We all love watching music videos, but have you ever considered what goes on behind the scenes? Do you know what it takes to turn your favorite song into a visual narrative? At Union Productions Company, we know music videos. (It’s kind of our whole thing). That’s why we’re excited to share a bit of the magic behind the scenes with you! So, whether you’re a new artist preparing to shoot your first ever music video with us or a music buff who’d like to know more, here’s an insider’s guide to preparing for a music video.
Find Your Perfect Match
As a production company, our goal is to make your dreams come true. (Corny, I know, but I promise we really mean it!) Because without that commitment to achieving your vision, it’s impossible for us to bring your song to life. That’s why the match between an artist and their video producer is one of the most important around. It’s also why, when you come for a consultation session with us, one of the first questions we’ll ask is, “Tell us about your style!” Because whether you’ve got an old-school glamor like Ella Fitzgerald or you’re new and hip like Taylor Swift, reflecting that style in your music video is our top priority. So, whether you choose to shoot with us or one of the other guys, as an artist, it’s critical that you look for a production company that can share and appreciate your vision. (But we still think you should choose us).
Play it Again, Sam
This might sound like a no-brainer, but… we need to hear the song. No, really. If we haven’t actually heard your song— and, ideally, heard it more than once— we shouldn’t be making your video. Because while your art is in your music, ours is in creating a visual masterpiece that meshes with and enhances your art. Which means we can’t do our job if we haven’t appropriately immersed ourselves in your work. So, what can you, as an artist, do to help this process?
It’s actually pretty simple! For starters, simply let us hear your music and brainstorm our ideas based on your sound. Accurately representing your vision is important to us, so we want to use our knowledge of your song to open a conversation with you about making your dream come true on set. But with that said, it’s important to note that the demo you give us should be the absolute final version or at least the closest thing to it. Because if we’re going to brainstorm a fully developed visual identity for your song, we want that to reflect the most accurate version of that song. So, please don’t change it up on us at the last second and come back with something that has a totally different vibe! Also, for your sake, don’t trust any music video producer who says they don’t need to listen to your song!
Let Your Music Tell a Story
This probably comes as no surprise to you, but there’s more to creating a music video than simply the song. When we’re brainstorming that visual identity we mentioned earlier, we need to create a mood board. You’re probably familiar with mood boards already, but just in case you’re not, a mood board is a helpful collage of people, images, colors, aesthetics, and pretty much anything else that you can use to jumpstart your ideas for setting a scene. So, when we’re crafting our mood board for your song, we want it to be all about you! That’s why you should feel free to throw in any details, backstories, pictures, or meaningful items that can help us bring your song to life.
It’s also very likely that we’ll ask for a picture of you. Sure, we know what you look like already, but a photo of you chosen by you is helpful for allowing us to understand how you choose to represent yourself to the world. This in turn shows us how we can best channel that essence to represent you in our designs. For mood board-crafting purposes, it might also be helpful for you to provide us with a few of your favorite music videos as references. What do you love? What do you hate? Whether it’s an example of cinematography or a cool stylistic thing the artist does, show us what would you like to try in your own video!
It’s All About You!
By this point, you’re probably sick of hearing us say this, but we can’t stress enough how important it is for us to get to know you. (We’re just going to be low-key obsessed with you for a while. That’s cool, right?) Because just like your music is more than just one song, there’s more to you as a person than what we might be able to see in the context of this project right now. That’s why we want to get a big-picture idea of who you are. So, come prepared to tell us how you got into music, what inspires you, and if there’s a story behind your song, along with loads of other details from the kind of music you like to listen to to your favorite flavor of latte. We can’t wait to get to know you!
These top tips are only a few of the steps that go into preparing for your first music video, but our hope is that it’ll get you off to a great start and give you more info about what to expect. And if you have any questions that aren’t covered on this list or want to discuss any other aspect of a consultation with us, don’t be shy— get in touch!