Finding the Best Studio Space for your Music Video in Manhattan
Whether you’re part of a team, working on a big budget music video for an Grammy award winning mega star or if you’re a director hired on by a mid level artist with a less extravagant budget, there comes a time when you need to find the right location for your music video shoot.
When you and your team have a concept for a music video down, you’re going to start brainstorming about what type of setting your script or treatment calls for. If you’re looking for a music video studio space to shoot in in New York, here are some things to consider and a few ways to locate the right studio space for your particular video.
Why Choose a Studio Space in New York City?
While some music videos might call for an outside setting, or a specific type of venue like a club, house, school, gym or any other type of location, some music videos might call for a clean, white space that allows for a variety of concepts to be made reality. This is why clean, white background studio spaces are so popular in the music industry; they offer a fresh canvas for art to be splashed on. They can be transformed in so many different ways, using decor and lighting, angles chosen by directors of photography and videographers.
Another big benefit, especially for musicians working on a video in a big city like NYC, there’s another huge reason why a studio space is the perfect location in which to shoot your music video - and that’s control. Seasoned directors will tell you what one of the single most challenging things to do is: that is controlling your environment and all the factors that affect the success of a music video. From conception to the moment they yell “CUT! That’s a wrap!” there is a world of unforeseen obstacles to overcome. From budget challenges to securing permits, to outside noise seeping into your shoot, (especially if the shoot involves any dialogue), to lighting issues to scheduling, to locating electricity sources on location and so much more - all of this and so many unpredictable things that can work against you, and it all has to happen within that deadline!
Being able to control your surroundings is key. A modern, clean, white background studio space offers the perfect environment to be able to keep outside factors at bay. It’s raining outside? No problem. There’s a sudden swarm of pigeons or crows that decided to convene in your area? They can’t get into the studio space. There’s tons of traffic and tourists running around? They can’t get into your private studio space. A confined, dedicated studio allows you to control your surroundings, cuts out noise and distractions that could not only get in your shots but also distract your actors or crew, and it allows you to control your lighting. You’ll be able create specific moods and feels and get the exact results that you envisioned in a modern studio space.
Lastly, the raw feeling of having a canvas for a space is simply inspiring; for a creative, it is a haven for possibilities and allows them to create atmospheres intentionally. A music video can be shot in a completely dreamed up atmosphere that looks just the way the director wanted it. It helps your actors and musicians be in the zone, focused only on the task at hand and really in the moment so they can deliver the best performance possible. Basically, a studio space is the ideal location for musicians shooting music videos in an otherwise impossibly hectic and bustling NYC.
Finding the Right Music Video Studio in NYC
When scouting for locations, think about what type of look and feel you want for your shoot. If you want tons of natural light and an artsy, industrial look, you might consider a penthouse or loft studio space. This is perfect if your shoot is set in a busy city. It is that quintessential NYC feel, reminiscent of Sex in the City or the starving artist making it big in the big apple.
If it’s that classic city setting you’re looking for, the best thing about choosing a studio space in the city is that you’re not limited to the studio itself. Locations like Daylight Studios in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards neighborhood. The brand new Hudson Yards is the largest private investment in real estate in U.S. history . Centrally located, with easy access to surrounding areas that can lend themselves to your storyline. Daylight Studios happens to be right in the heart of a glistening, chic, urban area that is populated with restaurants, bars, art galleries, the famous Highline Park the first Neiman Marcus to open in New York, Madison Square Garden and so many more interesting locations. So if you’re looking to have outdoor locations in combination with a main sequence in your music video, perhaps a dance sequence for a pop singer or a live performance portion for a band, it could be a highly efficient way to plan the shoot to include your studio hours, then, once that’s wrapped head to nearby outdoor locations on foot; or, vice-versa, depending things like scheduling, weather and local events.
So many old school icons have shot in NYC - from Michael Jackson ( “Bad” 1987) to Public Enemy “(FIght the Power” 1989)Wu Tang Clan () and thousands more - and for good reason. There’s magic in the urban feel of the city, there’s energy, diversity, excitement, in short; there’s so much life to capture in the city. If you’re looking for a vibrant city setting for your video that is centrally located and happens to be around beautiful, iconic landmarks like the Flatiron Building, Times Square or Central Park, Manhattan might be your best choice. Studios in other areas, like Brooklyn or the Bronx might have some of the things you want, but when you choose a studio located in Manhattan, you get the ultimate convenience of the best connectivity to everything via the subway system, you get an abundance of diverse spaces and settings, and you get that urban, metropolitan feel that makes for epic, cinematic scenes.