Top 6 Music Video Locations In The US: Ideas & Tips
Everyone in music knows that the instrumentals are just as important as the artist. And with music videos, the location is just as important as the artist and the recording.
Determining good places to shoot a music video depends on a few factors, such as your brand or the song's meaning.
For example, if you’re an up-and-coming artist from New York making a music video, you’ll probably want to shoot the video in your local neighborhood.
There may also be times when you can shoot a video anywhere in the world.
To help pick a location, we’ve put together a list of 6 music video location ideas and examples of videos shot in those cities. Plus a few music video tips at the end.
Las Vegas, Nevada
One of the most popular places in America is also one of the best places to shoot a music video. What’s great about Vegas is that even with a limited budget, you can shoot on the strip and come out with some great footage.
Popular music videos shot in Vegas include:
Katy Perry - “Waking Up in Vegas”
Bruno Mars - “24k Magic”
U2 - “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”
New York City, New York
The largest city in the United States, New York City has been a muse for artists throughout several genres and eras. The first rap music video ever to earn regular rotation on MTV - Run DMC’s “Rock Box” - was shot in NYC.
New York City has been used as a music video location for so long that you can see the city evolve throughout the different decades of artists.
Popular music videos shot in New York City include:
Michael Jackson - “Beat It”
The White Stripes - “The Hardest Button to Button”
ASAP Rocky - “Peso”
With beautiful beaches and phenomenal nightlife, it’s easy to see why many artists have thought Miami is a cool location to shoot a music video.
One of the recent popular music videos shot in Miami was “God’s Plan” by Drake. In the video, Drake takes the $966,631.90 budgeted for the video and gives it out to Miami residents. It’s become one of the most popular music videos, with 1.4 billion views on YouTube.
Popular music videos shot in Miami include:
Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin - “I Like It”
Dua Lipa - “New Rules”
Los Angeles, California
It’s no surprise that the home of Hollywood is also a good place to shoot a music video. Many artists will choose to shoot in the movie industry backlots, but the best LA music videos are the ones that showcase the different areas of the city.
A few good examples include Dr. Dre and Tupac shooting “California Love” in Compton (with a young Kendrick Lamar in the crowd), and Tom Petty shooting “Free Falling” on Ventura Boulevard.
Other popular music videos shot in Los Angeles include:
Red Hot Chili Peppers - “Under the Bridge”
Ice Cube - “It was a Good Day”
Beck - “Girl”
Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver, Colorado, is one of the premier music venues in the United States. Several artists have chosen to not only document their live performances but also edit them into music videos.
Anyone that has gone to a show at Red Rocks always leaves saying it was a magical experience - and it’s easy to see why when you look at music videos recorded there.
Other music videos shot in Denver include:
B.O.B - “Don’t Let me Fall”
Jack White - “Would You Fight for My Love?”
San Francisco, California
Since the 60s, San Francisco has been a top location for artists and creatives. With historic neighborhoods like Haight-Ashbury combined with one of the most prominent landmarks in America - the Golden Gate Bridge - musicians have used San Francisco as a muse to showcase that they’ve made it in some way or form.
Popular music videos shot in San Francisco include:
Green Day - “When I Come Around”
Train - “Save Me, San Francisco”
Tips for Choosing a Good Place to Shoot a Music Video
Stay True to Your Brand
Consider the Story You’re Trying to Tell with the Video
Speak to Local or Other Artists Who Have Shot at a Potential Location
Research and Compare Potential Landmarks or Locations
If you’re interested in learning more about brainstorming good music video location ideas, the Russell Film Company would love to help. Feel free to message us to get the collaboration started.