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first time music video

screamkw's picture
Last seen: 3 years 5 months ago
Joined: 06/11/2011 - 12:51pm

Hey Everyone!!!

So sorry, if this is already posted somewhere or is under the wrong heading...

Okay so I'm an actor and photographer, but I am directing a music video for the first time. It's a group of 4 girls, one of which is a close friend of mine (kind of a pop feeling song). I don't doubt myabilitiesto execute it well, but some "experience" questions have come up in my mind and the answers are only in experience which I don't have so here I am...

Shoot Details:

Theme: The elements. 4 locations a forest, a girl in the lake, a meadow with horses, and a beach with fire pockest in the sand.

Length: 3 days

Budget: Max $5000

Shooting Equipment: 2 Nikon d7000s, a merlin (or some other steady cam), a jib arm, a dslr dolly, maybe 2-3 lights (need advice on that), and a ring light

crew: me and a friend

Questions lol...There's an element of mystery to it so we want low light therefore, dusk and dawn...my concern is the lack of time I will have to get the shots done...any thoughts on how to maximize my time? (regarding light)

2. In case it runs into the peak of the day, what can i do to make the daylight match that of dusk/dawn.

3. Any suggestions on lens filters?

4. Focusing...everything manual I prefer it...though I'm concerned about the camera on the arm, should I rent a focusing device for that? Or maybe just use a small aperture? Because the shot will probably be of the 4 of them and will be from a distance...

Lastly, the girl in charge is covering all costs and I'm trying to limit their costs, I'd rather put the money into the production and make it look really good, but I know I should get paid something lol...how much for my friend and I? Don't get too complex about that, just throw some numbers at me (final numbers or percentage) p.s. we won't be editing...


birdcat's picture
Last seen: 2 years 2 months ago
Joined: 10/21/2005 - 10:09am

> ??p.s. we won't be editing...

I am assuming that someone else will be editing (I do this all the time from other folks source).

If that's not the case (going with in camera edits, which some have done, none I have seen impressed me much) then big mistake - You're spending a chunk of change getting the right shots, using an editor (NLE) will enable you to refine all that footage, add effects and corrections, make the audio better, etc...

Bruce Paul 7Squared Productions http://www.7squared.com


CraftersOfLight's picture
Last seen: 6 months 1 week ago
Joined: 02/17/2009 - 5:42am
Plus Member

My 2 cents.

 As for your time concerns, rehearse as many of your shots during the day, maybe at the time of day you are thinking of, even down to the camera moves as much as you can. Actually record these and review to see how things went. What might start out as a good idea for a shot may prove otherwise when you see the playback. Crane and steadicam tools take practice to get the smooth action you will want. The actual shoot is not the time to use the equipment for the first time. 

Practice and time your equipment setups. You will be suprised how long it actually takes. Scout your sites out as far in advance as you can to get an idea of what you will need and what it will take to set up for the shoot.

Something I have been guilty of not doing;

Make sure all your equipment has fresh/fully charged batteries, including spares, before you head out. And that your recording media is empty and has been reformated in the equipment, video, photo, audio, it will be used in.

When you think you have them down, record them when your lighting is right for the scene. This should help reduce the number of takes required and help speed things along. 

Life is not a guided tour nor a destination. It is a journey. Take the time to enjoy your family, friends and surroundings. Build memories. Share experiences. Travel at sight speed not light speed. (C)


grinner's picture
Last seen: 6 years 11 months ago
Joined: 12/29/2007 - 2:56am

because you dont get to edit it, you have to shoot tqice as much as you would otherwise. This is a budget call from above, not your;s Don't worry about how much more it will cost them... they made that decision knowing it.

As for how to shoot it, man that's your call and what your were paid for.


Anonymous (not verified)

Everyone gave you some good advice. Its hard to know what to charge when your new at this sort of genre. Who is doing the editing? Are they a pro or really good editor starting? I don't know i only done a couple music videos myself and I charge at least $1,850.00. But I do edit in Final cut and Adobe cs5. Its what they are willing to pay and what your willing to shoot for you know your needs. And this will be a learning experience all the way around. Good Luck!