Make a video clip

Faire un clip vidéo

You will definitely achieve a video clip in the course of your film career. It is a mission that requires having a good planning, but it is more simple to run than a film shoot. To succeed, you need to focus on 2 aspects : the visual of the clip and the timeline.

The visual of the video clip

The quality of the visual of a video clip is one of the critical success factors of the latter. Notice, it is sufficient that you were looking new Thriller of Michael Jackson, whose first edition dates back to 1983 to get an idea.

That said, the success of the visual of a video clip comes back to providing an excellent image quality. Here are the 4 essential points on which it will work.

1. The brightness

The tools you will need to create and manage the artificial light lamps are LED type, the projectors, reflectors and diffusers. They can also be used to turn of day or night, indoors or outdoors.

Here is how you can form an ideal lighting with 3 light sources.

  • Position the light source the more powerful (and a big projector BY preference) on an axis forming an angle of 45° with the subject in the film, and the camera
  • Position the second light source (a tangerine for example) at 45° to the opposite side of the first light source
  • Position the 3e light source (a lamp or a small projector) behind the subject

To manage the shadows, use a Cinefoil, a flag or a diffuser. The filters will help you remove blemishes from faces, and play on the colour of skin of the actors.

In the case where you use natural light, turn off at sunrise or sunset. In these moments, the rays are diffused, and softer, and with reflectors, you can create effects-beautiful light on your actors.

2. The scenery

The choice of sets depends essentially on the story content of the actors in the video clip. Take before any knowledge of music, listen carefully and note everything it evokes in you, such as ideas of decoration. Also, take the time to visualize :

  • films that are unique like those of the Star Wars Saga , or the series Game of Thrones,

(it is only example, there are many other clips or movies that can be a source of inspiration for your decorations, such as photographs or paintings, etc)

In order to find inspiration for the scenery of the stage.

If some places can also be sources of inspiration (mountains, waterfalls), please do not hesitate to go there. Build then a model of these first drafts.

You can confirm by performing a registration with the commissioner-general of the film crew.

3. The mounting

  • The clip Full-Realistic. This is the standard model of clip, one that emphasizes the natural and the elements of nature : water, wind, mountains, etc

  • The clip FX-Realistic. This type of video clip resumes the rendering of the natural Full-Realistic, with a small dose of special effects. A good example is I can only imagine David Guetta, Chris Brown and Lil Wayne.

  • The clip Full-Graphic. This variant includes graphic effects that are similar to drawings or paintings. For example you have Bye Bye Macadam by Rone.

the clip Full-3D. This video clip includes the great majority of planes in 3D, like in a movie. Example : Reminder of moderat (video directed by Matt Steinforth)

  • The composite clip. The composite is a mix of all styles of clips mentioned up here. One of the best clips available in this category is I can t believe it Lil Wayne and T-pain.

4. The special effects

Compositing is the technique that involves inserting special effects into the video clip. There are several : the flashes, the trembling of images, the animation of the logo, the addition of light, etc, To achieve them, you will need to use at least one of the software compositing below :

  • After Effects Adobe
  • Flame by Autodesk
  • Motion by Apple
  • Etc.

The timeline of a movie clip

The majority of the clips present last only 3 and a half minutes on average, and are a succession of artistic elements (choreography, games and artists). But in order to make a video clip professional that will create the buzz, you need to adopt one of the 3 options below.

  1. The simple scenario that is in direct relation with the lyrics. It’s a scene standard which is used simply to view the text that is sung, for example : I dance the mia IAM

2. A scenario which portrays the artist or group of artists playing in a universe of unusual and stylish, a bit like in the clip of Battles – Atlas :

3. The scenario movie. It is a history of rise and mise en scene throughout the music. For example, the clip is very recent of The Blaze – Territory . Some are even clips of documentaries including the group Odezenne for example with the title November.

In the particular case of the scenario movie, the style adopted is usually that of the metaphor, which is to designate a thing by another which is close. But you can also mount a work of fiction. It all depends on the story and the facts to which the theme of the song relates.

Examples : the clip Thriller de Michael Jackson is a work of fiction. However, Papaoutai of Stromae is a video clip metaphorical.


Sometimes a simple concept is enough to make the ” buzz “, for example the clip Drop from Pharcyde directed by Spike Jonze. In this clip, the rappers are not specially in a strange world but everything depends on the synchronization between the audio and video mounted upside-down.

Note that we can easily also put emphasis on the dance, as it is present in the video clips of Michael Jackson, in Papapoutai of Stromae, and more recently several clips of Sia (and many others, these are just examples).

Discuss with the artist or group of artists to choose the scenario that you choose. You need to write in every detail in order that no plan or no sequence may be omitted on the site of the shooting. Then, you will need to :

  • Establishing a story-board which will trace the beginning to the end sequences of the shoot with the models shooting
  • Make the list of necessary equipment for the staging of the scenario (technical equipment, light equipment, and equipment sets)
  • Make a list of the technicians that you will need
  • Organize a casting, if necessary, to recruit actors or actors
  • Proceed with the identification of the site of shooting (if this is not in the studio)
  • Plan the shoot

Before the shooting on the ground, plan for a period of repetitions of the scenario with the artists and the actors. These can last for a week or more, the goal being to save time once on the ground, and allow each person to master his role to perfection.

Another thing : make a check-list of items not to forget for the shoot : the spare batteries and chargers camera, memory cards, and accessories to control light, etc

That is, have you ever conducted or participated in the creation of the video clips ? If yes, thank you for sharing your experience with us in the comments below !

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