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How to Raise Your Companies Production Values on a Music Video

What makes a music video a cut above the rest? Is it costumes? Cameras? Crew? Lenses? Truth is, it's all these things - and more. A music video production is like a well-made piece of theatre. When the lights have risen, people will excitedly recall the chemistry of the leads, and never realise that the entire production is a giant, well-oiled machine.

For a while I worked at a London based Music Video Production Company. There are many music video companies in London and finding the right one can take time, so if you're looking to put your music video together yourself, here's a few great tips to get you started.

So, let's start with the basics. What's the mark of 'high production values?' Often it's that cinematic look: a sharp focus, the background creamy and blurry. Truth is, this can be achieved very easily - and pretty cheaply, too. Very popular with music video production companies are DSLRS, like Canon's excellent 5D Mkii. Plonk on a lens with the right focal range, and hey presto - your music video looks like cinema! Suddenly that music video looks like a million bucks - quite literally.

Okay, so we've got the cinematic focus. Let's add a bit of dynamism, with a Track & Dolly. Suddenly your camera doesn't just tilt up and down - it tracks, it moves - it glides. Sexy! Next, why not mix it up by using a steadicam? Suddenly you're liberated from the constraints of the static, and are free to experiment with whatever movements most suit your music video production.

If you want to really branch out, why not try a crane? Scan across crowds with magnificent, sweeping shots. There's nothing like a crane for showing a bit of filmmaking flair!

By now, you've got all your cameras and camera equipment sorted. You've packed up your van, you're ready to roll onto location. Hang on... where are you going? You're not going to drive off without having planned a visually thrilling location, right? For a music video, where visuals speak loudly, a superb location is probably your most important asset.

A great location can convey expense and exclusivity, two marks of high production values. Even if you can't afford to hire a great location, see what you can borrow from friends or what public spaces would suit your video. Trust us, invest your time! It'll pay dividends!

But what about lighting, we hear you cry! Good question. Lighting is essential, both to lift your subject out of the backdrop and to aid in focus. Invest/hire in some good portable lights, or even a reflector, if outside. Don't scrimp on lighting, otherwise you might end up with something dull and muddy.

And finally, if you're trying something ambitious in terms of story or narrative... use actors or actresses. It may seem simpler to use your friends, or even that guy/gal with the nice face. Don't scrimp on this - it'll show!

Hopefully these tips will help any company that wants to make a music video production.