The Making of Morning Birds

4749584 By Jason Godbey

This year I had the opportunity to work on a music video with my friends The End Men for their song, Morning Birds.

The concept of the video was to show the four members of the band as one person. We see them all living the same mundane existence during the day, and then becoming their true selves at night. To create this effect, we had each member  perform the same business. One after the other, we see them waking up, brushing their teeth, getting dressed, etc..  In post we cut  each action together in rapid succession (each shot lasting three frames) to achieve a kind of stop-motion effect.

The production had move fast because we were shooting just before the band was about to embark on their European tour, so we used  a run and gun approach.To make the most of each set up, we used two cameras for each shot. The lighting set ups were minimal. For the morning and office scenes, we used the natural light the space had to offer in addition to a single soft box light which could easily be moved.

For the bar scene, we filmed after the band played a gig at a local NYC venue. We recruited some friends to be in the scene and used bar’s crowd as extras. We used Canon DSLRs which shoot well in low-light, and we shot with the camera’s aperture nearly wide open which gave us a shallow depth of field and a filmic look.

With the day and night scenes in the can, we then  filmed performance shots of the band against a white wall again using a single light. These shots were intercut with the day and night scenes to create a parallel storyline.  This way we could see the band performing the song as well as being characters in the story.

For this video we took advantage of our opportunities. We used locations we could get for free, and the band and I were the crew. It was a real collaboration and a team effort. Because the concept was simple, we had a vision we could execute without using a ton of resources.

Filmmakers can learn a lot making music videos. They’re basically short films. The song is the script, and the visuals tell the story. Creating a music video forces you to think creatively especially if you’re working on a micro-budget or no budget production. If you’re a beginning filmmaker and don’t have a lot of money to make your first short, making a music video is a good way to hone your craft.


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