Music Video equipement at

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Techniques for Independent Production

Techniques for Independent Production
The challenges of creating Digital Cinema and other narrative forms.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old October 22nd, 2007, 10:01 PM   #1
New Boot
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Montreal
Posts: 20
Music Video equipement

Hi everybody, I want to shoot a music video soon and I was wondering what equipement do I need so that my music video will look professional. I already own a Canon XH-A1 camcorder and some lights (not softbox) and that's it . Here is what I think that I would need (correct me if necessary) :

- A 35 mm adapter( maybe the new letus extreme)
- lenses
- more light
- A good tripod
- speakers

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Emil Habouri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 22nd, 2007, 10:19 PM   #2
Inner Circle
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 4,750
Most professional music videos look the way they do because:
A- They have talented, experienced crew. Talent and experience probably makes the biggest difference.
B- They have a large crew, which helps setup complicated lighting in a reasonable amount of time, dress sets nice, etc. etc. They specialize in what they do so they tend to be good at what they do.
C- The budget is $15k at the very minumum (for VideoFACT)... professional videos would be more like $50k-100k.
D- Shot on 35mm film, with lots of other goodies. They probably have a generator (unless its studio) with a grip and electric truck.

Do you need to do things that way? Not necessarily. But it works and is likely the best way of doing things for the majority of professional music video shoots.

There are some music videos out there that look pretty good without needing a lot of cash to make.
e.g. animation, stuff that's mostly broadcast design, virtual set stuff (check out the Poets of the Fall videos)

You just have to get creative and resourceful. And get some gear to learn with.

Last edited by Glenn Chan; October 22nd, 2007 at 11:06 PM.
Glenn Chan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 28th, 2007, 10:29 PM   #3
New Boot
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Montreal
Posts: 20
thx for the response Glenn.

talent is not a problem, me and my crew got plenty of it. All of the points you told me about, I am aware of that. My question was more aimed for a smaller scale production. This will be my first video clip and I was just asking for some tips concerning a small but still professional scale music video.

Emil Habouri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 29th, 2007, 01:41 PM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Hollywood, CA
Posts: 1,675
Images: 1
Some tips:
Play the music on-set from an ipod or other digital music player. CD players tend to drift more on timecode, believe it or not.

Use a zoom lens on the 35mm adapter. There will be times you want to capture an up-close look you see from the drummer or lead singer that may not get repeated. With a proper amount of light, an f3.5 zoom is perfect, even at higher focal lengths.

It depends on the genre of the music and the tone of the video, but soft light is usually helpful, if not a necessity. Buy a 1000w halogen tower from Home Depot for $40 (I got mine from ebay for $30) and string up a white bed linen across two light stands in front of the tower, and you'll have a huge wall of soft light to work with. The ideal setup is two walls of softlight from either side, and then use smaller lights to add edge light or accent the set.

I learned these things while making this music video earlier in the year.

I used a Brevis with Sony FX1 and four halogen work lights.
Ben Winter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 29th, 2007, 01:43 PM   #5
Major Player
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Jupiter, FL
Posts: 241
Professional hair/make-up. It makes a huge difference.
Josh Laronge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 30th, 2007, 02:58 PM   #6
Major Player
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 259
Let's not forget genre...

Let's not forget the genre of the music being shown in the video.

If it's a grungy little college band or something then you would be perfectly fine with a "low budget look." It might even be preferred.

Now if you want to show a rap video with the superstar driving around in expensive cars, shot at expensive club locations, and wearing a small fortune in diamonds, then you're talking about substantially more money.

Don't be scared by what people tell you that you need. Fit the tone of the song, or band, or genre.
Will Mahoney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 3rd, 2007, 10:17 PM   #7
MPS Digital Studios
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Palm Beach County, Florida
Posts: 8,531
A good friend of mine is shooting $15,000 and up music videos, all on HD. They're using the F-23 a lot, along with the F900r. A lot of music videos are digitally acquired now.

But even he tells me that a great concept and awesome production design are most important. Production design is crucial!

My Final Cut Pro X blog
Heath McKnight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 27th, 2007, 02:13 PM   #8
Major Player
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: New Iberia, LA
Posts: 229
One of the most overlooked things I think for a music video is a good PA/ playback system for the track. Your artist will have to lip sync and play along with their track...and especially if that involves a drummer, that means you need something pretty loud.

So a good small mixer, an amp, some PA speakers, and some XLR cables to run straight from the board into your camera are often a good idea.
Filmmaking Tips from Cinema Advanced
Horror Film Reviews at Killerfilm
Matt Champagne is offline   Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

Omega Broadcast
(512) 251-7778
Austin, TX

(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

(800) 238-8480
Glendale, CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Techniques for Independent Production

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:26 PM.

DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2015 The Digital Video Information Network