November 17, 2015 at 2:30PM

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Directing First Music Video. Looking for writing, directing, production tips/etc.

Hey all! So I am going to be directing my first music video. It's for my band. I'm looking for tips and advice about the process of forming the idea, planning, filming, and editing/post-production. We have a concept and we're in the process of writing a solid story, script, shot list, etc. We'll be using our own talent, crew, DSLRs, lenses, local locations, etc. and I want to know what I can do to maximize our resources and make the process fun for everyone but efficient as well.

What things should I know going in?

What things did you wish you knew for your directorial debut?

How do you express your vision without sound like a jerk? I've been told that my neutral voice is harsh and critical lol.

Thanks in advance. I really appreciate it!

2 Comments

This might help. Take a look at this podcast + video + article: How to Make a Music Video & Survive the Music Business - https://www.indiefilmhustle.com/how-to-make-a-music-video/

December 8, 2015 at 12:10PM

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Alex Ferrari
Director / Producer
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I've directed and edited a couple music videos this past year, and here's what I would say for a directorial debut:

1) Get everyone involved but not "too" involved. When your crew feels like their role is important, that it plays a critical role in the creative expression of the project, that creates important buy-in and enthusiasm, and boosts morale. I've found that for low-budget gigs, there is a very fine line in directing between getting everybody to feel that scrappy/indie vibe, and losing control of hierarchy on set. Direct, candid communication is key. Explain to your crew members (succinctly) how a seemingly minor role will contribute to the overall vision and success of the project.

2) Art direction and story concept are more important than the equipment you want to rent. You may be tempted to splurge on production equipment. I'd suggest this flow chart for order of compensation: pay crew --> pay for craft services --> pay for coffee at concept meetings until the concept is clear --> pay for art direction/set dressing --> pay for rentals/purchases --> pay for everything else... For my first music video, I bought 60 mason jars and painted the inside of them a semi-translucent ghostly blue, put little LED lights in the lids, and strung them up with twine in an apartment loft. It was one of the cheapest expenses for the shoot, but it's the first thing people talked about after watching the video. You can dress a set for cheap a lot easier than you can pay for nice equipment. And it will create a longer lasting impact.

3) To avoid sounding overly critical, offer up something positive before critiquing a crew member's actions. You don't need to make it sappy, just be honest. There's probably something he/she is doing well - find it in your heart to express that good with the bad. However, if a crew member is totally out of line, pull them aside and discuss privately. Don't ever make a scene or call attention to a situation; it's unprofessional and it affects morale negatively. The professionalism of your production will be defined by the way you conduct yourself as a director, not by the scope of the production.

4) Get everyone to sign liability release forms.

Mad Anthony - Haunt Me
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYwULoLUiF0

Infinity Spree - Guides
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qlhly3zqP28

December 15, 2016 at 8:52AM, Edited December 15, 8:53AM

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