YouTube music videos

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Developing original YouTube music videos

With over 15 years experience in broadcast, I always enjoy producing, filming and editing YouTube music videos. In this case study, I explain the process being a recent music video commission.

Compiling initial ideas

When the idea of producing a music video with remixed music and reworked lyrics by Ray Grant was being considered, the first thing I did was to help to devise a visual concept for its production. At the beginning of the process, I began by being quite literal with my ideas as I realised that, within these initial ideas, some concepts would naturally stand out as being stronger once filming had taken place. To provide inspiration around this creative process, I discussed my initial ideas with several creative friends. I think it’s always a good idea to share your ideas to get a different perspective. Producing YouTube music videos is a great way to develop an original concept and learn new video production skills in the process.

Filming in Amsterdam

Ray Grant, the musician who had remixed the music track, lives in Amsterdam so I knew I was going to be heading there to film him on location. Before heading out to Amsterdam to film, I sent Ray a list of the proposed shots so that he could give me his feedback and perspective on their viability. I had also planned in different shot options in case the weather was bad or in case I was unable to film some of the proposed scenarios. While in Amsterdam, I was able to film some great footage of Ray while working metal in a forge and also of roses being crushed by a metal press.

Video editing in London

On my return to London, I reviewed all of the footage I had filmed and began to edit the best shots together. I realised that the film of the forge work and the crushed roses proved to be the most powerful of all the images that I had captured there. Inevitably, through the editing process, the timeline evolved away from being relatively literal and became much more imaginative.

London filming

To enhance the edited visual story that was now developing, I also filmed some additional shots of rose petals and also of a male model in London. I then had great fun exploring many different shot options using fresh roses and rose petals using my lights, slider and prime lenses. With the addition of this new footage, the edit was constantly improving. As the editing was progressing to my satisfaction, I then uploaded some rough cuts and sent them to some friends for their valued opinions and perspectives. From their feedback, I gained some very helpful insights about what was working best in the film and storyline.

Visual interpretation

The edited visuals are open to anyone’s interpretation. For me, the petals of the rose represent the many different experiences of life. The roses being crushed represent those moments which prove to be a struggle when we may feel crushed in life and love. The film portrays how, despite everything, we can bounce back and recover to continue our journey. The final edited video features the metal worker as though he is the narrator of the song, which works well as we watch him form a shape out of metal whilst we listen to his story.

Visual effects

The visual grade of the video is highly saturated and glossy, using a mixture of Avid Media Composer effects which links into the rich red roses that it features. The edit also features a range of multi-layered keyed effects over the live action footage. It’s resulted in one of the more original YouTube music videos that I have created.

I have a passion for editing and very much enjoy working as a creative video editor on music-based content. If you would like any help with your music video production, please get in touch