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How to Make a Really Cheap Music Video

February 16th, 2012 by Fitz, Music Tips & other Gear, 0 Comments

Music Video Green Screen

Need to do a music video but don’t have a lot of cash of skill editing footage? Here’s an option: perform your song in front of a green screen (like the ones the weathermen on TV use) and then add all sorts of interesting images or footage behind you. It’s called the chromakey effect and it’s actually pretty easy.

That’s what I did for the video I posted on Tuesday and the few that will follow. The “production” was very simple and here’s what I did:

  • Hung a green screen
  • Turned on a bunch of lights in the room
  • Threw on some Burning Man costumes
  • Ducked taped my iPhone to a tripod
  • Recorded a few takes till I got something I liked

That’s it. The green screen you can order from Amazon (and you can use a blue screen instead in the latest version of iMovie). I also recommend you buy a handheld steamer to get the wrinkles out as ironing something that large is a pain. For lighting I used a pair of work lights. I also learned later of a nifty iPhone tripod adapter that’s very useful. For iPhone software I used Filmic Pro which is a big step up from the built in iPhone video software and only costs a few bucks.

For post production I used iMovie and dropped in a background picture I’d taken in Florida (you can also use movie footage instead of still pictures). I haven’t learned iMovie that well and my editing is a bit rough (and iMovie’s green screen effect even rougher), but I figured as long as the performance was solid everything else would work.

This technique isn’t going to win you a MTV Music Video Award but it can allow you to get across your songs in an interesting and inexpensive way.