Music + Video
I’ve worked alongside a number of extraordinary musicians, and our goal was always the same—try to capture the magic of a live one-take performance in a music video format.
And technically, while the master audio tracks (& most close-up vocal and lead shots) come from a single take, I do cut in lots of other shots from other takes to round out the musical “narrative”.
I’ve written more details below about how I approach(ed) shooting & editing these videos, but first—let’s see them!
Hot Bodies In Motion
I love almost EVERYTHING about how this video came out, and it might be the most perfect example of a video “just working” of any that I’ve ever shot.
There are so many things I love about the video—an exceptionally diverse and layered environment, a flood of mixed day and tungsten shop light, and a rock solid yet-playful live performance. All these things and more came together in a casual-yet-perfectly-composed moment.
The guys played without a click track, and their tempo fluctuated very little between takes. Final audio is from take 5, with combined video from six total live takes.
Allen’s video was the first one we ever watched blow up, and I’ll never forget the thrill of watching it explode.
What started as 600 views quickly ballooned to 5,000, then 10,000, eventually breaking six figures in the first few weeks before going on to reach one million, two million, now currently sitting above five.
Without a doubt, the Gundersen’s are the most talented family around.
It was a privilege to spend a day at Stone Gossard’s Studio Litho shooting this video with them. We shot 8 full takes, ended up mixing take four, combining video from all the takes.
My Approach To Shooting & Editing These Videos
The formula for all four videos below is the same, and most of them came together in 6 or 7 takes.
My goal was to record the takes back-to-back, as fast as we could.
Despite feeling like a sprint, this helped promote musical consistency between takes and minimized the chances that the setting or performances changed too much between takes. We’d typically attempt 3-4 songs during any given shoot, usually spending no more than an hour on any single song.
Takes 1, 2, 3 Typically used for musicians to warm up, audio to get tones dialed, and for me to experiment with shots.
Takes 4, 5, 6 This seems to be the sweet spot for awesome performances—everybody in the room has had a few takes to get into the pocket. During these takes, I tend to focus on vocalists and lead instruments. Because lead parts tend to be the hardest to sync up, it becomes critical in post to have good coverage of the takes we’re likely to use. In almost all cases, our master audio recording comes from one of these takes.
Take 7+ By this point, we’ve typically been shooting for almost an hour and the performances tend to get a little looser. These takes are useful to capture detailed/close-up shots, but are often harder to sync up than the earlier takes.
Editing The Performances
Editing Details Coming Soon! If you’re interested in more details on my editing workflow, send me a message using the form below—it may compel me to complete this part faster!
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