Surrounded by stacks of dirty dishes, with pots and pans resting on top of the kitchen counter, Director Nick Leisure carefully places even more debris around the set to design a more aesthetically satisfying visual, giving the production more of an edgy look and feel. He directs the artist to take his place behind the dirty dishes and sit center frame in-between the two stacks of pans. Leisure likes what he sees and begins rolling as the artist lip syncs away for the first time to the new track.
The art of the music video comes together when the director’s unique vision mixes well with the story that the artist wants to tell. With an already impressive body of work behind him, (Leisure has worked with Too Short, Kurupt, Raz B, Kevon Edmonds, Father & Son, Rodney Jerkins and many more), Leisure and his production company Frame 24 Films are consistently on the move with full production studios for both film and music in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento. Frame 24 Films is now moving into the major motion picture market and Leisure credits his team’s hard work and consistency as one of the main reasons for Frame 24 Films‘ upward mobility.
Pushing the Envelope
“My inspiration comes from people that continue to push the envelope and do new things that haven’t been done before, versus people that have continued to do the same thing over and over again – directors who continue to grow and try to get a wow factor out of somebody.”
New ideas and advancement in quality are the standards that he lives by.
“Every music video that I do, I try to make it different and better than the last one in some way, shape or form. With different artists, genres and music. You’re not going to want to do the same type of music video you would for a country artist as you would a rap artist. They just want different things. I let the song tell the story itself and then just go from there.”
Even with the long list of high level cliental, Leisure stresses that there is no separation between a local talent and a nationally known artist. “I don’t put any more attention into a major artist and take away any attention from a local artist, because I want every piece of my work to look just as good if not better than the last video that I did.”
Leisure and Frame 24 Films, in fact, specialize in creating videos for local artists that looks like they were created for bigger budgets than they actually were. The key is in capturing footage first and keeping the production simple, all while making sure that the emphasis on the story and the enthusiasm of the crew never falters throughout the shoot.
Do It Yourself
For beginners, Leisure drums up some extra tips to pave the way for more professional productions.
“Make sure your vision stays within line with what the artist wants. Base your concept around things that you have access to. Try not to do anything too crazy make it clean – and focus on the performer. Get your meat and potatoes first. Use what you have available to you to make the best you have out of that music video.”
Keep an Eye Out
Nick Leisure is proving with each step, that if people work hard and follow their dreams eventually they will come true. “As long as you keep working at your craft, you are going to continue to grow no matter what. You only stop, if you give up,” Leisure says.
Watch for Frame 24 Films as it continues to make its mark in Hollywood.
Tom Skowronski has more than a decade of experience in the television industry as a producer, writer, director, and editor with a extensive background in documentary film and video instruction.