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I want to direct a music video...

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    i have a good idea for you..


    it's called corrado and it's basically from start to finish how to make a feature film and get into the business. It has a lot of good tips etc.

    A good idea would be to hire your guys and use the HV20 for your own personal use. You could use it to practice shooting etc but when it comes down to the hardcore stuff, hire a crew.

    Also you should shoot for local bands with your hv20 for free and edit etc. Since it's free they can't complain about the camera or quality. But at the same time they may be lazy and not listen to your direction... especially since oyu have an hv20.

    Another word of advice: Watch the "behind the scenes" footage for many films. You can learn alot about directing that way.

    Edit: Or watch "the making of" for music videos. Watch as many as you can. (almost forgot this was a music video thread haha)

    Good luck!


      This is funny, it kind of makes me frustrated because I'm working on this DVD project for people new to music videos that would be PERFECT for the original poster, and I'm angry I don't already have it done because I was the OP a bit more than a year ago, I really didn't know anything about how I was going to do what I wanted to do. I just knew that I wanted to make music videos. I spent a long, long time and a lot of research just finding the equipment, fine-tuning my equipment, and continue to do so of course, before I even shot my first music video. Now my second music video has made it into 4 out of 5 film festivals so far, off to a good start. [Side note: the project I'm working on for making indie music videos is my project origination but most of the advice / commentary will be from much, much more experienced directors and DPs than myself, I'm really just producing the project from an idea I had...]

      I think it can be dangerous unless you're fairly loaded to buy too much equipment at the start, as others have suggested. I actually did just buy pretty much everything I wanted or felt I needed, which in some cases worked out fine, in other cases was a mistake. I have three Honda generators, one is 6500 watts, the other two smaller pull-start generators with 2000 watts each. I have used these almost not at all, so I would rather have the cash I spent, but oh well. They are still always useful, they won't become obsolete or something. You never know when you need a bit of extra power for outdoor lighting even if it's just to power craft services tables' lights ;)

      I've fortunately gotten plenty of use out of a lot of my equipment already in less than a year owning it all, made some money back leasing to my own shoots, and rented out a few times to make more cash back, so it has worked out fine but don't go all crazy buying everything, which is basically what I did.

      I'm the kind of person who likes to own what I want to use for the most part, until it gets too expensive, then I cry uncle and just rent. It's not a bad idea to have some sort of a basic setup, above which you rent, so that you can do smaller projects without needing to rent from anyone.

      You definitely need a good PA system, which is something I got between my first and second music videos (the first band took care of playback), and it's not a bad idea to own some basic lighting. I have 3 Arri kits and a 2K Arri light as well, above that I rent, like on my last music video we had an additional 24 1K lights, some KinoFlos, a few HMIs, etc. But my kits were still useful for the indoor lighting, took care of those needs mostly (except the kinos).

      There is a huge difference between a DP and a director, haha, maybe not on a super low budget music video where they are often one and the same, but I don't shoot myself. Is it a skill I wish I had? Sure, it definitely is. I would love that. But I'm too far advanced as a producer-director to take a step back and spend 2-3 years learning how to shoot really well so that I can still just ultimately hire someone else to do it because I don't even want to work on shoots so small the director has to DP, screw that.

      I also learned fast that one-camera shoots for music videos are not my thing. I'll do it if I have no other choice, but once you go two cameras, you don't go back, haha. The last video was shot with two cameras and it was so much better in editing, so many more options. Sometimes you also just don't have the time luxury of saying, "Oh well, one camera, we'll just ask the band to perform the song twice as many times so we can get coverage." Honestly, not worth it. The band gets tired, who wouldn't? My last video was shot on a rooftop partially (the performance), and half of that was during the day when it was almost 100 degrees and the roof made it hotter. They were sweating and we kept having to send the makeup artist in to fix things.

      Anyway I could go on forever about music video stuff, but if you want more specific advice feel free to PM me. I was in your shoes not that long ago and I didn't know basically anything. I had no idea how the process worked at all.



        Thanks for all the info. When will you have the dvd ready? I will definately start shooting with some people I know. I'm not going to let that stop me, I just wanted to know as of right now what are some of the things I could do being the fact I have the camera that I have right now. Actually my friend has another one similer to mine, so we should have 2 camera to shoot with. I got some cash put away but I will be needing to save alot more to get something like a HVX.

        This is a great website and everybody that has posted on this thread has been extremely helpful.


          Have you considered doing other types of work too for the time being to help out with the cash situation? Even stuff like wedding videography, event videography, etc.? I know for me, I'm trying to do a lot of corporate work while I try to break into harder areas like commercials, paid music videos, etc. I'm actually hoping to help finance my first feature through corporate work, equipment rentals, etc. At the very least I can make the money to buy the RED One, a lens kit, etc. that I'll use for the feature. Sometimes you have to take other work to be able to pursue what you ultimately want to make money doing. I didn't come to Hollywood to do corporate work really, but if that's what it takes to stick around long enough to have a chance at the work I really want to do, I'm all for it.

          I am just at the beginning stages of my DVD project, having filmed behind-the-scenes footage for "Winded," my last music video, that I'll use for the project, but now I'm planning two more music video shoots to get the BTS footage from those shoots. Then after that I can start to put together the important content details of the project. I'm excited about what I think the project can be for anyone from high school students wanting to do music videos to beginning professionals first starting in music videos. I don't want to give away too many project details yet because I'm not far enough along, and I also want to make sure that what I say I'll deliver I actually stick with. I aim to have the project finished with filming by September's end, but I'll probably need a month to finish the post work on it. After that, it's a matter of figuring out how I can approach DVD companies that would be interested in this type of completed project. I am hoping to sell the project to a distributor, but short of that I can distribute myself. I have no problem paying a place to replicate 1,000 DVDs or whatever as an initial run and taking on the financial risk myself, it's really not that much money to have DVDs pressed anyway (I can make small orders from home as I have a disk publisher and an Epson Pro 3800 for DVD cover art, etc., but it's time consuming and relatively expensive per DVD for me to do that in any sort of large volume, it's more for tiny corporate orders of 50 DVDs or so). Of course distributing myself would be the faster, more profitable-per-DVD way of doing things, but finding a real distributor would give me more exposure and hopefully more credibility in that type of market.

          Another thing is I would rather have the time to submit a few more music videos to festivals, get more festival selections and maybe wins, before I start going out with the product. It looks a lot better to have the back of the DVD read, "Award-winning music video director Jonathan L. Bowen along with numerous industry veterans explain how to make indie music videos whether you are an amateur just starting out or a professional looking to learn more about the field," blah blah etc. rather than "Some guy who has made a few music videos..." ;) I want to have a bit more credentials before I ultimately release the product, so I'm not sure that it will be available until more like 2009. I was really hoping it'd be possible to have it out there by late winter 2009, like end of the first quarter, but we'll see what happens. All I can say is it will be available and it will be done, whether I release it myself or whether it comes through a distributor. I always finish what I start and I'm more interested ultimately in having this project completed than making a bunch of money on it. Odds are I would be lucky to recoup my costs, but it'll be a great product I believe that's not on the market currently in any useful form (there's a really lousy $12.99 DVD on Amazon about making music videos that is seriously one of the biggest piles of crap I've ever seen), so just having that as a project I completed, my first feature-length film project, would be good enough for me. If it makes money that's a bonus. All I know is I will see the project through to completion because it's ridiculous that nothing like it is out there right now.

          For the time being, the best and really only good resource is Making Music Videos, a 2007 book that was just released around this time last year. When I first started looking for information, which was early June 2007, I found nothing. Every book was some BS about the artistry of music videos, with no insight at all into how to make them, just examinations of great music video directors that were great for fans of the medium but not really that useful for how you can make them. Even Making Music Videos has some serious flaws. First, I've read the book twice, so I love it and highly recommend it. But it's written to tell you how the BIG guys make music videos, what's standard practice for a music video with a budget of $100,000, or $500,000, for instance. A lot of it is even based on budgets of $1 million that don't even happen anymore, but they did five years ago. It's also not very encouraging in a way to a young, resourceful filmmaker wondering how to do this stuff really well for cheaper. It seems to indicate that everything is impossible unless you have huge bucks. Like a DP costs $2,500 to $5,000 per day, for instance, a grip $450 to $525, hair and makeup people $2,500 per day (what serious garbage, there are great MUAs out there for $200/day, get real, it's hair and makeup not rocket science). It's all based on union pay scales and people being obscenely overpaid. Even my DP for my last music video was joking about these rates. How the heck is a grip worth $500 for a day on a music video? I mean we'd all like to make that much but this is Hollywood, I can find great grips with years of experience for $250/day no problem, really, really world class grips. You don't need to pay people so much for you to get amazing professionals. I paid even less than that on my last music video and got one of the most talented crews I could imagine. So that book is a great starting point to learn how it's done at the absolute highest level, but you have to use your imagination for how you can do it well for cheap.

          That's why I am so passionate about my DVD project because the lack of information is astonishing. Even online I haven't found enough. I've found some resources but not what I think people should know. Plus, I'd rather show people through video than tell them on a Website. I'm not a music video expert by any means, but I have the connections who are, and I know enough and am a good enough researcher to make sure I cover all of the topics that are important. I wrote two non-fiction books in my life so far, the last one with a 73 page bibliography (all of my sources), plus I've been published in a third book, so if there's one thing I know it's research. I just don't believe that everyone should have to spend 200 hours figuring out what you should be able to learn from one source in 90-120 minutes. That's why I wrote my two non-fiction books, because I wanted all of the information collected in one place. The information is out there, but the point of non-fiction books and making of movies or how-to movies is to put it into ONE central project that you can access quickly and easily. Without that, everyone wastes time learning things that shouldn't be that hard to learn in today's day and age.

          Then again, music videos are just such a fringe medium, they are like a hybrid of narrative filmmaking and commercial filmmaking that is in a lot of ways too small of an industry to be noticed much, despite its wide presence and monumental impact on culture. I still understand that music video production is no more than a $500 million per year industry, which compared to the $33 billion or so generated from theatrical film revenues and DVD sales is insignificant. Advertising spends many times that much as well. That's one reason I want to aim my DVD at everyone from high school students to beginning professionals, because the big guys don't need a DVD, they know how to do this stuff better than us all, they don't care, but the people just starting out have too few resources. The big guys aren't sharing, really. You hang around filmmakers and most of us have done music videos, so we know what's up, but that information is passed down apparently through experience rather than through any tangible media, haha.


            i thought grips should get paid 100/day Jonathan :P


              HAHA, oh boy, here we go again. I paid my Key Grip on the last music video $275, I'm not an unfair producer at all. If someone can name another indie music video where any grip got $275 I'd love to hear it ;) Nobody in the grip / electric department on my last shoot came home with less than $200 I don't believe. It actually wasn't budgeted that way, to be fair, I think $150 was the pay for many of those positions but since one grip didn't make it, my UPM mentioned to me that the grips had asked if they could split his pay among themselves because they were doing more work. Since I had it in the budget anyway, I said sure, why not?

              I am a guy who pays professionals to do their jobs, and I'm very fair about it. I am sorry I don't pay everyone $1 million a day, but when I start making $10 million a day maybe we can talk ;) On Craigslist I always see people trying to take advantage of professionals and offer ridiculously low pay, but I've paid everyone from the start of my career. On my first short I still paid the actors, while in film school, even though it was an exercise not a thesis film, not even a midterm film!! It was only $100 each actor for a day and a half of work, but they were not by any means really accomplished professionals, and they were thankful for getting something, plus we took them out to nice restaurants for lunch and dinner, haha. I'm very cool about stuff like that and now that I do pro level work, I know I have to pay the money to get the talent.


                HAHA I get what you're saying Jonathan. There just isn't enough in the budgets of most music videos to pay people properly.
                What I disagree with is this part.

                Originally posted by JonathanLB View Post
                It's all based on union pay scales and people being obscenely overpaid.
                People have to earn livings. Film crews don't work 5 days a week all year long. They need to be compensated somehow.


                  I agree with that, but the problem is there usually isn't the budget in most work I see around to pay people enough that they can even make a full living doing just one thing. You have to be very fortunate to be in that position. I mean for me, I can rent out equipment, I can find clients and produce and direct the projects, etc. Other people can be a grip, a 1st A.C., a 1st A.D., etc., so they can find regular work in different positions.

                  But it can't really fall on the producer to pay you $800 a day because you can only find four days of work per month. I fail to see how that's the producers problem. That's your problem. It's like when a school teacher complains they only make X amount per year, and they don't work summers, but they want more money. I had a friend, Dwight, who was a school teacher previously, high school history, and he drove trucks in the summer to make an extra $15,000/year, so his total income was very nice when all was said and done, especially for where he lived (Oklahoma). He always said the same thing I feel, which is that school teachers complain about their salary and expect to be paid more even when they only work 9 months of the year, so it's up to them to find gainful employment the other 3 months.

                  The same goes with people in the film industry, which is why many people work other jobs too.