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Howto Make a Music Video

Making good musicvideos requires a lot of creativity, originality and a well laid downplan with a work breakdown structure (Campbell, 2013). This workbreakdown structure should assess the analysis of the video projecthaving in details how to go about the process of making the musicvideo. Some of the notable milestones that have to be met includebrainstorming, scriptwriting, holding an approval meeting anddeciding on a workable budget for the project (Larson E, 2011). Thebudget should include payments made to casting and hiring the crew.Select a suitable location for the video and obtain the proper propsand equipment for the project.

Workbreakdown structure

A work planstructure when making a music video helps the producer to be verycomprehensive in his or her project (Campbell, 2013). The work planshould be specific for proper management of the project. The planningof the project requires a significant investment regarding thinking.This is critical because proper thinking before making the musicvideo helps in considering the big picture that the video will be outto portray (Gregory, 2013). Identifying the major part of theproject’s work helps the project manager to have all the grittydetails and thus leads to the promotion of a great video. The workplan structure, therefore, ensures that the project manager keepsbreaking the job down into very smaller pieces until they reach alevel in which he or she can accurately budget efficiently for theproject and create a well estimated time frame (Gregory, 2013).

TheCost and Time Estimates


Establishing thedesired end date takes into account the amount of time needed tofinish the music video and deliver it on time to the client. It isessential to establish a period before embarking on shooting themusic video as this helps the project manager construct a detailedwork plan that follows the time given for the project. Determiningthe time estimates requires comparing projects that have beenproduced before and benchmarking the estimates that the projectmanager will require (Larson E, 2011). Past experiences from theproduction of any other video project before are very helpful as theyhelp the persons involved with some crucial details needed for anyvideo production. For a proper and smooth working schedule, it isimportant that the project manager and any other involved partiesreach an agreement on the period required. Time estimates can,therefore, be met at from a consensus reached upon by the projectmanager and all the parties that will be involved (Larson E, 2011).

Determiningthe Cost Estimates

In determining thecost estimates of a music video project, the team can benchmark fromprevious projects with similar demands and determine how much it willcost. Cost is calculated through breakdowns of component costs toensure the figures are accurate. There are some parts of the musicvideo that will require outsourcing of different components.Outsourcing of major am and assisting feature actors can be sometimescostly. This, therefore, needs to be calculated and the costestimated for the accuracy of the budget.

A good project,therefore, has a well-detailed budget with the costs listed regardingpre-production, production and post-production costs (Gregory, 2013).Pre-production costs include cost of script writing, the cost ofcasting and paying for the location of the video shoot, props usedand the mechanical pieces of equipment that will be in use. The costsmet during the production of the video include payments made toactors, payment made to the crew members and costs incurred by theproduction office. Production office costs may include cateringservices, computers, phones and headsets used.


Production of amusic video is done by a group of workers each with his a particularresponsibility. All the persons involved in the production of thevideo project are assigned duties taking into consideration the areaof expertise of the individual. There is the need to have a videoproducer who is in charge of the whole function. All the productionunits, therefore, fall under the command of the video producer. Toavoid redundancy of duties, all the personnel are circulated fairlyand equitably within the project (Gregory, 2013).


Someof the potential risks

The table belowcontains some of the possible risks that can be experienced from thetime of pre-production, production time and also post-production(Larson E, 2011).



Occurrence time

Possibility of equipment malfunction

Some of the equipment being used in the video include cameras, sound and lighting equipment may malfunction

During the process of shooting the video

Soaring of costs post-production costs

The cost estimates can soar very high after the production and during editing of the shot video thus affecting the budget

This happens after production stage and even during video editing

Unavailability of cast or the crew

This happens before and during the shooting of the video. Some of the crew members or cast c
decide to opt out or get injured before shooting.

Such a risk can happen during the shooting of the video or before the day of video shooting.

Unexpected disaster at the location

Some disasters like bad weather conditions can never be foreseen. Floods or fires at the site can also affect the video production.

This risk happens during the production of the video project

Time as a risk factor

Getting a correct estimate of the time frame can be quite challenging. This is due to the unforeseeable risks that hamper the production process. This therefore makes the project to take longer than it was expected to.

This happens from the start of the project to the time the project is delivered as an end product


The risks raisedwith the production of the music video can be mitigated if specialcontingencies are put into place [ CITATION Lar11 l 2057 ].

Malfunctioning Equipment

Identifying a backup source for equipment like cameras, sound devices and lighting equipment helps mitigate this risk. This should be readily available in case the primary equipment accidentally malfunction.

Another risk mitigation route is to ensure that the technical crew available at the site of the video shoot have a reputable record with such kind of equipment.

Soaring of post-production costs

The best way to mitigate this risk is by sticking tightly to the script. Accurate estimates must be tabled and decided upon by efficient people who have a history of dealing with such problems. Revisions to the video script should be finalised before the project manager decides to go shoot the video[ CITATION Lar11 l 2057 ].

Unavailability of some of the cast and crew members

Unavailability of casts can be mitigated through locking down the schedule of the actors in order to reduce any possibility of a conflict.

Another means is to shoot the video in accordance to the available cast members. The ones that may not be available will shoot their part on a different day.

Extra days should be allocated within the time frame to cater or the days that will have specific major acts being absent[ CITATION Lar11 l 2057 ].

Unexpected disaster at the location

Disasters at the location of shoot should not hamper the production of the music video. There is a chance to look for a different location to proceed with the shooting.

Having an insurance cover on some of the uncontrollable disasters helps the project manager work without pressure.

Time as risk factor

Estimating the exact time that the project can take is quite difficult but this can be mitigated by sticking religiously to the time allocated

TheCritical path for the production

Assemblingthe team

This is acritical stage in production as it enables the project manager toassemble a very efficient team that will help them run the wholeproject efficiently. Members get time to acquaint with one anotherduring this time. Very length discussions are held during this timeon the scope of the project and a favorable ground set for thecommencement of the project. It is an advantage to the productionmanager when his team members easily and efficiently fit into theirrole as this becomes a smooth process of production. Any conflictover the person that will be in charge of the different subgroupscreated for efficiency will be discussed at this juncture. All thecast and crew members should interact with each other well so that atthe start of the shoot, they all fit into each other like a solvedpuzzle (Larson E, 2011).

Formation of ateam is termed efficient when all the members establish a common setof expectations. This helps solidify the whole group. Since thisproject is not very complex, the process of finding common groundshould never take a lot of time. The performance of the team willthen run at full throttle when everyone is at peace with the projectproposal.


The backbone ofa successful project depends solely on unyielding leadership skills.Availability of a strong leader is an added advantage to the team ashe will provide direction to the team and even the needed motivation.The head of the team needs to adapt efficiently to any arisingsituation and help the team charter new ways that can solve problemsthat hamper the progress of the team. A good leader acts efficientlyand swiftly to matters that arise ensuring that the progress of theproject stays on course without any interruptions. A leader isfuture-oriented, able to foresee a bigger picture that others couldnot envision and this focus on more tasks that promote proper taskaccomplishment. A leader is an example that is followed by the groupmembers. His or her behaviors help to set priorities for the projectwhile setting some levels of urgency to certain project problems. Aleader should promote a sense of cooperation with persons that maynot be members of the team. These qualities promote personalstandards of performance and proper means of response to some of theethical dilemmas that may arise within the project. Team memberslearn from the team leader to take responsibility for the actionsthey commit which makes them more invested in the life of the project(Gregory, 2013).

Managingthe Team

The projectmanager employs some measures to ensure that his group works inaccordance to the set goals. Creating of rules to follow helpsmembers not to go astray while shooting the video. Group members arethus able to know what to expect during the whole process of videoshooting. The goals of the assignment need a clear definition from anearly stage of the process. Each of the group members will thus havea role to play without colliding with his other group member’srole. The basic objective of the group manager will, therefore, beensuring proper planning of the whole project works, tracking theprogress of the project and making major decisions on changes beingmade that are not as stipulated in the program. Some things mayrequire changes from what was stipulated during the pre-productiontime. It, therefore, remains the responsibility of the projectmanager to decide but after consultation with other group members.Since the project manager is in charge of the whole team, he or shecan delegate some small duties to some people so that conflicts don’tarise when decisions need to be made. A proper guideline should alsobe available so that the group can be well-prepared to manage anyunforeseeable conflicts if they arise later on (Larson E, 2011).

Frequent projectmeetings are a major contributing mechanism to effectivecommunication within the group. The effectiveness of a meetingshould always be measured on the members keeping their discussionswithin the topic (van Aartengel, 2013). This maximizes efficiency.Regular meetings need to be held on a timely routine to discuss theprogress and any problems experienced. This helps raise possiblesolutions to any problems that may have arisen.

ManagingConflicts during Project Production

Conflictresolutions will always require simple steps for resolution. It iscrucial that in instances of conflicts, the problem is identified andresolution alternatives are provided. When an alternative is decidedon, a decision should be reached. For proper execution of therecommendations met, proper follow-up should be conducted to engagethe execution progress (Larson E, 2011).

Criticalpath Analysis chart

Release of music video



Approval meeting


Initial plan


The projectmanager will work with members of the team to characterize all thework that is required to complete the project before him (Devaux,2015). This is by ensuring that the project can achieve the scopethat was intended. All the work is broken down into units identifiedwithin the whole system as project packages. All the projects withinthe critical path are in manageable units such that they can beassociated with the owner of the project package. With thesepackages, it becomes easy to manage for risk and even have controlover time, cost, and materials needed for the package to besuccessful.

To note is thatthe packages broken down are neither too small to be meaningless towhoever is in charge of them nor are they large enough to become achallenge for the leader to manage and control. A good benchmark forthe size of the project package is normally the time frame used toconduct a certain package of the project. The leader of each teamwill table down the time that he or she will be in need of so as tocomplete his task on time and in good order (He, 2014).

As the productionprocess progresses, the project manager will arrange the packages insequence in which they will be completed in a certain order. Severalkey measures are identified from the diagram.

The first partis the identification and familiarity with the initial plan of theproject (Musburger R, 2012). The manager of the project will identifywith the project and inform his team members about the project. Afterthat, the manager and his team will brainstorm over the project andcome up with original and creative means to realize the dream of theproject. Members will discuss all the points that are brought up, andthe best one jotted down to be encompassed into the plan.

Afterbrainstorming, a script is written and a meeting held later todiscuss on how to continue with the production of the script(Musburger R, 2012). The meeting should discuss the availability ofall the equipment and the right personnel needed for the next stepwhich is the production of the music video. The next step will bethe main package of the project which is the production of the musicvideo. It encompasses shooting the production stills and latershooting the final music video.

Editing of themusic video will occur after the shoot. This includes editing boththe sound in the video and its quality with filtering of any unwantedsounds. The video pictures are also edited for the quality of thefinal project that will then be released.

Some packagesmay, however, take longer than they are stipulated in the criticalpath. This is because some of the packages will require completion ofthe preceding package for them to be kick-started. To take advantageof limiting the number of staff required for each project, somepackages can run parallel to one another. This helps reduce theworkforce required that participates in one activity and abandonother activities that they are well skilled at (Campbell, 2013).

The workbreakdown structure and the Critical Path help ensure that theresources needed in production are readily available when needed.They also aid in borrowing resources from packages that are lesscritical to ensure completion of those that are very critical. Bothwork with synergy considering that the work breakdown structureprocedure with no chronological order while the Critical Path ensuresthat the order is followed religiously.

The criticalpath ensures a careful monitoring of all the activities taking placewith the benefit of smoothing or leveling of resources to efficientlycompletely all the tasks. Even in a very sensitive project withlarger risks of delay and job difficulty in monitoring taskcompletion, a critical path will ensure that the timeline of theproject is adhered to strictly and the project completed in time(Project Management Institute, 2013).


Campbell. (2013). Pro tool 10: advanced music production techniques. Boston: course technology PTR.

Devaux, S. (2015). Total project control: a practitioners guide to managing projects as investments. CRC, 1.

Gregory. (2013). Effective Work Breakdown Structures. management Concepts, 17.

He, W. (2014). A framework of combining case-based reasoning with a work breakdown structure for estimating the cost of online course production projects. British Journal of Educational Technology, 595- 605.

Larson E, G. C. (2011). Project management: the managerial process. new york: McGraw hill.

Musburger R, K. (2012). Introduction to media production: the path to digital media production. CRC, 1.

Project Management Institute. (2013). A guide to the project management body of knowledge. Project Management, 1.

Schlesinge P, D. (2015). From organizational crisis to multi-platform salvation: creative destruction and the recomposition of news media. Journalism, 305- 323.

van Aartengel, K. (2013). Create work breakdown structure. handbook on continuos improvement transformation, 137- 142.

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