Shot of a stereo.

My First Music Video

I’ve spent a great deal of time watching music videos, but I’ve never really tried to make one. I was in a punk band back in high school but while we had ideas of what to do for music videos, we never got to record much of anything so we really lacked the “music” part of the “music video” equation.

Getting the Opportunity

My first experience with music video came when I took a music video class at Shepherd University. Our final project for the class was to make a music video. I myself had long been out of the music game so any of my old, poorly written songs would have become poorly preformed songs as well. Fortunately for me my friend Jake (solo project name Matthew Memento) had material recorded that he was willing to use for my project. With a willing artist and the assignment criteria in hand I set forth on the journey of shooting my first music video.

Ready, Set, Go!

First came the storyboard. I worked in class and in my free time by listening to the song I was using on a loop and imagining the feeling that came forth while the song was playing. In my head I built up scenes and the general aesthetics that the song created in my mind. From there I decided that it would be not only easy to film at Jake’s house, but it would also fit the aesthetic that I imagined very well. I drew up a storyboard scene by scene for the music video on some notebook paper, and before long I had what I needed to start shooting.

Planning and Shooting

Cross dissolve transition in a music video.

Cross dissolve transition in the Matthew Memento music video.

Planning the shoot was probably the most difficult part. My friend’s schedule did not line up very well with my own so each suggestion for a film date was met with, “ah no I’m busy that night. What about ____?” Thankfully we did eventually work out a date but since the deadline was approaching there was only one opportunity to get the footage (and only a few hours of time within the day). I drove to my friend’s house and showed him the storyboard and explained how I wanted everything to line up. The shoot itself was relatively easy, though corrections had to be made in places where I couldn’t get the shot I had planned for. The problems in the shoot were mainly due the fact that my memory of the room configurations were not 100% accurate when I was storyboarding , so there were times I just couldn’t get the camera where I originally wanted it to be. At the end of the day the shoot was a success.

Staring at a Screen for Hours (editing)

Editing was fairly simple. It was my first time using Adobe Premiere for a project but we had been learning how to use it throughout the class so it wasn’t awful. The footage didn’t need much as far as lighting tweaks went since the video was shot over only a couple of hours. I used black and white  for artistic flair and to further cut down on editing time (no color means not much to do with color correction). The main problem I found was that I didn’t film enough footage to cover the length of the song, so I had to improvise and experiment with flashbacks and segments of pitch black screen. While the improvised solution worked, it would have been far easier if I had more footage to work with.

Overall the project came out well for my first try. The video definitely doesn’t look pro-level, but I did learn a lot from it, and I hope to use what I learned to make more music videos in the future.

Final product: Matthew Memento – Nope