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Music Video

Personal Journeys in Music Video Production

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Hi. I started this Club, so I suppose I should kick off with a first topic. Hopefully this and your own stories will trigger discussions and generate additional topics.


I had my first crack at a music video in 2012.  As an IT guy, I already had Adobe Premiere Pro in my software kit, though I had never had a reason to open it!   For music, I chose "Cappuccino Crowd" from my first co-written album (released in 2002) merely because a brief internet search showed there was at least some 'coffee-related' imagery ... though, at the time, there was only a tiny fraction (and at much lower resolutions) compared to what is available today.  Internet speeds too, at the time, prohibited me from downloading rare video clips.

I therefore needed additional imagery to pad out the almost 5-mins running time.  I've never ever been comfortable asking people to help me so I decided at the outset that I would never ever use actors.  While it cuts off the possibility of staging exactly what you have in mind, it speeds the creative process and avoids the disappointment when others don't deliver.)   Not being young or attractive, I also vowed my videos would never show ME.  I ended up using footage of me miming my guitar playing for the instrumental break (just the hands ... not my face :) )   


The 2012 time capsule led to the then-standard 4:3 'boxy' shape and low resolution video (rendering took forever with my then CPU and an absence of any GPU).  But even back at this early stage, I was drawn to adding images and/or sound effects before and after the actual album track to help set the 'scene' and expand the 'story'.  However, although happy with the outcome, this was the only video I did for that 2002 album.


My next album release was in 2015, with a new collaborator. We each contributed and home-produced half the tracks (me on Pro Tools, him on Logic Pro).  THIS time I committed to have videos for all 12 tracks.  I managed to get my colleague to do one of them (in Final Cut), while I did the rest in Premiere again.  We subsequently pulled the videos from public viewing when I read of horrendous legal cases against ordinary Joes for using copyrighted stills/videos.  Finding stuff on Google and there being no obvious copyright mark/statement is apparently NOT a legal defence!  The 2015 timeframe meant most of the images were good enough for 1080p, 16:9, and some video clips were now a possibility (although my internet connection was still around 3Mbps/1Mbps!).  A newer laptop also coped better. I can provide links to the Private playlist if anyone is interested.


There is something compelling about video editing for me ... an extra dimension of satisfaction when the sound and vison comes together to tell a story, and when cuts are timed and work with the music.  It is also something that can be done 24/7 without disturbing the family (as opposed to recording music).


2020 saw the release of my solo effort, "The Flat White Album", with 30 tracks.  With this number of videos to do it was a perfect time to jump ship from Premiere to Davinci Resolve. Premiere had got increasingly buggy, crashed frequently, rendering was slow (with innacurate duration forecasting), and Adobe's pricing model was becoming rapacious.  Resolve has a one-time buy-in (at less that a year's subs to Adobe), there are frequent bug and feature releases, and it rendered four times faster when selecting the GPU option (which Premiere didn't have!).  Together with the following 12-track album in 2021, I completed 40 videos in 12 months.  All were 1080p (which look great even on a 4K screen). I also benefitted hugely by a 20-fold increase in my internet speeds (50/18Mbps) that gave me new freedoms to download hundreds of video clips from the now almost limitless content libraries.  My main source was www.artgrid.io because of price, T&Cs, and that most visual 'topics' had multiple clips using the same actors/scenes.


This most recent video is for a 2021 cover of the very first song I wrote back in 2001.  How's that for circularity over 20 years!



I'd love to hear about your own journeys, hurdles and victories.

Edited by GregB
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I must be getting confused these days… I was sure I had replied to this Greg!


It’s good to get the backstory to how you got to this point in your video journey. Tempted by animation, such as aftereffects or creating your own footage? There’s quite a few possibilities that make it feasible.


Dont get me wrong, I have enjoyed making videos in premiere pro using stock footage, but I found I really enjoyed animating in After Effects and combining that with Stock footage. I started with doing odd videos for Songstuff, and started animation with AE doing intro sequences for Songstuff, and a couple of years ago I put together a music video for a Deep Red Sea track based purely on Stock footage. It was a pretty good experience all in, seeing how far I could push it, trying to create a video narrative from the stock footage that went with the song. Pretty difficult to do due to continuity with the video models / actors.


I have a few ideas for creating some music videos, creating my own footage. It doesn’t need to be a grand extravaganza. Just a simple plot line working with what I have or can easily assemble. I’d like to create a street dance seen (not me dancing. I can’t dance due to back problems.) I would like to try an action sequence, a stop motion sequence, and a drone sequence and a bunch of others… for the learning if nothing else, and combining live footage with AE animation using green screen. Hey, be ambitious, why not?

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