Home Forums Other Art Forms Music What makes a good music video?

This topic contains 7 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Mark Kamibaya 4 months, 2 weeks ago.

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    • Rank: Bumbling Henchman
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    Hello everyone,

    Yesterday i was watching an Explainer Video and i really enjoyed that video just because of its awesome background music.So, what is your favourite music video and why? What makes it good and does it influence your feelings towards the artist/band?


    • This topic was modified 4 months, 4 weeks ago by  donyclark.
    • This topic was modified 4 months, 4 weeks ago by  donyclark.
    • This topic was modified 4 months, 4 weeks ago by  donyclark.

    Kate Flournoy
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 3860

    @donyclark I actually listen to music more than I watch it, but let me tag a few others for you who might better be able to answer your question. 🙂

    @leumeister @mark-kamibaya @charisetter @f5a8c3e92 @radicalglitter @cloudy

    • Rank: Bumbling Henchman
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    Most of my favorite music videos have a great score and cinematography. I really enjoy playing instruments and taking photos so those are the things I pay attention to when I’m watching a video of any kind.

    A Very Tookish Hobbit (a.k.a. Fool of a Took)


    Mark Kamibaya
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 313

    I have an answer . . . but I’m more curious what @leumeister @charisetter @f5a8c3e92 @radicalglitter @cloudy will say–if they say anything at all.


    • Rank: Loyal Sidekick
    • Total Posts: 176

    Well, since my name was called twice now, I haven’t actually seen that many music videos, but the ones I have seen, although I didn’t particularly like the content in them, I admired them for their cinematography and their general cleverness. A couple music videos I do like are the ones for Owl City’s Fireflies and Unbelievable. Although a rather disturbing lack of lightning bugs in the former, it was pretty nice, if a little strange, and I really like the animation in Unbelievable.


    • Rank: Wise Jester
    • Total Posts: 94

    Personally, I think that music videos are not necessary. I personally like to listen to the music, close my eyes and jam out. Besides music videos are just stinking weird. I think music videos by people such as Peter Hollens, showing how many tracks of audio are needed to make the song are better. Thanks for the reccomendation @Mark-Kambaya


    Rosey Mucklestone
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 467

    that they actually make sense and add a meaning and a story behind the music, mostly? I’ve seen quite a few that make absolutely zero sense and it takes away from the music itself. (-cough- “More Of You” and “Thunder” are the ones that come to mind…) and then For King & Country always do incredible jobs with theirs. <3


    Mark Kamibaya
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 313

    First lemme tag everyone who participated @donyclark @kate-flournoy @charisetter @leumeister @cloudy @writefury.

    Ok, I’ll try to make this short and sweet. Music videos are supposed to highlight two things: the artist and the song. Therefore, a good music video should make use of its cinematography and editing to highlight these two things.

    With good cinematography/lighting, every shot has a purpose and adds perspective. Since music videos are supposed to highlight the artist, the majority of shots have to depict the artist as an amazing person. This can be done through hero shots, backlighting, and low angles. Cinematography also highlights the song through its subject matter (more on this later).

    Editing is the most subtle but powerful way you can highlight the song. Editing should sync with the music. No, not in an overtly apparent way (like cutting on the downbeat all the time). While cutting on the beat is a tried and true method of emphasizing the song, a more subtextual method is using editing as a means of syncopation. This makes the music video even more electric (which is good even in slow songs). Also, you can complement the music by editing the buildup to the chorus with a editing build-up.

    Now let’s talk about content. A good music video complements the subject matter of the song. This has been slowly phased away in modern music videos in favor of complementing the artist more than the song. This is simply because complementing the subject matter is quite hard. A lot of music videos favor a story that depicts the story of the music (or provides a situation in which the theme of the song rings true) or uses metaphors. However, the story always subtracts from the possibilities in which the music can be applied to, and most of the songs serve the metaphor instead of it being the other way around.

    This is why I don’t normally watch music videos. It almost always subtracts from the experience of the song because it either emphasizes the artist too much or it desperately tries to complement the subject matter of the song which nearly always fails (sorry For King & Country, you failed me). I only watch music videos when I try to get editing and cinematography concepts. This is actually my favorite way to find examples of good and bad editing/cinematography.

    So, basically, music videos rarely help the song. Music videos use the song to advertise the artist. Therefore, always always always listen to the song without the music video before watching the music video. That way you can appreciate two different art forms separately without letting one ruin the other (without letting the music video ruin the song).

    Hope this helped. Cheers!

    Sorry, I guess this wasn’t short and sweet.

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