Filming A Cheap, Simple DIY Music Video

There are many ways to make a music video and many styles and genres to choose from.

Most music videos today will take as much effort, time and money as a short film. That said, it doesn’t have to. I actually think there is something to be said for just making something that you can put out there.

I made Tides of Life in a couple of free hours I had one evening because I realised that I needed at least one video attached to one of my songs.

A music video has a few purposes:

  • It helps the music stay in people’s heads. Music is powerful but placing visual and music together makes it stronger.

  • It gives the audience a glimpse of who you are. Seeing the person sing the song is different to just hearing the song. We are designed to connect to people and a music videos allows you that extra bit of connection that just the track won’t give.

  • A music video can be shared online in a way that a Soundcloud track or Spotify link can’t. YouTube videos are insanely easy to share. They also link the thumbnail image from your video onto wherever they are shared giving people an instant visual. Posts that include images apparently produce 650 percent higher engagement than text-only posts.

I decided to make a very simple video using my Canon 650D not my 5D MK II. I didn’t have a lot of time to spend on it and I didn’t want to get anyone else involved so I chose two shots that I could set up on my own at home and film quite quickly.

A close up, angled high, showing some colour of my top.


A medium shot against a white wall. I wanted to add a little intrigue and interest to the video so I decided to use string, wrapping myself up in it to symbolize depression.



I believe that if you think the song is strong, it doesn’t need a huge amount of visuals to back it up. For me, music videos, unless they are narrative are there to put a face to the performer. Not all songs need anything fancy or with 10 different locations.

I just cut between these two shots and to add something a bit different I also filmed a shot of me wrapping and unwrapping the string around me without me singing and turned this is into a form of stop-motion to cut in here and there. It makes the video feel a bit uncomfortable and strange - not always a bad thing.

Be Brave

You don’t always have to wait until you have the money or the right equipment and team to make something. Experiment. See what interesting video you can make with what you already have.