Here it is:
This has been months in the works. I recorded the song starting in December last year, then finalized it this spring. Then I know I was talking to my video partner, Don, about a list of shots for this video in June.
In October, the venue opened up. We set a “background” filming date, and no one showed up. Well, I think 2 people did, but not the tons we were expecting. So, then, with trepidation, we set the shooting date for the principles, November 2.
And people showed up! Thank goodness for professional people and professional actors. As referenced in the earlier blog post, that shoot was quite magical. People were immediately “in the groove”, and were comfortable.
I wanted to set the tone, and welcome people and create a good environment, but so much of that happened without me affecting it at all.
When you work with good people, you are already starting on a higher plane, for quality.
So, we shot video. I knew ahead of time what shots to set up and get. But, so much of this, directing, you have the parameters in your head, but then you can shoot on the fly, quickly and evaluate dozens of decisions on a moment’s notice. It is a focus and concentration unlike any other. And you’d better be right, because if you lose the shot, you only have yourself to blame.
And if an actor, or group of actors are quite brilliant, or amazing or delightful, but if you have the cinematography wrong in ANY way, it doesn’t matter, because the shot won’t work.
So, my plan was…shoot with 2 cameras, and if I had one wrong, then maybe the 2nd would get the footage. We were shooting HD under flourescent lights. So, I am concerned about losing footage due to flicker (electricity in the US runs at 60 cycles per second. When you shoot with a digital camera such as our filming this project at 30 fps (frames per second), if the timing falls just right, those microseconds can coincide, and it compromises the video. So my plan was to start and stop the cameras, often, to get a many usable shots as possible.)
And we did. Usually, when I direct. I get the shot I need, and move on. If the first take works, I use it. If I know it’s messed up, then I order a retake. But, usually, I KNOW what’s in the camera, therefore, the editing is very straightforward, and you have very few choices to make.
So, for this music video….the music is maybe 2 minutes and 20 seconds, probably 3 1/2 minutes with all the bumper intro and outro shots….I downloaded footage, and had 45 minutes from one camera and 40 minutes from the other. Yep….talk about overkill. Some of what was there was duplicated. And some was the same scene, from a different angle (quite useful, as the actors didn’t have to memorize lines and replicate themselves.)
So…some of what we shot and edited was from one take, and some was interspersing other takes in. Some was mos (without sound), some incorporated sound from the shooting day. Editing was quite challenging.
My whole goal with this project, taking on something this large…was to be able to say, “We produce and direct videos. Here is our work. Here’s what we can do!”
AND –I wanted to create a piece of entertainment to make people’s toes tap and make them smile. (Hopefully we succeeded.)
For years, when I’d tell people I was a musician, they’d look at me, and go “where’s the music?” But, without the recorded audio, you’re just kinda standing there. So, having the recorded audio, especially on youtube, where everyone can see it…that’s huge.
Then, there were the books. You can tell people you write, but until they hold an actual book in their hands, they really don’t believe you. So, the books are there.
So, now, this is a viable example of us as video producers/directors. It’s there. It’s here.
We had fun! Can ya tell? 🙂