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October 17, 2011

The Theory of Making Music Videos- Part 1 (Pre Production)

Written by Ryan L'Esperance

 

So we on the Lennon Bus produce a TON of music videos and we do it in a very little time frame. This is why it is so important to have a set method for production, with a check list of points that one must hit to make the whole production run smoothly.

In any production, the process is split into 3 major steps:

The first step is the “Pre-Production Phase.” Here the artist or students brainstorm on the concept for the video and create a basic shot list for the camera man and director to start thinking on a technical level of how to best compose the shots. These ideas are then put into motion by storyboarding. Storyboarding can take a few different forms. Typically we have one or a couple of the students, who are not working on the audio portion of our project, to go scout locations in the area. This can be anywhere. It is usually done by sending a student out with a digital photo camera and having them take pictures in each location. In our case though, since we don’t have a car, we are typically limited to our immediate area. We gather all the photos and make a story board, or sequence of shots or locations that are going to be the story or scenes in the video.

So, when making decisions on shots, you need to factor in “the Look” and also “the Gear” that it you will need to haul around, to get the look. Pre-Production is a very important step that helps you sort out any potential problems that you may run into while on location when resources are limited. It also gives you an assessment of what gear to equip yourself with. For instance inside locations typically require more lighting and maybe lighting accessories such as light gels, which match the color of your lights with the pre existing rooms lights. (better said through a wiki link or a litepanels.com link than taking the time to explain) Outdoor settings are typically more forgiving when it comes to lighting, but present their own sets of challenges. (explain the challenges or drop this phrase)

So, with all of these factors in mind, you need to make a gear list of all the items you may need, including “the Extras,” like extra batteries for the camera’s, extra storage media, gels, a bumpin audio playback device for those dance videos, tripods, etc. All of these are very important to make your life as easy as possible when shooting on location. As with many things, the most important thing is to BE PREPARED!!! Rain or shine, pay attention to the details and make sure you cover all your bases. 

Next entry: Codecs: Part II

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