Doing what you can...
When I first started on this journey of making a classical music video I had no idea what it was going to be. I knew I wanted to make something awesome so I put some hope and prayer together in a bag with some serious chutzpah and waited to see what came out.
I know nothing about film. I mean, I did a cameo part for a family friend’s art film when I was like 13, but all I remember from that was that I accidentally looked at the camera and we had to reshoot the scene and I felt like a jerk for ruining the shot. So… I guess all I knew about shooting for film was “don’t look at the camera”. Obviously this is going to be a steep learning curve!
So what does one need when making a music video? Well, music for one. That’s probably most important… And a costumer… Oh, and a videographer. I made a tentative timeline: record the song October/November and plan to shoot the video in January/February. Ok, let’s get to work.
[I need a second to say that I’m so thankful for my work with Kristina Driskill on this project. Not only is she an amazing life coach, entrepreneur, and general getter-done of things, but her partner in life just happens to be a director of film and has worked on loads of music videos. How lucky is that??]
I found Marina Debris in a google search and it was too good to be true. A Sydney-based artist who makes “trashion”: dresses made from garbage she collects on the beach. Going through her website I was hooked. The story of her dresses and the immediacy of her work was mind-blowing. I could just stand there and the dress would tell a story all on its own. I sent an email and within a few hours, she was in!
I figured videographers might be a bit trickier. I mean, I don’t know anything about film remember? Again, I’m super lucky to have a friend here in Sydney who just happens to make videos for a living so I reached out to see what he had to say. He put me in contact with two top talents and I immediately fell in love with Thibault Upton’s aesthetic. I knew that whatever I put in front of him he would make it beautiful!
Putting together a dream team was surprisingly easy. I had them on board in August, but the onus of creating fabulous music now lay on my shoulders. I initially thought I would try and record in Sydney, but I don’t know many pianists here and I didn’t know the studios… and when some travel plans changed and I could go to San Francisco instead I took it!
Being with a pianist you trust is VITAL. I’m so glad that Margaret Halbig was available because she knocked it out of the park. She took it all as a chance to try something new and play around a bit. I was so inspired by watching her work at the studio!
And that studio! Fantasy Studios in Oakland, CA to be precise. Remember how I said I didn’t know anything about film? Well, turns out I don’t know much about recording either. Certainly not studio recording. Despite it all being music, there’s a big difference in vernacular, not to mention style. There will be a separate post dedicated just to that experience. A huge thank you to Adam Munoz for his patience and time and magic powers making this recording shine!
Now this is starting to feel like a very long-winded thank you to everyone I’ve worked with… and maybe it is. There are so many pieces to this project that I couldn’t have done without the help of these amazing people. There are so many times I wasn’t sure things wouldn’t work, but at the end of the day I had to trust that everyone would bring there A-game. And they have!
We’re filming in just a few days and in the last week this project has gone from something mostly in my head to something very close to becoming reality. At any point I could have said “I can’t do this” or “I can’t do that” and given up, but I kept doing what I could hoping that the rest of it would come together. My homework from Kristina this week is to “Do whatever is within my power to make this freakin awesome”… and you know what? It’s going to be!