5 Beginner Mistakes You Might Want to Avoid When Making Music Videos (and Other Projects)

If you're shooting a music video, or any kind of project for that matter, here are a few mistakes you'll want to avoid.

As a beginner, aside from films and videos, you're going to be making tons of mistakes. You're going to forget to take your lens cap off before you hit record. You're going to overexpose and underexpose your shots. You're going to wear your fashionable new chukkas instead of dorky but very comfortable tennis shoes. Knowing that there are countless missteps that you're bound to make as a burgeoning filmmaker, this video from Chrystopher Rhodes of YCImaging talks about five very common ones that could have much more serious consequences than one ruined shot or some sore feet. Check it out below:

Even though Rhodes focuses primarily on shooting music videos, the advice still transfers over well to narrative features, shorts, and even documentaries.

Choose the right export settings

This is always a tricky thing to get right when you first start out. Most NLEs have a ton of export options that may not make a whole lot of sense to you at first, but usually those NLEs will set you up with export settings that match the footage you're using in your timeline. However, one setting to keep your eye one, according to Rhodes, is the frame rate, the cinema standard of which for video is 24 fps. Now, you don't have to export at 24 fps., but if you don't know a whole lot about editing or exporting, you might want to go with this until you do.


There's nothing worse than getting into post-production and not having enough footage to edit with. This is why it's imperative to capture enough coverage during a shoot, or as Rhodes says, overshoot. Typically you'd want to show up to the set with a well-planned shot list in your paw, but if you skipped that step, you can always try to remember this about coverage: shoot a wide, medium, and close-up for all shots if you can. Get as many different angles as you think you'll need. Shoot way too much footage, and then shoot some more. Is this always a good approach to filmmaking? Not always, no, but if you're a beginner and are unsure of what you'll need in post, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Stabilize your footage

You got a camera and a sweet lens! Awesome, but don't forget about stabilizers. There are so many different kinds of stabilizers, from gimbals to tripods, that will help you keep your footage steady, and many of them aren't super expensive. A great stabilizer for beginners, other than a decent tripod, is a shoulder rig or, if you're feeling fancy, an inexpensive handheld gimbal. Keep this in mind: handheld camerawork is absolutely fine, but make it a stylistic choice rather than just a default.

Avoid cheesy transitions in editing

No star wipes. I'm doing you a favor here.

Don't overdo it with your grade

We all remember the first time we color graded our footage. It was a transformation the likes of which we hadn't seen since puberty, right!? But let's get real, going overboard with your grade more often than not makes your footage look kind of amateurish, almost like you used the grade to hide or make up for some kind of inadequacy in your work. Unless it's a stylistic choice to go wild with your color grade, give your footage a subtle alteration. A soft touch goes a long way here.

There are so many other common mistakes that beginners make. What were yours? Let us know down in the comments.     

Your Comment


Overshooting is not a substitute for knowing what you want and planning accordingly .... that is what a director does .... make his (his clients) vision come alive. If you simply overshoot everything and hope to pull a rabbit out of your butt when you are editing ... then your work will look like ..... er.... a rabbit that you pulled out of your butt ..... Learn to do it right !

March 30, 2018 at 9:38AM, Edited March 30, 9:37AM


Yeah, you clearly missed the point Michael. You can always cut something down but reshooting may not be an option, this was a good tip as he talks about getting different angles as well as shooting available B Roll shots to help break up the edit -this is a professional mindset, not amateur like your making it out it be.

March 31, 2018 at 10:37AM

Stephen Herron

Gli insegnanti iniziano a prepararsi per la festa della mamma con molte attività. Frasi Per La Mamma Alcuni studenti preparano la filastrocca in hindi o inglese, scrivono saggi, alcune linee di conversazione in hindi o inglese, poesie, discorsi, ecc. In questo giorno, le madri vanno alla scuola dei loro figli e partecipano alla celebrazione.

March 30, 2018 at 11:44AM, Edited March 30, 11:44AM


And where Comfortable footwear! I cant stress that... dress to be comfy and not stylish... I learnt the hard way!

April 1, 2018 at 11:31PM

Wentworth Kelly
DP/Colorist/Drone Op

6. Keep in mind, you're on a 10 year journey to greatness. Shoot every week, and enjoy the process because there are no short cuts. 7. Strive towards "finished" pieces. Don't fill up hard drives with ungraded "test" shots you keep secret forever. Plan, shoot, grade and publish online, repeat.

April 2, 2018 at 11:12AM

Jesse Yules

Every beginner should watch it... especially, about the transitions, I have seen a lot of people doing it wrong.

April 16, 2018 at 8:47AM

Sameir Ali
Director of Photography

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select and download the tracks that you like. There you will find professional music in different styles (genres) and moods. If you need free music (absolutely free, you do not need to license) - you will find it.
If you want to license music - you can do it (it's very easy). If you need help, just read the FAQ or email me (you can find the contacts on the site). Have a good mood! :)

July 19, 2018 at 6:53AM