Making music videos is my passion. When it comes to the creation of the project from scratch my brain can’t stop working. I start by thinking over all the variables at once – wardrobe, set design, locations… until It seems like I found the right path to follow.
Ok. So, how do I work on the music video production? First thing first – discuss what the artist envisions (it’s my job to offer solutions and bring ideas on how we can do it). Discuss the budget, locations, talent, and crew needed.
Producing this music video for Teodora, it seems like my storytelling was based on locations we could get. It took me several weeks to scout different places. I visited Lake Las Vegas, Artisan Hotel, Strip, Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas Downtown and Seven Magic Mountains. She wanted to have a feel of Vegas in her video. Due to our budget or policies of the location we made our choices of Fremont experience and Seven Magic Mountains. I can’t express my gratitude enough to Danette Tull from Nevada Film Office for connecting me with the right people to get film permits. WARNING: get your film permits at least a month in advance. I was lucky enough to rush the process, but it’s a big No! No! The sooner you apply, the better you’ll sleep at night.
After the locations are locked in, I start building a story. Teodora’s request is 30% – 70%, meaning 30% of story coverage, 70% – her performance. I listen to the song several times (it’s in Bulgarian, she had to translate it to me) and I visually block where I have story, where – performance. I time it how many segments and shots I need to insert it in the song. Then I offer my scenes and story board to the client and we find what works best.
Then we select a look – hair, make-up, dresses, shoes, nail color. As always Teodora flies with 2 big suitcase to offer more looks. She just wants to be beautiful 🙂
Shot list and production schedule is sent out to the crew and talent a few days in advance. Equipment and props are prepared and we are ready to go.
I usually give 3-4 runs of performance at main location and 1-2 at additional locations, using different movements and lenses to get my close-ups, medium, and long shots. Shooting the scenes is my favorite part of the shoot. Blocking is essential for both talent and crew, especially when you run two cameras.
Filming on Fremont was exciting. ADVICE: you have to have a city permit to receive a film permit Downtown. We were escorted by a security officer throughout the shoot. She was very professional and helpful. A lot of shots were through the crowd and footage has a lot of people waving to the camera, smiling, and turning around to see what is going on. This is just something you have to deal with while shooting in a public location. In general, the city lights of Downtown Las Vegas did its job and we got beautiful shots no matter the angle. We were using 2 RED cameras and a Movi to get our motion shots.
Seven Magic Mountains were used at 6AM to get sunrise and golden hour light. Checking weather for the filming day is essential for outside shots. You are not allowed to change the date of the contract. 7MM is one of its kind and we were glad we got a fast, easy process of getting our film permit with Land Management.
In the end, I would like to say that it seemed impossible to get these locations, but due to The Nevada Film Office, crew and our outstanding actor – Mark Justice we made it!!!
Full video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruT41kfQAbs