What’s the first thing every artist pictures when they’ve just written their best song yet? The music video. Kamrin Pester and Wes Ellis are part of a team that takes artists’ inspiration and brings it to life on the screen. Their most recent project with artist Malik is a unique and creative take on the whole concept of what a music video can be.
In this episode, we talk about Malik’s new video for his entire album “Spectrum,” choosing a concept and aesthetic, challenges and compromises while making a video, budgeting for a project, finding a team, how to prepare for a shoot, and how to get eyeballs on your video when it’s finished.
KOBY: [00:00:00] How’s it going everybody I’m Koby Nelson and I’m here with Jake Mannix
JAKE: [00:00:04] hello? Hello.
KOBY: [00:00:05] How’s it going Jake
JAKE: [00:00:06] It’s going all right. Reporting from LA again
KOBY: [00:00:10] and the garage got the lights up It’s looking pretty good in
JAKE: [00:00:13] Yes. Yes. How’s it going over there? And the Connecticut
KOBY: [00:00:16] Pretty good It’s snowing like crazy here We’ve got like eight inches or something like that right now And counting I think it’s going to go for a few more hours so got to stay home from work today So that was fun Yeah today for our episode I’m really excited because we’re talking about an area of the music industry that I know next to nothing about but it’s also an area that I get asked Questions about fairly regularly and that’s music videos and Jake I was thinking I don’t know have you have you ever made a music video or been a part of a music video
JAKE: [00:00:48] um, I’ve been a part of a couple, nothing like super high budget, but definitely, my friends putting in their absolute best effort.
KOBY: [00:00:55] Have you done you haven’t done one yourself though right
JAKE: [00:00:59] for my own music, Yeah. Uh, the morning sound did one, uh, Mannix did one. Yeah,
KOBY: [00:01:05] I didn’t know man did one
JAKE: [00:01:07] yeah, yeah. I mean, you don’t have to know about it. No one really has to know about that one.
KOBY: [00:01:13] Well our two guests today can help us fill in some of the gaps on this topic or help me fill in some of the gaps on this topic because they both work for an internet Media entertainment company I don’t know exactly what you would call it but a company called rooster teeth which some of our listeners out there may have heard of and they recently finished up a really cool music video project with an artist named Malik So I definitely want to talk a little bit about that and also just kind of making music videos in general so we want to welcome to the podcast Kamrin Pester and Wes ellis
Kamrin: [00:01:48] up. Hello?
Wes: [00:01:48] how’s it going?
KOBY: [00:01:51] Thank you guys both for coming on
Kamrin: [00:01:52] Yeah, we’re happy to be here. I hope we can fill in these gaps. It’s funny coming on and talking about something like this, where I still very much feel like I have an entire career of knowledge to learn, but, uh, we’re excited.
Wes: [00:02:05] Yeah. I mean, I’ve, I’ve directed like music videos, and then the most recent, it was like the most legit music video. So I’m happy to talk about that one. No, one’s really exciting,
Kamrin: [00:02:12] yeah. Music videos are funny. Cause like Jake said, like it’s very okay to not know about like the early ones. Um, I think we all have a couple of those in our back pocket where it’s like, yeah, we did our
Wes: [00:02:26] if I, if I, you know, have some, like, if you look at like David Fincher’s, directing credits, there’ll be like music videos for all these bands in the nineties. I think, all the ones I’ve done prior to the, the one that it’s about the release, uh, will not be on any sort of IMDBs that’s for sure.
Anyway, sorry. Go ahead.
KOBY: [00:02:42] Well you guys still have way more experience than I have having never done anything with a music video at all so before we kind of dive into actually talking about the the latest video that you guys did and kind of what goes into music videos can you each just give us a little bit of a background into what you do especially when it comes to music videos or anything else with rooster teeth and stuff like that
Kamrin: [00:03:06] yeah, totally. I can go first. Cause Wes’s his background I think is more interesting than mine. so I come, I come more from a technical perspective. I at rooster teeth and in my freelance work, do a lot of camera operating and editing. so in terms of like technical execution, I’m usually. Easier to consult there than I am with like a creative execution.
so yeah, at rooster teeth, like I said, I run a camera. I’m working from home right now. I mostly just edit. but I come in and shoot merge videos with Wes all the time. Anything from like small stuff on handheld camera to like large scale projects on cinema gear. we kind of cover the whole range there.
and Wes and, I have a great working relationship where we consult a lot on like stylized lighting and bit more direction to it, then I think gets put into the, the field. so yeah, I it’s, it’s fun. We have a lot of, we have our own style that we’re building and, I think we’re both kind of changing as creators all the time.
so I feel like my job title changes along with it, but yeah, at a technical angle for me,
Wes: [00:04:10] Yeah, and I, um, I always wanted to be a filmmaker growing up, but didn’t have the means to really go to film school. in high school, I had mom who had like a midlife crisis and I was like, I’m going to go to film school. And I was like, Oh, that’s cool. That’s what I wanted to do, but that’s fine.
So she went and did it. And then I was a onset of music videos, a lot and, short films and documentaries and stuff with her and realized that’s what I wanted to do. But due to personal reasons, wasn’t really in the, in the scope of what I could do. So I took up photography. photography was this cool thing that to me was like, Oh, wow.
Music, videos, short films, movies, all that stuff takes a lot of money, but like photo shoots can be kind of like a one man, like limited budget thing. So I kind of treated it like, I mean, it took a long time to get to where I am, but it, it, I kind of treated it like, like each little photo shoot was like my.
audition or my like reel for one day, hoping to direct a music video or something and treat each photo shoot with like a, like a cinematic, perspective to it. So I right now at rooster teeth, I’m the marketing creative lead and photographer. So I don’t do a ton of like, I am more so now for our like merge videos that Kamrin works on.
I do directing for those. but yeah, but my dream is to be like a director. So that’s what we, uh, what we did with Malik recently.
Kamrin: [00:05:31] 15 directed by Wes
Wes: [00:05:33] Exactly. Exactly. Give me, give me like 20 years. We’ll be good.
KOBY: [00:05:38] Right So can we talk a little bit about this video with Malik then and like how this project came about I I’ve watched it It’s it’s really cool It hasn’t come out yet it’s kind of unique It’s sort of like a multi song not a demo reel but like a showcase music video kind of So can you just talk a little bit about that and how that project came to be
Wes: [00:05:58] Yeah. So I met Malik a couple of years ago through a friend of a friend who is a photographer and this doesn’t happen, but a whole lot, I’m sure. I don’t know if it’s the same in your industry, but like she’s a photographer and she looked at Malik’s work and Malik was like, I really want someone who can do this style.
And her herself as a photographer was like, I know the right photographer. And I was like, dang, that’s cool. So it’s just kind of like, and she was, I mean, she was right, like me and Malik kind of just like clicked from the beginning a couple of years ago. And. he sent me some of his music and it was one of those moments when like growing up as like a creative, I’ve always had friends who are music artists or, or people who I knew in my life who make music, who was like, yo, you should make a music video for me.
Or like, yo let’s work together. I want, when you okay. I’m like, that sounds awesome. Cool. And I listen to music. I’m like, okay. Yeah. But yeah, I want to do it. Yeah, that sounds cool. But like maybe not the. But then you listen to Malik stuff and it’s, it’s what is out it’s orange and these songs, orange and red and Indigo.
I played them. I was like, Oh shhhh, Whoa, wait a second. You are actually like an artist. Like, I don’t know if I can curse on this podcast. I was, I just caught myself, but, uh, but, um, a little background with Malik. He at like 22 he’s a bedroom producer in like the truest sense. Didn’t have any connections, but.
Was able to land uh, producing, credit on, uh, Ariana Grande day song off of, uh, two like three albums ago. And then two albums ago won a Grammy first producing credit on that Ariana Grande’s song. and then got connected with like J Cole and now his mentor is no ID. So he’s just like in, and I like listened to music.
I was like, Oh my God, this is so good. And we talked very early on about. About me almost like taking a co-creative direction for his albums. Cause we just are on that like same wavelength and a long time coming. Uh, we talked about it like summer 2019. At one point we were going to shoot it in 2019 and it got pushed to 2020.
And then we had this narrative concept for a music video. but due to COVID and the budgets, like we had some money for this, but we were like, man, no one really knows your music yet. How cool would it be if we like. I don’t know the feeling of, it was like, like watching Toonami on Saturday and he, and the guy, the spaceship in tsunamis, like flipping through anime channels.
And it’s like, that’s kind of cool. Like what if it was kind of like that, but it’s your music that these robots are these, like these other life forms are like I don’t know, downloading to them. And he was like, Oh, that sounds so cool. So abstract it’s just like, the album was like, cool. So we just, it kind of like worked out with like, COVID were very limited at the time.
And resources. and amount of people we can have on set. So it’s not like we can build sets. It’s not like we could go to a bunch of different locations. So, it kind of just like, it just kind of fell into place.
KOBY: [00:08:43] well I think that’s one of the things that’s really cool about it too Is that like it’s almost like these individual like
that where you you’re tuning in to like these Small little chunks of a song
I know I’ve never seen that concept done before. Is that something that’s unique to you guys
Wes: [00:09:01] Because I don’t have a ton, like in my professional career, I don’t have a ton of experience. I’m not exactly sure. I haven’t seen this like method that we did done a lot and I have a couple of friends who direct music videos and I’ve sent it to them and they’re like, they’re like, wait, that’s a great idea.
I’m gonna steal that. So it’s like, I feel like we might be the first, not the first ever, but like some of the first to do this, but I come from a marketing background. That’s why I went to school for it. And I was like, in my brain, I was like looking at the music on Spotify. I’m like, man, it’d be really cool if we had these like canvases, like the little vignettes that play at behind the album cover.
so I looked at it as like, also from a marketing perspective of like, Hey, we can’t really land on an exact idea for one, like, let’s say, yeah, like we have this budget, but we even the, but the idea we have for this story, we need might need 30 K incentives, like whatever, few thousand dollars. So it’s like, instead of doing that, what if we just.
got like this full marketing suite out of it, where you get, you do a 32nd vignette for a song and you only need six seconds for a Spotify. And then you have a 15 second thing you can cut for an Instagram ad. So it kind of like, I guess that kind of like subconsciously kicked in where I was like, this would be cool to just give you like assets.
And that’s where I was like, Oh, let’s see. I think it started with a conversation of like, honestly, okay. Now I’m remembering exactly the conversation that came from it was before it was like, it was like a year ago. And. I was like, Hey, you remember the 3005 music video by childish Gambino and how it plays through the whole song.
And then the last 30 seconds is Worldstar. And he’s like, Oh yeah. I was like, we should do that two songs. And he goes, what if we did that whole album? And I was like, Whoa, wait a second. I was like, wait a second. I was like, that’s a lot. That’s a lot. And he’s like, no, no, no, like 30 seconds. Yeah. One shot takes for each of them.
I’m like done. So it’s Maliki genius. And like, I just kind of pulled it out of
JAKE: [00:10:49] That’s awesome.
Kamrin: [00:10:50] I think as also as young filmmakers ourselves, what was really exciting about the format for that was like being extremely deliberate with each shot, because I think traditionally not traditionally, but the habit, a lot of filmmakers fall into when they’re creating music, videos is to like, they have like seven or eight shots in mind and they’re like, we’ll just record.
The whole song in each of those shots and we’ll cut back and forth between them as we need it. And like it becomes formulaic and not super inspired. And you have to do a lot of work on the backend to make it as cool as you’re probably picturing it for us. It was very much just, all right. We have seven shots in mind.
And each one of them has a very strong color theme and we’re not going to get multiple angles. We might get a couple takes and like a couple different angles, but like we’re only gonna end up using one of those angles in the final product. So, you know, being able to tackle it from a extremely deliberate and kind of very, very structured approach, made it a lot more manageable for us.
And I honestly, like, I think made it easier on us to, in the long run, like the edit was. Was nothing in the end or at least assembling it was nothing. And because we had done so much planning and in the front end,
Wes: [00:12:01] And that kind of spawned from. my photography approach as of the past, like couple of years has been rather than like, just meeting up with a person when I was my own personal photography, just meet up with the person, doing a photo shoot. It’s like, I guess more of like a fine art approach where it’s like, I had this idea for like, I have a one I one photo that is probably one of my favorites.
That’s uh, my friend Kara in like red tights and a blue. like a leotard. And she’s like on a red carpet and a green room was like under a couch with a TV on. And that was like a very intentional shot. going into this being our first time, there was like, no, like we didn’t go to, I didn’t go to film school.
I don’t like, I don’t have like a process in mind, but I, I kind of treat it like. Like each frame was like a fine art, like still image. And also we shot it on 16 millimeter film. So it was like one of those things, we went into it, knowing that we only have so much to work with. So we allotted like, okay, we can shoot like a few minutes of this shot.
Well, the shots are only 30 seconds. So like some of them we shot three, four takes, and then some of them we shot. Like we actually undershot. We, we like, what was it?
Kamrin: [00:13:04] about 40%. I think we had almost three whole rolls of film
Wes: [00:13:08] Yeah, we, we bought five rolls of Kodak, 500 T vision, 500 T. And we, we use two of them because we were so intentional, which was cool.
Cause then it, like, we got to like sell them and make money anyway. But, uh, yeah, we, we, we approached it from like a fine art perspective instead of like, yeah. I have friends who have made music videos before and they just kind of running gun. I tried it like set up a cool light in a studio and they’re like, All right.
Let’s record. You like rapping the song and then let’s, let’s go to this garage and record you, and then we’ll just have an editor figure it out. We kind of went into it, like we didn’t have it fully storyboarded. But if we had someone on the team who could have done it, we could have had it, like, it could have been like a graphic novel.
We knew exactly what it was going to look like each frame
JAKE: [00:13:50] So it sounds like you guys typically have like a vision or like collaborate with the artist. Is there ever like a time when the artist comes to you with the idea and like, do you guys shape that idea or do you try to let them do it up as much as they can?
Wes: [00:14:03] Malique is a great example of someone of an artist. Like I joke a lot, especially cause he works with no idea, but I always tell him like, you know, like Kanye, like graduation, Kanye, that’s you? Because like he comes into conversation with exactly what he wants. He just might not have like the tools and the knowledge and the skill to like exactly make it.
so he’s, more than anyone he’s the artist that’s come in with like. an idea. And I J I’m just kind of there to, like, if he’s bringing like the rough sculpture, I’m kind of like fine tuning it and putting like my style on it. but that doesn’t happen often. Most of the time. Yeah. It’s like, an artist with like inspiration or it’s an artist with, like, yeah, they see another video.
They like, or they see some of my photography work where they see movie they like, or something. And they’re like, I want to do something like this. And then they just kind of hand it off to you and they get stoked with what you
Kamrin: [00:14:51] Yeah. A lot of our, a lot of our planning is asking for inspiration from the artist or the model or whoever it is. They give us that inspiration. We go in and create our own mood board or pull some of our own videos that we think like, okay, I can execute on this. And I, I like this and I think it matches the aesthetic.
What do you think? And, and then you just kind of take all those ideas and start. You know, taking little bits and pieces from each one and creating your own thing out of that. but honestly, a lot of it is also showing up on the day and making, you might just throw your idea straight out the window too.
I mean, we, I think when we shot spectrum, a lot of that was, that was all pretty much one day, in one location and we, we didn’t know what the weather was going to be. Like. We didn’t know if we were going to have like a huge. pool of water that we could park the car in and, you know, get that great shot that we have for, uh, for orange.
you know, all those things were kind of up in the air and we were, we knew where it might have to call audibles and we, we did in some cases, so, you know, best laid plans there fortunately worked out for us, but you do have to go in each project with that in mind.
KOBY: [00:15:54] right So for you guys like when you have like this one had a concept that had something that you could bounce off of with the colors when you’re going into something maybe you have a concept How do you go about Taking the music and choosing a style or a direction or a look for a video Like how do those things translate Like music into
Wes: [00:16:18] I think it can come from several places. Like, if an artist came to me with music, first thing I want to do is like pull what they were inspired by for the album or for the project. Like, cause chances are, I mean, you guys know like music artists, aren’t just inspired by music. They’re sometimes inspired by life experiences, but also.
Movies, they see TV shows like, like logic’s a great example. He makes music that’s inspired by queen Tarantino. So it’d be very in that scenario, the obvious to do like a Tarantino inspired, visual. But yeah, but yeah, I mean, I’ve also heard it, where are like directors.
I guess I’ve, personally done this where they have an idea for something that they just kind of pocket. And then like when the right music comes to them for it, they’re like, wait, I have this like, kind of pre-written story. Let’s like apply your music to it. And sometimes it works. I think it definitely is like a very fluid, like a very unique process for each artist.
Cause like right now we’re, I’m working with this one, um, and talks to work with an artist who, he just sends me like mood boards from Pinterest that he. Made when he was writing the music. Cause it has like a retro feeling to it. So it’s like very like Elton John. So we’re gonna use that to like, okay, what’s a story we can tell and then put the filter of like seventies, Elton John over it.
KOBY: [00:17:35] I think that kind of idea is a really good tip for musicians too to kind of go about writing your music with some sort of visual in mind Like I I was thinking about Jake and I used to work at the studio called house allowed with a producer named David Bendis who did a paramour record And I remember him telling us about Hayley Williams sitting down while she was writing she kept notebooks of like sketches and would like Cut stuff out of magazines and put it in there Like as the music was being written there was this whole like visual aesthetic that was being crafted at the same time And I think that’s a really good thing for artists to kind of think about and something that I don’t know like I’ve been in a fair amount of like writing sessions and stuff like that And I don’t see people do that as often as I think they could And having that kind of in mind from the beginning I think is like when you come to a music video like you have that sort of inspiration behind it So that’s something I would recommend people try doing I guess while they’re writing music
Kamrin: [00:18:33] think the same way that like authors are supposed to do keep little, a lot of authors, at least recommend keeping a little journal. And if you have an idea for a story, you write it down and then you go back to it. I think for us having these mood boards and collections of videos, if you lose inspiration, then going back and seeing the stuff that initially inspired you a can help you just kind of break through a wall and keep creating.
And B if you’re there on the day, trying to make something and you’re like, I know I had an idea for this. I just can’t like going back to that can trigger that, that memory for you. And we do that a lot. You know, we go in with an idea for a shoot and then like are constantly pulling up the mood board, looking at lighting or something and being like, what is not quite right here.
you know, we look back and think like, okay, you know, it could be something smaller or something big. And just having that reference there will kind of keep you on track.
Wes: [00:19:23] and I think a good tip for music artists like. I mean, whether they’re very experienced or are brand new, is I, so I’m going to plug another podcast. You guys listen to dissect audio podcast where they break down albums. Have you ever
KOBY: [00:19:36] no I’ve heard of it though
Wes: [00:19:37] Okay. They did a, they did one on because the internet by childish Gambino and they break it down like there, the first episode is like all about the whole album and then they break it down and talking about song per episode and.
They, they talk about how Donald Glover is so obsessed with like world building and he, so he treats all his projects and albums, like whether he’s like playing the main character in it, but like for that album, he, he like wrote a script and then they like built this entire world. I think you don’t have to go to that extreme, but it is important, especially if you’re going to eventually, you know, have like a marketing team that wants to work with you and have like other resources to have some sort of like, World in mind, even if that world in mind is the life you live right now in the house, you live in like where you live, but like, there’s a story there.
Like, and then if you can create this overall, like yeah, like create a mood board or like a word cloud and these things that tie together what your project is, then that helps translate it to everyone. Who’s going to collaborate with you on it because. A key thing that I learned from my experience directing is that like, just because you have an idea, because basically music artists are like directing the concept for their project till everyone, all the other collaborators.
no one else knows what you’re thinking. So you have to be able to like articulate and write that down. So like obvious, sometimes it feels obvious, but like it isn’t because, and people don’t know until you tell them. So I think being very articulate with like, The, yeah, the inspiration and the, and the like the vibe and like, the direction you want.
The, like the visuals that go is really
Kamrin: [00:21:03] There’s nothing more frustrating than a director leaning over the camera being like it’s not right yet. And you have to, you gotta like Claude out of some people. Like what’s not right yet. You need to use words. A good director knows how to use their words. Concisely.
KOBY: [00:21:19] I laugh cause like that I mean Jake and I experienced that type of thing all the time with music And I I don’t know I kind of always think of any sort of visual art as not having that problem but I guess it kind of goes across everything Cause like for us I don’t know an artists says I don’t know a mix comes back and it sounds
Too purple or too
squishy or whatever it is And like you have to figure out what that means
Wes: [00:21:48] That sounds, that does sound harder than what we do, but yeah. But, but yeah, people come back to us and they’re like, like, people will just say like the lighting doesn’t look right. And it’s like, define it. Like exactly. What’s
Kamrin: [00:22:00] That’s an extremely subjective take. Yeah.
KOBY: [00:22:04] Well so you guys mentioned like I mean you’ve talked about lighting you talked about that you you made this choice to go with film for this latest music video for the people who maybe haven’t done any video before can you just talk about some of the decisions that need to be made like in the development process like leading up to actually shooting something editing it polishing it up
Kamrin: [00:22:25] Well, I think, first and foremost, the, the good news is if you don’t know anything about cameras like Malik, I don’t think knows anything about cameras. The good news is that Malik knows lots of people who do. And I think if you’re an artist and you want to make something like, look for people who.
No. And want to do that with you. Like, don’t look for how to do it yourself if you just don’t have the time. I mean, certainly you can, but trust me, it’s a lot easier when you start collaborating with folks for us, I’ve never shot on film. And I still haven’t because we hired, a good friend of ours, Eric Gatling to come in and he was a director of photography on the shoot.
So he had some experience shooting, 16 millimeter. we hired a first AC who was also our film loader for it. Cause it’s all equipment, you know, I can edit, but I don’t know how to, to shoot on it. And I don’t, you know, I don’t know how to expose for motion, picture film, and all of that. So, uh, for us, it was very much about collaborating with somebody who brought that, you know, technical element to the table and could, could execute on it.
Wes: [00:23:21] Yeah, I think, just being realistic about what is possible too is really important. like we, we had a budget, we had a decent amount of money for a project like this but we had a budget and we still hit that budget. Um, no matter if your budgets, uh, $0, like a hundred dollars, a thousand, 10,000, a hundred thousand, like.
you will hit that budget and you will have to like always scale back. And I think like for us going into it, wanting to shoot film, we wanted to shoot film because we knew that like so many shots were going to be like static shots of him outside. And like, we could, we definitely could have shot this entire thing digitally, but we just wanted that like tangible, like the quality and like lack of quality that film gives you.
And there’s like certain co we knew that this was gonna be very colorful. So we knew. That we wanted to use film because film takes color, washes completely different, and digital does, which is something I’m like totally obsessed with. And if you ever see a music video that has like intense, like red wash over the, over the person and it looks like other worldly, I think that’s typically.
because it’s on film because of just how it translates, but that’s just like, that was also a personal thing. You definitely don’t have to be shooting your music videos on 16 millimeters, 35 millimeter, eight millimeter or whatever. but yeah, just being conscious of your budget and being like realistic.
And I think collaborating with people like we, we definitely cut some quarters, knowing certain people who were able to like, We had a friend who was willing to color it because he wants to be involved. So like, another thing I recommend is always just like, collaborating, like going into the process whether it’s, if you’re a music artist finding like maybe someone in your area who wants to produce or something that you can like build up together rather than going to a business that like does music videos, because then they’re going to be like, yeah, we do music videos.
It’s gonna cost you $20,000. And you’re like, Oh, well I don’t have that. But maybe you have a friend who would love to like, You know, do their research and like learn how to produce like, I, I think, the creative kind of is dictated by the budget. depending on if you have, like, you might have some people on your team who are just geniuses and it can turn like a $10 light into like a studio set up, like Kamrin can do that.
And that’s like, no big deal, but not, I mean, I think it just, it does come down to the budget. I feel like this such a boring answer, but.
Kamrin: [00:25:33] there’s definitely ways to, like Wes said cut those corners and do things cheap, but you know, having your resources and using them effectively is what’s going to get you a great product in the end. And like, just frankly, just get you a product. If you have a huge vision. For something and you don’t realistically know what it’s going to cost to make it or what it’s going to take to make it, you know, equipment wise, then you’re probably going to lose a lot of steam as soon as, as soon as the first hurdle hits you.
And you’re like, wait a second. I can’t shoot this on a yacht. Hold on a second. But, it’s like, uh, I think a lot of people know that too, right? I think. For us a big thing is that networking that you do with your friends, finding collaborators, like yourself, who are. Passionate and motivated, more by like a cool product than they are by the money.
And also by the opportunity to learn something for us, like Eric gets hired to shoot very professional things, but doesn’t get hired often to shoot film. I think that was a huge draw for him coming in and, you know, people were willing to work on a lower budget because they knew like, well, this is going to be on film, which is going to look really great.
I don’t get to work on that much. you know, being able to offer little things like that or a big thing, like this is my concept. I think we can execute on it and it’s going to look really cool if we get it done, you know, think of those as like a resource to offer people.
Wes: [00:26:51] and I think too, especially if your budget is limited, you can almost treat, this is going to sound dumb. But stick with me, it makes sense in my head, um, is you can almost treat like Madlibs, like your music video. Cause like you, if you have unlimited budget, you can do literally anything. But if you don’t have unlimited budget, you might have some budget, but then you have a free, like you said, a yacht Kamrin.
Well, like, let’s say you have a relative who has a yacht, that’s an ask, that’s a favor you can ask. And that can kind of, you know, shift your creative towards maybe being able to use it yet because that production value is what’s going to add like the wow factor to your music video. so yeah, I guess the other thing too is just like, always asking for favors is, uh, is totally fine.
Like, it sounds terrible, but ask for favors and it’ll help guide your creative.
Kamrin: [00:27:37] Don’t ask strangers for favors. Generally. That’s that’s
usually doesn’t go well, but join a Facebook group. Look for like a film group in your community, anything like that, and like share some of your work, appreciate other people’s work, you know, don’t come across as somebody who’s just looking to take advantage of people.
You know, that’s not just something you need to do to survive in this industry, but it’s like a good quality as a human being. and yeah, said, look for that thing, that one thing that’s going to add a ton of production value. You know, we got a great location and we’re able to get it for very cheap, you know, relative to what a lot of productions pay.
And because of that, we were like, we are going to get like, Six of our seven, five of our seven setups, I think there. And we did, you know, and because of that, we were in and out one day you save a lot of money doing things like that. And then I think for the other ones, you know, we just set up like plastic drop cloth in Wes’s garage and push lights through them.
And that created this really cool, really dreamy aesthetic. Like have to either figure out how to do these things for really cheap, like we did there, or you need to know somebody who does. cause you can still get really great products for, you know, limited budget.
Wes: [00:28:47] and full disclosure. We also had to cut corners on this. Like we, there was an idea like the desert aesthetic was definitely always there. like, so first off Malik’s car in the video is also some behind the scenes bits. Uh doesn’t doesn’t actually run and he, he has to Mr. And then when I met him, one of them ran.
And the other one didn’t and then they both stopped running. And one of them, the nicer one was in the shop, but they couldn’t because that car is so old and rare, they didn’t have the part to fix it. So like the nicer one was in the shop. So we had to use the, not as nice one that didn’t ran. So the idea like originally we were like, let’s do this in West, Texas.
Let’s shoot it like on a desert road. I think it perfectly matched the mood boards. We made it match the vision and mashed everything. And then we just had to be realistic of like, How, I mean, where are we going to tow this car all the way, eight hours, West, Texas. It was like, no. So we, we ended up which would have cost, like, I mean, we could have done it.
It would have just cost like half our budget, which then would have wrote, like, we couldn’t have shot on film. So like it’s always like a give and take and. we were lucky enough to know someone who knows someone who like owns a court, like a rock quarry. And for like a hundred bucks, we were able to use that for the day.
So then we’re like cool way better.
Kamrin: [00:30:01] we just couldn’t we couldn’t record sound cause they were firing guns like a mile away. And the
Wes: [00:30:06] exactly, but we didn’t, luckily it didn’t, we
didn’t need to. And it’s, it’s one of those things where like, that kind of directed the creative, because in my head I had imagined like lots of desert, like daft punk, like trauma. was one of the inspirations we use a lot and then we get there and it’s like, it’s definitely not deserty.
Cause there’s like certain angles. You can see like trees and we definitely don’t want that, but we found like rock faces and we found, and then we got there and like they, another thing is like what Kamrin mentioned as being like fluid, the day of the shoot we got there and we had this one shot for Indigo, which this podcast will be live when indigo goes up.
That’s cool. And I had the cover of a Kira and my head of like, Like walking around like a red car or like a red motorcycle. And I was like, that’d be so cool. But I had no idea how we were going to pull it off the day off. So I was happy for it to like, not happen. And then we get to the day of the shoot and up on top of the quarry is like, there’s a huge ledge.
And I just asked the, our like location rep I’m like, can we go up there? Cause we had a long zoom lens and he was like, Yeah. He’s like, I can take you up there. So then we’re like, okay, cool. Like we didn’t, we wins that day. Not even thinking we could get that shot. And then we just were like, you know, just chill.
And if he had said, no, that’s okay. See, we’re not going to be pushy, but yeah. And indigo came out with that, like Akira look because of that. So definitely like being fluid and being open-minded is important when you’re, you know, going about creative.
KOBY: [00:31:26] right It sounds like I mean a lot of that has to do with contacts Like you said people you know calling on friends and stuff like that maybe for for somebody who doesn’t know somebody right off the top of their head who’s Involved in like this type of production and stuff like that Where’s the place that an artist could go to look for people like you who have these connections have the knowledge for how to do all of this
Wes: [00:31:52] well, I think a lot of it. comes down to, just like finding communities in your car community. Like whether that’s on Facebook, like I know I’m still, I’m from Orlando and I’m still in a bunch of Facebook groups from there, like Orlando photographers and I see people collaborating in those.
And then I’m sure that, I mean, I’m not as aware, but there’s probably filmmaking groups too. I’m fortunate enough to like work at a production company where I have in a very huge production hub, which is Austin, Texas. And, I’d have all these connects, but it’s, it really. I think one key thing too is, I was listening to a podcast with, with logic actually on it and his like manager, who’s like his same age.
And he hired him when like logical is like 21. He hired this 21 year old to be his manager. It was like a terrible idea at the time, but obviously it worked out and, I think what’s so cool is, like, what I mentioned earlier is. You might not need those connections, but you can find someone like like-minded with you to like offload work and who’s as excited about these projects as you.
So like, if you’re out there like wanting to direct music videos. Yeah. Like finding someone who’s an, who really wants to edit music videos, and then someone who like really wants to shoot music videos. And then now you have like yourself, a little three man team. You might not have the connections, but. If you practice enough, like practice like with friends or with family and like, and you shoot stuff and you, one day you meet this PR person who has produced some music videos.
Now you have that one connection. I think a lot of it is just like being open-minded and networking like a good way. Does that make sense? Like without being a toxic person,
Kamrin: [00:33:19] Yeah. Yeah. It won’t feel like networking at the time. You’re at that point, you’re just making friends who have similar interests. You like, yeah. likewise said, if you go into it, just looking for what somebody can do for you, then, then you’re probably not going to build a very good relationship there.
and keep in mind that that all takes time too. Like if you want to make a music video and you don’t have. Any, you know, you don’t have a technical skill set with cameras or editing, like, you know, don’t lose interest in making that music video, just know that like, If someone wanted to make a song and they’ve never recorded and they don’t know anything about mixing, then you wouldn’t expect them like on their first try to like, totally knock it out of the park.
There’s probably some people that can, and those people are crazy, but like, you know, it’s not realistic. Like it’s going to take some practice. It’s going to take a lot of learning. It’s a whole new industry that people build whole careers out of. so like give yourself a goal of learning something about it and then.
Maybe while you’re learning how to run a camera, you’re going on YouTube and watching tutorials and going on subreddits and things like that. You’ll run into people who you can collaborate with at that point.
certainly easier to do. like Wes also said, if you are in a production hub or a bigger city, and you’ll have to be a bit more deliberate with it.
If you’re. you know, in a more rural area, but also, you know, maybe it’s an opportunity to do a little bit of traveling, make a weekend out of making something like must be music. Videos can honestly be shot in a day or two. especially if you’re only using one location or two,
Wes: [00:34:49] yeah. to like, actually answer your question though, Coby, like, uh, I actually thought of a way, like perfectly to answer your question, because I feel like we just, w we just answered, like, basically figure it out, but also. Neither of us got to the position of directing and then Kamrin editing and like helping on set for this music video.
buy, like just hoping the universe would let us do this. We, I mean, I got here, I met all my connections through photography, which is not directing music videos. Kamrin Got here by being a production assistant on lots productions and then becoming an editor. So it’s like, it’s one of those things where like you have to get your foot in the door somehow.
I have a friend Hannah lesser. she’s a productionist isn’t on spectrum. And now she’s gonna, she’s like working on like directing and producing on her own, but like getting your foot in the door, like whether that’s, I mean, most places, whether it’s a big city or not, we’ll ha you’ll have some, like, whether it’s like a news station, or like a, uh, some sort of like local production team that makes commercials, Getting involved with these types of people, those would be good connections to have too. So like you become, I mean, as one of the things that you, like I said earlier, you have to be like, cool about it. You can’t be one of these people. Who’s just trying to meet others to climb the social. Like you have to, has to feel like genuine, but. But meeting someone at one of these production companies who edits or does location scouting or something like that.
Well, then when you, when you’re shooting your music video, you might be able to just text them and be like, Hey, do you have any we’re really hoping to, we have no money to spend. And we’re really hoping to shoot in a warehouse. Do you have any connections? And then that’s the scenario of like, Oh yeah, actually I know someone with the warehouse, they probably let you just use it for free.
and then you’re like, okay, cool. It is entirely about who, you know? And, I feel like. it does take time, but it’s also not impossible for anyone and you, YouTube is a great place to learn like technical knowledge outside of, out of that. So.
Kamrin: [00:36:40] As is probably the case in the audio industry. Maybe some of the most common words we get in the film industry is there’s no money behind this, which is it’s like every time my phone blows up from a contact, I don’t have saved. It’s usually like, Hey, can you come work on this, no money? Or like really low budget?
It’s like, yeah, that’s totally,
Wes: [00:37:00] gray in your reel. I look great in your portfolio.
KOBY: [00:37:03] For sure Yeah that happens all the time in audio I mean one of the things that goes into that I think is that a lot of the times people if they haven’t done it before if they’ve never been a part of a music video or never been they’ve never made a record or whatever they don’t know the challenges that go into doing something So like what are some of the major challenges that like the uninitiated might not be aware of that we can kind of like Like squash the misconception about how easy this is or whatever
Kamrin: [00:37:31] Um, coming up with something original, for sure. I mean, how many millions of music videos have been made and like, especially as a, a new filmmaker, if you’re going into it without a meticulously crafted vision, then you’re probably just going to create something that is very close to something that has heavily inspired you maybe without even realizing it.
So, There’s a whole gamut of technical things that could be difficult, like editing your camera guy shows up with a really fancy camera and shoots in 6k. And then you go and try to edit that on your laptop. Like your laptop is going to melt. So like, you know, you can run into those technical issues and, and you solve those by just like having people around who know not to do those things, I would say creatively is where you’re going to run into things that can really, kind of deflate you and shut down your.
Your music video pretty quickly.
Wes: [00:38:20] Yeah, I think the equipment in general just doesn’t matter whether you’re shooting on film or a nice camera, or you have like really expensive lights. none of that matters. If your idea sucks. And vice versa. If your idea is amazing, you could definitely shoot a music video on an iPhone. I mean, they they’ve shot like the movie Tangerine by Sean Baker is showing an iPhone and it’s a beautifully shot movie.
So I think it’s just, yeah, it’s spending your time in the pre-production world, planning and like creating something original rather than, and I’ve been guilty of it, you know, early on in my career being like, yeah, you know what? Let’s, I will just show up with a camera and we’re going to shoot your music video.
And you know, what didn’t work is showing up with the camera and just shooting the music
Kamrin: [00:38:59] Everything’s everything’s handheld like exposures all wrong. Yeah.
Wes: [00:39:04] Especially, I mean, you think about like music, a lot of like the biggest directors get, have gotten like David Fincher mentioned him, but he got to start directing music videos. And they’re just, they’re three minute productions, you know, and movies.
They’re like 90 minute productions that take years to prepare. So if you think about it on that scale, like you should spend more than then, maybe a day or so sometimes, you know, sometimes that’s the reality we live in. And like, I know people in LA who directed music videos who were like, yeah, Travis Scott called me on Monday and said, we need to drag this music again on Wednesday.
And it’s like, that’s insane. But they also, they also have a ton of money on music and I like that. But so if you don’t have a ton of money, spend as much time as you possibly can, like coming up with something really cool and original.
Kamrin: [00:39:47] And have that catalog of ideas in the back of your head. If, if Travis Scott calls you and needs you to direct for him on Wednesday, then, then you’re probably not just going to create a brand new concept. You’re pulling something from in here.
Wes: [00:39:59] There’s a great resource for a music video directors out there called film grab it’s a website it’s film-grab.com and it is a website that’s just like stills from movies and can sort by director, you can search by movie title. You can search by cinematographers. You can search by production designer, which is a huge thing that I feel like people miss out on.
And. so if you really like 2001 a space, obviously you can look at that and it’ll suggest to you like other Sci-fi films or movies that those filmmakers worked on outside of that. And it’s amazing inspiration because I, I mean, I can go through it like each frame of spectrum. it’s very derivative of something that we are inspired by and it’s just, we just kind of like, we’re like, Oh, we really like care.
We really liked Toonami re we really, like, there will be blood there. We really like, like trauma. Let’s just like, Copy and paste that into, across the project
KOBY: [00:40:48] what’s the what was that called again Film grab
JAKE: [00:40:50] I wrote that
Wes: [00:40:51] film, grab film-grab.com.
KOBY: [00:40:54] resource even just for like songwriting
Wes: [00:40:56] Oh yeah,
KOBY: [00:40:57] sounds like something that would be inspiring for that too
Wes: [00:41:00] Yeah. And it’s all like height, like very high resolution stills too. It’s really nice. It’s way better than just trying to like Google, like screenshots of a movie.
KOBY: [00:41:09] Nice So if an artist and a director have like come up with a concept and they’re kind of ready to go all the pre-production stuff has happened when it comes to actually shooting something I feel like for an artist that could be a really stressful time Are there any things that you guys can suggest for artists to do to prepare for actually shooting the
Wes: [00:41:32] Yes,
You, if you’re an artist by the stream music, really, you should. Absolutely. I mean, this is obvious. I hate that to say it’s, you should absolutely be able to perform the whole song without messing up and you’re laughing, but that’s not as common like that. That is a thing like, like you should know your song and not only should, you know, your song, you shouldn’t only be able to recite it. You should be able to, like, you should be practicing in the mirror of like what you will look like, because yes, a director can help you with that. But that, that comes down to the artists. Like Malik was like a godsend because he, I had ideas and I had ways to suggest this, but he showed up on the day, not just knowing every word and never like, never mess.
I think maybe across. Like all eight songs. He flubbed like one word. not only did he know the songs, he knew the facial expressions. He knew how he wanted to move his arms. He knew like the entire energy he wanted to bring into it. Cause he, and he, I talked to him about it and he’s like, yeah, dude, like leading up to it.
I spent a lot of time in the mirror just, or like recording myself, doing it. And it’s like, it’s so important because if you don’t, I mean, nothing is more frustrating than, I mean, you guys have seen it watching a music video where. It’s just like, it’s supposed to be high energy and it’s just this like low energy.
Like they’re only thinking about they’re so focused on saying the words correctly that they’re not moving their arms. They’re not like, it depends on the concept, but like they’re not moving their body. They’re not like. It’s not interesting. And that, that adds so much, and it can, especially if you’re shooting on film, I mean, you might, you probably won’t be if it’s one of your first ones.
but if, if you are shooting film, it’s like literally every second is costing you money. I mean, we’re, we, budgeted for five rolls of film on spectrum because we just accounted for Malik messing up with that was one of those things. We, in the schedule, we had a very. Loose schedule because we budgeted for him messing up.
And for us having like a reset lighting, reset all this, and he just did it and it w it saved us. It literally saved us like a thousand dollars is what I’m like. That’s what I’m saying. It’s like, it’s so important for an artist to good at that.
KOBY: [00:43:31] Well I think it’s it’s crazy too because like I mean I’m sure artists come into things they’ve rehearsed for shows and stuff like that Maybe they’ve practiced a bunch in front of a mirror but a a music video It’s they’re going to be shots that are much closer up on your face Those are things that you’re not thinking about on stage You know you’re not thinking about those like micro expressions and stuff like that So I don’t know I think that’s a really tricky thing that people might come into a music video shoot not quite being Ready for or even like aware that that’s going to be a thing that they have to think
Kamrin: [00:44:01] Yeah. Once, once you’re in front of a camera, the freezing up is such a common issue in film. Like whether it’s like on a commercial or a music video or a movie, you know, you can prepare your lines or the lyrics to your song as much as you want, but you have to like mentally place yourself in front of that camera in preparation, because the second year there.
You know, you’re going to have a director and a cinematographer and an AC, and all these people staring at you and you can’t really choke in that moment. there’s a lot more pressure than you expect.
Wes: [00:44:33] some artists might not care as much about those micro-expressions, but if you, if you’re an artist that cares exact, like exactly what you’re going to look like the day of there is no problem with you, like reaching out to your director or reaching out to your, your cinematographer or your editor, anyone who’s working on it.
And literally just asked to like, rehearse it. And that even if that’s like, they bring their iPhone and put it on like a little, like $5 Amazon tripod in your bed room and they like zoom it in on your face and they just record you doing it a bunch and let you see what you’re doing. And like, you just gotta be there.
You just gotta, like, I mean, Malik, it was such a good process and like, it flowed so well because he’s so badly to be good. So he like spent the time making sure that he was prepared the day of. And then when it came there, I mean, I remember we shot yellow, the one that’s in the video, we shot too. We shot an alternative version of a yellow that, that didn’t make it into the cut.
But, the yellow that’s in it, he showed up the day of, and we’re like, all right, you ready? And he’s like, let’s do it. And he like got in his like wardrobe and I mean, we started shooting that day at like 2:00 PM. And at like two 15, we were already like wrapping the first look
Kamrin: [00:45:42] think he got it on the first take
Wes: [00:45:44] He got it on the first day.
And when we went back to look through like, like, like I said, like some of these, we did like five takes just to be sure with like the different zooms or the different, like camera movement. A lot of them, we just looked at it. We’re like, it’s the first take or that red, which is the first one in the, in the video.
that’s an interesting one because we shot red so we did shoot this over two days. It was like a day and a half. Really. And. the studio day that was in my garage, as cameras said, start off with red, with a certain lighting setup. And we, we shot like six takes and we’re like, all right, let’s move on.
And there was something in the back of my head that was like, I don’t think that we have enough energy in this because it’s not Maliki fall. I think we need more like camera movement. And I was like, okay, well, I’m not gonna say anything else. We have time. And then at the end of the day, we had like 45 seconds of film left.
And it was one of those things where like, I mean the films game process regardless, and we didn’t want to start a new role, but it was like, We got to shoot something and we got finished with black and we’re like, let’s just do one. We have enough film for one take. Let’s do one of you doing red again, but let’s like change the light and let’s do a lots of zooms.
And he’s like, okay, I’m down. And we were just like, we did it. And as soon as, as soon as it ran out, we heard the film catch and start spinning and we’re like, and we went back and watched it or we watch it after we got processed. And we’re like, that’s it? That one, the very last take was the, was the one, because all the other ones were like really static and I felt like it would have fit, but like that last one, he just moments like that wouldn’t work.
If he had messed up a word, cause he had messed up a word film would have ran out and been like, okay, well we’re going to use one of the earlier ones. So.
Kamrin: [00:47:18] I worked on a, uh, a Spotify music video a couple years ago for the band Midland. They have that song drinking problems that was really big and they had this, it didn’t occur to me until after we actually made spectrum what they were doing. They had essentially prerecorded the entire. Music video, how they pictured it, basically in rehearsal and they just recorded all the rehearsals until they got it just right in rehearsal and then took those clips with them on the day.
And, you know, you’re in a new setting that we’re in, like all these different locations, it was a huge production. So you had a ton of equipment and multiple cameras. and it’s hard to like, remember those exact moments and, and you know, that you’re missing something. So they would just pull up those clips.
They had a monitor for them and. Just being able to, as soon as they watched the clip, they’d be like perfect right back to it. And I mean, you’re a performer. So like, I think as soon as you get back into that head space, it’s just going to click for you. You can kind of trust your instinct there, but if you, if you are really worried about that, if our, if our warning you has created enough anxiety, then uh, then prerecord it and just have it in your pocket.
Ready to go.
Wes: [00:48:21] Yeah. And, yeah, like camera’s says it’s so important. Wes Anderson, director of like, you know, life aquatic, all these movies, he. Is so meticulous. And if you’re the artist or you’re the director of these music videos, and whoever is like, whoever’s listening to this and if you care so much and you want something to look like I said earlier, no one knows what you’re thinking.
So like sometimes the best way to be prepared the day of if you’re like a director is like, if you don’t have a storyboard artists, like Wes Anderson sits down with a camera and he will shoot his entire movie in his house. like frame by frame, he’ll shoot, he’ll play every role and he’ll shoot the entire movie.
So that the day of there’s no question of like how he wants the direction to be of the, of the actor, which obviously you have to be collaborative. So like, if someone’s like, well, I think I would, I would rather do it like this. but then like, there’s no question with the cinematographer, the staging of the movements or anything.
It’s like, here’s my vision. It’s like, I mean, that’s like as prepped as you possibly can be. And if, and maybe that’s something, someone listening might want to try it for a project. If it, if you have such a specific vision, because in one day you only have so much time and you only have so much money. So it’s like those, those prep days don’t cost you anything, theoretically.
So definitely, definitely be prepared.
JAKE: [00:49:32] it sounds like you guys are pretty thorough, with your work. So, um, wondering in this subjective realm that we work in, how do you guys deal with revisions?
Kamrin: [00:49:41] no revisions ever. I’m the editor I’ll delete the footage now. Just kidding.
Wes: [00:49:46] Um, it kind of, it kind of Depends, in this, in the world of like, Production, unless you’re working on like a really high budget thing, you don’t really have the means to go back and like have pickup days. so in the edit room we can do as many, I mean, Kamrin and I’m sure he’s happy to do as many revisions and like Malik sat there with him and to watch it, like he said, it’s not a very edit intensive project in the editing suite.
There’s lots of revisions. There’s lots of like fine tuning. But when it comes to like pick up shots and revisions, like. I mean, you’re spending so much money per day, not just on like the film and all that, but like crew location, all this stuff that you like, you don’t really have like revisions.
Aren’t really possible. If you, if by that you mean like reshoots, revisions of the edit are, very common and sometimes it comes down to like, Uh, you have a cutting from this shot to this shot on this. Be, it should be on this beat, like down to like, as meticulous as that. But yeah, hopefully if you’re prepared, there’s nothing crazy that we shoot that like the artists gets back or like the management company, or like the agency or the producing team, or anyone gets back in, they’re like, wait, what?
Like, hopefully if you’ve done your job, they’re like pretty understanding of what you’re going to do. That was like, the big thing that I was going into spectrum is like, I made sure that Melik was like very clear with the digital marketing team and everyone. I was like, I want them to know that they’re not getting like a full narrative, one song music video, they’re getting 30 seconds and one of them 17 seconds.
But like, they’re getting these shorter vignettes. And he’s like, yeah, they, you know, but like, how did we not have that discussion? And he just got this budget from this company and they were just like, okay, go shoot a music video. And we turned in eight 30 seconds clips. That’s not a music video, but.
Luckily he had those conversations and there was no, there’s nothing to come up. So
KOBY: [00:51:33] Yeah So it’s it’s very much On the pre production side of things I mean we talk about pre-production for the audio side of stuff for like recording a record all the time It’s super super important but it sounds like it’s even more important in this situation because of the cost of having if you had to go back and reshoot something it’s way more expensive than whatever like overdubbing a guitar part on a record or
Wes: [00:51:55] right. Right. And I mean, we, you know, there’s a process to this. It’s a filmmaking that it scales and it makes sense to, act like you’re a big production when you’re a small one in, in certain ways like that. Like not. Leaning on the idea of like, Oh, we can reshoot something.
Cause I mean, you think about like, I mean, Marvel movies and they, they have the money to do reshoots, but each for those reshoot days will cost them a million dollars or some shit like it’s insane. So you think about that and you’re like on our scale, like maybe a reshoot, they cost us like four grand.
It’s like we just can’t do that. And we just shouldn’t be, trained to think that we can. So it’s like we just kind of go into it being like, Nope, not an option. Let’s be prepared.
Kamrin: [00:52:31] Yeah, because at the lower level of the lower budget level of filmmaking, maybe more important than like the extra $500 or a thousand dollars, it would cost to go back to that bar and get that pickup is the time it would take to get, you know, however many people you need there. Uh, you have to be really respectful of people’s time and just know that like, as soon as we’re done shooting, like their contract with this, this project is done.
And like, if I need to bring them back in, it’s like, It’s like starting up a whole new contract. And I have a friend who works on massive, you know, blockbuster scale projects. And even there, they like don’t want to reshoot, you know, like if they can avoid it, they will. If you’re working on a Marvel movie and they’re just like, well, we want to get this.
This one shot. Like they’re probably not gonna do it in most cases, even if the director wants it, the producers are going to say, no, we’ve already spent $240 million. We’re not going back. So, you know, it happens anywhere. You really need to plan for it ahead of time and just get everything you need shoot more than, than what you think you might need.
Because honestly, especially if you’re shooting digitally, like. It doesn’t cost anything to fill up an SD card or something like that. Like fill it up, get as many takes as you think you can that as the schedule permits and gave yourself that cushion in the edit. but you know, you also don’t want to overshoot.
It feels bad to like also to say this right off the back of that, but like, Having the plan is so important because if you go into it thinking, like, I just want to make sure I’m completely covered in my edit and have every angle. Like you’re going to run out of time. in film, we have assistant directors who are in charge of the schedule.
So your first aid is, is there with every single shot. How many minutes it should take to light that shot how long it should take to get your actors through AMU, all of that. and they are like cracking the whip saying, Hey, we’ve spent eight minutes doing this. We can’t spend 10
Wes: [00:54:22] And, and if they’re doing their job, right. I hate to say this. Like, they don’t have to be assholes, but they’re doing their job. Right. They’re going to come across as assholes because they’re the ones coming up to you being like, let’s go. And then, and they’re like how much longer? And you’re like five minutes.
They’re like, I’m giving you two minutes. Like you have two minutes, then we’re moving on. Like, that’s, that’s the personal onset. And it’s, it’s super important because like, there’s a reason why, like, when a movie, um, typically a blockbuster movie gets like a ton, like a reshooting schedule. It makes headlines because it’s just not the norm and it shouldn’t be the norm because of, yeah.
It’s just like bad, I don’t know. Just not, it’s just not a good, because it costs a lot of money. You shouldn’t be doing it
Kamrin: [00:54:58] You’ll you’ll probably have to be that person on your set or the producer will have to be that person on your set. Uh, so knowing that that is normally a whole responsibility given to an entire department of people on, on bigger sets, like that’s how important it is.
Wes: [00:55:11] right. Like the sun is going to set. people are going to get hungry and the camera batteries are going to go get low. Like all these things need to take into account, like, being prepared the day of, and making sure you’re not going to run over time.
KOBY: [00:55:23] yeah so to switch gears a little bit just thinking about like all these people being involved in this is making me think about like the end result of the video Like All of these people have put so much time into something and There’s so many more people involved in like a video than there are in like recording a record Even I’m wondering about like the promotion side of things Like once something is actually been filmed been edited It’s done like how this is probably a topic that could be a whole podcast episode on its own but are there any kind of key strategies that people should be looking to do to actually get eyeballs on their video Once they have finished it
Wes: [00:56:00] Yeah, I think Malik’s not a good position because he’s, he has an actual, like digital marketing team due to his connections. and most people don’t and that’s totally fine. I would say I actually do have a few tips. I, I have a friend, she used to be the person who ran the social media accounts at star Wars.
So she gave me a good tidbit of detail that like, you should reduce how many steps it takes to get to your content. And it sounds simple, but like I even had, when I was talking to Malik and he was like, okay, what do you think? Should I put it on social? I put on YouTube that they had drops and then should I just link it in my bio?
And I was like, No, you should put it on IETV and then just share IETV to your story. And cause that removes, like, I think the statistic is like every step you’re losing like 60% of your audience that you steps over. It takes three steps to get to your thing. That’s exponentially way smaller than if you just put it on your thing, you’ll put it on your social media.
and so reducing the steps that like, I GTB is great. Take talk, has a limit, but but definitely another thing too, that that just reminds me is like, put it. Across platforms and put it everywhere. Put it on tech talk, put it on YouTube, put it on Vimeo, put it on Instagram, put it on your Facebook.
Have your friends, watch it, link it everywhere. because you just never know what might catch on and like how people are going to find it. And another thing, another idea is tease it. Like spend some time, like weeks leading up to it, putting up pictures from the day you guys shot it. put up like behind the scenes stills put up screenshots.
maybe like so many. I mean, this is no offense to people making podcasts. So maybe we’ll make a podcast, maybe like find a podcast that like, talk about your project on it and get excited about, and, just like get the buzz going. Even if it’s locally. Like, I mean, before I was in the place I’m in now.
I just lived in like a suburb of Orlando. And when I had a new video going up or a new like music video, I would just like nudge my friends to nudge their friends and nudge their friends. And we just like kind of thing. We’d be playing X-Box. I’d tell them to go check it out on YouTube. Like just kind of like a word of mouth thing.
And when you drop those like teaser photos, then it gets people kind of thinking about it. And even if they’re not like big fans of the artists, or if you’re the artist, even if they’re not like your biggest supporters, if you just tease it and tease it, you’re kind of training them to be like, okay, actually I’m interested in this thing.
And that’s how you like, gain that like snowball, like momentum,
Kamrin: [00:58:19] Yeah, I had two things. I was in saying you took both of them, put it up, put it everywhere and tease it for me coming from the editing background, I have a list of all of the file formats that each platform needs. And it’s good to like, get that list going. So this way I know, okay, I’ve finished this video and they’re going to want to promote it.
So I’m going to give them, you know, a. Portrait formatted. So a nine by 16 format version of this video. That’s 15 seconds long and it’s perfect for their Instagram story. And then I’m going to give them under two minutes for their Twitter, but it can be the normal, you know, aspect ratio and all of that.
Knowing those things that you have like five different formats, varying lengths, because you also don’t want to post, if you have a three and a half minute music video, you don’t want to just post that everywhere because you’re not going to get that many people to just. Click on the three and a half minute video and sit there and watch the whole thing.
Like give them a teaser as soon as they click through and go to watch something else. They’re much more likely to stay there. and you can use the teaser to like hook them. If you have a really great part, if you dumped more resources into this one scene, like tease that, use that as promotional material, make it look as professional as possible, not just in the production, but also in the marketing for it, because there’s so much media out there at this point.
Like. There’s a ton of low-quality stuff. And a lot of it just bounces off of us. It’s it’s the high quality stuff that catches your eye.
Wes: [00:59:38] There’s also lots of online, like music, video festivals, and like whether they’re locally or they’re some random music theater festival that happens in another country or something, you can submit your music video to these, festivals. They all have their own rules. Whether like, if you submit to us, it can’t be released yet.
Or this one, you can’t submit to other festivals, but like, Submitting to places like that gets other filmmakers gets their eyes on it. And if it’s something cool, they might reach out to collaborate. It gets other artists looking at it. I think, I think that just as an extension of just making sure it’s everywhere and it’s not hard to find, if you don’t know much about SEO, like search engine optimization, then make sure that, Hey, is that the acronym?
That’s the acronym.
KOBY: [01:00:19] Yeah
Wes: [01:00:20] yeah, I just, haven’t making sure like the SEO is good and then you have like surgical words and it all is like easy to find. It’s just, it’s just very important.
KOBY: [01:00:28] yeah mean I think for musicians specifically video is one of those things that is it’s frustrating to me cause people I feel like a lot of musicians treat video as sort of a secondary thing Like the music video is like I don’t know if you have the budget for it if you have time for it But like in this type of media age social media age and everything like when people are scrolling if you have like your song over I don’t know even just like a generic like SoundCloud whatever like logo with the music And it’s like you have to have your volume on on your phone to even know that something’s happening or whatever it is Just having that little extra thing to catch your attention I think is
Wes: [01:01:10] Yeah, having, I mean, it’s, it’s very standard marketing practice, but having a call to action on your, the caption of your post or having it in the video. Um, I have a friend who does digital marketing and she talks about how it’s like 80% of people don’t watch videos on their phone with the sound on, like you said.
So it’s like having a subtitle on that video that says like, That says what you’re watching. It’s just like new music by artists here, check out video here or something like that. And it, it might hook them. It might. And the thing is, is it won’t like people get excited about engagement rates of like 10% on Instagram.
So like be prepared for not everyone that, you know, to watch your video. And that’s okay too.
Kamrin: [01:01:49] Yeah. It’s, it’s probably not going to go and make you a ton of money either. Like there’s not a ton of money in music videos. but you know, like Wes suggested going to a festival with it that there are ways to get benefits from it. And just really getting eyes on your music is probably the most important thing anyway.
Wes: [01:02:05] it’s also it’s it’s, it’s such a good tool. Like music videos are such a good tool for brand-building for your own personal identity. Like. if you are a music artist, like Malik, who is obsessed with like Stanley Kubrick in Wes Anderson and these movies, having something visual that like shows that is just like, it hooks people more in, in the world of Malik.
Like if you’re just putting music on SoundCloud or you’re just premium music on Spotify, it stops there. but if you’re showing people like, like, cause Malik is like interested in like making a clothing line and doing all this stuff, The more you do that, the more it shows an expression of yourself, which is why people are listening to your music to begin with.
KOBY: [01:02:42] I think it can change the way people listen to your music also because I can think of a ton of artists where I heard a song or whatever and it was fine I enjoyed it or whatever And then I saw the video and I got it You know like that’s the next step to actually appreciating music So absolutely Yeah I think people should be doing it a lot more than they are Um which I mean budgets are of course the the main thing holding people back but I think you guys gave a lot of good tips getting stuff done even with small budgets So away a lot from that Well with this video with Malik it’s not out yet can you let us our listeners know when that’s gonna be out so they can go check it out and where they can find it and all that stuff
Wes: [01:03:24] Yeah, right now, the clips have been teased on both Malik’s Instagram and Twitter, on its Malik on the net. As I believe his, his Instagram out at, but, um, my Instagram at is AT w E S at Wes. on February 8th, it will be dropping, and its entirety on YouTube on Instagram and everything. So February 8th, 2021 Malik is called spectrum the test run.
KOBY: [01:03:53] Nice Very cool So everybody should go check that out and yeah I’m excited to see it go up and see the response to it I think it’s a unique project so I’m really excited to see what it what it does in the end
Wes: [01:04:04] me too.
Kamrin: [01:04:06] it’s been, it’s been six months of waiting to finally get to set it down and, uh, Yeah, we’re really excited to share it. So.
KOBY: [01:04:13] Well well thank you guys both for taking the time to come on here and talk to us about this I feel like we covered a ton of ground I feel like I’m coming out of it with a better idea of things that people could actually go out and do to apply this to their own music careers find the right people to connect with and really make something cool So thank you guys both for for coming on
Kamrin: [01:04:34] Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for having us.
JAKE: [01:04:36] yeah. Thank you guys again for coming on and talking about a little something different this podcast. If you enjoyed this exotic episode of self signed artists, go ahead and leave us a five-star written review on Apple podcasts, let us know what
KOBY: [01:04:51] let us know what you and we’ll look forward to seeing your music videos in the near future That’s all we’ve got for you on this episode and we’ll catch you on the next episode of self signed