So, next week I’m shooting a music video. Not too many details to give right now about the content itself, but I did want to touch a little bit on things involved in making one, because it might be of use to people.
Music Videos are basically short films that accompany music; they can range from being exacting performances of the lyrics of a song, or they can be entirely unrealted creations that are essentially using the music as background. A spectrum of quality arises as well, when you compare them to each other.
Thanks to our achieving the era of the Microtheft, here’s a few music videos that come to mind:
- Cylob – Rewind, in which one thing happens, but it’s a really neat thing happening.
- Carpark North – Human, in which you see a lot of strange things happen.
- Chemical Brothers – Star Guitar in which one strange thing is happening, even thought it might take a little while to figure it out.
- Chemical Brothers – Let Forever Be, in which a strange thing keeps happening so much that you eventually completely lose track of it.
- Flock of Seagulls – I Ran, in which… come on, dude, it’s FLOCK OF SEAGULLS!
Talk has gone back and forth about doing this music video for a while, but now it’s gotten the green light. I have 9 days to shoot the principal photography, after which the performer will be unavailable. I have had a demo version of the song for some time, and now I have the finished song. I am funding this video. I will also be staffing it, and co-creating it with the performer.
I bring this out into the open to just discuss the thinking process; most critically, as a person putting together a project, I find it best to design something that is within your means. A more incredible video that you ultimately can’t pull off is even worse than not making one in the first place. You end up wasting everyone’s time, and money, and have nothing to show for it.
Therefore, I am working within my means to ensure the resulting product will be good, even if a certain number of things go wrong during production. I expect to shoot something like an hour to two hours of footage, which will be cut down to 5 minutes. I expect a week or two of post-production beyond editing. I also expect to do at least two shoots without the performer, what’s commonly called “second unit” footage, although I will be playing the part of the second unit as well.
Currently, I’m planning for three sets, one of which will be in my attic, and two in my basement. There will be a sequence shot outside in a “run and gun” fashion, and one inside a college on a similar “run and gun” fashion. I will visit the college campus before shooting commences and take some snapshots to ensure what’s in my head fits with what is there; the same for the sets in my home.
The biggest budgetary concern has already been bought; my HD camera I’m shooting my documentary with. I’ve already got lights, already got props, already have a bunch of other materials one would normally have to rent or buy.
Next, I contact a couple people I’ve chatted with over the years to see if they want to be entirely unpaid crew members. I start yanking stuff out of the “sets” to build them up as I expect them to look. And I wonder, as I go to do this, what could possibly go wrong, and what I can do to prevent it.
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