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How to make a promo video!

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Interested in getting a video shot for your function band or looking to update your profile? Read ahead for some great advice from video guru Dan Baxter!

For a lot of bands it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to gathering promotional material, and we believe that the most important part of a bands package is a great video. With the development of technology videos are now very affordable, so you don’t want to get left behind by only having MP3’s and photographs! Here to give you some food for thought is Dan Baxter, Director of Promo Music Videos.

Dan Baxter

After working as a professional musician for more than 10 years, Dan Baxter decided to turn his hand to another passion to pursue his career in filming. He is now represented by Coalition Talent (www.coalitiontalent.com) as a freelance director of photography, video editor and motion graphics artist and has produced content for brands such as Audi, Boxfresh and Malibu. He has also filmed and worked with top artists such as One Republic, Newton Faulkner, Lawson, Chicane, The Petebox, Foy Vance and Jon Gomm.

Having been in function bands for many years, Dan set up www.PromoMusicVideos.com in January 2013 to provide high end video, audio and photography to working function bands. They provide individual services and package deals to suit any band size and style.

Why is it important to have a video? 

With video becoming more and more of an essential part of your bands profile, you need to have one that stands out from the crowd.
Imagine for a moment that you’re the client, and you’re searching through endless function bands for your event, image and first impressions are crucial. A client will most likely view your photos first and then want to check out your video. If it’s been shot on your mates iPhone with poor audio quality that is only going to reflect badly on your band’s image and ultimately lose you bookings.

Where should I get my video shot?

If you have a gig coming up that has a nice looking venue and most importantly you know it will be busy, a live video is a good choice. It showcases your band in full party mode with lots of people dancing and having fun. You can also ask some of the clients to say a few words to the camera about how good you were etc. The more positive reviews you have the better. And as you’ll be playing your whole set you have a wide variety of songs to perform in the video and will be able to take the best bits from the night. Taking 20-30 seconds of each song to be put into a video medley is perfect.

If you’re going for a location or studio video try looking for interesting locations to stand out from all the other band videos out there. Are you an acoustic act pitching yourself to posh restaurants and hotels? or are you an indie/rock covers band? Get the look that suits the band and your image.

Should I use live audio or pre-recorded audio? 

When it comes to audio you can either use an existing recorded demo for playback on set or cut a few live gig shots over it. Having playback on set allows you to really concentrate on performing for camera rather than worrying about getting a good live recording. From a filming point of view it allows us to get more takes in a shorter space of time and also speeds up the editing process.

It sounds obvious but when performing, look happy in your video, clients want a friendly, approachable band at their event. If you look like you don’t want to be there then they probably won’t want you there either!

If you know that your band can nail the live audio recording during the video shoot, then perhaps consider going down that route. It can be good to showcase to the clients that what they are hearing is how you’ll sound at their event. If you can get the video and audio done at one of your gigs then even better. Plus it doesn’t take up any more of your time outside of the gig and you’ll no doubt be getting paid from that show anyway. Don’t see it as doing a free gig, see it as an investment in to future gigs.

Overall there isn’t a right or wrong video to have done. Both setups have their advantages. Studio/location is much more controlled and the film crew can spend more time getting the lighting right to give a really slick and polished video. Whereas live can sometimes be relying on the available lighting in the venue unless additional lights are brought in which can push the cost up. Also at the end of the day, the client may not want their event used as a film set so minimal 1 or two man discreet crew is preferred.

How many videos should I have?

It’s definitely good to have a variety of songs on your video and only use the best sections of the song. From my experience recording full length tracks is good but can be counter productive as the first 30 secs or so will realistically only ever get watched. Maximise your shoot time and budget with filming a few bits of each. This is where a live gig shoot can be a great choice.

The film company can then provide you with the short individual videos as well as the final show reel. Producing a show reel or EPK is what we film and edit most of.

How much does it cost?

£100 or £1000? Like everything you get what you pay for. Whether you’re starting up a new band and need all new promo material, or if you’re current band’s image needs a spruce up, like any business you’re going to have to invest in to it. At the end of the day it all comes back to image and first impressions. Professional bands need professional promo. How much is your band worth?

Dan Baxter

Director / DOP

Exclusive offer!

At Promo Music Videos we price our videos and packages from as little as £495 (+VAT) and are currently offering a 10% discount if you book through Matchbox Music. Click here to enquire!

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