The Light and Dark of Shooting a Video

So I've got this music video which was shot and made back in Sept 2012 for a song of mine called "Pretty". I knew in August that I wanted to have a video made as a way of marketing my music. I knew I wanted it to be entertaining and I wanted it to be affordable. I emailed around for some tips and to see if anyone knew any directors and about four names came up. Upon contacting them I was able to get some great tips from a few of them. One director in particular, Eduardo Soto-Falcon did a great job of filling me in on approximate costs. I also had a friend who was briefly involved in the industry give me a few pointers. The most important tips and info to me were to do with keeping costs down. The range of price for what I was looking for could be anywhere between $500 up to $3000 and it was suggested that I budget for about $3000. To help keep costs down, it was suggested that I shoot outside in daylight using natural light, otherwise lighting and certain camera lens would need to be added to the cost.

First thing however was for me to edit the song down to a reasonable length. The original version of "Pretty" clocked in at almost 5 minutes, too long for a commercial pop single. I ended up editing it down to about 4:30secs by cutting a phrase from each chorus (only two "Feeling Pretty" 's instead of three), and cutting out two guitar solos (sorry Chris). This meant I then had to re record a few vocal lines to sing over the edit. I also re recorded a few piano and keyboard bits to bridge the edits. Over all I think it sounds fine and even the band guys can't tell where the edits are. I also did a few edits with the drums where I shifted the odd drum shot or two to make it a little tighter. Next up was a re-mix in which I raised the vocal volume a little bit and reduced the over all reverb to clean up the sound. I also added the beginning strains of "Gender Bender" to the end of "Pretty". Remastering was done at Chris's house.

Now that the audio was ready, I was able to email it out to give perspective Directors. Ben Stacey ( seemed enthusiastic about the project and responded promptly to all my emails. Originally I was just gathering information with the intention of shooting in November, but Ben seemed so gung ho that I started thinking more about the video. A few weeks later I had done up a storyboard idea, and emailed it off to him. He emailed back an estimated cost which was a little over the upper cost range mentioned above. (Mainly because we would be shooting indoors and at night which meant lighting rentals). We then met at my place to go over the story board and he gave me the contract with the cost. The contract broke down the cost of everything which was great. A few days later after doing a money transfer of the deposit, we set up a date for the shoot.

This brings me to the location of the shoot. My friend who was the inspiration for the song and video had mentioned buying his "clothes" from "Take a Walk on the Wildside" ( which is located in Toronto. I emailed the owner Patricia Aldridge and mentioned my proposal to shoot a video in her shop and borrow the clothing and make up at the shop. She was thrilled and an agreement was reached. She even threw in a make up test a week before the shoot.

The day of the shoot went smoothly and everyone was prepared. There was very little waiting around as Ben had organized what order to shoot in. We arrived at 4pm and went pretty much straight through to 12midnight. I offered a dinner break around 9pm but everyone was keen to keep going so we did. After the shoot, Ben mentioned he'd have a rough edit available in a couple of weeks, which he did. After about a week of edits and comments, the video was done.

Overall, I think the video turned out fantastic and give great thanks to Ben Stacey and Paddy Aldridge for their services, help and enthusiasm.

And of course, the video can be viewed HERE.


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