The #1 rule for videoclip makers

With only one camera, you can make a decent music videoclip, provided the musicians are competent. They play, you tape it in one go. Done. Really; it works. Actually, music is done exactly that way: they start to play, they play, and eventually the song ends. The very event is amazing, and showing it well is challenging enough.

If you’re a bit more sophisticated, with only a couple of cameras you can do terrific things. You and your assistant can move among the musicians, and then you can edit the film by mixing shots from both cameras, putting some of them in black and white and others in color, intermingling shots of the guys talking, joking, preparing the set or walking across a busy street, and do a nice job. If you’re a competent photographer and can manage lighting, the result will be wonderful.

Both approaches, as simple as they may seem, are far beyond my abilities, and you can notice a professional job in only a few seconds of film. Not to mention more complicated settings, like scripted videoclips or things like that. All of that is out of my reach, and I wouldn’t dare to give even the most basic clue.

However, I can offer you the main rule. No matter how creative you are; as far as I’m concerned, this does apply to you. Because I’m not a filmmaker, but I’m an expert spectator.

In any take of a musician playing, he must be playing exactly the same thing that we are hearing in the soundtrack, and in perfect sync.

Never, ever break that rule, unless the scene comes obviously from a different show, a living on the road fragment or something like that. If there is the slightest possible connection between the soundtrack and what the musician is visually performing, don’t mix it unless it fits perfectly.

Otherwise, the effect is awful; it’s uncomfortable, it looks unprofessional, it seems that the filmmaker has no idea of music or, worse yet, he doesn’t even care (a guitar is sounding, so I put a shot of a guy playing guitar and that’s it). And no, you don’t need to know how to play an instrument to notice that the images don’t fit.

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4 comentarios to “The #1 rule for videoclip makers”

  1. Zamorano Says:

    Totalmente de acuerdo. Ahí te dejo el video que nos grabaron en el botánico de Gijón el otro día. Aquí no hay problemas de sincronía ya que es sonido directo… ¡Salud!

  2. Guti Says:

    Way to go… ¡Qué vídeo más guapu! Bien por Héctor Torra, quien quiera que sea.

    Lástima de bajo acústicu 🙂 Pero el sonido… ¿está grabao del ambiente? No pue ser…

  3. Zamorano Says:

    Totálmente del ambiente… Si te fijas, pero no lo digas a nadie jeje, delante del mi pie derecho, como a un metro de distancia medio escondido en el prao, ta el único micro que lo recogió todo…

  4. Whiplash | Diariu de Guti Says:

    […] faking. I’m not a drummer myself, but I’ve seen quite a lot of them playing, I’m specially sensitive to bad playbacks in instrumentalists, and Whiplash is more than correct in that sense (and actually those actors are supposed to be […]

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