Find the best music video locations for hire with Tutti
To some people they may seem unnecessary, so why does everyone continue to invest time and money into producing music videos? Because for musicians, music videos are essential for audience engagement. They allow fans to get to know the individual/band and connect with their artistic style, plus music videos make ideal promotional content for social media because they are highly shareable.
The process is also a valuable experience for new filmmakers. Music videos are like short films, you learn how to handle pre-production, the production itself, and everything related to post-production work.
Here at Tutti, we can guide you through finding the perfect London music video location for your needs and your budget. Scroll down for our checklist & tips below.
Top tips for hiring a music video location in London
Why hire a music video location in London?
London is the home of a wide variety of venues to suit every genre of music, you can shoot a video for jazz, pop, R&B, hip hop or even classical music. Examples of types of venues available on Tutti include a fully equipped jazz club in Lambeth, an industrial rooftop in Greenwich, studio with LED wall in Elephant and Castle, theatre in Hackney, and a factory space in Haringey and many more.
You also have the opportunity to use recognisable London locations such as the central skyline when you hire this hotel’s rooftop terrace bar, or even a modern Victoria Line tube carriage when you hire this museum.
You may even find the choice of spaces overwhelming at first, but that’s where our advanced search tools can help you select the most appropriate space for your fashion shoot.
How to plan for your music video shoot before you hire a location in London
Develop a concept and storyboard
The concept will drive all other creative and practical decisions for your music video. Start by answering the following questions.
- What message do you want to communicate?
- What do you want people to remember about the artist and the music?
- Can the track be reinforced by the visuals and vice versa?
A great way to visualise your concept is to create a mood board, whether you use a physical board or a digital one on Pinterest. A mood board usually consists of a stream-of-consciousness style portrayal of all the elements that you want to capture on the day of your shoot. It may include fashion pictures, landscapes, interior design or even just shades of colours that you want to incorporate. You can start researching by flicking through fashion magazines, searching online, or seeking inspiration from movies.
It’s also a great idea to study music videos for inspiration. A simple idea, well-executed, is always more effective than a complex idea, done poorly. For example, did you know Coldplay’s iconic, melancholy music video for ‘Yellow’ where he’s walking in slow motion down the beach, was originally supposed to be a lively beach party scene, until bad weather sent all the extras home.
Once you have your concept tied down, then it’s important to build storyboards for each shot. This will ensure that you don’t miss anything on the day of the shoot and that you can describe to your crew what you need. Managing a shoot can be a logistical challenge so this will help you get the most out of your allocated time. You can google a free music video storyboard template to download and then sketch out each scene in the box and describe the scene underneath.
Establish a budget
No matter how simple your shoot is, a music video is a team effort, and you will need to factor this into your budget over and above the basic fee for location hire. Here are some of the roles that you might need to fill:
- Band members/musician
- Camera operator
- Lighting person
- Hair and makeup artist
Other additional costs to consider include the hire of props, rates for going overtime, paid parking costs, and extra equipment rental.
Pick a location
Will you need to drive to the shoot? And, if so, does the venue come with a dedicated parking space? A location in central London may not be the right choice once you consider potential parking and traffic problems, but there are other fashion shoot locations to hire in London’s zones 2-4.
As you’ll be working with a team, you need to ensure everyone will be able to access the location. It’s a good idea to check public transport options such as nearby tube stations, and consider whether these will be available if you have an early start or late finish. You also might want to check out the local amenities for food and coffee options during your breaks.
Once you have all your details nailed down, send a call sheet around to everyone a couple of days in advance which will include the shoot date and start time, location address (including specific details like parking access), the responsibilities of each person, contact details, and schedule for the day. Ask each person to confirm they have received the call sheet so you know everyone has the correct information.
Ensure you have the right equipment
After nailing down your concept and your location, it’s essential you have the right type of equipment on your shoot day. You’ll want a good quality camera with good battery life and a selection of cine lenses to provide varied shots. Cameras with a motion tracking feature can be very helpful for ensuring your subject always stays in focus as they move. An external camera monitor will provide the director and the production team with an extra viewfinder to review live footage. It may seem like an unnecessary expense but it will improve workflow and will mean you catch errors and issues immediately.
Unless you’re shooting a music video from only one angle and can therefore place your camera on a flat surface, it’s essential to stabilise your shots with a device like a tripod, monopod, or gimbal stabiliser, or else you will end up with shaky footage.
Your music video concept will determine the type of lighting equipment you need, whether you want a warm, natural scene, or a more theatrical style you typically find in high-production music videos. In this case an LED lighting kit with accessories like gels and gobos are a great option.
A music player and speakers will come in handy for a couple of reasons. Firstly if the musician will be lip syncing they’ll need to hear the song playing to lip sync accurately. It will also help the video editor identify which clips go with which part of the song in the post-production stage because they’ll be able to hear the song playing along with the footage.
Checklist for hiring a music video location
What props do you need? Some filming location hire fees include props and it’s a good idea to check whether you can move these existing props around to use them in your shoot.
What lighting equipment do you need? Often basic lighting equipment like umbrellas and softboxes are included in the hire fee but if lights are chargeable, you’ll want to check how much they will cost so you can factor this into your budget.
How much space will you require? This will depend on how large your team is, but you’ll want to make sure there is a break area and a kitchen/refreshment-making facilities available, plus a changing room and enough hair & beauty stations for the number of stylists so they can work simultaneously.
What are your power requirements? Under general information on each location’s page listing, you can check whether single or three-phase power is available.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much should I budget to hire a music video location in London?
Tutti offers a wide range of studios for hire for every budget. You can narrow your search by using the advanced search options and filtering by price. Most venues in London charge by the day or half-day with the majority of prices falling between 250 and 1500 per day.
How long can I hire a music video location for?
This is completely up to you. Most London-based location hire fees charge by the day or half-day, but using Tutti’s enquiry form you can request multiple dates for a location.
Does the music video location have A/C and/or heating?
To ensure your team are comfortable throughout the filming day, a location with temperature control such as air conditioning or central heating will be a huge benefit. You can use Tutti’s advanced search tool to filter on one or more of these options.
Where can I find actors, dancers and stylists for my music video?
Start with an online search for actors etc in your local area. Social media is a great tool for finding creatives too, as most artists will have a professional Instagram profile where you can contact them, as well as view their work to see whether their look fits with your concept.
What is typically included in the hire price of a music video location?
It depends on the type of location you choose. It will be more expensive to hire a recording studio or a performance space like a theatre, but these types of venues also include more technical equipment in the hire fee. A warehouse or rooftop space will be cheaper but will also require you to bring your own equipment. Generally, all venues offer core facilities such as a kitchen, storage space and changing room. If you have specific requirements please remember to message the host and if they do provide additional equipment, check whether there is any additional charge.
Can I view the space before I book it?
Yes, you generally can view a location in person before your shoot. If you would like to see the venue, please message the host to confirm this is possible and arrange a suitable time.
What makes a good location for a music video?
If your concept focuses on the musicians, then you can choose a more simple location with a clean backdrop and good lighting. But if your music video tells a story, you’ll want to choose a unique venue such as a house with plenty of moveable props to make the set come alive.