How we Rate

We curate and exhibit indie music videos. From the thousands of student, fan and unofficial videos submitted to YouTube daily, we bring you the best. We rate videos on three criteria: production quality, creativity/performance and editing.

Skip to our Do's and Don'ts which are helpful tips.

Production Quality

What makes a video production good? Cinematography, lighting, camera movements, sets, locations — all of these make up what we call “Production Quality.” 

And it doesn’t mean a big budget. It’s more about great ideas and inspired execution — with emphasis on inspiration. Because it will show when you put the effort into the production. For example, if you lip syncing, it will look like you’re really singing when you really do sing. Plus, it’s easier to keep time with the music. 

Creativity/Performance

We put these two together because they are so linked especially since so many videos involve acting, singing and dancing. Standing out in the crowd requires creativity, energy and originality. 

We said it above and will say it here; a good performance in the music video reflects what is performed in front of the camera. If you’re lip syncing, they really sing the song. Don’t hold back. It will show in the final product and makes editing easier. Being a music video there will not be many lines for an actor to remember but that does not mean that there’s no acting involved. Play the part. Creativity and performance requires a dedicated cast. This is part what brings the originality to a production.

Editing

Cutting on motion, guiding eye movement, color timing... this is where good videos come together. Good editing is more than just cutting on the beat, and it helps good ideas and performances shine.

There is more to good editing than using every transition feature in the software you’re using. Good editing enhances the narrative — helping to create the story being told. Good editing grabs the viewer and brings them along for the ride.

Attributes We Look For

What you see above is what we look for when we see a video. But it’s not the metric we use. We actually give each video a score in each of the three categories above.

Each is divided into a series of attributes listed below and then given a score between .5 and 10. Since we only highlight videos we really like there’s little chance anyone getting a .5 on anything.

Production

  • Camera Moves
  • Cinematography
  • Lighting
  • Production Design 
  • Special Effects 
  • Use of Locations 
  • Use of Sets 
Production

Creativity & Performance

  • Acting 
  • Costumes & Makeup 
  • Creative Dancing 
  • Dancing
  • Lip Sync
  • Lyric Interpretation 
  • Music Interpretation 
  • Use of Abstract Imagery 

Editing

  • Color Timing
  • Creative Editing 
  • Cutting to Beat & Motion 
  • Fast-paced Cutting 
  • Image-replacement Editing 
  • Overall Creativity 

If you still want more information about what we look for check this out

Here’s a few do's and don'ts on how to make a better music video — arranged, sort of, by the categories mentioned

Do's

Good camera, lighting and production design matters as much in a performance video as in a narrative video.
Start and end your video with the song.
Use your talent and your imagination for the performance, the scene design and the camera.
If you're dancing then make it your own. This is where creativity comes into play.
When adding motion, use a motion stabilization system — skateboard or bike.

Don'ts

No blooper reels please. If you want to have an intro and end credits start the song after the intro and roll the credits after the song ends.
Try to keep the gratuitous twerking to a minimum.
We don’t do promotional videos: a product, a religion, an organization… even a good cause.
We don’t do dog, cat, Cosplay or anime videos.
No pitch shifting or modification to the music — No dialog or narration during/over the video. (Definitely not!)
No lyrics videos. (Absolutely not! Don’t even think about it.) You can add lyrics to emphasize the action but they should be more of an artistic statement.
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Have fun, meet cool people, change the world. But take your work seriously.  It's art!

- TikiKiti