Dec 30, 2015

It boggles my mind why more artists, especially upcoming artists, don’t shoot more videos. Music videos are one of the best ways to promote your music. A lot of the time an artists music video can get more traction than the song.

Bryan Zawlocki

by Bryan Zawlocki

Editor-In-Chief

Screenshot from Robot Koch - Dark Wave shot on iPhone 6s

Screenshot from Robot Koch – Dark Wave shot on iPhone 6s

It boggles my mind why more artists, especially upcoming artists, don’t shoot more videos. Music videos are one of the best ways to promote your music. A lot of the time an artists music video can get more traction than the song. For example, Ilovemakonnen’s “Tuesday” has 12.1 million plays on Soundcloud. On YouTube, it has over 110 million. I’m sorry, but YouTube is just a much bigger (it’s the biggest) platform to get your music out there. So you definitely want to be shooting music videos. Your fans want to see you and this is what draws them to come see you perform live. Listen, I get that video productions can be expensive, I myself am not cheap to work with, good directors charge money and expensive cameras are expensive. But as the old saying goes, “The best camera is the camera you have with you”.

I think it’s safe to say you either have an iPhone, smartphone or know someone who does. Actually, fuck that, it’s 2016, you definitely have an iPhone or smartphone and your friends all definitely, definitely have one. So when artists tell me they don’t have a budget for music videos, I ask them, “why not just shoot it on your iPhone?” It’s even more baffling to hear them reply with “I didn’t know you could shoot on your iPhone” WHAT!? You most definitely can shoot music videos on your iPhone. Not only CAN you shoot music videos on your iPhone but you can shoot pretty damn high quality, CREATIVE music videos on your iPhone. Just look take a look at these music videos from Ricky Anthony, Kanye West, Robot Koch and Kate Nash.

Music Videos Shot on iPhone

Ricky Anthony – Ghost
Shot on iPhone 6, edited on iMovie

Robot Koch – Dark Waves feat Delhia de France
Shot on iPhone 6s, 6S housing case by Watershot, Beastgrip system and Filmic Pro app

Kanye West – Only One ft. Paul McCartney
Shot on iPhone 6, Directed by Spike Jonze

Kate Nash – She Rule
Shot on iPhone 5s, with 8mm vintage camera app, edited in iMovie

Clearly it’s possible to make some cool music videos with your iPhone. So we’ve put together this short guide to get you started.

Shooting

When shooting, make sure you focus on your lighting and framing. You don’t want your shot, too light or too dark. That being said, WHAT you are shooting is just as important as HOW you are shooting it. In all bluntness, shoot cool shit, be creative and shoot as much as you can. Shoot Long, Medium and Closeup shots and shoot more than you think you will need, you can always cut stuff out. This doesn’t mean you have to shoot for days or even hours. You can shoot plenty sometimes in an hour if you know what you want to shoot. There are several solid apps that will help you shoot quality video or give you some deferent visual effects, here’s a couple of my favorites.

Filmic Pro – $9.99
“FiLMiC Pro turns your iOS device into a broadcast worthy High Definition video camera. The gold standard of mobile video.”

8mm Vintage Camera – $1.99
This app allows you to shoot video that looks like it was shot with an old time 8mm camera. It ads noise, dust and scratches, lense/projector flicker and more.

VHS Camcorder – $3.99
You can use that app to get that 90’s VHS camcorder look that was revived by UZI.

Databender – $0.99
Databender is actually probably better used in post as it will seriously fuck up your video. It’s good to keep an un altered original shot. It’s a little bit janky to use (if that wasn’t expected) but if you’re into that glitchy shit, this is a cool app to mess around with.

Editing

Editing isn’t hard to do, but it requires a special touch. Like music, editing is all about rhythm, you’ve got to feel it. Editing can make or break a video. Choose your cuts based on there composition and movement and how the song feels in that moment. A good place to start is to sync your performance clips, if you have any, with the audio track of the song. Then cut up your additional footage or b-roll that you want to show and arrange in a way that best tells the story.

Unfortunately there isn’t a SINGLE full featured video editing app for iOS that works well for music videos. Of course you have iMovie and there are a handful of other editing apps like Clips and Cute Cut available in the itunes store, but none of them allow you to keep clips in place, synced to audio in multiple layers. They are for the most part, all very linear editing tools, meaning your placing one video clip after the next, and thats it. You can definitely make a cool visual with a few cuts, so don’t let that stop you if you want to get creative. But if you are trying to some serious chopping of multiple angles or multiple performance clips, forget it. You’ll have to sync up each individual clip/cut to the audio track every time you make a cut. It will take you forever. If you have a computer, get Adobe Premiere Pro, it’s only $19.99 a month, and will make your life a lot easier. If you plan on making 6 or more videos a year, it more than pays for itself.

This should give you a solid start for making some iPhone music videos. Keep in mind there really are no rules. Get out and get creative with how you want to visualize your music. Then send the final product to us, if we like it you might see it on the site or we might offer to upload to our youtube channel for a premiere. Submit your videos here.

iPhone Accessories

If you’re looking to go a step above just shooting on your iPhone as is, here are a few additional accessories we would recommend for using additional lenses and boosting your phones battery while filming.

BeastGrip – $115

front_view1_grande

iPro Lense – $84

ipro-hardware-100353683-large

Mophie Juice Pack – $60

mophie_juice