Music Videos on a Low budget: It Can Be Done!

As a filmmaker, you aren’t always gifted with an endless budget. *Sigh*. Yes, it’s a wet dream to be able to spend thousands of dollars on cool effects, but sometimes you just gotta bite the bullet and work with what you’ve got. Even large stars and directors understand the concept of filming on a low budget and the key to creating awesomeness: do something that’s new and fresh.

These filmmakers used innovative concepts and created legendary music videos:

1.) Daft Hands: “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”:

Okay, so maybe Daft Punk didn’t make this video…but the “Daft Hands” sensation brought in almost 3x more video views than Daft Punk’s original music video and started somewhat of a knockoff sensation on Youtube. This finger skit probably took more hours to learn than it cost in dollars to make the video.

What’s so cool about it?: Do I really have to go into detail as to why this video is so cool? Other than the fact these that these hands made it acceptable to flip the audience off several times… It’s so simple, yet so enthralling. Writing words on hands and then making a dance was something no one had ever done before. As a viewer, you almost can’t peel your eyes away from the performance.  Not to mention, I bet a vast majority of kids spent their summer vaca learning the finger jig.

2.) Kanye West: “Flashing Lights”:

Smart move by the director of this music video: If you can find a remote location where you can burn a fur coat and land yourself a hottie like Rita G then you’ve got yourself a masterpiece.

What’s so cool about it?: Video director, Spike Jonze remembered a key piece that makes Americans tick. We love hot girls that are evil and badass. It’s almost as if this video is a short clip of a longer movie. It tells a story and we are left craving more…and maybe a little bit more of Rita.

3.) Ok Go: “A Million Ways”:

Ok Go has had some of the most innovative yet simple videos we’ve ever seen, and this one cost a whopping $25 to produce. They also love to dance kind of awkwardly. Remember this video?

What’s so cool about it?: We can’t all hire professional dancers to embellish our videos. They instead took it upon themselves to create their own dance and perform it in a backyard. Wonder where they got all their sweet moves? They did exactly what anyone on a low budget should do. OK Go got their inspiration from popular cinema: West Side Story and The Matrix.

What can we take away from all these videos? They may not be from the same genre, but all the directors tapped into something similar. They didn’t follow the stereotypical music video form. They took chances and tried something others hadn’t done before. As filmmakers, these videos can serve as low-budget music videos that were success stories.

For an extra laugh, check out this video:

Happy Filming!


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