What Makes a Good Music Video?

What are the ingredients that make up a great music video??? Digifish explains it all!

We all love a music video, especially when it nicely compliments a good track. But what is it that actually makes a particular music video have a positive, memorable, long lasting impact? That video that you keep on watching over and over until you are literally fed up with the same repetitive song…what made you sit there and continuously watch it? I mean, of course a good track helps, but in terms of actual entertainment value of the overall production, there’s a lot more to it than you’d think. We’ve come up with a few interesting thoughts on what we think makes a great music video; so, music fans, why not have a read and see if you agree!

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Have a Strong, Relevant concept

The underlying story of the video should accurately reflect the message and mood of the song. If it’s a happy track with uplifting lyrics, the story should be joyful and humorous. If the song adopts a more emotional tone, the story should be gripping and further emphasise the feelings provoked by the lyrics/melody. Misleading or disconnected storyboard is often considered a feature of a bad music video. Though, having said this, the most controversial concepts are usually the ones that get the people talking! Essentially, the best music videos tell stories that are shocking, emotional, witty, triumphant and above all, memorable.

Be well Directed

A video may have a cool concept, but if it’s put together and expressed properly, it’s useless. This is where working with a talented, reputable director comes in – he or her will be able to understand your concept and turn it from something good, to something amazing. 

Be Creative

A good music video will always be a product of distinctive creativity and innovation – No one likes to see the same thing over and over again, it gets boring. Adopting a unique visual style, perhaps in the form of animation, is often a great way to achieve differentiation and appreciation.

Make the Most of the Budget

Music video production companies don’t always have to go all out and spend hundreds of thousands pounds on, what is essentially a short film clip that plays over the top of a song. Less is sometimes more, and minimal application can still make the maximum impact. This of course will depend on the nature of the song, artist and how popular they are. The best producers will ensure the cash they have available to them go a long way, and it is often the subtle, inexpensive touches/props/ideas that will enhance the feel of the video.

Great Music Video Examples

There are many examples of interesting, creative storyboards used in music videos over the years. Here are a few that stood out to us:

Foals – Late Night

The focus of the story is on the circle of life, and contains vivid images of birth, sex, and even death (making it unwatchable for those under the age of 18), all taking place in a dingy Romanian hotel named “the hotel of life”. This graphically directed piece caught a lot of attention in the indie music community and was considered as a genuine masterpiece by many. The visuals reflected the mood of the song perfectly, making this one to remember.

Jake Bugg – Seen It All

This well directed narrative fantastically mirrors the lyrics of the song. In the track, Jake Bugg illustrates a picture of gang crime that corrupted his old hometown of Nottingham. The video cleverly depicts British actor, Michael Socha, as being invisible to everyone around him. This is fully emphasised by a surprising twist in the final scene, where the man totally disappears after he sees a news report of a stab victim – himself! This is a perfect example of concise storytelling that does justice to a great song.

Gorillaz – Feel Good Inc.          

Gorillaz were the first band/artist to really ‘break the mould’ when it came to the visual presentation of their music. This is evident in all of their videos, where instead of showing themselves, they created animated characters that became the face of the band. This really was a unique idea that significantly enhanced their popularity. The video for ‘Feel Good Inc’ is one of many brilliant examples of the Gorillaz’ innovative, cutting edge production style.

 OneRepublic – Wherever I Go 

This is certainly one of the more joyful, uplifting examples of music video production that suits the tone of One Republic’s new track superbly. The narrative centres around a man clearly stuck in a dead end, monotonous lifestyle that he’s desperate to break out of. He does exactly this – through dance. This video is a wonderful example of cleverly orchestrated choreography that everyone will find entertaining and funny. I don’t know what’s more addictive, the hilarious dancing or the incredibly catchy song? Either way, this is an excellently produced video.

Need Help With Your Ideas?

After discussing what makes a good music video, you’re now equipped with everything you need to know to go out there and make your very own. So, budding young musicians, that’s where Digifish come in. Digifish are a film and animation production company with offices in York and Manchester. Established in 2007, over the years we have created award winning film productions, branded content, commercials, animations and documentaries.

We encourage you to check out the Digifish projects to see some of the work we’ve done for artists such as The Script and festivals such as V Festival. Furthermore, if you’re eager to get your music out there through the production of quality music video, please contact us to speak to one of our team and together, we can transform your your ideas into reality.

Learn more about the process of putting together a music video here!