August 14, 2018

Watch: Learn How to Create These 4 Classic Music Video Effects

These effects are not only fun to create but they're a quintessential part of music videos.

Have you ever watched the music video to Coldplay's "The Scientist" and wondered how Chris Martin managed to sing it correctly while moving in reverse? Or how the Backstreet Boys sang their upbeat song "Quit Playing Games with My Heart" at the right tempo while the rain fell in slow motion, so sensually, behind them? In this tutorial, Robbie Janney of Shutterstock shows you how to create four iconic music video effects, from the sweet Slow Jamz slow down to the super emo "I wish I could reverse time so I could un-shatter my heart" effect. Check it out below:

This tutorial is one of those that are absolutely worthy of a bookmark even if you're not interested in actually using them in your own work. Why? Because so many people want to know how they're done. Any time someone sees a music video where time is going in reverse while the artist is singing the song normally, they wonder how in the hell it works. The techniques for these effects are actually surprisingly straightforward.

  • Half-speed recording: This is actually really timely for me because I was literally wondering how to pull off half-speed recording two days ago. "Do you just speed up the music and slow down the footage? Yes. Yes, you do. Speed up your music by 50%, play it back during your shoot so you can record your subject singing to it, then slow down your footage by 50%. Just be sure to change your frame rate to 48, too. 
  • Double-speed recording: This is essentially the opposite of half-speed recording. Slow down your music by 50%, play it back and record your subject, then speed up your footage by 50%.
  • Reverse recording: This trick is, well, a little tricky. You'll have to reverse your song's playback in post so your subject sing it during your shoot. The difficult part is memorizing how to sing the song in reverse, but Janney suggests writing down the lyrics phonetically and reciting them out loud. After the shoot, reverse the footage in post.
  • Old school film look: This effect can take on many forms. It all depends on what "old school film" means to you. For this tutorial, Janney suggests using the Posterize Time effect in Adobe Premiere and then changing your frame rate to 8, which will give your clip a stop-motion look. From there, you can add film grain, burns, and other "old school" color effects to your liking.

What are some other cool music video effects? Let us know down in the comments.     

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