3 Ways To Save Big Money On Your Music Video Location

We know, the lockdown and the complete absence of live gigs and venues for artists, has obliterated everyone’s plans for 2020. Unfortunately, no one cares that you are short of money and fans more often than not, are heavy consumers, meaning if you are not willing to give them what they need (music videos being the number one product they love), they will go get it from a similar-sounding artist. Here are 3 ways how you can drastically reduce your location shooting costs.

3. Pick A Place With Public Access

UNSTOPPABLE by Inder Paul Sandhu, a good example of using the outdoors as your video set

The entire world is available to you. Seriously. A good location doesn’t inherently mean you need to spend dollars. Accordingly, your location needs to be accessible by public transportation so that you can get others there as well to help you while spending very little to nothing. It will probably cost you less paying for 5 people’s public transportation tickets than one person’s cab fare.

2. Study Your Location’s Light Hours

Die Young by Fresco Trey, the perfect “Golden Hour” to shoot your music video

If you’ve never shot a serious music video before just know that light can make or break the quality of video production. That’s why studios are created. Mostly in part to be able to artificially generate huge amounts of light at the desired time. But now we’re trying to cut all possible costs, so no artificial light available to you. That means it has to be an open space (outdoors) and that you have to take a day off and go there in person. Now you will have to hang around it taking pictures/short videos of how the light comes in at different hours of the day. The amount of light (sunrays) you get at 11 am will be a huge difference from the amount of light you get at 5 pm. Try taking selfies with no flash at every hour and you will compare those later and decide which hour you liked best. That’s when you will shoot your music video. Pro tip: if you are able to take someone else’s word for it instead of doing the research yourself, shoot during the “golden hour”, described by Google as the period of daytime shortly after sunrise or before sunset, basically when there’s enough light but not too much of it.

1. Go There When The Place Is Empty

The dancer in Dove was incredibly ballsy doing her thing in front of hundreds of bystanders

Most likely than not, you are more comfortable shooting/reshooting takes when there’s no one to comment on it and no one to take pictures and blast your stuff on social media. Parks, rooftops, free-entry museums, gardens, tunnels, bridges, city squares, are all too often super populated, during WEEKENDS and evening hours that is. You have to take a couple of trips to that park you chose and notice when there are very few people. Usually, it’ll be a workday (Mondays and Tuesdays are the absolute least crowded days), and during working hours 9 am to 5 pm. You have to shoot your video when everyone else is at work. Or… when everyone else is still sleeping (5 am to 8 am is also a good time frame). Pro tip: if you happen to have iron balls and don’t mind the attention, use the crowds in your favor. With soft-focus lens, you can blur out everyone in the background and focus on yourself only, creating a lively background and avoiding at the same time having to ask people to sign release forms (putting someone’s face in your music video without their approval is illegal). Good luck!

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