24.6.12

How to make an Indie/Hipster Music Video


It's hard to think that Michael Jackson spent seven million on a music video, when all it really takes is some royalty free footage, a torrented Sony Vegas editing program and at least two of the qualities that I list below.
                   (video links at the end)

 Lens flare

 
Whether its that pesky sun while you run your hands through golden long grass or a light reflected off the ass of the USS Enterprise; camera flares have never been more cool. Nothing says 'alternative' like the intentional degradation of an images quality for the sake of style.




Pastel Colours

Black isn’t a colour guys, its a shade- now you know. So decrease that contrast, make everything grey and then pump it full of colour like it's a 70's sitcom. And tacky patterns; you can never have too many tacky patterns. 



Strange Old Movie Clips

Conveniently, all of the things on this list are cheap, or free (even better), which is handy because musicians are poor. You shouldn’t need a money grubbing record label or a VEVO Youtube page to make a music video: google search some bizarre public domain creature features and edit those bad boys to go with the music, simple. 


8mm Retro Footage

Just because Lana Del Rey did it, doesn’t make it too mainstream, does it? But it'll be okay. Because that retro feel has never felt so good. So go get yourself some mundane clips from your childhood or from a strangers Los Angeles love life, stick them together and voilà ! It looks like you’ve just Instagrammed all 4500 or so frames.


 
Break Out of Modern Day Society

Indie music videos: never too sure whether they are trying to make an artistic statement about the insane mundanity of modern day society, or just trying to do something different for the sake of being different. Regardless, give your video a storyline and a relatable (i.e. works a mind numbingly boring desk job) lead character. Show him doing everyday tasks, then do something to remind the viewers that its creator wrote this while he was high. Or not, but it helps.


 
Alternative Bourgeois F.U.N.

We hate our poisoned and greedy capitalist society, don’t forget it! What better way to mock (or celebrate) our social leaders than to have a skewed colloquial event with ironically upper class settings or situations. Find your local manor, call the project 'a college film' and make the most out of a lifestyle, that as a musician, you will most likely never relive again. 


WTF Did I Just Watch?

And then of course, there is: the nonsensical. Be a good little post-modernist and make sure your short art piece has no resemblance to any modern day images. Make sure that even David Lynch himself cant make heads nor tails of it. And naturally, expect the comments section to be riddled with up-voted 'DAFUQ's and such.


 
If you’ve made it this far through my cynical classification of a medium of 'classification avoidance', then you have my respect. To finish, here are the links to all of the examples I used. May you come out the other side a wiser and more useful human being.

Spector - Chevy Thunder                      Grimes - Oblivion       
Kate Nash - Foundations                        Arctic Monkeys - Leave Before The Lights Come On
M83- We Own the Sky                          Golden Silvers - Arrows of Eros

The Shoes - Time to Dance                     Arcade Fire - Intervention
Bon Iver - Towers                                  Citizens! - True Romance
M.I.A. - Bad Girls                                   DOLDRUMS

HAIM - Forever                                     Florence + The Machine - Rabbit Heart