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I recently posted an article called, "Shooting Real Estate Video with a DSLR--The Basics" that got a lot of positive feedback, including a comment asking where to get music for real estate videos and what to know about selecting music for them. It goes without saying that music can be a tremendously powerful element in our videography. So here are a few things to consider when choosing music for your video project... and I hope many other videographers will chime in with their own thoughts, too:
1. Determine what role the music will play in your video. In other words, do you want your music to be a central element of the video because you want it to make the final product more memorable? Or do you want the music to be a “supporting player” in the video?
2. Use intro and outro music as “bookends”. There is something to be said for consistency in our videos. Music can be used to “bookend” various sections of the video and it can even be used to divide your video into chapters or segments.
3. Explore a music library. There are so many different resources available to us to augment our videos with music. These libraries have different licensing agreements and pricing/membership packages. Here is a list of some good libraries to consider:
4. Licensing your selected music. In my experience, most music sources will send you a license “certificate” of some sort, when you’ve paid for the music. While this is not formal legal advice, it’s my sense that the license should give you the right to incorporate the music you’ve paid for into your project without having to worry about breaking any intellectual property laws.
5. Choose music that will speak to your audience. If the house you’re videoing is of a more traditional style in a quiet neighborhood that’s mostly populated by an older demographic, then odds are that hip-hop or house music is probably not going to be a good fit.
6. Take advantage of tone and frequency. Neuroscience studies show that most human beings have common responses to music. This research has found that tone and frequency impact us in certain ways and should be considered when choosing music for your video. For instance, if your video contains a lot of voice-over, it’s wise to avoid choosing tracks with complex melodies played on instruments that use the same “tones” as the human voice, such as from many string and keyboard instruments.
7. Pacing. Sometimes, pulling the music is a great way to add impact to a certain spot(s) in our video; and then re-start it, shortly thereafter. Be careful not to overuse this technique though, as it will lose its effectiveness.
Finally, in terms of how one would factor the cost of the music into a pricing model and how to address a situation where the real estate agent doesn’t like the choice of music, I will leave that to the more experienced videographers in our community to answer.