Making Music Videos: Watching the Pros – Pink, Taylor Swift, Train

By January 3, 2012Music Video, Video

The most important aspect I reflected up on after shooting the Shane Kanoa – When Boy Meets Girl (Music Video Series) was the planning. Though we did a lot of planning, or so we thought, much of it wasn’t right, and much of it we just couldn’t foresee without experience. I guess that’s we miss out by not having gone to film school.

No matter. Even film students will have lots to learn once they start doing things for real. So, armed with some experience at filming both live performances (and weddings) and scripted music videos, at least now I know what to look for, and can learn vicariously through how other people make music videos.

It’s fun to see how much goes on outside of the camera’s view. Sometimes just barely outside the view. You have other gear, workers, reflector boards, and lots of other stuff. Though internet independent videographers like us won’t always have the big fancy gear like the big studios use with these major label artists, lots of the gear and props, conceptually, are simple. We can definitely mock up something close to achieve a very very similar effect.

P!nk – Try (Behind the Scenes…Dance Action!)

Planning planning planning! Wonder how long just the dance sequence was to learn.

Cool to see them tape pads behind P!nk and her dance partner’s back to break their fall, but you don’t see that in the music video. Also, where and how they place cushions for them to land on.

Taylor Swift – Safe & Sound (Behind The Scenes) [from Hunger Games Soundtrack]

Most scripted videos, whether music videos, TV episodes, and movies usually only has a limited cast. Often just the artist in music videos, as with this one. Seems so much of the planning is scouting for good locations, and having the crew and gear to make the artist and the scene look the best. And stuff that looks good isn’t always a fun place to be!

Train – Drive By (Behind The Scenes)

Just a cool location where they shot in California’s Napa Valley. Fancy props and scene setups, yes. But going back to the location of the shoot, I notice when I’m filming like with a 35mm or 50mm lens, that big open spaces gives are emphasized even more. Whether if it’s this video, or the Taylor Swift one above, or countless other music videos shot on desert plains or in warehouses, having lots of open space makes the video seem higher quality. Not sure why. Maybe because of the exclusivity of having all that space to yourself.

Train – Drive By (Behind The Scenes)></a></p>

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