You never get a 2nd chance to make a first impression…
Whether we like it or not, video has become a key element in promoting music. As the old saying goes
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
I’ve learned over the years about the importance of always maintaining the best quality control in releasing audio and video. Social media is full of artist videos that are well intended, but not always shot in the best possible manner. Common errors are the classic shakey video where you start to feel seasick just watching.
Another issue is releasing products with terrible sound, a big fail when the idea is to promote music! I saw today on social media a showreel from a solo singer songwriter with terrible sound as if he is playing at the bottom of a well. The video angle is also dreadful. There may be some excuse if this was an enthusiastic super fan shooting the video, but this is his attempt at a showreel/business card for his work and it looks terrible. Another acoustic solo artist is endlessley putting out phone video on Facebook. I applaud the enthusiasm, but its almost of her playing in a venue with either no public or people clearly talking over the music. Again its not creating in my view the best impression, in showcasing her art.
The public’s ever decreasing attention span…
With the advent of Tik Tock, the public have an ever decreasing attention span, so any music videos need to be well edited and impactful. The public are mostly not going to watch a lengthy video, especially if its a new artist. Also many people watch gootage on their phones, so any footage needs to look good on this medium. Music videos have in many instances become like TV ads, short and to the point. There is still a place for longer videos, but 30 sec clips can be great to get attention from people that don’t know the artist’s music.
The temptation for many artists is to do all filming and editing themselves, but in my view its far better to employ somebody who has both the professional gear and skills to create the best end result. Yes, its an investment, but in my view a worthwhile one.
In recent times I’ve hired Mal Williamson for all my music videos and he’s doing a superb job. Crucially he is a film maker rather than an enthusiast with a video camera and it shows in his work. Below is a great example of a “video poster” for an upcoming live showcase in Leeds.
Angles and flow
I am a fan of videos that are well thought out and are filmed with a variety of film angles. This does not mean endless cameras and of course the editing is crucial. A lack of smart editing means that its hard to keep a viewer’s attention. Too much cutting from one camera to another makes for an unpleasant viewing experience! Here’s another Mal Willaimson music video on social media which is in my view a great example of smart editing to keep viewer attention. This was a ton of work, using a variety of audio clips, green screen and multiple camera angles to maintain flow and viewer attention