Filming a Music Video in Brooklyn: Join the greatest artists

Written by Sam GeigerDecember 24, 2019

Whether you are a local musician or band, or just inspired by the iconic borough in NYC, filming a music video in Brooklyn puts you in the same category as artists such as Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Radiohead and Lorde. Can you spot the Brooklyn locations where these music videos were filmed?

Michael Jackson – “Bad”

What makes a legendary music video? Michael Jackson, direction by Martin Scorsese and a West Side Story -inspired dance sequence in the Hoyt-Schermerhorn subway station.

Beyonce – “XO”

“XO” comes from Beyonce’s 2013 self-titled album, or her “visual album,” labeled as such by Beyonce because every song has a music video. The nearly impromptu shoot in Coney Island Amusement Park directed by fashion photographer Terry Richardson delivers visually on the feeling of living in the moment as Beyonce is swarmed by fans and paparazzi while freewheeling on the Cyclone coaster and in the arcade.

Radiohead – “Man of War”

Shot in East Williamsburg, Radiohead’s “Man of War” video follows a man chased by strangers, starting on Morgan Avenue near Cooper Park, down Gardner Avenue, and ending on the train tracks at Scott Avenue. For a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the video, check out No Film School‘s great interview with director Colin Read: “How Radiohead’s ‘Man of War’ is a Shot-For-Shot Remake of Itself.”

Lorde – “Team”

The “Team” music video, inspired by Lorde’s dream of “teenagers in their own world,” establishes a society reminiscent of the Lord of the Flies in the abandoned Red Hook Grain Terminal at the direction of Young Replicant.

Although the aforementioned musicians filmed on location, filming in a Brooklyn soundstage offers a number of desirable advantages while keeping the general neighborhood vibe (Hello, Red Hook and Sunset Park!).

For one, filming inside lets you control the elements. (The “Man of War” shoot in nearly 100-degree temperatures over just two 12-hour days landed director Colin Read in the hospital!)