D.I.Y doesn't mean free. It also doesn't have to mean S.H.I.T!

Oh the glamorous three letters “D I Y”, the route to go when you don’t want to make the money investment in hiring someone to do something, or, you can’t spend the money. Look, I get it, but being super straight forward about why most bands don’t have money, is more useful to hear. Most of the time, I don’t think people choose DIY photo / video because they have navigated that it’s the better route, they mostly do it because they don’t want to invest the money. All the reasons you can give, I totally understand, but, there’s always ways to make more money, and save more money, less time at the local bar maybe? But hey, that’s for another blog, THIS one is all about how you CAN be DIY and do it in a smart way! So, you’ve decided you’re gonna take on your own music video needs yourselves (or self if a solo act, can’t forget you) where to start? Well, the idea and concept are always the starters, but most of the time you’ve already got that lined up and ready, so we’ll skip past that. Just, make sure your idea is within realistic boundaries of doing it yourself. Things you should think about next: + Location + Lighting + Overall vibe + look of the project + Camera gear

So, how do these things matter and why is the camera, THE tool to shoot the video with, last on the list? That’s because of one small and simple point, the camera matters the least in the grand scheme of things. It’s everything in front of the camera looking good that will help make whatever camera you use, work well. I’ve done everything from shooting something with a CanonT3i, to a RED cinema camera (omg a RED?!) and what I have absolutely learned, is while yes, there’s for sure quality differences, the biggest thing of all, is your setting and lighting the camera is pointed at. THAT helps make any camera be better. Choose a good location that fits the vibe of what you want. Warehouse? Rundown house? Woods? Studio? (Careful you’ll need to rent that last one) Start from there, so then you know your other variables. When choosing a location, KEEP IN MIND the following: - Noise - Electricity needs - Trespassing It’s amazing the amount of artists that (when planning a video) don’t take into account the noise that will be made! Mainly via drums + PA system playing the song. Keep this in mind! Same with electricity. PA system needs power, and if you’re using lights, those gotta be plugged in somewhere (unless battery powered, or you have generator) And of course keep trespassing in mind. Again, the amount of times band’s have just assumed we can walk into any old building and shoot a video is confusing to me. You can do it on your own if you want, but when handling a real production, we aren’t breaking in anywhere, cause the moment you get kicked out, you just wasted half a day shooting stuff you can’t finish. Now, back to the biggest thing (IMO) the lighting. Lighting makes an image. Whether natural light outside, through a window, with a flash for photo, or video lighting, it’s what will take your image and simply make it look way better. Those “shot on iPhone” billboards you see? Sure, they were shot on iPhones, BUT, the subject captured is either super cool looking, or is very well-lit. THAT’S why that looks dope. So, when shooting a video by yourself, take into consideration the lighting, whether you can gather a small rental budget to grab a couple video lights from Amazon, or more so, a local video production house (somewhere like OhioHD Video in Ohio comes to mind!) or maybe just find somewhere with nice windows and place your band members near those, for natural diffusion, there’s ways to make things look WAY better than how it looks to the eye, using lighting. More than anything in this blog, lighting will 100% change how your shot looks in the camera. It will. Outside of this, plan things well in advance, so you know how you’re using your time on shoot day. DO NOT just walk into a location with your band and say “idk let’s just shoot something”. 9/10 times it won’t come out well, and it’ll look a little TOO DIY…. Most of all, work within your boundaries. If you’re shooting DIY that’s fine, but make sure you’re not expecting a Marvel movie. Aim high, totally, and try to make it look as good as you can, but do it in a smart way. Be simple, be artsy, it can get the job done. Contrary to popular belief, DIY doesn’t have mean S H I T (smirking emoji) I’ll keep this blog short and sweet, as to not bore you, because there is a ton of detail we could go more into, like pre-production, effective scheduling, getting artsy, storytelling, etc, but hey, maybe there’s a part two?