Learning how to Direct a music video with British producer and director, Geoff Posner was an incredibly positive and rewarding experience. Following a previous assignment when I created the music video for the BSMNT magazine show, it was particularly useful as I was able to reflect on what I had done in the past, and put Geoff’s teachings and advice to practice in the present. I learnt to seriously consider how best to capture music effectively, live.
Counting Beats and Bars
Before we jumped straight into Directing a live music video, Geoff introduced us to counting beats and bars, and how to keep track of them in a song (in this case, Tom Odell’s, ‘Another Love’).
(Music Notes, 2017)
Geoff Posner went over the basic fundamentals in written music, explaining how long certain notes last within a bar.
Crotchet: 1 beat
Minim: 2 beats
Semibreve: 4 beats
Quaver: Half a crotchet beat
Semiquaver: Quarter of a beat
(Music Notes, 2014)
We worked out that ‘Another Love’ by Tom Odell was written in the time signature of 4/4. The simplicity of this time signature proved ideal to beginners like ourselves. It was basic enough that we could both keep track of where we were in the music, whilst directing cameras at the same time. As I had volunteered to try my luck at directing the music video, I was told to alter the camera script somehow, to make the finished video look more effective. How I changed the script was entirely my decision.
Initially, I decided that it would be helpful to first observe others direct the music video, that way I could get to grips with the structure of the song, and the already scripted camera movements. This was an effective approach, and after a couple of run-throughs from other student directors, I spotted areas in the music video which to me, didn’t correspond with the track as effectively as they potentially could. I went on to alter the script afterwards, towards the end of the song, adding in cuts and more moving and tracking shots to reflect the build in emotion within the song.
Once my turn to direct the live video approached, I made sure that I had already selected my team around me, and informed them of the changes I wanted to make. I then informed Geoff, who checked over my edited version of the script to make sure it all looked as though it would work. I communicated these adaptions to the crew on the floor via talkback, and when everyone was ready and clear of their task, called for a rehearsal to begin.
The rehearsal was a success, and so we decided to go ahead and record the performance. Once again, I communicated with the members of the gallery, making sure that especially the vision mixer was confident in what she needed to do, ensuring fundamentally, the correct cameras were cut to. Next I spoke with members of the crew on the floor through talkback, asking one of the camera operators to speed up one of his tracking movements a little. I found that complimenting and thanking my team was a really important and valuable component of the production; it helped people to feel confident in what they were doing, and to take onboard criticism which I felt contributed to a smoother record overall.
One aspect Geoff advised me on was to make sure that I focused on the monitors and the cameras, instead of looking down at the script overly. I took this advice on-board during the recording, and although i found it somewhat difficult to keep track of the music and script whilst looking at the monitors, it helped me to communicate if the framing wasn’t quite right, or a shot needed to be changed. I also feel with more practice, keeping track of camera scripts along with music would become easier, and seem more natural.
Overall, I was very pleased with the way the recording went. With thanks to Geoff Posner’s advice, and the hard work of my team, I was able to capture a smooth, professional looking recording of the music video. In reflection to my changes on the script, I think they were effective, indeed accentuating the emotion in the song, and build as it neared the end. I feel the moving shots were particularly effective, and helped to draw the viewer in; a technique I will most definitely remember for relevant, future productions.
Music Notes (2014). Note Values. [image] Available at: http://www.musicnotes.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/Note-Match-1.jpg [Accessed 23 Apr. 2017].
Music Notes (2014). Note Values Rest Values. [image] Available at: http://www.musicnotes.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/Note-Values-Rest-Values.jpg [Accessed 23 Apr. 2017].