How to Choose a Producer for your Music Video

You can’t spend much time in the music industry without the topic of a music video coming up. For both the musician and the video producer, there is a unique creative process that each develop, and before you decide to work together, you need to be sure your processes are compatible, or it will not be a pleasant experience for either of you. However, if done right, you will be able to find a producer who “gets you,” and understands your vision for the video. They will then add their creativity, industry knowledge and talent to make sure the results meet, or sometimes even exceed your expectations.

Finding the right producer though is easier said than done. If you do an online search for “Video producers in Nashville,” you will get a very long list of results that include everything from freelancers and one-man companies to full-service broadcast studios and outsourcing conglomerates. So how do you go about choosing the right producer for you? It will be much easier to first narrow the field by taking the time to write down what is most important to you so you can identify the producers who may come close to meeting your criteria. Once you have your selection made, it’s time to dive in, do the preliminary research before having a one-on-one interview.

Preliminary Research to do before meeting with your potential video producer:

  • Do they have completed projects available to view online? Take the time to not just look at their previous work, but really study it. Don’t get sucked in by just a demo or highlight reel. You need to request to see several finished pieces in order to get a true sense of their overall quality and style.
  • Is this producer able to get the message across subtly but effectively? As you study their work, evaluate the storytelling quality of the video itself. The whole point of a video is to communicate your message clearly.
  • Do you feel an emotional connection with the message when you watch? This could be curiosity, sympathy, humor, sadness or a longing, but there must be something emotional to engage and hold an audience’s attention or they’ll move on.
  • How is the pacing? To avoid jarring confusion for the audience, the pacing of visual images needs to correlate to the material being presented. For example a music video telling the story of a tender moment between a husband and wife will not be paced the same as a music video about whiskey and cars.
  • What style do they tend to work in? Is there a movie-like quality with rich colors, dramatic camera movements and “softness” to the image, or does their work have a straightforward video approach like a local car dealer commercial? Understand that the former is generally more time-consuming than the latter and thus more costly to create. However, a more cinematic style does tend to make a more impressive statement.
  • How is the technical quality? Make sure the audio is clear and balanced. Bad audio will ruin the best of intentions. There shouldn’t be any unnatural echo and ambient sounds should be in a natural balance with what is happening in the video.
  • Are the scenes properly lit? Key elements or characters should have their details distinguishable and the lighting should draw your attention to the important things on the screen. There shouldn’t be any odd or distracting shadows.

While there are other factors that can be considered when choosing a video producer, I feel the ones mentioned above are the most critical. Once you’ve narrowed your choices through your research, begin meeting with your prospective producers and see who clicks. Confidence in your choice gets your project off to a powerful start.