Making our music promo video - from the shoot to the edit:

After posting our promotion video for Making Peace with the War, I was asked how we made it. This post explains in fairly good detail.

I've also created a video. It is on my YouTube channel and I've embedded it below. The actual promo video is right here as well.

 

THE PROMO VIDEO

Audio quality

The video is me lip lyncing - or more precisely - singing along with the recorded version. That audio doesn't make it into the final video. So, pitch and tone are not as critical as timing and trying to create an emotional delivery.

Physical setup:

Look at the photo below. You will see it in the video I post as well. I am in front of a photography backdrop. We are only getting waist up, so a large partial backdrop is fine. My girlfriend is a photographer and we both are videography passionate - which is to say, we have some gear and some knowledge.

The dark backdrop is an easy choice. Where I am is unknown and the song's tone fits that.

Setup for shooting a music promotion video

Hey, is the dog paid as an extra?

Camera & Lights:

We used my girlfriend's Canon RP full frame, mirrorless camera. However, this shot could reasonably emulated on a good phone camera. However, we used 30mm prime lens with a low F-stop - 1.8 - which gives the shot a short focal length. That helps with a cinematic look. Oops, in watching the video I see that we went back to the kit lens, a 24 to 105 f4 lens. That was so that Deb could zoom in to get the right framing.

The lighting was done with a Philips 1800 Lumen full-color LED light in a standard heat light. It is on a $18 light stand. I believe the light is $19 and the light holder w/ clip is $7. Because it is LED and WiFi app enabled, we can change the brightness, color, tone, etc.

How it was shot:

Basically, I had a 32 second loop of my song playing on my studio monitor speakers in the other room. We could have played it in the same room on a cell phone or cast it to a bluetooth speaker. This was the easy (lazy) way as the audio project was open on my computer.

I could hear it well enough. My girlfriend framed me in the shot to ensure my full guitar and my body waist up could be seen. In the photo you can see that the edges of the backdrop are visible in the video frame. That's okay, we took that out in post. (I sound so Hollywood with that phrase). I just zoomed in slightly until the edges were gone.

I sang through the loop 4 times. We just kept the camera rolling. Then, when I brought it into the editing software, I cut those into 4 segments and put each on a track to select the one I wanted. I already suspected that my 4th take was my best and I ended up using that one.

Video editing:

I use DaVinci Resolve. It is a FANTASTIC ... AMAZING... HUGELY POWERFUL video editor and color correction software. It is made by Black Magic Design - who makes color correction consoles and cameras for the industry. The FREE version allows as many video and audio tracks as memory on your computer will run. It has some great effects as well.

The paid version runs $300 and includes many addition fx and hardware acceleration.

I bring my audio file of my song - recorded/produced in Reaper. Reaper is a full-featured DAW - like ProTools but $60 or $225 if you are a "true studio". They use the honor system, so you can download a full working version and use it forever without paying - but it will nag you a bit after 30 days. My advice is pay for it - I pay every year just to support them and then gift my license to someone else.

Back to editing: Bring the audio and the video into Resolve. You can, in many cases, auto-alight video to audio if you have the same audio in the video. Because we were playing it from the other room, Resolve couldn't "hear" enough of a match between the two tracks (my recorded song and the audio in the camera's microphone).

I just manually aligned my video with the audio. I show this in the how to video as well.

Thank you to those of you who asked for how it was done. It gave me the impetus to write this post.

For a hands-on look at our studio and editing in Resolve, watch the video below. And, of course, consider subscribing to my YouTube channel, liking the video, leaving a comment, and sharing with your closest 100,000 friends. 😉

Video: How to create a song promotion video

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