Making a Music Video: How to Commission a Director
August 8, 2017
Commissioning a new music video can be a daunting process. It’s usually the most expensive line cost in an artist's marketing campaign, if things go wrong it can be disastrous.
Luckily our friends at Radar Creatives have a some great advice to help you through the turbulent process of selecting the right director for your next video, ensuring you get the best video you can every single time.
Radar has a history of connecting the best upcoming creatives to major labels, indie labels, music managers and artists to creative music videos, photography, web design - pretty much any anything visual. From Alt-J’s infamous ‘BreezeBlocks’ video to Will Joseph Cook’s UK Music Video Award winning ‘Take Me Dancing’, videos made through Radar stand out from the crowd and are a real highlight in our commissioners’ campaigns.
Having recently launched a whole host of new services to streamline the commissioning process, Radar has put together a guide below on how to best make your next commission a success…
Finding a director to create a music video
1. Create a good brief
Creating a good brief is essential if you want to commission a great video. You’ll need to ensure all the most important details are available.
Do you want the artist to be in the video? Is there a location you want to use? What’s your budget (we’ll speak more about this later)? Will it be filmed or animated – or both? And most importantly, what is your deadline for pitching and delivery.
These are all the essential pieces of information you’ll need to include to get relevant pitches to your brief. Always give a clear idea of what you’d like from the video. If you have ideas share them. Describe the artist’s look and feel, share links to previous videos that you like and explain what it is that you like about them.
Be careful in this process not to give a blow by blow account of the entire video, good directors crave creativity, so make sure they have the opportunity to put their ideas forward in a constructive way.
"Good directors crave creativity, so make sure they have the opportunity to put their ideas forward in a constructive way."
2. Set the right budget
Everyone must start somewhere, which is why Radar supports almost every size of budget. Setting a higher budget will always attract more experience, so if you can afford to put some money behind your video, it’s wise content to invest in.
You can specify you’re willing to negotiate a higher price for the right idea, which will encourage directors to pitch on spec for a higher budget.
When writing your brief make sure to keep your budget in mind. Can you definitely get what you’re after for the budget you’ve set?
Finally, when reviewing your pitches, ask yourself – is this video realistic within my budget? While a mega-yacht might sound like an awesome idea, if your budget is £500 it’s unlikely to happen!
"When reviewing your pitches, ask yourself – is this video realistic within my budget?"
3. Send your brief to the right directors and choose the perfect pitch
Radar’s new services allow artists & video commissioners to browse director’s profiles and add them to lists, while commissioners can to send private messages.
There are 3 ways you can publish a brief on Radar: To everyone (which is recommended for lower budgets), to all exclusive directors (handpicked directors who we know are the very best) or to your own bespoke list.
If you have the time and budget, you should look through as many directors’ profiles as possible. Create a shortlist of those you feel would suit your brief, based on their experience and style.
If you’re time poor, inviting our exclusive creatives to pitch is always a safe bet. FYI - the exclusive director’s pitch is only available via Radar and cannot be found on any other content commissioning platform.
Once you have received your pitches back and your brief is closed, it’s important to take a long, hard look at your options. Make sure to take into account the experience, previous work and social media channels of anyone that you are considering commissioning. Do you like their previous work and does it all match up to their pitch? Do you like the way they communicate on social media?
Seeing a detailed storyboard will always help to ensure you get the video you expect and want.
It might be pushing it to ask a director to provide this in the pitching process, but you’re well within your rights to ask for this after you’ve commissioned them, and it's strongly recommended you do this.
Starting the process with a storyboard in place will ensure that everyone’s on the same page as to what’s expected from the final product.
"Starting the process with a storyboard in place will ensure that everyone’s on the same page."
5. Get a contract
Whenever we hear about a commission going south, it’s always because there was no contract in place!
Make this a priority. If you’re a Radar user there really are no excuses, as we have a special discount with a media production law company, which means our clients get a music video contract for just £25.
You can head to this page, login and choose the Video Production Contract at the bottom. When you’re given the option to apply the discount code, use 1PY3WQYC for your special Radar discount.
Don’t fall victim to saying it wasn’t worth it because the “budget was too low” or “we really got on at the start”. It’s always worth it and will give you peace of mind.
"Whenever we hear about a commission going south, it’s always because there was no contract in place."
So that’s it, our top 5 tips on commissioning a great music video. If you do decide to commission via Radar and need further assistance, our dedicated (and lovely) client manager is on hand to answer any questions you might have and is there to support you from brief to release.
Got any questions or advice about finding a director for your next music video? Let us know in the comments below!
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