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Thread: Budget, time / result : what do you think?

  1. #1

    Question Budget, time / result : what do you think?

    For the first time, I have invested a little bit of my (own) money in the music video I made. I usually make them with a zero budget.


    With my band we had just finished our new album, and I wanted to make something special this time - a real music video with real actors and a very special atmosphere: as the song had some Ennio Morricone influences on the music intro, I wanted to explore a little bit of Sergio Leone like ambiance: I also wanted to shoot some creepy scenes with animal masks...


    So I spent quite some time building a story, a story board, finding actors and organizing everything. Our budget was around
    250 GBP : costumes & masks
    250 GBP : lights (some we will reuse)
    150 GBP : renting the place
    70 GBP : scene settings
    + catering for 15
    I spent a half day building the throne
    We spent half day preparing the place + one day shooting
    All actors + cameraman worked for free
    All the rest is personnal work (not counting the hours :p)

    I have shown the end result in a previous thread:


    Now here's my question: does the result relate to the amount spent? Do you feel that the investment matches the result or is overspent or a good output for the money spent? Where could I have spent less? Where should I have spent less?

    Also for the effort and work - is there some part I should have put more effort ? I got some feelings about that, but would fancy an external advice

    Any input would be welcome, that could help me make a better music video next time!

    In advance, thanks for the advice.

  2. #2
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    Well, Im NO pro, so all my opinions are based more on common sense then experience..... And experience is the word to be mentioned I guess. You made a big step already, worked with a script, a storyboard and a crew. You worked the video in your mind over and over.... A more experienced videomaker would probably see (imagige) the final product in more different ways than a less experienced and, then, probably bring different solutions to the problems that were imposed during the work (+ pre and post). Im sure you already have many new toughts oh how you should do this or that.... and that is pure experience growing after testing! The green screen and the dogs cage (begining) were a bit lower in quality than the rest. Remember that you have to get the viewers attention in the first 10 seconds or less, so I would satrt with something more interesting and visually more elaborate. Cant say about the money, but your video is miles ahead of most selfmade music videos available...

  3. #3

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    One amazing video, especially considering the budget.
    Very, very well shot and edited with a cracking intro highlighting the desolation and aggression from within the cage. Love the interspersed shots of the guitar strings being plucked, very well framed.
    Most industry music video producers would be proud to have that in their portfolio. You have a very bright future in the music video business! Well done.
    My opinions are just that . . . Mine. It's not personal, but is based on my emotional and professional reaction to requested critique. If you choose to ignore constructive comments, I'll just assume you're a vanity poster and not posting to improve your filming and editing skills.

    Ex A.P.V Videomaker of the year - Ex M.M. IOV Come join my EXclusive club

  4. #4
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    Words "Ennio Morricone" and "Sergio Leone" are magic words that made me want to watch the video immediately. I also have certain interest in low-budget filming, so this seemed to be tailored to my interests.

    It should be noted that I have never made a music video myself, so I actually found myself wondering what it is that makes a good one. I liked the look and style in general, but something set it apart from usual music videos I see - both mainstream/professional and the "weird" ones (I guess you were going for the weird appeal with the animals). I can't really point my finger at what it was, sorry about that. I think you can still be proud of yourself, it's always good to take steps ahead and things you spend money on did bring value to the video. The question of whether it was worth the amount of money spend might in the end be up to you; some would consider that very low budget, to some it could seem bit high. If it's your own band you can always consider it sort of an investment.

    As a friend of spaghetti westerns, I'd like to note that I didn't see much Leone in it. The western parts worked well enough, but it didn't really remind me of Leone's style. I'm guessing it comes down to camera angles, as they were a bit more on the unique side with Leone; extreme closeups of faces, very static cameras (perhaps your zooming in the end "fought" against my memory of Leone) and unusual angles like cowboy shot, between something (legs, noose...) etc. Leone might be hard to transfer to music video like that thanks to his characteristic slow pace of storytelling, but I always appreciate when it's attempted.

    Clothing is one thing that you could perhaps have saved some money in. I'm not saying the costumes were too fancy, just perhaps you could have acquired something similiar at lower prices. I have this perversion of trying to spend as little money on costuming as possible but still have real costumes on characters instead of every day clothing. Second hand stores, military surplus and old clothes filling attics usually work well on filming purposes. I don't think I have bought anything unused for any short I've been working on. Military surplus is my prime example; it's not all camoflaged soldiers gear, you can actually find a lot of civil enough looking old fashioned clothes and other cool things that just happen to be dirt cheap. If its something you don't see on the streets everyday, it might have potential.

    Good job!

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyBR View Post
    You made a big step already, worked with a script, a storyboard and a crew. You worked the video in your mind over and over.... (...) that is pure experience growing after testing!
    Hi TonyBR - yes, this is very much what happened and how I feel I had to go through a steep learning curve. Pretty exhausting, but I learned so much! I'm glad it stands out a little from other self made videos

    Most industry music video producers would be proud to have that in their portfolio. You have a very bright future in the music video business! Well done.
    Thanks a lot Zero

    I liked the look and style in general, but something set it apart from usual music videos I see(...) As a friend of spaghetti westerns, I'd like to note that I didn't see much Leone in it (...) Clothing is one thing that you could perhaps have saved some money in.
    Thanks a lot SSCCinema. I think you are right about Leone :P There is still a lot I did not get. The weird angles was a good point - unfortunately here my first learning was that I should watch the rushes faster, as the main cameraman did not really shoot what I had laid down on the storyboard! Regarding costumes I have the same impression as you...

  6. #6
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    I though it was very good, although not really qualified to comment.
    You had explained what we were about to see . . . so the opening titles didn't really do it for me. It's difficult to know which Text to read when the screen is filled. I'd think some of the info could have been delayed until the opening shots were running.
    If you show the Actors later, then that can be a good time to flash their names on-screen, perhaps showing them playing their instrument as a split-screen?
    Intro - I wasn't too sure what the "cage" or were they "bars" were about, it was preventing me seeing the image beyond . . .presumably that was intentional, but I found it confusing . . .if you want to make it even more confusing, perhaps the scene could be viewed through a cutout of a guitar which gradually enlarges so we see the whole scene . . . but I have to say I don't get the connection between the animals and the Western genre . . . . I told you I wasn't qualified . . .

    But it was a good effort and I suspect as others have suggested there are areas you could have "saved money" - but as a 1-off it is very risky to cut the Budget since one cut might wreck the Whole. Next time you'll know (slightly) better, but then the whole thing may be different . . .Hey-Ho.
    Last edited by vidmanners; 07-16-2013 at 12:15 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xsingy View Post
    ...unfortunately here my first learning was that I should watch the rushes faster, as the main cameraman did not really shoot what I had laid down on the storyboard!
    Those things tend to improve in time if you keep working with the same camera operator. Me and my regular camera operator used to have very different views on how scenes should be shot in the beginning of our cooperation, but these days I would actually consider working with someone else a burdeon. But yes, if it's possible for you to view the material immediately after it is shot, I recommend you do so. I usually see what I have after each shot, so I can call for adjusted camera angle or whatever might be wrong.

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    I think it's a great effort that you can be proud of, it's got that cinematic feel, bigger than life and has atmosphere. That's a talented thing to do.

    I'll assume you are a Radiohead fan, and as such I think your budget bought you a half baked radiohead production.

    Just add another $499,280 and you've cracked it (not including catering)

  9. #9

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    Thank you guys for your feedback and comments I have put a lot of heart and effort into it. Now I've just gotta do more!

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