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Sessions | Video on a Budget for Artists, Part 1: Types of Video

Sessions | Video on a Budget for Artists, Part 1: Types of Video

Nina

March 29th, 2018

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Hello! I am the artist known as DEROSNEC, and welcome to my weekly vlog where I talk about making music, art, movies, and more.

If you’ve ever tried to market something online, be it an art project, music, or even a small business, product, or idea, I’m sure that you’ve already heard everyone tell you that you need to have a video. But, making a good quality video can be expensive, and if you’re just starting out then it can be a daunting process.

In this series, we’ll look at ways that you as an artist can start to create a video presence to showcase your work without necessarily breaking the bank in the meantime. We’ll cover how to determine if you should go DIY or hire out, the benefits and drawbacks of bartering, and we’ll even do a case study on one of my zero budget videos.

But first, let’s talk about the different types of videos and what they’re best used for, because having a reference video will make your life a lot easier once you know your audience and the story that you’re trying to tell.

Commercials and Promos
When most people think of videos for marketing, they think of commercials, ads, sizzle reels and promotional videos. In this type of video, you’re usually doing a hard sell of whatever it is you’re making. These videos are great for products, art pieces, new releases, or merchandise, but they can also be difficult for many people who aren’t already hardcore fans of yours to sit through. The world is so saturated with advertising and content already, and consequently there is a huge portion of the population who are able to put blinders on to this kind of video.

My Current Company Reel

I’d say, save this type of video for when you have a specific goal in mind – say a kickstarter, or a pitch to a producer, gallery, or agency. These work the best when you have one very clear message that can be conveyed within a maximum of 1-2 minutes to a particular audience that you’re trying to convince of something.

Documentary
These days, documentaries are intended to be an entertaining form of documentation, which makes it a perfect medium for an artist looking to make a video presence. The beauty of going with this type of video, is that video quality isn’t necessarily of the utmost importance. Don’t get me wrong, you should always strive to achieve the highest standard that you can realistically accomplish, but because of the nature of documentary, viewers tend to be more forgiving if the audio or lighting isn’t perfect. This means that you don’t necessarily need any money or gear to shoot one – but… you do need a story.

A doc-style marketing video I did for my audio mastering engineer buddy Phil

The story doesn’t have to stay the same throughout the entire process – as in, don’t be afraid to go with the flow and see where the footage takes you – but for this style to be as effective as possible the viewer needs to feel like they’re engaged and the best way to do that is to have an interesting story with a beginning, middle, and end.

Music Videos
Obviously musicians, songwriters, and filmmakers already strive to make these and can see the benefit in this type of a video. But, even if you’re _not_ a musician, you can still benefit from a music video. Visual artists can film a few angles of their latest piece and set the footage to a piece of music. Writers, poets, and spoken word artists can still convey a sense of rhythm with their words, and accent that with clever editing. Or not. What would the equivalent of a music video for a musician be for a writer? I can think of a lot of fun ways to do this.

A Process Piece Which I Posted Recently

If you’re really resourceful, you can work with other artists in other fields to create joint endeavors – for example, a musician can work with a filmmaker who finds another visual artist’s art to film and edit to the music. Everyone wins!

Personal Vlogs
This is the easiest and most personal type of video, and it can be as complicated as you want it to be. You don’t have to go all out with fancy lighting like I do here, you can talk to your phone in your car, if you want to. But ultimately, as artists especially, we are selling ourselves – not just our art. Show the human behind the artwork, and you’re sure to find more people of like mind who want to interact with and enjoy your artistic efforts. Don’t discount the power of a simple vlog!

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but these are the top four that I’ve seen which artists seem to have had the most success with.

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