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Old October 22nd, 2007, 10:01 PM   #1
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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.

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Old October 22nd, 2007, 10:19 PM   #2
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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.
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Old October 28th, 2007, 10:29 PM   #3
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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.

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Old October 29th, 2007, 01:41 PM   #4
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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.
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Old October 29th, 2007, 01:43 PM   #5
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Old October 30th, 2007, 02:58 PM   #6
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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.
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Old November 3rd, 2007, 10:17 PM   #7
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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!

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Old December 27th, 2007, 03:13 PM   #8
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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.
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