Music Video on the Cheap
July 24, 2011 8:05 PM   Subscribe

Tell me about/provide links to your favorite low-budget music videos. My husband's a musician, and I have a Flip camera and a copy of iMovie, and we made one video for one of his songs with no budget and it was fun. Even though I have no idea what I'm doing (as Real Filmmaking Types here will notice).

So, there's another song he's working on that I've got ideas for, but again, no budget. All my music video memories date from the 80s/early 90s which was the last time I had time to watch music videos. I would love to see what low-budget masterpieces are out there now that do more than point a camera at a band and let it run. I don't want to have to wade through All of Youtube.
posted by emjaybee to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
If you want a performance video, Pomplamoose is what you want. Their style of video doesn't require a fancy camera, and they have inspired many video artists (myself included)
posted by markblasco at 8:25 PM on July 24, 2011

I really liked the song and the video. I like your husband's voice and the whole band. Love the fiddle with the designs on it and the fiddle player herself too.
posted by AugustWest at 8:32 PM on July 24, 2011

I think OK Go are the canonical hip band with low-budget-but-awesome videos.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 9:07 PM on July 24, 2011

Response by poster: ah, markblasco, that is definitely a place to start (though they seem to do pretty much the same thing each time). I like their approach.

(and thanks AugustWest).

OkGo are awesome, but I'm not sure there's any way to reproduce what they do...I think the husband would probably break his ass doing stunts :)
posted by emjaybee at 9:16 PM on July 24, 2011

maybe a bit out of your range, but gives you an idea of what you can do with really simple props (I love love love this video):
Robyn: Konichiwa Bitches
also: Lighting, Lighting, Lighting! it's the easiest way to make a video look more "professional"...when in doubt, add more...the camera will adjust to compensate, but more (usually) = better. theres a ton of tutorials online...'simple lighting tutorial' came up with 19,000 results on youtube...a lot of them are for photography, but they'll work for video, too...
the simplest thing you can do? make a 'bounce'...get a big sheet of cardboard and paint it white, use it like a big mirror to reflect sunlight back onto your actors to fill in shadows on the dark side...(do some test shots with and without and you'll see what i'm talking about)
posted by sexyrobot at 10:25 PM on July 24, 2011

I can ask my friend for advice - he just directed a metal video with props and gore for very little. Most of the low budget videos I see are based on something crafty or a cool location.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:28 PM on July 24, 2011

A very cheap student video for Joy Divison's 'Isolation' that nails the tone of the song perfectly.

Also, R.E.M.'s 'Pretty Persuasion' if you can find the video. EMI, short fingered swine that they are, won't allow it to be played where I am(Canada) on youtube. But maybe it's available in your locale. Very beautiful, shot among a massive collection of small windmills and such in grainy black and white.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 11:25 PM on July 24, 2011

Are You Ready for the Sex Girls is a fun and very low-budget video.
posted by Oriole Adams at 11:35 PM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

Spike Jonze's video for Fatboy Slim's "Praise You" is the best example of a low budget video I've seen. It cost $800, apparently.
posted by MuffinMan at 12:26 AM on July 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Michel Gondry is the person who pretty much invented the category. His stuff is actually large budget, but it uses a low budget (or "creative") approach that will inspire you.

Get his greatest hits video on Netflix.
posted by Murray M at 5:13 AM on July 25, 2011

Mod note: hey there -- please put links on your profile if you'd like people to check them out, thanks.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:42 AM on July 25, 2011

Years ago I saw a Canadian video on MuchMusic which was filmed in the style of the old home shopping networks; i.e., a series of still photographs mimicking video. The conceit was that the band was the product being sold, and during the chorus the number of "sales" went up faster. It was really clever, but I can't find it anywhere online.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:39 AM on July 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Sorry, jessamyn...I was thinking more "here's an example of my lack of knowhow" than "hay chekitout"--wasn't sure how that worked for Ask stuff.
posted by emjaybee at 7:17 AM on July 25, 2011

Response by poster: I hadn't thought of fan-produced or student music videos, but if you know of any good ones, those would work too.
posted by emjaybee at 7:21 AM on July 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

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