This past Monday (January 26, 2015) I was hired by French fusion / metal guitarist Renaud Louis-Servais to shoot a music video for his song “Epic Circus.” Virgil Donati, who also appears on the recorded track, came down to MDM Rehearsal Studios in Burbank, CA and we shot their 4-piece band playing along to the tracks.
(The song is embedded below, so you can listen to the track while browsing the gallery.)
I used my Blackmagic Design 4K in RAW on a Steadicam, and my Canon L-Series zoom lenses. These stills are taken directly from the RAW video frames.
Here’s a music video I recently shot and edited for drummer Thomas Lang and his original band, StOrk.
I got together with the band just over a month ago at DrumChannel.com, and this is the first of two music videos we worked on that day. Some additional spooky storyline footage appearing here was shot with some local kids.
The tragic side to this story: Shane Gibson, the StOrk guitarist (best known for his work with Korn) passed away before we could get the video edited and released. R.I.P.
This is Episode 3 from a low-budget video podcast I created in 2007. I shot it entirely myself on a Canon GL-2 in a bedroom in Culver City, California. As the character Dr. Zoltan Øbelisk (imagined as an evil version of John Tesh) I attempt to explain some of the unusual rhythmic ideas I’ve used in my music for a decade. Tuplets, borrowed rhythms, Pointillism… call it whatever you want, but it’s what I did while no one was listening in 1997.
Five Points of Interest:
1.) At the time this video was made, I was unaware of the animation company called Titmouse. In the video, I was actually referencing an old Sir Millard Mulch skit written by LevelNivelo, from back in 2002, in which “The World’s Greatest Commercial resulted in the extinction of the entire species of Tufted Titmouse.”
3.) I’ve never been a warm and empathetic person. I tend to make others nervous. I think I’m borderline Asperger’s. So it amused me greatly to invent this character who over-emphasizes his facial expressions, getting applauded for every pose and phrase that no one would typically laugh at. People want facial expressions from me? Fine, here they are. I love the idea of a parallel universe, where Dr. Zoltan is the greatest comedian ever known. These videos reminded me of those crazy Japanese commercials or game shows, so I had a guy in Japan send me those overdubs. I still laugh at the titles every time they come up.
4.) Making these 3 stupid videos taught me the skills to become a professional video producer for music instructional videos. All of the mistakes I made with that cheap gear helped me develop a workflow for lighting, sound, editing — and I’ve made a lot of money. Had I not struggled for hours through making these stupid videos… wow…
5.) The design of the series was inspired by a scene from V For Vendetta. I was in love with the idea of some renegade broadcasting his unpopular ideas on unsuspecting viewers. Except in my case, I wanted people to be confused… to feel as alienated by my videos as I did by Blink 182. Imagine how upset people would be if Dr. Zoltan saturated their world! “Does this guy think he’s funny?” I wanted revenge. And I succeeded, because this video got hundreds of angry comments / threats of violence on YouTube before I took the series down.
So there it is. Maybe someday I’ll upgrade the production and writing, and release a new series. I could certainly do a lot better now.