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advice for first music video


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#1 Anton Delfino

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 02:09 AM

So I'm in preliminary discussions with an independent band who is interested in getting a music video produced. I imagine many of you on this site have produced/directed/shot music videos before, but this is my first time. At this point, we've talked about the song, exchanged some thoughts about the concept, and that the band will be responsible for coming up with the budget. I'm not looking to get paid here, just an opportunity to produce a quality product that can benefit me as an aspiring director and a way to get the band another way to market themselves. It's certainly a project I'm excited about, but I don't want to make sure I've got all my bases covered.

Anyone have any advice or pitfalls to look out for - whether it has to do with pre-production, negotiation, concept development, and even production - as we move forward? The guy I've been corresponding with - the lead singer - was an ex-coworker, so I don't think he's gonna try and screw me. But I want to be as professional I can be throughout the process.

I should say that I do want to direct it. If the band does not buy into the concept 100%, how have you all been able to overcome it? If at all. It is likely that I will also be the producer. I don't think I'm in over my head here, but if it sounds that way, I'd love to know.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Much appreciated.

- anton
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#2 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 03:07 AM

One very general piece of advice: Simple is often better. Don't try to get too creative and technical. Your budget and end product will suffer. It's all well and good to be optimistic, but it's important to be realistic at the same time.
Good luck.
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#3 John Carreon

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 04:14 AM

Try to keep it interesting...

I've done my fair share of low budget music videos and I think the biggest pitfall is just making it a boring video...

No one wants to watch musicians play for 3-4 minutes...

Watch them Live...maybe...but not on Youtube...or wherever you'll send it out too...

Try to come up with a good idea..be it visually...or stororally...

(I meant narratively)

But try to keep the viewer interested.

John
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#4 Michael Nash

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 03:13 PM

I don't know how much production experience you have but if this your first music video, try to surround yourself with people who have done it before (DP, gaffer, editor, producer, etc.). Having too many first-timers can create a "blind leading the blind" situation for problems that may have simple and established solutions. Taking on too many job roles yourself can create similar problems.

Make sure your concept is simple and easy to execute. With low budget productions some details like locations, props, and people can flake out or fail at the last minute, leaving you hanging. Make sure you've designed something that leaves you with a finished video even if that one cutesy or cool shot has to get dropped.

Plan on doing what you know you can do well, and anything else is gravy. If the whole production is stretched thin by shots that are too ambitious, you end up with a video that isn't well executed. Just aim for successful completion the first time out; get ambitious on the fifth or tenth music video...

Good luck!
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#5 Buddy Greenfield

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 05:56 PM

I would echo keeping it 200% do?able going in. A concept is only as good as the budget, location, time, weather, extras, ability and gear that allows for it to be fully realized.

Once you have something that will work, it?s easy to make it better and better, but being at ground zero of the greatest idea to ever flop isn?t going to be very easy to add icing to.

This video (The link) while not the most exciting thing ever, is still a video, lets the music do the talking, provides an atmosphere or mood that works well with the song and seems a decent example of not reaching beyond what can be done on a smaller budget in a realistic amount of time and a single location, it?s basically a Bolex, a light, a band, a location and several rolls of film.




Personally, I would do a sit down with the whole band and allow its inner democracy to surface when discussing the concept you settle on, have in mind or are trying to create.

This might be easier than one or more band members doing whatever it takes to make the shoot a failure just to spite another member of the band because they don?t like the idea or are annoyed by who in the band took liberties with final creative say so.

I would also ask each member for an idea or listen to their ideas about your concept, so that each has a creative stake in the video?s success.
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#6 Anton Delfino

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 07:34 PM

I would echo keeping it 200% do?able going in. A concept is only as good as the budget, location, time, weather, extras, ability and gear that allows for it to be fully realized.

Once you have something that will work, it?s easy to make it better and better, but being at ground zero of the greatest idea to ever flop isn?t going to be very easy to add icing to.

This video (The link) while not the most exciting thing ever, is still a video, lets the music do the talking, provides an atmosphere or mood that works well with the song and seems a decent example of not reaching beyond what can be done on a smaller budget in a realistic amount of time and a single location, it?s basically a Bolex, a light, a band, a location and several rolls of film.




Personally, I would do a sit down with the whole band and allow its inner democracy to surface when discussing the concept you settle on, have in mind or are trying to create.

This might be easier than one or more band members doing whatever it takes to make the shoot a failure just to spite another member of the band because they don?t like the idea or are annoyed by who in the band took liberties with final creative say so.

I would also ask each member for an idea or listen to their ideas about your concept, so that each has a creative stake in the video?s success.


So maybe the helicopter shot isn't such a good idea after all. :P

In all seriousness, I appreciate everyone's comments. I completely agree that you can create a quality product by keeping things simple. I would much rather execute a simple idea well, instead of falling short on a much more ambitious one.

Thank you again.
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Glidecam

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Wooden Camera

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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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Aerial Filmworks

Broadcast Solutions Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Metropolis Post

Technodolly

Visual Products

Ritter Battery

CineLab

Rig Wheels Passport