This week, London-based musician and rising star Tom Rabin releases his latest single, the lushly hypnotic Flesh and Bone – for which he produced his first music video. Watch the result below and read on for Rabin’s top tips to aspiring artists wanting to take the leap from Soundcloud to YouTube.
If you can make music, then you can make a music video. All you need is a good idea and friends who believe in you… or a stack of money.
A few months ago I sent a demo to an old mate who I hadn’t seen in around 10 years. The same week we were sat in a pub talking through video ideas and after various conversations that must have sounded very odd to the regulars, we came up with something that we thought could be great.
A number of phone calls later and we had roped in two camera operators, a producer and a few family members who were keen to try some amateur dramatics. We were ready to begin a journey full of of long car rides, difficult decisions and plenty of frustrations, all of which proved to be absolutely worth it, come the final edit.
Here are 7 things I’ve learnt whilst making a music video, on a budget, with my friends.
1. Draw out the idea
Literally, draw it. Even if it’s just a doodle, the guy or girl holding the camera will be able to visualise your most important scenes and have a better understanding of what you want to achieve.
2. Make sure the song you pick is one you don’t mind hearing again…and again…and again
You better be totally in love with the music you use, because the rest the crew will not stop humming it for the duration of the process.
3. Pull in favours
For unsigned musicians, the available funds to pay for the countless expenses involved are often non-existent. Sell the idea to people, get them excited, get them drunk if you need to and record them saying ‘I’ll do it…’ Pay them back with whatever you have, and if you don’t have much, do their ironing for a week.
4. Don’t overcrowd the set
Make sure the size of your crew reflects the budget. A basic set-up can be a blessing, it allows you to be agile, get through shots quickly and you won’t have as many mouths to feed at lunch…
5. Never trust the weather forecast
Do not ever expect it to be sunny, especially if you’re shooting in England. We definitely learnt the hard way with this one. Plan for the worst and give yourself a chance to grab any indoor shots if things turn really grim.
6. Trust the opinions of your friends, but more importantly trust your gut
It’s always helpful to hear what people think, but in the end you’re the one who will be putting a name to it. Go with your gut, if you think you can please everyone, you’re kidding yourself.
7. Be a perfectionist
Don’t press share until you are 100% happy with the final product, then check it again. The worst feeling is spotting a mistake once it’s live. Most of all though, be proud of your work, don’t stop showing it to people and don’t stop getting excited about it.