The many challenges of shooting a music video:
The new video “Brother in the Brooks” has been a long time in the making. The song was made last year before I had a camera and at a time when I was mostly just working on music. We knew we wanted to make a video for the song, but it has taken this long to get something together. Little did we know that it would be so tough.
Planning for the video has been tough mostly because we needed a place to shoot and a time where everyone involved could make it. For 2 weeks I sent emails with possible scripts and ideas and always had in my mind that we would try to shoot at the actual Brooks Brothers store. Saturday came, the day of the video shoot. I had a couple friends that lined up some girls to shoot in the video, and everyone else was going to be ready by 2pm. There were a few problems though. BT, the original creator for the concept of the song, and he has been unavailable. Jake, who is also part of the chorus of the song, said he could write a verse and put it together before the shoot started. So at 8 in the morning on Saturday, I text Jake to come over and get in the studio. We knocked Jake's verse out in about an hour. I put together a soft mix of the song so we would have it while shooting the video. I got all my equipment together and clothes for the shoot and headed for the mall to scout places to shoot. The first place I looked for was, of course, Brooks Brothers because that is what the song is loosely based on. Little did I know that Brooks Brothers is no longer in the mall and has been gone since February. Shows how much I go to the mall. So plan A didn’t work. The next spot I checked out was Dillard’s. The place where we would have shot was a little too small for all the people we needed to be in there at once. I walked around the mall a bit and asked a few stores about shooting, but all of them couldn’t let us without corporate approval. I thought about just setting up somewhere and starting until someone said something, but I was afraid we would get stopped right in the middle of something good and never get that shot again. I walked into JCP second floor and saw one of my old preschool teachers working the counter. We talked a bit to catch up, and then I told her why I was walking around the mall with a backpack on. She said, "I don’t think that would be a problem; let me check with our manager." I thought this may be it right here. We finally have a good spot to shoot this video. When the manager came out though, he said he wasn’t the right person to talk to about it. They need higher approval. They took my name and number and said they would call me and let me know if I could. I was hoping that this would be it, and we would be able to shoot. I went to lunch with Evan and my wife. Evan had met up with me early to go over video shoot plans and scouting a few places. I told him about JCP maybe letting us in, and I was just waiting on the call. After lunch, we went back to JCP to see what the verdict was. They said there was no way we could do it. Back to the drawing board. Evan suggested we check out Belk. We walked into the men’s Belk to the suit section where they had the prefect area to shoot the video. I talked to one of the attendants, and he said sure you guys can shoot no problem. At this point I was ecstatic. Finally, a place to shoot. Now, we just need everyone to show up. By this time it was around 2 or 2:30pm. Jake had metsuup with us, and Marc was on the way. Evan was working on times for the girls to show up eearlier in the day. The 2 girls he had for the shoot decided to back out at the last minute, so he was working on 2 more that would show up for us. I told him to just get whoever was willing to help us out. Evan and I went out to the car to get the other pieces of equipment and brought it back into the store. When we got to the dressing room, there was a new attendant there. He said the “management” called down and asked why there were so many people there. It was only 4 of us at that point, hardly that many people. Then he said that there was absolutely no way they could do it now. So plan A, B, and C for the shoot were out of the question. Scratching our heads, we headed quickly to the car. Not only did we still have to find a place, but we had to get everyone out there too. Evan secured a couple girls that would come and be in the video, and I remembered I had a friend at a suit store. We quickly went to the suit store. I talked to my friend who was the manager. He said, "No problem!" We’re back in business!! I quickly got the word out to everyone that we would be shooting there. Around 4pm, we finally got to start shooting some footage. It only tooks us about 2 and half hours to get what we needed to shoot done. By the end of the shoot, I was exhausted from everything we had to go through for the day. I think we got a good chunk of the footage we need for the video though. Wednesday is set for the next shoot. We shouldn’t run into the same problems again this time.
More to come...