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Old May 26th, 2011, 02:54 PM   #1
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Shadowing a Music Video director.

Hello.


I could realy use an advice right now.

As people from the industry, can you explain to me the role of a Bachelors degree in the Movie/Music video directing industry.

Right now i would like to educate myself in a music video making process. So far i have been learning from reading info in internet, but i cant put that info to the test, and the Filmschool i am considering to enrole in only offers a slight peek of this art.


For now the best option i see for myself is to become an assistend/helper to some Music video director, or to work on a set of a music video assisting anything video related as long as its for a music video, so i can learn the techniques, feal the wibe of that environment and see these things live. (I can work w/o a pay, it's np, as long as i have something to learn there. )

Tho i am bothered that if i plan to work in the video directing industry later on, i might not have much luck finding a job w/o a degree from film school, regardless of my knowledge level. Is that how it goes, is there a big emphasis on the diploma you have ?

Also, I'm not sure on how i could get a job as a music video assisten/helper what not .

My only idea is to go to all these studios that make music videos, or call music video directors directly and boldly ask them if they would like to have me as a helper for their shoots.


And i am leaning more towards this option rather than enroling in a film school, since id doesnt realy cover the field i want to learn( music video ).

This is realy inportant to me, i am not just philosophizing araund here.



Please share your opinions. Thank you.
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Old May 26th, 2011, 04:21 PM   #2
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Re: Shadowing a Music Video director.

A background as a trained artist or in the performing arts like dance would be useful, because you'll need a reservoir of ideas to sustain a career. Unless you've got that all you'll end up doing is copying the people you've seen on set making their music videos, by which point their ideas have gone out of fashion and you may have picked up some bad habits..

The usefulness of BA depends on the subject and what you've learnt on the course, plus the creative environment in the university.
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Old May 26th, 2011, 07:55 PM   #3
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Re: Shadowing a Music Video director.

Not wanting to sound negative, but when you think about it, would it not make sense to obtain a formal education [school] in making video/film in general,. before you involve yourself in such a narrow field as music video? Once you have obtained a solid knowledge of video/film, you have something to offer...

Apart from that, nobody prevents you from dabbling in music video while you are obtaining a formal education.

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Old May 26th, 2011, 10:26 PM   #4
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Re: Shadowing a Music Video director.

I agree. Step one would be to get a camera and editing system, find some local bands, and start making free music videos immediately. Watch videos and study them closely yourself. Try to copy things you like as well as trying things that are original.

A formal education is good, but practical experience is the most beneficial. Before long, you will develop skill and a good reputation. You can put your work together to form a demo reel. The bands that you work with might become successful and hire you. They might recommend you to other bands.

A good demo reel can get you work. My son just moved to LA and got a recommendation to edit a rap video. The artist wasn't sure as he didn't know my son. As soon as the artist saw the demo reel, my son was hired.

Film school can also be good, but there are those who study and those who shoot. Do both!
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Old May 27th, 2011, 04:44 AM   #5
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Re: Shadowing a Music Video director.

Well, i do have a camera (550D) and i do have an editing soft. I have also made one music video and one short film, about 9 mins long. Also i am preaparing to shoot a new music video this june. Everything is handheld ofc, i dont have no rigs or cranes what not and im doing this just for myself, as a hoby and practice. Taking a song i like and making a music vid for it.

About film school - it is a bit harsh money wise. It would require me taking credit from a bank etc, dept. So that's another factor that makes me wonder if its worth it.

I do feal a little preasure from sociaty, that if i dont have a Bachelors degree i am a less of a man. I know you can learn everything urself, practicing and learning in internet. But a big part of me wants to go to University just for the "Paper" not the knowledge, and that's what's mesed up. :/





About copying ideas i'v seen on set. I do need to understand the process from A to Z in making a music video, because right now i have many gaps regarding how it's done. When i will know the process i will be able to aply those techiniques for myself. For example, how a greenscreen shoot is done, how they plan the shoot.(i dont htink they draw a story board each time a frame changes, aka in rap videos frames change each second, often faster.)
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Old May 27th, 2011, 05:19 AM   #6
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Re: Shadowing a Music Video director.

A good degree course is more than just the paper, it's going to push you into areas that you mightn't have thought of. It's very much a matter of selecting the right course.

I don't think you can learn everything by yourself and the internet, it's when you start interacting with people above a certain level that you really begin to be pushed creatively. You'd also need so spend a lot of money on the type of kit that the best courses have. A good course will teach the technical stuff, they don't usually have time to explain things in detail during a real life film shoot.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 03:59 PM   #7
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Re: Shadowing a Music Video director.

I didnt say that the education there is in poor level, just that, i think that by working under, lets say, music video director supervision would be a lot more beneficial. And it would be real work, not some exercises you have to finish for ur teachers. (This is a bit of a over kill, but more or less that is how i feal about school projects, i dont take them seriously, its almost subconscious)



The course available there is in "Audio visual media".

You can always learn by urself, and some times it would even be better than going to a university. Because mostly in university the subjects are scatared, and they cover a larg portion of the industry but doesnt focuse on a specific subject.

But well, university is a good thing, just not ment for everyone .



I'd still like to hear what people can say about internships . Maybe some one here can share his/her experience in this mater?
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Old May 27th, 2011, 04:38 PM   #8
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Re: Shadowing a Music Video director.

Music Videos in particular are a very bad direction to 'intern' in as a director, especially under another director.

Here are the reasons why - The Music Video side of production spends has cratered since the advent of Youtube - No one is going to hire you for big bucks to make a big dollar music video anymore simply because you are technically proficient and there are standards to be met (unlike advertising, where you are often realizing a very specific vision and know how to do that efficiently and to deadline is a huge part of the job.)

They might hire you for big bucks because you are a known artist, have a name and a look associated with you, or have a wealth of experience, but I am pretty sure the amount of work in Music Videos for even very experience guys has dropped off simply due to the financial changes to that industry.

The only way to get the experience and artistic knowledge you need is to create things, be prolific, and then network enough so other people know you can create things. And always try and improve.

Now, you could work on sets to learn things - but you'll learn more useful things from other crew, be it art department or camera department, then you would from most directors - because the crew deals more with the practical how to, and the director deals more with the creative - and there is no point interning under someone elses creative unless you want to learn their creative process, which is worth a lot less than developing your own - in my opinion.

Unless they are a genius, and well networked themselves, in which case it's more of a networking exercise first and foremost and learning is all part of that - but in my opinion you can learn from a genius, but they can't teach you how to be a genius.

Film school will help you network with other young film makers - if you can convince them to work on your projects to support your artistic vision, and you do the same for them, you'll make friends, get experience, and if your artistic vision is on track, you'll end up with some quality portfolio pieces.

The tutors may or may not help with this process. It's better to assume that they won't help, and any help you get will be a bonus. That is not to say that tutors/education is bad - but what they teach helps arms you with the skills to do a tiny subset of the creative endeavor that is film making, and very rarely does it help significantly with the creative part beyond the absolute fundamentals.

Finally, if you want to direct music videos, shoot more and find someone else to edit them who loves post and is good at it. Don't do both yourself, being prolific on set is the experience you need, being prolific in post is the experience someone else needs - doing both yourself is going to be a hindrance.

That is not to say you ignore post - take a strong interest and direct the edit as much as you are available to and ensure the thing gets out the door - but don't work on one music video with a heavy post workflow for a months if you aren't the talent doing the effects work etc and you don't want to be sitting behind a computer for a living. In that month you could find 4 different editors to cut the clips, collaborate with all of them, have shot 4 different videos and gain 4 times the on set experience and a 4 times larger portfolio.

You'll need to find good reliable people, but that's part of the process of becoming a director - building your crew.
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Old May 28th, 2011, 03:24 AM   #9
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Re: Shadowing a Music Video director.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustavs Repse View Post
I
The course available there is in "Audio visual media".

You can always learn by urself, and some times it would even be better than going to a university. Because mostly in university the subjects are scatared, and they cover a larg portion of the industry but doesnt focuse on a specific subject.
I think you're getting confused as to what a director does, it's their job to have a vision of the film and have a developed aesthetic knowledge which they're going to apply to the production they're making. This may have little to do with the actual mechanics (although you'll need to be able to communicate what you need) and it's this that you'll develop by doing a good course. It could even be painting rather than anything directly to do with the technology, which tends to change anyway. Many of these courses are what you make of them.

There are a number of university courses which cover various technical aspects of the medium to a high level, but these mightn't be the right courses for a director. No university course is going to be a music video direction degree, it might be part of a course. It might help if you at the backgrounds of the top music video directors and discover how they think about their creative process.

A lot of internships are associated with a course.
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Old May 28th, 2011, 04:19 AM   #10
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Re: Shadowing a Music Video director.

Well said Brian, there are all too many people calling themselves directors, producers or even DOP's without even knowing what the fundamental role for each discipline is on a shoot.

Getting a media degree or piece of paper that says you have done a course is one thing or even buying a DSLR and calling yourself a DOP, but understanding the creative and practical processes involved in making content and supervising a crew to achieve this to deliver the film is another.

I've worked with some of the top music directors in the UK inc Gavin Taylor who did U2 at Red Rocks and Queen live at Wembley, all the good ones spend more time being people/crew managers than the actual mechanics of what most people would associate with being a director!
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Old May 28th, 2011, 08:33 AM   #11
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Re: Shadowing a Music Video director.

Thanks guys for your input .



I do understand that Directors job is to direct the crew so that his vision comes to life. And that is not easy since no1 else but the director knows the vision perfectly. Others cant get into your head and take it.


So,from inturning i would be interested more in the workflow. I dont want to learn creativity from some one, but i want to see how they peace it all together, what methods they use to convey a mood in a shot, and to see the process from the begining to the end. RIght now my view on how to make a music video is rather blunt and full of gaps. Tak ur camera, shoot ur act singing and performing, include some story in it and then work tirelesly in post to stitch it all together so it works. Tho i am learning.

Its the "how to organize it all, and how does it all come together in the end" and how do directors handle all of that, that is what interests me.





About the university, i am not rly a technical guy and there is no BA course for Directors, but it seams that i will be getting a big coverage on the technical isues in the "Audiovisual media" course. And i am a little scared that that might kill the joy of making music videos or movies for me. (I gues i am over reacting)

I like to learn with out being thought. I have my own weird learning pace.

But yes, if needed , ofcourse i can adjust. And i often have to .
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Old May 28th, 2011, 10:02 AM   #12
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Re: Shadowing a Music Video director.

I would check if this particular audio visual media course is the one you need, there are a wide range out of film/media courses around covering different aspects. Although, the range may be limited by where you are living and you may have look at courses in another country.

Not many degree courses seem to cover the people management aspect, so you have quite few a people wanting to do everything themselves after they graduate.
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Old May 28th, 2011, 10:42 AM   #13
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Re: Shadowing a Music Video director.

I live in Latvia, and that school is the best one in baltics. It does offer Master degree in directing, bachelor degree in Audo visual media and Master in CrossMedia.

This seams to be the best film school in Baltics.

About further countries, i think that all the aplication deadlines are missed. As i heard, foreigners have to apply for schools araund february. Not sure, il try to look into it.

Just that, so far, this school in Estonia seemd like my only option.
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Old May 28th, 2011, 11:08 AM   #14
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Re: Shadowing a Music Video director.

Yes, you'd expect directing to be a post grad course.

I don't know about the courses you mention, but quite a few schools want a portfolio of your work as part of your application. Often these are precisely the ones that are worth attending.
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Old May 28th, 2011, 03:24 PM   #15
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Re: Shadowing a Music Video director.

I would look at two genres - music videos and advertising. IMHO, these are very closely related.

In a music video, you might show the music performed, but you might also show something completely different that tells a story in three minutes. In advertising, you might show the product in use, but you might also tell an unrelated story in 30 or 60 seconds. Both are designed to be unique enough to grab attention in a media saturated world. Both use the same tools.

There's one difference though... there's more money in advertising. ;)
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