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View Full Version : How to make a studio shot music video interesting?



analog_addict
02-11-2014, 03:32 PM
Long story short, I'm doing a music video for a hip hop group in my area. The problem is that they aren't letting me direct and are going against my advice. We had a pretty cool and quirky outdoor shoot planned and now they've backed out of that and want to shoot in a studio but 'not make it look like a studio shot video'.

The studio is your typical type with a white curve, black room and a few dingy open spaces. They don't want to shoot any footage on the white curve. -.-

This is a somewhat well paying job so I can't really argue with them but I'm finding this extremely difficult. There is no budget for props or actors etc so I really don't know how I'm going to make this video look cool and interesting. Why people hire someone to make their music video and not take any of their advice is beyond me.

Does anyone know of any examples of interesting or unique music videos shot in studio settings? Renting out a space that's predominately a white curve and not wanting anything shot on the white curve is a bit silly.

Argh! I think to be honest they're just a bit lazy and want somewhere that's warm and paid for where they can laze about, drink and smoke.

I have a few ideas for some visually cool stuff but let's bet they don't like it!

Jake Hellbach
02-11-2014, 03:40 PM
There is no amount of money worth that kind of client. Sounds like you won't make them happy no matter what you do.
"somewhat well paying" but no budget for props or actors?
I would have pulled out of that one.

But good luck to you if you stay in.

Jake

willvincent
02-11-2014, 04:52 PM
The most 'interesting' studio-ish environment music video I've seen is OK Go's video for 'This too shall pass'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8cuuP4Jmio

Of course, that's more warehouse than studio.. and they certainly spent _some_ money on props.

marshallbaker
02-11-2014, 05:00 PM
Are you being paid for the creative and not just the technical? If not, tell them to come up w the creative and make sure you have a good contract. Otherwise, don't do it. Ive been shooting for years and have never had a client like yours be worth it.

Don't be desparate - you'll regret it.

Hampus Lager
02-11-2014, 05:24 PM
I'm very careful when working on music videos nowadays. Last year I shoot a real cool music video for next to nothing cause I wanted to escape the corporate infomercials after 2 years. It was shot on a stone beach and perfect weather and it was planned for sky replacements alá thunder storm weather, and the artist approved the test shots. then after the editing she made a 180 and wanted it as shot and just color correction to match between shots.

Never felt so destroyed in my life. The official music video is just the finished cut without grading and vfx. The story didn't make sense at all. Even som shots doesn't make sense since the planned VFX is missing.

I'm in the last stages of a director's cut. Just like I planned it.

funwithstuff
02-11-2014, 09:39 PM
I've always liked the "we're not even going to lip-sync" approach of this Pixies clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hvi4iA3PnKE

cinebuddy
02-12-2014, 01:47 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hvi4iA3PnKE

Yeah um...no. See Iain that would be creative. These guys don't want creative. They're saying one thing but there actions tell me they want the same ol' shizznit. I'm like the OP...i'm confused about why they'd want a studio shot if not for the use of a cyc wall. What kind of song is it? Dark, underground, trap, NY, Cali? How many members? Man I feel sorry for you! LOL, I hate rap videos, I really hate groups...5 big ass dudes all bunched up in a frame...god that is not my dream job

Kingswell
02-13-2014, 12:33 PM
Argh! I think to be honest they're just a bit lazy and want somewhere that's warm and paid for where they can laze about, drink and smoke.



Shoot that.

Michael Carter
02-14-2014, 09:33 AM
Get some fisheye glass. Hire some midgets. Spray your hair up like David Lynch. Make some art.

analog_addict
02-15-2014, 07:52 PM
Well thanks for your response guys. I'm happy to shoot their video still but I'm just going to make it clear that if they want creative control over the video it's up to them to work out what they want to do on the day. On the flip side if they want me to direct then I'm happy to do that but they can't go against the ideas on the day.

The problem is the guys aren't rude or anything, I actually like hanging out with them but they are so fickle and influenced by what they see on TV that they just want something different each time we speak.

dop16mm
02-15-2014, 11:49 PM
are you billing them for meetings? Sure fire way to make them commit to a concept is to make it clear you are on the clock whether you have a camera or not.

jamesburt
02-16-2014, 04:34 AM
If you're stuck in this empty studio with no props and real location then I think its best to look at what little you can control: Light and "atmosphere" (smoke etc). If this hip hop video is dark and moody, how about making the place pitch black but for one spotlight above the space in front of the camera, then have the artists coming towards you out of the darkness for brief moments as they perform? Or taking that further, use this 'one bare key light' approach to choreograph a sequence of single-light-based compositions for the performers to fluidly move between. Imagine searching a dark cave with a torch and these characters looming out of the darkess at you, or you finding them doing strange things. Then the white floors and wall are no longer a studio but a 'performance space'.

When given bare bones you really have to simplify your attack plan.

analog_addict
02-16-2014, 04:07 PM
If you're stuck in this empty studio with no props and real location then I think its best to look at what little you can control: Light and "atmosphere" (smoke etc). If this hip hop video is dark and moody, how about making the place pitch black but for one spotlight above the space in front of the camera, then have the artists coming towards you out of the darkness for brief moments as they perform? Or taking that further, use this 'one bare key light' approach to choreograph a sequence of single-light-based compositions for the performers to fluidly move between. Imagine searching a dark cave with a torch and these characters looming out of the darkess at you, or you finding them doing strange things. Then the white floors and wall are no longer a studio but a 'performance space'.

When given bare bones you really have to simplify your attack plan.

This is actually really useful advice! Thanks!

Fluoro
02-16-2014, 06:29 PM
Yeah you don't have to do a lot sometimes to make a video that works:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSbZidsgMfw