The secrets to music video success

“An extra special video can get you well over a thousand youtube hits”

In our last Band Aid article, we discussed the importance of creative music videos. This time, we speak to Callum Scott-Dyson, the mind behind videography company CSD Videography, about his experience of making music videos for new artists and how they can get the best results.


In your opinion, what is the main purpose of a music video?
I’d say the main purpose is to add something to the music, to bring it to life more and make more of a point of it. But at the same time we want the video to always coincide with the song, having a similar ‘feel’.

With the song always being made first, the purpose of a video is to help a band or artist really sell something in the song, a message or theme or idea, and it can build upon what the song already laid out.


What do you think makes a good music video?

First and foremost, something that’s not too distracting. With the audio already there, it takes out a lot of the hard work of filmmaking in terms of dialogue and sound design, but presents the challenge of having to create something which visually complements the song, so something not too different, random or – as I said – distracting.

You want a viewer to enjoy the song and video, not wonder too much why this or that is going on. Personally I like something a bit different in a video, being from a filmmaking background I prefer story-based videos or ones that make the performance section particularly playful or inventive.

The work of Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry is so well known in this genre, but they always seem to throw something different in there to make the video that bit more engaging and magical, which I’d say a great video needs.


What are the typical results that new artists find when they invest in a high-quality, creative music video?

It can depend on the contacts the band or artist have in terms of being able to guarantee a high profile premiere for the video. But in my experience one gets a lot of respect from their peers when they produce a video of real quality.

So many are made these days, having an extra special video can really impress people. It can get you well over a thousand youtube hits from word of mouth alone, and when the band or artist do interviews or any sort of promo, it tends to have the video attached to it or they’ll talk about the video. It can say so much about the band.

“Sometimes all it needs is a spark of an idea

that we [videographers] can work from”


How often do you come across a new artist who has actually given some serious thought to the idea behind a video before coming to you?

I would say around half the time. A lot of things in this business can get rushed so the video shoot tends to be one of them, or an artist is so fixated on recording that they haven’t really managed to think of ideas for a video.

Videographers like CSD like to offer services in fleshing out and developing an idea. I work with a certain solo artist whenever he needs a video, and it’s a good blend because he tends to have little snippets of ideas and knows to an extent how he wants the video to look and feel Then we come in and add a few more ideas and develop the look. So sometimes that’s all it needs, just a spark of an idea that we can work from.

Sometimes itcan be difficult to get an artist to engage in making a really good video, in terms of trying to get an idea in pre-production and trying to focus on executing it when shooting. We like as much back and forth as possible so we can do everything we can to deliver what the band or artist wants.


What would you recommend a new artist keeps in mind when looking around for a videography company?

That, hopefully in most if not all cases, you get what you pay for – a fully planned out shoot involving a team of experts working hard to execute your idea. We talk to you about any ideas you have, before working our magic, delivering a final product that is eye-catching, creative, and totally original. 

I’d recommend having an idea of what you want in mind as we always want to pick your brain for every thought and idea based around the video in terms of shots, visual references, tones, colours, everything!

Anyone can pick up a camera and film a wide shot of the band playing and release it as a music video, which is fine. But in our team’s case, we’re a tight unit with a past in filmmaking as well as years doing videos. So we like to treat each video like a short film, if possible having scenes and great lighting and sometimes plot or extraneous shots, all set to and based around the music to really bring it to life!


CSD videography is based in northern England (Manchester and York). Any new artists interested in contacting Callum for a music video can email him at

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