A step-by-step guide to becoming a director for music videos

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Directing a music video entails a lot of technical know-how. It’s hard work, but if you love what you do, it’s fulfilling. Here is a guide to accomplishing your dream of becoming a music video director.

STEP 1 – EQUIP YOURSELF FOR YOUR GOAL

  • Start with photography

Most film producers and directors started their careers in photography. Through photography, you will be able to learn knowledge on the technical aspects of making films, such as framing,

lighting effects, shot composition, and the various kinds of lenses needed for different angles.

And while you’re getting acquainted with photography, you should already try to discover what genre of music you like best, and try to capture images that fall in that genre. Local bands will gladly allow you to take their photos if you offer your services for free.

  • Invest in the proper equipment

Equipment used for filming is expensive, so it’s best to give much time and thought before purchasing one that suits your budget and condition. Most cameras do not come with suitable lenses, which can also be heavy on the pocket, so consider it in your budget too. Some good cameras are Canon EOS M, Canon EOS Rebel T2i, and Nikon D5200. You can also scour pawnshops, electronic stores, or online shops for used cameras that are “like new”. Scrutinize them thoroughly before purchasing to make sure they are still working well.

  • Create a music video with your buddies

To get a feel of directing a music video without the pressure of working with a professional, try to produce one with your friends. You will be comfortable working and won’t be afraid as much to commit mistakes. You may also want to upload it on social media to see how people will react to it.

  • Learn about the different music video genres

A great music video director has a vast knowledge of the different genres of his craft. This will help him gain insights on the different styles used in producing a music video. He should note things like lighting, composition, and framing techniques.

  • Attend a class

There are photography and film courses offered by several community schools. If you want to take it further, take up a degree in film making in a university.

STEP 2 – BUILD YOUR PORTFOLIO

  • Produce music videos of local talents

To get a good grasp of the real deal in directing music videos, offer producing one for a local band. You can also use your output as a demo reel.

  • Improve your editing skills

It will be a great advantage for you to learn about editing as it will come in handy when you explain your desired outcomes to the editors. Play around with editing software to get you through the basics. Better yet, take a film-editing class to learn about the principles of visual storytelling.

  • Join competitions

Entering major video competitions will help build your reputation as a director. Keep on improving your skills until you get shortlisted. This will make people see that you are serious with your craft.

  • Come up with a demo reel

To showcase your ability to possible clients and employers, create a 90-second compilation of your best works. Include clips that focus on the genre you want to pursue. Remember to include your name and contact details, and highlight the role you played in the production of the music video.

STEP 3 – ENTER THE MUSIC VIDEO FIELD

  • Make use of social media

There are several social media platforms where you can build up your exposure for free. Big companies will surely notice someone with a huge following on YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter.

  • Link with other artists

Networking with other local artists can help you build connections that will be useful in your career. Be ready to hand out business cards that contain your complete contact details.  

  • Furnish music labels with a copy of your demo reels

When you have enough skills, experience, and fan base, submit your demo reel to music labels. Make sure your demo reel is of high quality. If you are not confident with your editing skills, you may commission an editor to create your desired result.

  • Start from the bottom

More often than not, you will start at a position which is not what you applied for. In that case, be willing to go the extra mile, so your supervisors will see how determined you are with reaching your goal. Work your way up.

  • Eye stable companies

When submitting a demo reel, identify the companies that are consistently producing music videos. These companies are likely to be the most financially stable and are willing to invest in new talents. Consequently, you can try directing videos for YouTube and get a chance to monetize your channel.