The Reinvention of the Music Video

It shouldn’t surprise you to consider that just about everything in our world has been disrupted, improved upon, or upgraded.  Sometimes the evolution of things and ideas is a product of technological advancement. Sometimes it’s cosmetic. As far as I’m aware, a clothes iron is still is a piece of metal heated by electricity. Bread gets toasted pretty much the same way it has for generations.

Back when dinosaurs roamed the planet, I appeared on a weekly show that ran on the MTV channel. We did these little bits; calendar items, upcoming concerts and such.

I was reminded of the massive amount of equipment and crew needed to not only shoot our segments, but the MTV videos that played around us. There were:

  • camera guys
  • light guys
  • sound guys
  • grips
  • gaffers
  • assistant producers

and of course, the director.

A couple of months ago, my friend Shannon from the epic San Francisco band The Stone Foxes, asked if I would appear in the group’s new video.

I gave him an enthusiastic yes.

This is the finished product, directed by David Dutton (who I am proud to boast, got his degree at Academy of Art University). I’m the fat cat with the stogie in my mouth at the conference room table.

This was shot (basically) with a couple of cameras, and two lights on poles. The video is now “created” in post production, using editors like Apple’s Final Cut Pro X.

The lighting can be done after the shoot, the filters applied later. The color correction can be put off until whenever. While post-production of video was obviously done back in MTV’s video golden age, the tools now are so powerful one need only shoot a reasonably okay raw video – the software will perfect it later.

There are no more big trucks full of gear on site, no more legions of crew members milling around. At one point Dutton set what I believe was a Canon SLR camera on a bar stool, pointed it at me and two other people sitting on a couch, and said “Action.”

We did our thing.

It was fun being a part of the video  – I learned the new way that it’s done. It fascinated me, how relatively simple it is. The challenges now are creating the story, editing it well, and distributing it in an era when MTV stands for everything but music videos.

Evolution of media demands that things must change. Life cycles of companies and content change. The ways content is distributed are more complex than ever.

You have many platforms to show off the brand that is you. I wrote about it here. The powerful tools of content distribution give you immense control over how you promote your skills and strengths to a marketplace looking for people to evolve their companies.

It’s a great time to look for that new job.

The new album “Small Fires”  from the Stone Foxes drops this Tuesday, February 12.

John Scott is an instructor, online learning coordinator, and the career services manager for the School of Multimedia Communications, Academy of Art University San Francisco.  His debut book, “Destination:Reinvention” is on sale now in the Amazon bookstore.  Discover your daily reinvention tip at  @ReinventionBook 

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