We’re in an exciting time right now in the entertainment industry. The introduction of youtube, vimeo, and vevo have leveled the playing field for up and coming artists to gain exposure and credibility.
There has also been another door opened for up and coming music video directors to develop their career independently because of the over all decrease in cost associated with production and editing equipment. The bar to entry has greatly decreased. There are pros and cons to this but its the truth; there is massive competition and it can be difficult to choose the right director for your Vancouver music video.
In a nutshell, your artist “brand” is what comes to mind when people think of you as an artist. You must understand that every artist targets a very specific demographic. The music video will affect the artist brand either positively or negatively.
In my personal opinion I find that the most sophisticated pieces of art are the simplest, or at least very “uncluttered” in their artistic composition.
My personal take on creating a music video is that in order for it to be successful, you have to come of with a vibe that’s completely original. I’ve worked on both videos where the artist came up with something bold and original, and artists where they wanted to be a bit more ‘safe’. Always the bold original one gets the most views. I’m not saying that you can’t be inspired by other artists or become a mixture of different artistic flavors, but you still have to have a major element of originality.
In fact I would say that the more intensity of the originality, the more successful. This is where a lot of up and comers go wrong and I did the same mistake. If you take a look at the Vancouver music video directors out there now you’ll find the most successful are those that can get the most original, compelling story, shots and performance. Having the shots be compelling (able to hold interest) tied in with the selection of cast, location, lighting, beauty, camera movements, timing with musical cues and then editing and color corrections all work together to create an emotional response in the viewer you want. You have to give people something they’ve never seen before and then you’ll get the exposure you want. People’s interest gets sparked by things they’ve never seen or that haven’t been done.
My friend Jim Lewis who worked with Bob Marley told me that the camera captures truth. This is the most important piece of advice I learned as a film maker. If everybody’s having a blast, so will the audience. If your shooting something truly sad or emotional and can put it together right you’ll get the same response in the viewer.
My primary camera I’m shooting on is a canon 5d mark iii. I love this camera because of its large 35mm sensor and the ability to use any photography lens. For music videos I mainly use my set of Nikon Ai-s manual focus primes; I own a 35mm 1.4, 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.4, and 135 2.0. These allow for the most control over the focal depth and perspective depending on the subjects facial composition and bone structure. For perspective shots I use a canon 14mm 2.8 prime and canon 17mm tilt shift lens. For footage on the fly I use a canon 24-105 f4 zoom lens. Typically on music videos I use matte box filters because they give an effect that can’t be as naturally duplicated in editing.
For higher budget music videos, I shoot on red epic and red scarlet.
For stabilization and camera movements, I mainly use a slider for compact movements, shoulder mount for on the fly scenes, dolly track for larger camera movements, port-a-jib for reveals and scenic shots. I also have the ability to composite interval frames from a remote timer into a time-lapse for time-lapse photography shots.
For lighting, I mainly shoot with daylight bulbs because the digital camera sensor will get a better color and detail reproduction as opposed to shooting with tungsten/incandescent lighting.
I also have a collapsable portable 9’backdrop stand with Interchangeable backgrounds, this is very useful for shooting performance shots with more controlled lighting.
Personally, I feel that the key to getting the proper shot all boils down to the lighting. The camera literally records light so if your lighting is off this can be a major flaw. If you look at some of my earlier work you can tell the lighting isn’t as good as my more recent pieces.
If you’re an artist and you’re interested in collaborating on a music video you can submit an inquiry at the contact page.