Looking for ways to spice up your music videos? Try out these four tricks and effects to bring a new angle to your footage.

Music videos are one of my favorite things to shoot. They leave ample room for creativity and allow me to express music in a visual medium. But sometimes they can get monotonous – a band playing in an empty warehouse, an artist rapping in a lambo . . . you get the picture. So I decided to find ways to change up the typical shots seen in music videos and approach the format in a new way. Let’s get started!


1. Half-Speed Recording

Half speed recording music video effect

Remember those ’90s R&B jams that feature a guy in a white linen shirt singing on a beach? These videos almost always feature the artist appearing in slow motion, but still singing on time with the lyrics. To accomplish this, speed up the song by double, then record the video in 48fps while lip-syncing to the sped-up track. When you import the footage to your NLE, you can slow down your clip by half (50%), and the artist will appear to sing in real time while the world around him is in slow motion.


2. Double-Speed Recording

Double speed recording music video effect

For this effect, we recorded a country tune about city folks moving way too fast. In line with the lyrics, the artist is singing on time while the world around him is going faster. To pull this off, do the opposite of the half-speed effect. Slow down the song by double and record the music video by lip-syncing to the slowed down song. When you bring the footage into post, speed up the clip by double time (200%) and the lip-syncing will be in time with the original track. Throw in some people running in the background to highlight the effect even more.


3. Reverse Recording

Reverse recording music video effect

One of the more difficult techniques out there, reverse recording means that you record your music video completely in reverse and flip it in post to create some cool backwards effects. This effect is best known from the music video for “The Scientist” by Coldplay.

Take your song and reverse it in Adobe Audition. It’s going to sound weird and the lyrics won’t make any sense. Try your best to memorize the reversed lyrics by writing them down phonetically and reciting them out loud. When you think you have a firm grasp on the backwards track, go out and record the video singing the reversed lyrics. Make sure to include fun visuals that would look good in reverse. When you bring it into the editing bay, reverse the clip and match it with your song.


4. Old School Film Look

Old school film look music video effect

A favorite of many indie bands, the dirty film look is a classic interpretation of nostalgic home movies. This effect is much more post-production heavy than the others in this list, and it doesn’t include any special recording techniques – simply record the music video in real time with the normal track. Bring the footage into Adobe Premiere and sync it to the song. Go to your Effects tab, and drag the Posterize Time effect onto your clip. In your settings, change the frame rate to 8. This will slow your footage down to 8fps for a stop-motion feel.

For a more detailed film look, you can add a film grain on top. Check out the 4K film grain overlays available from Rocketstock.


Want more tutorials about filmmaking and video production? Check these out.