Thursday, September 8, 2011

On Becoming A You Tube Video Director

The above video was responsible for starting it all. Little did I know at the time that it would lead to meeting various singers/songwriters/producers on You Tube and my actually working with them on the creation of special videos.

I love collecting vinyl, particularly LP's and when I find something that I like I want to share that on You Tube, so I end up creating video slide shows for select songs that I usually pick off albums.  Because I live in an area where used LP places are abundant and often dirt cheap, I was more willing to take chances on artists I knew little or nothing about. Shortly after uploading "Emotion" by Patti Dahlstrom, I found one of her used LP's "Livin' It Thru" and uploaded 4 tracks from that a few weeks later. About a month or so later, I received a personal message from Patti thanking me for uploading the tracks and informing me of a possible CD release of her music, in the near future. It was wonderful hearing from an artist whom I had begun to admire and hoping to find more used LP's by - I was glad to hear of the potential CD release, as well.

At some later date I received another message from Patti asking me if I'd be interested in helping her to put together a special video in conjunction with the soon-to-be released CD she had mentioned before. I was pretty flabbergasted (and nervous) but immediately agreed. I need to point out the primary reasons for my nervousness: first of all, I'd never done this before...working with a recognizable artist. All of my You Tube videos up this point, about a year's worth, had been done strictly in fun. Though I took some pride in my work, it was also very basic and not really that creative, as the "Emotion" video makes very plain. I wanted to mainly to share the music...I felt the sound came across very well on You Tube. I usually added basic photos to the accompanying slides show, often to give those who were unfamiliar with the artist an image to enjoy while listening to their music. Other than that, it really was just very basic.

Patti helped to change that - in an effort to look more professional and to honor her music and help make an impact for the promotion of the CD, I began to look more into using effects, changing the style, etc. Patti was instrumental in helping me to choose a new way of presenting the opening title, the fonts and style used, etc. She supplied the photographs to be used, made suggestions about how to slow or fast to display them, the fade-ins, overlapping, etc. It involved a lot of trial and error on my part but I was learning as I went and was truly enjoying all of that. Though I still harbored tension about wanting to do a perfect video, Patti was very supportive in her praise and making it all come together. All I wanted was to make a video worthy of her talents and showcasing the music that was to be featured in the upcoming CD - it was way overdue, this appreciation of her music and I wanted to do what I could to help make this a success all around.

The video featured the song "Sending My Good Thoughts To You" which was co-written with friend and long-time writing partner Artie Wayne. She brought Artie in on the making of this video to get his feedback as well; until this stage, I only knew vaguely of Artie from some of his postings at the Yahoo Spectropop group and learned of his talents as singer/songwriter/producer via some of his posting and those of others who spoke of his work., though I also knew of one of his best hits "Midnight Mary", as well as producing records by The Shirelles, The Kingsmen, Guess Who & others. As I got to know him better, I also learned of his talents as a record promoter, helping to make such songs as "I Honestly Love You" by Olivia Newton-John big hits.

Artie was most helpful and supportive with his encouragement in what I was doing with the video. I had now become an official video director and what you see here is the result of my very first professional effort:

More importantly, I've maintained an ongoing online friendship with Patti and Artie that I also treasure.

Not long after the video made it to You Tube I got a call from Artie asking me if I'd be interested in working with him on some upcoming projects. I agreed, but also pointed out to him that I was an amateur who would be learning my craft along the way; for the time being I was relying mainly on simple/basic programs in helping me put videos together and was approaching it all as a fun, in training, and a potential resume builder to work with others. I've learned much from Artie along the way and continue to do so.

Artie, in turn has paved the way in my working with other artists as well, most noticeably writer/producer Joel Diamond ("I Am What I Am" - Gloria Gaynor, "Move In A Little Closer" - Mama Cass, etc.) and writer/producer Jerry Ross ("Sunny" - Bobby Hebb, "Venus" - Shocking Blue, as well as many girl groups). I'm currently in negotiations with two others, as well. It has been a fun experience so far and I look forward to what may come my way in the future.

Here is a sampling of some of the videos I've helped to create as video director:

Bobby Hebb - Sunny:

I Wanna Be Your Faceook Friend:

The Dreamlovers

You can see more videos here:

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