a production still from the day
A few weeks ago, I agreed to take on a music video with a local band. Yesterday, we shot it.
I’m particularly fond of these guys. I’ve worked with two of the guys off and on over the past seven years or more. And if I can contribute a small portion of somethin’ somethin’ to their success, I’m downtown Jeremy Brown.
It was a long day of setup, breakdown, locations, people and drinking beer.
Keep in mind, I didn’t take this project seriously. Not that seriously. They threw me some bucks. Not much. I split it with this photographer named Ben. I didn’t want to lug around my cameras and equipment by myself, and he made for a good sideman.
A few weeks ago, we had a storyboarding/preproduction meeting.
And we determined a bunch of locations. We had ideas of grandeur and awesome-nimnity.
We were going to have pyrotechnics and hot, large-butted black women flanking the band shaking their asses. We were going to have lots of slow motion, beer throwing, and champagne blasting.
And it would have happened … if we would have shot in LaLa land.
Here’s the deal about working with talent with no budget, almost none of the story boarded items come to fruition. We were going to have hoards of people in costumes in scenes. We were going to have a food fight and break bottles and cans.
And clap hands.
Directing a video at this kind of level is about the same as playing imagination as a kid. You can think of a thousand great ideas, but all you’re left with is using sticks as guns and running around the woods all day.
But this time you have a video crew taping you do it.
Don’t get me wrong. We had a blast. The band are friends with a local businessman who let us shoot in his office space. There’s one scene with the band playing as if a conference table were their stage.
In another scene, we were shooting in the band’s rehearsal space, and a rapper from a neighboring space crashed the video and is now in two scenes.
Band rehearsal spaces rent and sell like apartments in Chicago. There are buildings dedicated just to this purpose.
When you walk down the halls of doorways leading into small, soundproofed rooms, you hear the faint thuds of bass, smell the thick odor of booze and pot, and hear the sobbing gurgles of a million weeping artists dreaming of hitting it big.
You’d never think the business of pulling cash out of starving artists is as big as it is.
But it is.
And it’s sad.
Just like I want to make it, I want all these guys to get signed and live the life on the road, scoring hot women and partying too much in a bus that reads something funny on the sides.
We can all hope, can’t we?