January 3, 2017 at 4:34AM, Edited January 3, 4:37AM


First music video

I have one question regarding shooting the music video, I have been looking for the answer but I haven't come around any post or any website or any blog which has my question.
So yeah here it is, if suppose I have to shoot at different locations with different lyrics at different time, so do I have actor sing the whole song at the 1st location, again at 2nd location and so on ?
How do film makers shoot a music video in the industry at different locations without any glitch in the singing ?


It depends on what you need. If you only need a location once or twice, you can just lip sync and shoot those portions of the song. If you plan on doing multiple inter-cuts, it's better to shoot the whole thing. One of the last music videos I did, the client had to do four different passes of the song in its entirety and several smaller, separate sections. Which ever method you use, be sure to get more of a take than you need. Sometimes it's obvious that an artist didn't sing the previous line or has no intention on singing the next line, which bothers me.

January 3, 2017 at 10:31AM


Thank you, Stephen.
Now I will stalk your profile.

Dilip Suthar

January 4, 2017 at 9:50AM

if u can edit the song down to the specific sections needed for each location that could work...but its easier to just record the whole song...also easier when it comes time to sync/edit. Some advice..get as much, if not more, B-Roll than performances...B-roll makes music videos

January 5, 2017 at 4:33PM

Kerrin McLean
Director / DP / Editor

you did deh yah yhute! lol

Wentworth Kelly

January 5, 2017 at 6:39PM

So I always take two master shots of the artist performing the entire song to possibly fill in blanks in the event that I don't have time to shoot a lot of b roll. If possible shoot a lot of b roll, that will always fill in the blanks. I like to be done with low budget rappers as fast as possible so I skip shooting the b roll and lean on my master performance shots for continuity. For a client with a good budget I shoot as much b roll as possible.

January 6, 2017 at 6:49AM, Edited January 6, 6:49AM

Don Way
Writer/Director of Photography

In the music videos I've shot, always have at least 3 master takes. This will give you coverage to cut back to in a pinch in the edit. Here is why I say at least 3:

--Usually, the artist is not a trained actor. So if you're directing, you should be giving performance notes after the first take. Consider the 1st take the "warm-up" but record it anyway. Obviously, don't tell the artist it is a warm-up. You may actually use portions of this take anyway, but often times the more emotional takes come later - the ones you look at and say "that was it; that's the shot" (if you're going for a more emotionally invested look).

-- The second take will be your 'actual' first master coverage shot.

--The third take will be your backup of the coverage shot. You can also use additional takes for the artist to try different physicality, facial expressions, emotion...

In reference to the "glitch" in the singing, a good practice is to have an amplifier or PA system with the track on a loop. Include a metronome count-in that corresponds to the song's meter (for 4/4 time, 4 beeps. 3/4 aka waltz, three beeps). The final beep can have a different pitch to signal it's the last of the count-in. This will give the artist time to prepare for the first note/chord/lyric, especially if it is a live band performance.

If it's a live band playing along to their studio track, have the amp cranked LOUD. They should feel like they are actually playing the studio recording and not just a live, in-sync recreation.

Always record scratch audio in camera on set, in sync with the footage. Premiere and other editing tools now make it very simple to synchronize audio via waveform recognition technology. Hope this helps!

January 6, 2017 at 7:37AM


Got it all. Thank you guys. :)

January 6, 2017 at 10:55AM

Dilip Suthar
Editor and Cinematographer

Depends on your script.
I worked on music video sets: often a certain scene was for a certain part of the track. No need to play the whole track then.

January 7, 2017 at 6:09PM

Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer

It would never occur to me to record live performances at different locations. I must not understand what you mean. It would all be lip synced, right? There wouldn't be any glitches in the singing. Maybe in the lip syncing. I always have them do the whole song. It takes time and effort to change locations. The whole song is about 3 minutes. No big deal.

January 7, 2017 at 7:12PM, Edited January 7, 7:13PM


Depands on the amount of data you are burning.
If you've got a decent plan and you know what parts you need, it is a waste of time and disk space to shoot the whole 3 minutes everytime.
A 3 minute take is also pretty intense to do time and time again.
It is not just about saving time, but also about saving resources (memory) and focus (the performance has to be good on the right moments).

Besides that: doing 20 takes of 3 minutes or 20 takes of 1 minute do matter time wise.
It saves 40 minutes on a long day.


January 8, 2017 at 7:38AM

I've done that. Sure there's ad-libbing and improvisation but you cut around those. The cuts are quick enough that the normal small tempo variations don't cause problems either. I've even used the audio from one live recording with the video from another!

Inexplicably Banned

January 10, 2017 at 10:26AM

Get a static shot of the entire song at every location. I've done this with every music video because you have tons of coverage and a base edit to start out from in your timeline. I actually lay all my full length takes out on the timeline stack them up and sync them all to the music. Then I chip away and add any other shots of them singing/playing an instrument and b-roll that I want.

January 10, 2017 at 6:20AM

ben solo

Thank you everyone for your answers.
I got everything I wanted.

January 16, 2017 at 12:20AM

Dilip Suthar
Editor and Cinematographer

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