The idea to a video leads to a song

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So I’ve been wanting to improve my music video skills. I had fairly decent feedback last year for my first try with a soca (caribbean music) artiste. It was done on a zero budget though I managed to at least feed the participants and helpers M&S platter and sandwiches – nice. Getting that polished MTV video look is one of my aspirations.

So thinking of the concept for a video in which to take to the next level led me to sketch out an instrumental track. I sent it off to said artiste who to my surprise after a few weeks she came back with vocals recorded into her MacBook. The word potential slapped me in the face and so I spent some time polishing the demo track and getting her vocals to sit well with the music. This weekend we take it to a professional studio to re-track the instrumental and record vocals.

Now it remains how do we interpret the track in video?

From a technical viewpoint should I stick to the Z1 and use filters and mattebox to achieve the film look? Do I use the DSLRs, which to be fair I am still learning? Or should I hire one of the new DSLR killers like Sony’s NEX or PMW safe in the knowledge that the video controls are familiar and image quality should give me that look.

Before any of that … the story … the storyboard … the plan …

We often get caught up in the gear when what we should be doing is planning the story, the day of the shoot, the sets, lighting. All this and more really contributes to great video. Experience from my first effort shall stay with me for the rest of my life … it was the preparation before hand and the idea to have a practise run that saved the day.