- Jul 9, 2019
- BY: Soundstripe Team
The Basics Of Choosing Music For The Amateur Videographer
Even if you’re just starting out as a videographer, there are a few tips and tricks that the most seasoned video makers use that will make your videos come out looking professional.
All the way from choosing the right equipment to finding tools for pre-production (like this storyboard template), there’s a lot you can do to make your final project look better than ever — all while still on a budget.
Don’t let a lack of experience stop you from pursuing your goals as an amateur videographer. Continuing to work, trying new things, and improving your projects is the only way you’re going to go from being an amateur to being a true professional.
Why Do So Many Amateur Videographers Focus on Equipment?
Even before lots of amateur videographers get to the meat of post-production — the part of the process where you’re picking the best shots, choosing music for a video, and the project actually starts to take shape — they get caught up in equipment.
Ask anyone in the creative production field, and they’ll tell you it’s really tempting to focus your energy on equipment.
Having the best cameras and the best mics will make your project better, right? Paying gobs of money to have access to the latest pop songs on the radio will take your project to the next level, right?
It’s a tempting train of thought, but maybe not for the reasons you think. When people start out placing a huge focus on needing expensive equipment or expensive rights to music for amateur videographer projects, they’re really putting the cart before the horse.
Before you get the fanciest camera, you need to know how to make a great shot. Before you buy the most expensive microphone, make sure the dialogue in your script is worth recording.
And the music? Well, more on that later, but we don’t think you ever need to shell out gobs of cash for tracks. We’ll show you how to achieve whatever mood you need to for the price of a few coffees a month.
Tell the Story
Filmmaking is storytelling, and even if you are just starting out — maybe you’re working on projects for family members, or donating your time to produce a video for a friend’s wedding — it’s vital that your video tells the story of whatever project you’re working on.
There are lots of different ways to tell the same story. Think of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet vs. the musical West Side Story — the same story, told in very different ways! Your job as a videographer, is to interpret a series of events and craft them into a story for the viewer or audience.
You have so many tools at your disposal in order to tell the story in a unique and interesting way. It’s important to remember, however, that the visual is only half of the video!
Don’t fall into the same trap that many amateur videographers fall into and spend all of your editing hours on the video. Picking the right music for amateur videographer projects and crafting a mood with sound can help give your final video a unique perspective that stands out.
Choosing Music for Video
While editing the right shots together in the right order is a huge part of telling the story through video, you can’t forget about the music. And focusing on music for amateur videographer projects is an often-overlooked step in the process.
Seasoned filmmakers will tell you that the soundtrack is the best kept secret tool in filmmaking — sound and music have such a profound effect on people partly because the viewer can’t see it.
Music is the most powerful way to influence a viewer’s relationship to the piece, even when picking music for amateur videographer projects.
Let’s say you’re working on a project, like a wedding, and you spend hours and hours cutting together the perfect video. Then you select the perfect track to set the mood of the piece (not too sentimental, up-beat, positive, hopeful) and add it to your edited video.
Then, you send the final cut to your client and they come back saying it’s all wrong. (Has this happened to you?) They don’t know why, but they don’t think the video reflects their memory of the day. Don’t fret — it’s not the end of the world.
If this happens to you, before you spend hours and hours looking for new footage, choose a new song instead! Switching out music for amateur videographer projects is a powerful tool at your disposal.
In lots of cases where clients don’t like a video and don’t know why, they are responding to the soundtrack. Maybe they are more sentimental than you are. Pick a sappier song, send them the new cut, and see if they have a different response to your edit.
Avoid These Pitfalls When Picking Music for Projects
And while the right song can make a video perfect, the wrong song can ruin it. If you end up accidentally picking the wrong music for your project, it can make a video feel cheap, repetitive, or simply communicate the wrong mood to the viewer.
It can also be tempting to just pick a song you like from a CD or rip a pop song from YouTube to use. While this seems like an easy and cheap way to get really good music, it can lead to huge problems.
Music studios have huge teams of lawyers whose sole job is to protect and litigate their copyrights. Assuming that you don’t have an intimate knowledge of copyright law and that you don’t have a team of lawyers to get you out of a lawsuit, it’s unlikely that you’d win a case against a powerful music studio.
What seems like an insignificant choice to you (picking a song) could lead to big trouble where you owe tons of money. The worst-case scenario is that someone takes you to court and sues you for using music that they own the copyright for.
Where To Get The Best Music For Amateur Videographer Projects
With the help of the internet, there are tons of great resources available to amateur videographers that are inexpensive and totally legal. Choosing music for video doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive.
Soundstripe has a huge library of royalty free music and sounds that are perfect for any video project imaginable. Don’t limit yourself to finding “free tracks” on YouTube or other sketchy sites.
In addition to the process being annoying and tedious, lots of the songs on those sites aren’t actually royalty free (they could have been illegally taken from a different source).
And, more importantly, lots of other amateur filmmakers are also using those songs. You don’t want your video to suffer from the “iMovie syndrome” where it looks and sounds like every other amateur video out there!
With Soundstripe, you can get you access to the best music for video for what ends up being the cost of a few coffees a month.
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