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What Does a Music Videographer Do?

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  • Written By: Maggie Worth
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 22 November 2016
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A music videographer is a motion graphics professional who specializes in capturing and formatting music videos. Specific duties for this position vary depending on the scope and budget of the project. Frequently, the music videographer is involved in lighting, sound, and shot setup as well as the actual capture of the visual images. He or she may further be responsible for combining the audio and video tracks and overall editing. On large productions, however, a videographer might be strictly responsible for capturing the visual images, and more than one camera or videographer may be used.

In the case of an independent or small-budget music video production, each crew member often wears many hats. For a music videographer, this may mean consulting with the director or producer about lighting. In this case, the videographer must evaluate the shoot location and cast members against the artistic vision for the project to determine how each shot or shot segment should be lit. This can include placing additional lights in strategic locations to highlight important features or to create shadows. It can also include adjusting camera settings and using specialty lenses and filters to create the desired effect.

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Often, the music videographer assists the director or producer in setting up individual shots or motion sequences. This involves determining the best angle or angles from which to film and helping decide how on-camera talent should approach the film source. A music videographer must also consider special effects when determining both lighting and shot setups. Many recording devices offer speed and other effects options to alter the appearance of a shot.

Depending on the nature of the project, sound may or may not be recorded at the same time as video. In smaller productions, this is traditionally the case. Most likely, the music videographer on such a shoot is responsible for ensuring that sound levels and quality are adequate. Larger productions may have a sound engineer responsible for these duties.

If the project staff includes a video editor, the videographer’s job will likely be finished once all footage has been shot. In many cases, however, a music videographer also acts as the video editor as well. In this role, he or she is responsible for using video editing software to cut and edit raw footage and to add any postproduction special effects the producer may desire. If the sound has been recorded separately, or if the audio and video tracks have been separated for editing purposes, the videographer may also edit the sound track and layer it onto the video track.

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