Not sure if I mentioned this at all, but I had the opportunity to direct a music video because of a post on Reddit.
The guy’s name is Jack Roscoe, and he goes by the band name Northern Introvert.
Holy crap, that thread was 5 months ago.
Well, that’s kind of embarrassing. I answered that call, for a filmmaker to create a video based on his music. My initial idea was to have a person sitting in front of an old typewriter and start to create scenes for his latest novel, and have those scenes being acted out in front of him, in his mind.
It was a decent idea, but required way too much preparation, actors, a solid location, prop guns, make-up, and a bunch of other things. In the end, it just wasn’t feasible.
So, my producer, Julie, and I started coming up with alternative ideas. We came up with a great one.
Not going to spoil it… the video should be done around the beginning of August, but I thought I would share some of the process.
First, conceptualization. We have ZERO money. When I say zero, I mean it’s coming out of my pocket and we had to figure out an idea that would be cheap to create.
About two weeks before the call to make a video, I ran across this video, which really was SO much fun, I wanted to jump into making videos ASAP.
So, the song I ended up choosing is around 6 minutes long, which is LONG. I’d say most songs come in around the 3:30 to 4:00 minute mark. Luckily, it’s a nice electronica song with some great repetitive moments, some high points, low points… all which helped me to create a story that worked with the pace of the song.
Concepts, for all different kinds of storytelling (in video/film) are limited by ones assets, both physical and monetary. Luckily, I live in NYC. So much to use, shoot, capture.
Once the initial concept was completed, we started fleshing out the characters. Using the different modes of transporation in NYC, we came up with a biker, a jogger, a subway rider, and a taxi rider. We were going to use a person on a skateboard, but the fact is that I felt very nervous about filming someone on the streets of NYC on a skateboard, when this is a micro-budget video, with no insurance, ect. The biker… well, I’m an avid biker, so I’ll be doing all of that footage with a gopro. I’m looking forward to that shoot!
From there, I listened to the track about thirty times. I broke down the beat into segments for storytelling, and then wrote out the scenes, which ended up being 4 second increments.
4 seconds doesn’t sound like a lot, but you’d be surprised what you can convey in 4 seconds. Hell, take 5 Second Films… they do amazing work in such a small amount of time. This one is my favorite:
So, with a broken down script, we started casting. One of our actresses, Johanny Mota, I have worked with before. She’s beautiful, fun to work with, and after I showed Julie her picture, knew she’d be great for this part.
I worked with her, shooting her own web series Internet Affairs, recently, and had a blast. I’m in the process of editing her series… it should be released some time in August.
We picked some easy to access locations, and on Sunday we went out and shot footage. It was in the 90s, unfortunately, and the girls (both Julie and Johanny) were champs about it. Here are some screenshots of the shoot.
It’s truly unreal how easy these shoots are when you’re working with someone as fun as Johanny and Julie. I consider myself quite lucky.
We have three more days of shooting. This Saturday and Sunday, and then next Sunday. Then I have some b-roll stuff to shoot, gopro footage, hanging outside of a taxi with my 7D… fun stuff.
All in all, it’s been very rewarding. The great thing about music videos these days is there are no rules. You’re either shooting the band in some crazy fashion, or you’re telling a story. Or both.
This track doesn’t have any lyrics. None of the tracks on the album do. It’s really fantastic music, I’ve been listening to it steadily for the past five months. Jack’s very talented. I showed him the footage, and he’s happy with it. That makes it all the more exciting to keep going.
Thanks for reading.
We start 8 for Vegas in about 2-3 weeks. I’m excited. Should be a lot of fun!