I have tried recording my own music video twice, on different occasions. Each time my role was different, and I took a totally different approach; therefore, my experiences are not the same. Today I am going to write about my first attempt at my music video and invite you to read about the second one in the next post.
Idea for my music video
How did I get the idea to record a music video? We had participated in acrobatic rock’n’roll classes with my husband for nearly a year. We knew we had fat chance of becoming champions, and we would not do it for much longer, but we wanted to have a souvenir to boast before our disbelieving children and grandchildren. That is why we kept recording some spectacular acrobatic figures we had learned. Meanwhile, our friends invited us to their wedding. Naturally, I wanted to prepare some sort of a creative gift for them, and I remembered a song and a music video that all of the girls from my year received from some boys at the university on the occasion of the International Women’s Day [If you want to read more about it, go to: Musical Wishes: From Men For Women]. I still keep listening to ‘Blue Suede Shoes‘ and ‘Too Marvellous For Words‘ at least once a year. That is why I thought that a music video would make a perfect gift and be fun to prepare.
How did I prepare my music video?
The choice of song was easy. We sung “Shalom Shalom” by Noa with a choir at the World Youth Days in Madrid, so I knew that the newly-weds would have happy memories associated with it. What is more, it has concrete lyrics that are easy to illustrate. A week before the planned shooting, I prepared a framework scenario, decided on the set, costumes (black trousers and T-shirts from the Youth Days, as well as a bed sheet) and props (including a light bulb, a candy bar and charts with the words ‘Peace’, ‘Goodbye’, ‘Hello’). Now the only thing left to worry about was the weather.
Shooting took no more than a few hours. One scene (washing feet in a basin) was recorded at our home, all the others – in a nearby forest. It was a rather challenging task to find a deserted place with even ground (to avoid spraining ankles during acrobatics). On a stool taken from home, we placed my laptop, in order to play the music, and on the top of it – a camera to record us. Apart from a lift scene and a scene requiring rapid uncovering of charts, we didn’t need many retakes. Several times we had to stop recording because of people strolling by, but fortunately they were all rather friendly.
What to add to my music video?
Editing the movie took me surprisingly little time. I had expected to be glued to my computer for at least several days, yet once again it took me no more than a few hours. I used Windows Movie Maker to upload the recordings, cut them and match them with the music. I could have finished there and assumed my job done, but I decided to do more than that and recorded also our vocals and designed a CD cover. Now that I think of it, even though drawing is not one of my greatest talents, the idea of preparing a CD cover was a good one, yet I could have saved myself the trouble of singing. It is not that I sang out of tune, but amateur a capella singing can never compete with professional singing with instrumental background.
Summing up, we had great fun, recorded a great souvenir and enjoyed an unforgettable experience. Was it a good present for the married couple? I am positive that our friends appreciated our hard work, but it would have been even better if the present featured not only us but also them. That is why I took a totally different approach when I created my next music video present, which I am going to tell you about next week.
– While recording, you have to hear the music in the background. Ultimately, you will use a different soundtrack and mute the original sounds, but the background music will let you match the video and audio tracks accurately and move to the rhythm (which might be difficult if you are just humming the song or replaying it in your head).
– Prepare everything you can in advance in order to decrease the shooting time to a minimum. This is particularly important when you shoot in the open, and you are limited by the battery cycle of your recording equipment.
– Not many people are able to improvise without feeling stressed and with a good effect; therefore, I discourage you from planning ‘making up something on the spot’ in your scenario. The scenes in which we improvise by ‘doing freestyle dancing’ are in my opinion the weakest in our entire music video.