Advice Clinic

Do’s and Don’ts For Creating Artistic, Low Budget Music Videos

31st January 2017

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The Berlin Music Video Awards are currently calling for entries for 2017, so we took this opportunity to catch up with Berlin Music Video Awards’ Production Manager, Aviel Silook, to find out his do’s and don’ts for making artistic and low budget music videos.


  1. Every second is holy in a video. Usually the audience of a music video is young, so they often don’t have a long attention span with media and social media. Long shots can lose the audience’s attention, so keep it snappy and utilise every second.
  2. Always feature unforgettable individuals or faces that portray a strong character. In a music video, you can have a narrative, but not really a script, so expressions are very important.
  3. Do what other people don’t dare to do. It doesn’t need to be controversial but try to do something different. For example, ‘Body Hair’ by Hila The Killa puts a new topic on the table to be discussed. And the ‘Best Song’ at the 2014 Berlin Music Video Awards was called ‘Period’ – the creator turned something which could have been unpleasant into something beautiful, using red flowers and ribbon dancers. People like it when you go to dark corners but shine light on them.
  4. Be the first. Try to expose a new fashion trend or creative concept. If you know someone with niche and specific talents, bring them on board. For example, in Han Han’s video ‘World Gong Crazy, they knew an amazing designer and blended this with Filipino traditions and rap. The video came across as fresh, new and interesting.
  5. A laughing jury won’t hang you. People love humour – they forgive you for a low budget video if it’s humorous. A good example is Romano’s ‘My Metal Jacket’.


  1. Your face, and only your face. We know you want to be seen and recognised, but having your face all over the screen for the whole video is not cool. You can feature in it, of course, but your face doesn’t need to be the main focus. Think about your viewers, rather than your own prerogative.
  2. Avoid trends – they’re usually overused. If you’re developing a trend or a new direction that has never been done before then, of course, go ahead, but if you’re using slow-mo, GoPro or drones, be cautious. Try to think of new ways to explore them rather than the same old ways that others have used.
  3. Contemporary expressive dance is already overused. It’s OK to use dance in your video, but find a new style or revisit an interesting old one. If you do it well, it can be charming and classy.
  4. Be authentic and don’t pretend to be anything you’re not. Don’t imagine you have a high budget if you don’t. It’s better to make your video properly with your existing resources than to try to film things that you just can’t afford.
  5. Don’t overuse stereotypical locations. For Berlin, we get so many featuring the U-Bahn and local monuments – try to find something that nobody knows about, or show a different perspective or background.

Of course, sometimes someone will do a video which goes completely against all of this advice and everyone will love it anyway. It’s like finding a lover – you have a list of everything you think you like, then someone completely opposite comes and sweeps you off your feet!

To find out more about how you can get involved in, and apply for, the Berlin Music Video Awards, visit the website here:

The deadline for submissions is Friday 10th February.