Music Video Production


Authored by Simon Yu


Course Code: OMPRD-110

Next semester
starts June 24

12 Weeks

Level 1

Level 1

3-Credit Tuition


Non-Credit Tuition


At their best, music videos are mini movies that visually capture the emotional context of a song and can even expand on the story of the song’s lyrics. In this course you’ll acquire the skills to produce high-quality music videos that tell the story of a song in a visually compelling way.

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Through the use of standard movie-production teams, schedules, lighting, camera, and post-production techniques, you’ll gain real-world experience on video productions before applying these techniques in your own productions. The class experience includes analysis of music video examples, hands-on practice in standard film roles, technical exercises with cameras and software, and creative experiments with innovative filming and post-production techniques.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Create compelling music videos for you or other artists
  • Execute fundamental digital camera operations and shooting/composition aesthetics
  • Operate lighting equipment and develop the skills to use creative techniques effectively
  • Work with artists on story development
  • Work on a multicam shoot
  • Apply industry terminology terms throughout a project
  • Clearly and effectively communicate your creative ideas to your team
  • Use basic editing skills to create a rough edit of their work
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Overview Syllabus Requirements Instructors
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Lesson 1: Camera Basics

  • Vocabulary Review
  • Choosing Your Cameras
  • Choosing Your Lenses
  • Frame Rates
  • Exposure
  • Shutter Speed
  • Recording Medias
  • Assignment 1: Camera Basics Practice

Lesson 2: Camera Language: Static Shots

  • Camera Language: What Is It and Why Is It Important?
  • Long Shots
  • Medium Shots
  • Close-Up Shots
  • Other Shots
  • Aspect Ratios, Golden Ratio, and Rule of Thirds
  • Assignment 2: Camera Language Analysis

Lesson 3: Camera Language: Moving Shots

  • Three Basic Camera Movements: Pan, Tilt, and Zoom
  • Pan, Tilt, and Zoom in Context
  • Dolly Shots
  • Dolly Shots in Context
  • Jib Shots
  • Jib Shots in Context
  • Steadicam and Gimbal Shots
  • Steadicam and Gimbal Shots in Context
  • Assignment 3: Camera Language Practice

Lesson 4: Lighting, Part 1

  • Vocabulary Review
  • How Lighting Tells a Story
  • Flat vs. Dynamic Lighting
  • Types of Lights: Soft and Hard
  • Choosing Your Lights
  • Color Temperature and White Balance
  • Three-Point Lighting and Lighting Ratio
  • Three-Point Lighting in Context
  • Assignment 4: Lighting Techniques Practice, Part 1

Lesson 5: Lighting, Part 2

  • RGB and Practical Lights
  • Shaping Lights
  • Shooting Outdoors: Sunlight
  • Lighting with a Single Light
  • C-Stands and Light Stands
  • Assignment 5: Lighting Techniques Practice, Part 2

Lesson 6: Conceptualizing and Shots

  • Concepts for Music Videos
  • Performance-Based Music Videos
  • Live Recording Music Videos
  • Storyline-Based Music Videos
  • Abstract and Experimental Music Videos
  • One-Take (No-Cut) Music Videos
  • Playing with the 'Time' of the Music Video
  • Time-Lapse and Hyper-Lapse
  • Creative Video Transitions: Match Cut
  • Assignment 6: Concept for Your Final Project

Lesson 7: Storyboarding and Planning

  • Building Blocks
  • Where, When, Who, and What in Context
  • Mood Boards
  • Mapping Out Your Shots with Your Song
  • Music Video Script, Storyboard, and Shot List
  • Crew Management and Call Sheets
  • Assignment 7: Final Project Preproduction, Part 1

Lesson 8: Directing

  • Developing the Storyline: Point of View
  • Developing the Storyline: Circumstances for the Characters
  • Developing the Storyline: Narrative Structure
  • Directing the Actors
  • Blocking
  • Directing the Playback
  • Continuity
  • Slating Takes
  • Assignment 8: Final Project Preproduction, Part 2

Lesson 9: Shooting Performance Footage

  • Working with Seamless Backdrops: Paper Backdrops
  • Working with Seamless Backdrops: Cycloramas
  • Working with Seamless Backdrops: Green Screens
  • Lighting the Backdrop
  • Preparing the Audio Playback Track for Miming
  • Director’s Tips for Miming
  • B-Roll and BTS (Behind the Scenes)
  • Assignment 9: Final Project Production/Storyline

Lesson 10: Working with Multicam

  • What Is Multicam?
  • Workshop: Shot Types Review
  • 'Multicam' with a Single Camera and Cutaway Shots
  • Matching Camera Settings
  • Choosing Angles/Shots for the Cameras
  • 180-Degree Rule
  • Working with Different Camera Models on a Multicam Shoot
  • Assignment 10: Final Project Production/Playback

Lesson 11: Editing a Multicam Shoot

  • Data Management: Copying and Backing Up Your Files
  • Importing Your Performance Footage
  • Syncing Your Performance Footage: Creating the Multicam Clip
  • Manual Syncing and Adding Slow/Fast Motion Footage
  • Editing Multicam
  • Adding Storyline and B-Roll
  • Exporting the File in Different Formats
  • Assignment 11: Editing/Pacing Analysis

Lesson 12: Shooting a Live Performance in a Recording Studio

  • Music Videos in Recording Studios
  • Spatial Considerations for Filming a Live Recording Session
  • All Musicians Together: Conventional Stage Formations
  • All Musicians Together: Unconventional Formations
  • Tips for Lighting in the Recording Studio
  • Audio
  • Overdubs and Punch-Ins
  • Assignment 12: Final Project Submission


Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements 

Prerequisite Courses, Knowledge, and/or Skills
Students should have a basic knowledge of video editing and be able to:

  • upload and cut video clips
  • line up audio and video properly




  • Camera capable of recording 1080p videos. Options include DSLR, mirrorless, cinema camera, camcorder, or smartphone.
  • Two or three movable light sources, such as LED panels, ring lights, COB lights, floor lamps, table lamps, etc.
  • Tripod compatible with your camera, capable of pan and tilt

Important Technical/System Considerations

  • Recommended: A dedicated SSD storage drive with a minimum of 100 GB of available space (7200 RPM HDD also acceptable)

Student Deals
After enrolling, be sure to check out our Student Deals page for various offers on software, hardware, and more. Please contact with any questions.

General Course Requirements

Below are the minimum requirements to access the course environment and participate in Live Classes. Please make sure to also check the Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements section above, and ensure your computer meets or exceeds the minimum system requirements for all software needed for your course. 

Mac Users

PC Users

All Users

  • Latest version of Google Chrome
  • Zoom meeting software
  • Webcam
  • Speakers or headphones
  • External or internal microphone
  • Broadband Internet connection


Simon Yu

Author & Instructor

Simon C.F. Yu is a New York City-based director, editor, photographer, and musician who has produced hundreds of videos for musicians since 2010. His passion for music and video began early, as he was born into a family of musicians and film directors in Hong Kong. This early immersion in art inspired him to become a specialist working in both fields.

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As a musician, he has toured with hip-hop legend Lauryn Hill as lead guitarist, performed with well-known Chinese artist Eric Mo, led his own band—the Exotic Experiment and r.O.T.i.—released three albums and performed around the world. As a filmmaker, he has worked with Grammy-winning artists Snarky Puppy, Terri Lyne Carrington, Steven Feifke, and many more on their music videos. Simon also directed and edited Rock and Roll Hall of Famer David Crosby’s Lighthouse Band Live at The Capitol Theater DVD. His work has been seen on networks like HBO Latino, and shows like The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Late Night With Seth Meyers, and NYC Life.

Yu is currently a faculty member and the head of video service at Power Station at BerkleeNYC. Read Less


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