Friday, 22 August 2014

How a Music Video is Made

TASK: Summarise the following information

The stages are usually as follows:
1.    The record label, artist and their management agree what to release as a single.
2.    The video commissioner makes a shortlist of possible directors that suit the style of the idea. The director’s are usually affiliated to particular production companies that specialise in music videos.
3.    The director provides a treatment to the video commissioner.
4.    The director develops the idea into a storyboard once the idea is approved.
5.    Heads of department are booked eg director of photography (DOP or often called cameraman), art direct, costume, location manager etc
6.    The sets are built.
7.    The shoot (usually lasts up to 2 days).
8.    The editor produces a rough cut in approximately 3 days.
9.    Viewing of the rough cut by the director and management to allow for alterations (which is another reason why you get audience feedback to allow for alterations to your own product)
10. Changes are agreed and made before special effects are added.
11. On-line video made in the edit (polished version from rough cut)
12. Video is passed to record label for release.
The key institutional players in all this are the record company and the video production company (who makes the video).
The Record Company
Sign up the band or artist, paying them in advance to cover the cost of releasing a single including marketing costs, such as the music video, which is ultimately funded by the sales of the music. The record company employs a video commissioner to develop the brief for the video, budget and deadlines and sends it to the company/director along with the recording of the song.
The Video Production Company
Represents a director within a particular territory eg the Oil Factory production company represent the director Spike Jonze. The company acts as an agent on behalf of the director, seeking work for them and negotiating with the client. Unlike an agent, the production company also produces (makes) the video and takes a fee for this. Individual directors are unlikely to have the finances or resources to pitch for a job so the production companies do this and the costs are recuperated once the video has been made and paid for. The director used to take 10% but this is often no longer the case and making a living from promos as a director has become increasingly difficult.
The Director
Listens to the track, looks at the lyrics and any other material, such as previous videos by the same band and outlines a proposal.
If the commissioner/record company likes the idea, they usually hold a meeting with the director that sometimes includes the artist. The treatment might be amended or simply agreed and the next stage occurs which is the budgeting.
This is done by the producer and approved by the head of production and then submitted to the client. Once agreed a contract is signed.
With the recent economic downturn available budgets have been considerably reduced and the requirements of multiple signatures from those in charge of big institutions such as Sony, to agree to the funding, hasn’t helped.

Can take about five days to prepare for compared with two shooting days (think how long you spend on research and planning compared with Construction and you get the general idea of the standard ratio). A shoot on location might be less complicated than shooting on a set, which has to be built and pre-lit, often in a short space of time. Shooting days can be very long, often starting at 7am and finishing at 1am the next morning. This was certainly the case when I did videos for Morcheeba and the Lightning Seeds. The benefit was that overtime was paid.
The editor must have a clear idea of what the director is after and have access to the storyboard if required. Editing is divided into two – off-line or roughcut, which takes up to four days and then shown for approval to the director and management company and then on-line edit, where effects are added and the material is produced to broadcast standard. The time taken for this varies on the requirements of the video. On-line edits are usually done by a different editor to the rough cut edit and are based in a post production facilities house that own systems such as Flame and Inferno to create the special effects.

From Pete Fraser - BFI Book

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