April 30, 2015 at 8:06AM

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Have you ever made a Music Video? Thoughts?

Hi all, I'm Lisa from Radar and I just wanted to know how many of you have made Music Videos? How did you find it? Are they massively different to other video jobs? Have you ever used a commissioning platform (like Radar) to source good briefs?
I have many questions...
Any answers well appreciated.

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I went to school for Recording Arts. So i associate with a lot of Musicians and they all want music videos. Most want it free or close to it. So if you have the time go for it just know most lead to no pay, I'll probably give in to a few if I get a good song, I will not shoot for free to help crap look good on youtube out of principle, but that's just me lol.

May 2, 2015 at 1:32PM

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Luna Videography
Videographer
541

I agree in regards to musicians wanting things for cheap or free, but I wanted to add that from my experiences they also ask for a lot from you. I've done a few music videos, and every time I've done them, the client has presented me with an idea from a huge band, but has given me no budget to work with. Definitely be careful and make sure you know what you're getting into first!

May 2, 2015 at 5:34PM

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Craig McDougall
D.O.P and Editor
74

Make sure you are not alone on set.
Especially when you have to shoot band members solo, you need someone to get the next in line ready to shoot. Extra hands for lights or moving stuff, props, equipment or keep an eye on traffic are very helpfull.
It's hard to manage everyting and shoot a creative video at the same time.
Be prepared: have a plan.

It's different, because you want as much footage as possible, unless you got every shot planned and storyboarded (and you know that will be enough).

Like Craig said: you are 'competing' with big names without the big budget. So explain you need budget for at least lights and manage their expectations.

May 4, 2015 at 4:41AM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
9068

Some Musicians tend to live in Disney land and have grand illusions about themselves and so when you make them a fair representation of them they don't like as it's not in tune with their diluded vision of themselves, they tend to be the ones that aren't very good/don't know what they're doing. However I'm currently doing a documentary on a band and it's the most joyous experiences of my infant career so far, they are great, very humble, musical mystros and most importantly have perspective. So many musicians/actors/writers (who aren't very good) lack perspective and have ridiculous visions of themselves, think david Brent from the British office. The key I believe is if you like what they do have a chat with the act see if they have perspective, if you share the same vision or maybe if (sometimes this happens believe it or not) they are very laid back, but entusiastic about it and trust you, give it a go, if there's disagreements in your initial discussions or they are talking absolute shite or they want weapon of choice with no money chances are it will be a disaster. I have experienced all sorts working with both musicians and pre madonnas

May 4, 2015 at 7:42AM

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Gino Lynch
filmmaker
170

Hi all - that's all great. So helpful to hear what goes into it from you! At Radar, we don't believe in work being done for cheap/free so all our briefs have a funded budget assigned when they go live. In fact, we just had a hip hop artist brief go up with a budget of $15,000.

It's a fact that many commissioners are better at briefing than others. We ask them to fill out most details via a form to get the info you need like budget, location, pitch deadline, sample tracks etc. Normallly, it's music industry folks who aren't first-timers so briefs are generally OK. But we do get all kinds...if you ever fancy making a music video, or know an Artist who needs one - do send them our way. We're at: radarmusicvideos.com

Also worth noting that we help our most talented directors actively progress their careers by connecting them to reps and productions companies, just fyi :)

Thanks again for your honest comments.

May 5, 2015 at 9:14AM

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Lisa Radar
Content Manager
131

Hi Lisa,
my first reply was not awnsering any of your questions and I didn't read close enough to notice you're a 'middlewoman' instead of a 'newbie'.

Is making a music video different?
Yes and no.
No: it all takes planning and preparations.
Yes: mostly not every shot is planned: there is more room for craziness than a usual narrative or corporate film.
Another difference compared to corporate videos: the business model of a lot of musicians has changed: selling records/singles isn't the main income anymore for at least the 'middleclass', so the ROI of a video is becoming often less clear than it was in the 80s and 90s. At least in The Netherlands that really decreased the budgets for videos.

May 6, 2015 at 6:55AM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
9068

I see them as a little different to other video forms because they're primarily there to showcase the music, so everything, the picture, narrative, pace, is all set my the music and not by your story.
In a good video all these will work together to make a great piece but sometimes they fall flat.

One big difference for me is when something has to go through agency, label, management and artist approval and everyone wants their two cents feedback can get a little annoying. And you have only 3 days for the edit if you're lucky, often only 2 and you're expected to do 24 hour days to get it out the door.

As an editor the pitching and idea has already been established but I know a lot of unsigned and independent directors use radar. If there were a little less people involved in approval and an extra day here and there they'd be a lot more fun to do.

Although I do still love doing them.

May 6, 2015 at 8:09AM

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Greg
Editor / Assistant Editor
211

Thanks WalterBrokx - really good to get insight into how they differ from narrative film/commercials.

Greg - day made to hear you know directors using Radar. We're really happy with our network. Agree that good videos support/add meaning to the track they're backing. Great to hear your feedback too - I'll nudge commissioners: more time and less decision-makers please :)

Cheers, Lisa

May 7, 2015 at 7:50AM

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Lisa Radar
Content Manager
131

I've worked on 30+ paid music videos, and probably twice as many freebies. Music videos are liberating in many ways as you can focus on the image without so much stress about a strong narrative.... or a quiet set.

If people come to me wanting a video without a budget, I'll pitch them a doable, fast video that fits with the song. If they start asking for something different that is a lot more work or a less interesting video, I pass on the project. A singer-songwriter came to me for a video and I pitched something I thought would be easy/fast/fun to shoot and she went for it so we spent an afternoon driving around and filming this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLt2ND4Ub-I .

I probably spent a day distressing and staining the chest, but it was fun so it didn't really count as work for me. I run a lighting a grip truck for a living, so of course when I'm in charge of a video its all natural available light. hehe.

May 7, 2015 at 8:41AM, Edited May 7, 8:44AM

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Andrew Dean
Lighting/Grip
201

You might find this interesting. Awhile back Logan McMillain was directing a music video I was doing lighting/grip for and he put together a breakdown of how he planned it, how I lit it, the gear we used and thoughts behind it. http://www.littlesisterfilms.co.nz/case-studies/2014/7/nightchoir-pretty...

May 7, 2015 at 8:47AM

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Andrew Dean
Lighting/Grip
201

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