Making People Love You And Shooting Your Own Music Videos For Cheap

music videosMusic Videos For Your Songs
Should You Shoot Them Yourself?

Novi Novaks Camera

Why Music Videos Are VERY IMPORTANT to you

When someone has a visuals along with an audio for your music, the chances they will like your music boosts by 1000%.

The persons vision is stimulated, entertaining them, PLUS they are hearing the song.

There is TONS of studies from scientific research that prove this is a fact.

Let me show you using a well known pop star. Katy Perry.

Katy Perry


Music Video ONE BILLION 80 Million Views….
Lyric Video, Just 80 MILLION. 

They are both visually stimulating, but the music video is a MUSIC VIDEO. And the lyric video even came out first and has LESS views.

There is a reason the music video has 1 BILLION more views. It is more stimulating visually. It is the same EXACT song.

What is my point?

You need to make a music video for every song that you have that is good.

And Any visual is better than no visual.

BTW, I shoot and edit all my own music videos and Youtube Videos.

So you can too…. There is no excuse. I write the music for myself and other artist, run a website like this, shoot my Youtube videos, stay in touch with fans, tour AND shoot my own MUSIC videos. I know you can shoot your own videos! Don’t tell yourself you can’t.


You have has two options when it comes to video

1) Someone Else Shoots Your Video
2) You shoot your own video like a boss.


OPTION 1: Someone Else Shoots Your Video

I’ve contacted places and they told me “We don’t do anything that’s less than $20,000.”

lol the fuck would cost $20,000? I can rent top of the line gear for $3,000 for 2 days and shoot what looks better than 99% of movies.

Camera gear is so readily available in this day and age!

Seriously though, A team that costs $20,000 would get you a video that is ridiculously high quality but why waste that money AT ALL.

Be creative or just shoot something that WORKS for you.

You can go find someone if you want. If you’re broke, like I always was, shoot them yourself, Like I always did!

I know $20,000 is a bit extreme. 


Let’s use a low end, hiring a video guy example of $300.

Let’s say you pay a friend/random music video guy $300 to shoot your music video. Okay, now you have 1 music video with visuals for a song.

That guy did all the work, he shot it, set up the location and edited it for you.

After he shoots you another music video for another $300… well now you have spent $600. You could have just bought yourself a camera. By the 3rd video he shoots you can have the camera lighting and a 50mm canon 1.8 lens.

Are you catching my drift here?

If you just put the time and energy into learning to edit the videos yourself and how it works, you will be able to shoot unlimited videos and get the credit for shooting and editing them. AND Save yourself money. Shit, now you can charge YOUR friends and shoot them videos and make your money back.

Use your brain! 🙂

And let’s be honest, how hard would it be to reach the skill level of a guy who is shooting videos for only $300? I did that in 90 hours as you’ll see below.


In the next part I show you budgets for cameras you’ll need. Same set up I use and more Click here for that


OPTION 2: You Shoot Your Own Music Videos

I do my own videos.

Mostly because I love my music and art so much I want to be fully responsible for the video that supports my song. I know I will put 100% into it.

No one will ever put 100% into something that isn’t theirs. Maybe 99% sometimes, but never 100.

Shoot it yourself and there is no one to blame but yourself for the end product.

This is also a trust issue because whenever someone else has done something for me, they tend to half ass it somewhere along the task.

If I do it and it sucks for some reason, I take pride in knowing I tried my best and that I did that, I shot and edited that video.

The biggest budget I have ever had for a video was $500. Yes, That’s It!

That video was ‘Sleepin On Me’ it was also the most frustrating thing I endured. The guy was only willing to do the video for $500 because I was buzzing so hard.

Any other time it would have been $2,000+.

This guy had connections though and his gear was a $5,000 camera and a couple grand in lenses, that’s why it looks so pristine.

He also has 20+ years of experience shooting videos and editing them.

I had a $500 budget for ‘God Fearing’ and I wrote the script, rented the gear, scouted locations and Shot AND Edited the entire video myself(had a random friend hold the camera as I told him what to do. After I set up the camera settings.). It’s a video I am actually extremely proud of.

Watch God Fearing Here –

I’d like you to take 15 seconds on each and compare the two videos, one from a guy who has 20 Years Experience and a guy who has 1 year experience (me). You’ll see because I was so passionate, His 19 additional years weren’t really what they should have been. Sheer proof you can shoot and edit your own videos if you believe in yourself.


The story line in the sleeping on me video was mostly written by me. It’s based on my life.

Also take into consideration, his camera and gear cost 3 times what my camera and gear cost.
His Video Sleepin On Me []
My Video God Fearing []

Now, The first video I shot as a serious artist and edited completely myself was ‘Friends and Enemies’  It was based on a true story. This was shot with the Canon T4i and a 50mm 1.8 $80 lens. ($650 In Gear)

The God Fearing Video above was shot with the T4i and 50mm 1.8 lens and the other half was shot with a rented Canon 5D Mark III + 2 top lenses. ($4500 in gear)

The only issue with shooting yourself is that you actually need to take the time read and research what to do and how to do it.

I did all of this research while patiently saving up when I went and got a job JUST to get the camera.


In 2013 when I finally understood the incredible value of visuals aligned with the music to create more neuron connections in the Homo sapiens sapien’s brain. 😛

I was broke as fuck, buying gas with change (I have video proof), living in the basement of a friend’s mom’s house working on music 14+ hours a day focusing on ONLY the dream.

I realized how important it was to have my own camera to shoot my own videos.
For that reason alone I went and got a day job delivering bread at 4AM 3 days a week just to afford the camera.

After I got the camera, lighting and other gear I researched and determined I wanted/needed. I quit the job. (I also needed a month off to go on my Midwest tour and they said no.)

It’s the same job I had when I clocked in in the Friends and Enemies Video


Side Story And Proof You Can Do It Yourself Too
If You Push Yourself!

From the jump In 2010 I had a guy that was supposed to be my camera man.

He said it was his dream to shoot and edit music videos for people!  So I gave him a chance.

Guess what!?

He never actually shot me a single music video in 2 years.

He didn’t have a camera. And he didn’t just go work to get a camera like I did.

He was lazy as fuck. He never even built his music video skills.

He was supposed to shoot and edit my Talk To’m Music Video.

Literally a week and a half before my ‘Talk To’m’ Music video was supposed to be shot he dropped out and said he couldn’t shoot it or do anything to help me.


I had already lined up all the people to be at the place and found a place that let us use their gallery area!!!!

So I had to hire 2 guys who were wedding photographers to shoot it with their high end cameras, but I edited it myself.

NOTE: This was before 2013 when I figured out how much I needed my own camera.

I got to work! 

Teaching myself green screening and all other major effects in a 90 hour window that it took to edit this special effects video.

I say 90 hours because I promised my fans a finished music video by a certain date.

So I worked my ass off to get it done for them on time when I had no ones help!

I think the camera guy dropped out because he didn’t want to have to learn how to do the special effects stuff. How lazy!

taught myself the entire software with NO experience AND how to do the special effects in 90 hours. 


Why I am telling you this story is because this was a kick in the ass that forced me to learn how to import video footage and edit my own music videos with special effects in a matter of a week with no ones help but Youtube.

If I can do it, you can do it!

That is what I am trying to show you. This is example is why I made for you for!


Here is an example of video with high quality that I edited ‘Talk To’m’


And here is an example of a more recent one, that combines High Quality (Canon 5D Mark III + high end lenses) and My Medium Quality (Canon T4i + basic lenses) gear that I own.


Below is a list of things I had to learn from Youtube
To Shoot My Own Music Videos

If you go through Youtube and learn even the basics of all this stuff, you will be well on your way to shooting your own amazing music videos for yourself AND friends.

No, I’m Not Teaching You This Stuff Here, but what I am doing is showing you what you can go research and need to learn about.

I didn’t have this list when I started. It definitely would have helped! 

1) The Almighty Lighting 

This is the single most important thing in Photography and video. Lighting to video is like water to a plant, gold chains to a rapper or a sex tape to kim kardashian.

It’s needed for the highest level of success and growth, get me? [LINK]

Also learning lighting will help you understand how to take better selfies and photos for your social media. No joke!

2) ISO 

When you change your ISO setting, you’re adjusting your camera’s sensitivity to light.

So the higher the number the more sensitive to light the camera’s sensor is. So the higher the ISO the brighter the footage.

BEWARE: The higher you set the ISO on your camera, the more GRAIN it adds from the sensitivity and the less High quality the footage will look. T

his is why you want to keep the ISO as low as possible and learn to manipulate the lighting.

3) Aperture Also Known As F-Stop

The opening of a lens eye and how much light it is letting into the camera

4) Shutter Speed 

Shutter speed is how much light the camera itself is letting in.

5) Focal length 

The focal length of the lens is the distance between the lens and the image sensor when the subject is in focus

6) Depth Of Field (DOF)

Basically, Things that are IN focus and OUT of focus.

The distance between objects that appear acceptably sharp in an image.

7) Framing   

Everything from angles and how the angles give a sense of emotion to the viewer. The framing will tell the viewer about the thing they are watching. Everything from making the person on screen look bigger, smaller, stronger, scared etc.

This all happens with framing whether you knew it or not.




I made my own rig, It cost me about $300. I never even use it lol.

Even though it looks cool as fuck. There is so much more room to maneuver when using a DSLR hand held. A steady cam would have been a much better investment.

But if you want the one I got that I continued to customize here it is

The Rig That I Own (It now costs a 1/3 what it did in 2013)

If you click the picture it goes to Amazon for more details. 

Steady Cam
Keeps the camera steady when moving with it for smooth shots.

If you click the picture it goes to Amazon for more details. 

Lenses (Prime Lenses, Zoom Lenses)

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Fixed Camera Lens (Fixed means it doesn’t zoom, it is fixed at 50mm)
I own this lens and LOVE it! It’s probably the cheapest lens for the quality I have ever seen.

If you click the picture it goes to Amazon for more details. 

MUST OWN a tripod. 60″ or higher.

If you click the picture it goes to Amazon for more details.

Wrapping Up

The great thing about learning things like recording music, shooting video, and other things yourself is that later when someone else is doing that task for you, you have a firm grasp of knowledge of it.
Then you can tell if the person you are working with is a professional or a person pretending to be professional.

True Story – How People Lie About Being Professional

It may not be on purpose, but they are surely confused about the definition of professional.

I went to an acting audition with a friend in LA last week. I thought it would be cool to experience and see how those worked and also figured maybe I could meet some people. I was in the waiting room networking.

Last week in LA I went to an audition with a friend to see what they were like. While I was waiting in the green room for my friend to do their thing, I met a girl named Chanelle and I asked what she did for a living besides model.

She said she was a PROFESSIONAL photographer. We kept talking, 5 minutes later after she talked about a bunch of other random shit, I asked her what DSLR Camera and gear she had. (Because I actually have my own gear and shoot, even though I don’t call myself a professional photographer or music video editor)

She said “Oh, I just use SnapChat on my phone to shoot photos.”

In my head I went “Thissss bitch…..”

And wanted to Chuck Norris Round House Kick Her. But that’s not appropriate. lol

Prayer Hands

An instant reminder to myself that everyone calls themselves serious and professional when in reality they generally ARE NOT.

Before I talked to her, she lined up a photo shoot with another model that was at the audition. When that model left, that is when I started talking to Chanelle. Because I was like wow, maybe she is a good photographer let’s discuss that with her and maybe learn something.

I wonder how that model felt when they met up and were just shooting pictures on SnapChat. lol 😛

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