The making of a music video. Every band has to go through it. Sometimes they're multi-million dollar productions, but for the vast majority in this increasingly DIY world of music, bands can no longer just be bands. They have to be promoters, A&R, tour managers, and now more than ever; they have to be music video producers. Here's the diary of Music and Medicine who decided to make a video for their first single Waves. Their goal was simple: to make a DIY music video that didn't look like a DIY music video. Here is the 6 months that followed...
Day 1: Planning
"It was March this year when we started talking about the project; discussing what we could do with it and sessioning band videos online like Crazytown Butterfly. We had some ideas and we knew what we didn’t want. No Indie, forest, cold-breath visuals. No student-video acting malarkey. The notes from an ‘Ideas’ meeting, March 2016, followed: the visuals need to fit the track, do we bother with a storyline vibe or keep it real vague? And finally, what's the set and where are we going to film?
After chucking around various hallucinatory narratives, we decided to keep it real simple and go for a live band shoot. We bought a strobe light and had a few ideas for putting Ben’s head in a box of LED’S, but in the end it just seemed unnecessary. We could mess with the footage in post-production. Enough talking".
"Check that relative you know with a decent pension plan and ask them if they’ve got a basic DSLR kicking about"
Day 5: Materials
"First things first, we didn’t have a camera. So we borrowed one. Check that relative you know with a decent pension plan and ask them if they’ve got a basic DSLR kicking about. We ended up using two different cameras, which actually wasn’t ideal when it came to mixing footage. Next time we’ll stick to one.
As averagely computer literate people, we set about finding some editing software and learning it. Will has had some experience with video stuff before, so he took point on that. We found splitting tasks was key in getting this project off the ground.
Finally, we needed a place to do it. Rolling generators into a local building site and hanging strip lights from dumper trucks sounds sweet as, but we knew the filming was going to take a while, so we chose to film in Mac’s basement. We decided to shoot in a location we could control; it wasn’t that MTV but there’s a lot you can do in post-production to spice things up".
Day 30: Doing
"Things got different once we got the cameras out, started getting footage and watching it back. Problems occurred: the lighting wasn’t working, my jumper made me look like a schmuck and we shot four takes with the mic lead blatantly unplugged. But that’s the game. Some problems you can solve and some you will have to get around. Side note: if you're googling a camera issue and someone’s doing his hair in the mirror (Ben), tell them to get on it mate. There’s a lot to do, work together.
Over the two days of shooting we learnt some lessons. Always make sure you’re keeping an eye on the footage that you’re getting. Always have an extra friend and camera operator on hand to get those full band shots. Never change your clothes halfway through. For us, once the lighting and gear was set up it was surprisingly chill. We shot a live run-through of the song about ten times from different angles and that was plenty of footage".
"If you’re going to have a crack at making a video yourself, good luck, next time it will all be easier or maybe just bigger and more challenging, but no worries you’ll be famous by then"
Many Days Later: Editing
"After some intense discussions (compromise is key), we finally pinpointed a style we were all happy with. Then came the time to work it, work it and work it. We kept Bombay mix and coffee stacked up and the child prodigies of YouTube on tab when the software technicalities got too much for us. Side note: Don’t take your stylistic differences down the pub. It’s not productive, you only talk breeze down the pub, and everyone will hate you for it".
"Everything must come to an end. Although our finished product is different from how we first imagined it, it’s something we’re all dead chuffed with. So if you’re going to have a crack at making a video yourself, good luck, it will be well worth it, and the next time it will all be easier. Or maybe just bigger and more challenging but no worries you’ll be famous by then".