Music Video Director: Career and Education Facts

Get info on degree programs you might pursue to gain the skills needed for music video directing. Explore programs related to video directing, read about the coursework, and find out if you can complete some of your classes online. Schools offering Digital Cinematography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

The role of a music video director is to oversee all aspects of a music video's production, so you may benefit from a program that incorporates a wide variety of production techniques in filming and editing videos. You may find video production programs that allow you to produce professional music videos for local talent.

Program Options Digital Video Production Proficiency Certificate, Associate Degrees in Television and Video Production, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film and Television, Master of Fine Arts in Film and Video Production
Courses High-definition camerawork, media entrepreneurship, sound design and recording, scriptwriting, lighting and set design, acting and directing for the camera, cinematography, Final Cut Pro: nonlinear editing for video, motion graphics for video
Salary $107,450 average salary for directors in the motion picture and video industries as of May 2017

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Do I Need a Degree to Be a Music Video Director?

While holding a certificate or degree isn't absolutely necessary for you to begin a career as a music video director, an education in video production can provide you with the training, equipment access and professional contacts you need to work in the field. There are a few certificate programs that specialize in music videos, but most courses in this field are part of degree programs in film, video or media studies.

What Kind of Education is Best For Me?

If you'd like to begin your directing career as soon as possible, a certificate program or an associate's degree may be best for you. Ranging from six months to two years, these options provide you with introductory coursework in filming, editing and directing. They also allow you to collaborate with other students on video projects. These programs may lead to entry-level production jobs, which are the stepping stone for a music video directing career. Bachelor's degree programs may offer a greater variety of courses, more hands-on experience and extensive professional training.

What About a Graduate Degree?

If you already have a bachelor's degree and want to build your music video directing portfolio in a professional environment, a master's degree program for filmmaking or video production may be right for you. Graduate studies include classes in movie history, filmmaking theory and production techniques. You also participate in workshops where your work is critiqued. Your program will probably offer self-guided study, which allows you to choose coursework and complete projects relevant to your music video directing specialty.

What Kind of Courses Will I Take?

Because film and video production programs often emphasize broadcast media and movies, you may want to pick a program that has courses specific to music video production. You may also complete professional courses that help you to create a portfolio to market your videos. If enrolled in a degree program, you will also be required to complete general education courses and electives to supplement your creative goals. Some of the topics you might explore are listed below:

  • Camerawork
  • Editing
  • Scripting
  • Casting
  • Audio/video hardware and software

Can I Take Classes Online?

There are a small number of online film and video degree programs offered by private, for-profit schools. Individual courses in video production are also available through distance learning and continuing education departments at some universities. Online courses generally require owning a digital video camera and editing software.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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