An anime music video starts with an idea. There
are generally two approaches to getting an idea. You either
choose the song first and then place some anime to it, or
you choose the anime first and then find a song to fit. Both
approaches are equally good for getting an idea. Remember:
you will be listening to this song for the new few weeks or
months, so make the song something that you hopefully won't
get sick of quickly. It is very difficult if not impossible
to make a good video in a weekend. The more time you put into
your video, the better the video will be.
First, you have to find out if your idea has
been done already. Luckily, this phase of creating your video
has gotten tons easier with this site. Browse though the catalog
of videos that have been entered and see if your idea has
been taken. If a video has been done already, download the
video and watch it. Generally, nobody wants to see a video
done again (unless you think you can do soooo much better
than the first guy).
If you notice in your preparatory research,
most good videos are about four minutes or so long. If the
song you choose is longer than that, an easy way to remedy
the length is to cut out a verse or a guitar solo or some
other part and splice the song into a shorter track. Doing
long songs with videos is very difficult because you have
to hold your audiences attention and keep the video idea going
Another good method for reducing song length
is to just fade out the music and cut it off whenever your
ideas run out. It's better to stop while your ahead instead
of killing the video by putting in filler material. Extending
a short song is generally not a good idea.
PLAN, PLAN, PLAN
To the newbie, you may be saying to yourself,
"No problem. I get the same cool feeling when I listen
to this music as when I watch this anime. I can match them
up in some cool way." You've got to do more than find
some music that matches some anime. You actually have to do
something with every moment of the four minutes or so of the
song. A good thing to do is to plan out some sort of story
or overall concept to go along with your video. In my "Material
Girl" video, Nabiki's clothes get more and more lavish
as the video goes on (this was not an accident). Remember:
music + random scenes does not equal a good video.
One thing you will want to plan on is the video
off with a bang and end it with a bang, or at least something
cool. Surprisingly, it's not necessary to have constant high
kickin' coolness throughout your video to have an overall
good video. Viewers can usually tolerate a lull in the action
during the video. In fact, the contrast of a low point in
the action of a video will help enhance the high points of
the video. The one thing you don't want to do is start of
real cool and then slowly fizzle out into nothing. Generally
a good video will start with a bang, go low and then build
until the final bang at the end.
Four minutes is 240 seconds. If on average there
is one cut per second (some cuts last a few seconds while
others only fractions of a second), that means there is a
minimum of 240 clips you have to dig up for your video. If
you're looking to lip sync, prepare to make many many more.
Now listen to the song you are going to use.
Listen to it again. And again. And again. Listen to every
beat, symbol crash, rise and fall in dynamics, tone, melody,
bass, rhythm, everything. Pick the song apart piece by piece
on every layer. Listen to it at home, in your car, at work/school.
Visualize as much as you can of what you want to create.
Generally songs have lyrics. Go out and get
a copy of them. Write them down or print them out. Listen
to the song and time the lyrics. How much time before the
lyrics start? How much time is in each line of each verse?
How much time between verses? How long is the chorus? How
long is the solo?
MAP IT OUT
On the copy of the lyrics where you've now mapped
out the lyric times, write in or storyboard some ideas on
what should go where. This will give you a good map on what
clips to look for when you go to get some footage.
On to Step 3: --> Get