doing the video for, what is their style, who are their audience? You need to get answers to all those questions (sit down with the band and thrash out your ideas) so you make the correct video for them and not something that is a million miles away from their style of music.

    A script and or storyboard, a second camera, external microphones, a tripod, maybe a steadicam (or skateboard - where you stand on it and someone pushes you along on a smooth surface can give great looking shots if done correctly), extra lights if shooting indoors or large reflectors if shooting outdoors. Maybe a greenscreen or bluescreen to give extra locations that you can't physically get to?

  3. #3


    Thanks for your input, I appreciate it.

    However, what I'm looking for is advice for the actual editing. This'll be completed on a zero budget, so I will have to get by with the gear I have (Canon EOS 5D MK II with various lenses) and anything I can possibly get for free. I don't have any doubts about getting good material shot, however, as that's where I feel comfortable - behind the camera.

    The issue really is that I have absolutely no idea about what software to use (and HOW!) for the best possible results. The video will be shared both on the internet as well as on TV, so I don't want to mess good material up by making a complete fool out of myself during editing

  4. #4


    I'm not going about this with the attitude of wanting everything at once, but yes, I can admit that I am on a somewhat tight time schedule with this project and that I am looking for the easiest yet best way through it. I realize it'll take a lot of effort on my own behalf to get anything decent done, and I'm well prepared for that.

    For what I have in mind I won't need much else than just slicing the clips up, putting them in right order and synching them with the music. Sounds easy enough, but after just opening FCP and looking at the layout I feel that this already is a pretty steep hill to climb!

    I will be editing colours etc. as well, but I feel it's obviously most important to get the basics right to begin with.

    I will look up some tutorials when the time comes (I do not have FCP at hands right now) and I'm very likely to get back to you all with more detailed questions when I encounter some obstacles.

    Thank you paulears for your input!

  5. #5


    Multiple cams, although it would be just wonderful, seems rather unlikely at the moment. I'm doing this for free to help promote the band and at the same time promote myself, and as there is no budget I'm just going to have to go with what I have.

    I am drawing a storyboard to which I will try to stick to as accurately as possible (but still leaving room for new ideas during the actual shoot). We'll have plenty of time to fool around during the shoot, so that's nice.

    Thank you greatly for the heads up you've given, I definitely need to take all of that in to consideration. Roughly half of the clip will have to be accurately synced to the music, so I can only imagine that I have "some" hours infront of the computer ahead of me, ha!

    Thank you again

  6. #6


    Ahh, see, every day you learn something new - I was sure multicam means having multiple cameras!

    That makes sense, and that's how I'd go about the "live playing". I've shot a music video before, but I had no part in the editing... However, that's what I did then too: I filmed them playing over and over again from different angles, and then that material was put together...

    The video I want to do now will be more complex with a lot more elements in it.

    Thanks, that's good advice, and I'm sure I'll get back to you once I start editing (I for example have no idea how to do what you've just told me, syncing the clips with eachother...heck, I have no idea how to do anything in FCP! ).

    This place is very helpful, much appreciated!

    Here's the video I've shot (it's of extremely poor quality and as said, I had no part in editing it..):

    [ame=]YouTube - HEARTBREAK STEREO - SCARED?[/ame]

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