Learn as top directors give a crash course on music video directing: demystifying the ins and outs of breaking in, the reality of the day to day, working with artists, and more.
Hit the LISTEN button above to tune in and read along below for the full transcript.
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María Alvarez: FREE THE WORK is a nonprofit global initiative and talent discovery platform for underrepresented creators. I'm María Alvarez, our creative editor, but I'm also a director in the narrative and music videos space outside of FREE THE WORK. I'll be moderating this panel today as we demystify music video directing, the ins and outs of breaking in, the reality of the day to day working with artists and much more. And then I'll open it up to audience questions at the end as well. I'm so honored to have such talented and visionary directors on our lineup. And I just wanted to go around and have each of you introduce yourself and talk a bit about your general path into filmmaking and art and how you found yourself in music videos.
C Prinz: Okay, I can go first. Lovely to meet you, by the way to answer questions by you, this was my first time being in the clubhouse actually. So it's an interesting experience for me. Yeah, it's cool. It's cool. Yes, so I'm C Prinz. And I come actually, from a movement background, I danced in a company in LA for like, four years. And still, I guess, minus 2020, because of COVID was still kind of doing one off projects, like for Congress, and just sort of doing smaller, like one off pieces. So I come from a dance background. And that kind of basically the story that I used to, like, you know, go to a bunch of proceeding shows like, I'm from Chicago, like Hubbard street dance theater, and photos and in large companies in that city. And I always had to get the cheap tickets in the back, like the $12 seats. And so I could never see what the bodies were actually doing. And being a dancer myself, I was like, Damn, I know how much work they're putting in. And there's probably 50% of this audience that can't even see. And so I kind of got into filmmaking, because I wanted people to be able to see bodies, literally just closer up. And, yes, then I convinced some of my professors to let me study, film and movement together like an independent study or like an independent major, almost. And then, yeah, then I was dancing in a company out in LA for a while. And simultaneously, like, you know, had a lot of friends in the music scene, and so started directing music videos for them. And that's kind of how I fell into it.
MA: Anyone can go next.
Sean Frank: Hey, I'm still figuring out how to use this new version. There's also my time in a clubhouse room. So very exciting. I'm Sean Frank, I'm a director as well. Yeah, so I'm from the UK. If the accent is a giveaway, and I guess my journey started, I went to art school in London. So I did a foundation year essentially at Martin's and then studied at Goldsmiths, and actually studied design and in particular graphic design. And I think as part of that, I was always using photography and film as my outlet so then, After college I just started kind of experimenting and making films and Yeah, kind of working with musician friends and different brands. And yeah, that was kind of my word and it wasn't necessarily the like, emo film school. Yeah, just kind of being an art world and just working with friends really was how I got started.
Zhamak Fullad: Okay, awkward lol. I’ll go next. I guess I loved everyone's story so far. My name is Zhamak, based in LA, my photographer and director, how I got started was to photograph. I have been directing for the past three years. So like, I'm kind of new. But I was in school for medicine, I wanted to be a heart surgeon. And then I dropped out and started taking photography really seriously. Then photography led to directing and here we are now I don't know what else to say.
CP: That's so funny. I used to want to be a general surgeon. That was-
ZF: Yeah, I want to be a brain surgeon, brain surgeon and then I want to be a heart surgeon. And now I'm a director.
CP: Wow, okay, deeply bonded with you.
ZF: Very, very like I did for three and a half years to like and study sciences.
CP: All I did was watch until the ER growing up, but like to-
ZF: Still sick. Yeah, I've never met anyone else that wants to be a surgeon, and ended up in art. So
CP: I've always thought that doctors are as cliche as it sounds, but it's like, I really do think that doctors are like the coolest, the most profound artists.
ZF: Absolutely. They're saving lives also. So, human life-
MA: That's really cool and crazy. I feel like all three of you can determine the kind of backgrounds outside and then enter into this. I think kind of like a good place to start would be advice for filmmakers that are working in other formats that like to make that move into music videos. It seems like all of you kind of came from the roots of having musicians that are friends and coming up with ideas together. But is that kind of your all of your approach of like, how you entered? Or is there any kind of piece of advice you could give to emerging directors that are in film right now but want to make that shift?
CP: I think something that is helpful, a little generic, but is helpful is like bringing in wherever you come from and like letting it apply to what you do. Like, let's say you were a surgeon, for example. And like, you know, allowing the the ethos of that practice to inform your practice and filmmaking, I just think that is such a filmmaking is such a research platform, and it can be so susceptible to other just, I don't know, just interesting collaborations of thought and different ways to research a lot of, you know, any concept in the world, frankly. And I think it's a really beautiful career to allow your other life experiences to inform your filmmaking practice.
ZF: I think I think like also being authentic, from what you said, C, like, it becomes more authentic, when you apply your own life situations, whatever, whatever you've been through into your filmmaking or whatever your art making, you know, whatever you take what I've learned the past couple of years, specifically, like specially the last few years, taking the reference from your own life has been important and becomes more genuine and, you know, this becomes more genuine and authentic to you and like, you know, you're your own individual in your own persons and like no one else can copy that really.
SF: Yeah, and I think to add to that, it's also kind of like that. I feel like in filmmaking, there’s so many barriers; often you're faced with a keynote, not being able to afford equipment, for example, if you're starting out and I think just really without sounding cliche, but like using what you have, you can make amazing things. Definitely an iPhone, I remember the first films I was making had like a handycam, which I hated at the time, and I thought that the images didn't look great. Yeah, so it's a bad setup. Even though a lot of music videos that you see come out are really kind of expensive. So on high spec, with with what you have, essentially
CP: Just like, like ripping off that it's like, yeah, also your friends like friendship. And having people around you don't be like, Yo, I will buy you dinner if you would come act in myself, like and just having people that are sort of right or die like that is really, really helpful.
ZF: Yeah, pull all the favors could be bid wise, friendship wise, like everything. And like, what Sean was saying how you really don't need, you can make anything on your iPhone even. And then like, if you don't have the equipment, everyone has a phone. So that's a start like you can really make anything. If you really want it, you'll make it happen. Those little movies, again, nominated for Oscar for like, I mean shot on iPhones. So.
MA: Yeah. And then the limit. I also wanted to introduce Kevin as well, if you could just give a little intro of yourself as well.
CP: Hi, Kevin.
Kevin Kloecker: I am on a Migos video so I'm in and out. But it was up guys. I commission music videos. I know these directors, they're all amazing. Everyone here is awesome. People are listening and learning. So Mak, is the new treatment for Lil Yachty still live action? Or is it? Is it animated? [They're] on the other line waiting for me to answer.
CP: Oh my god, I'm dead. As you can see, isn't it? There like some part that's a little animated. That's it.
KK: That was a very specific question. Demystifying music video process. Starting or altering and you guys are awesome.
MA: Deals are happening on the call. I also wanted to kind of hear about each of your creative processes. We use all your styles and are very unique. Do each of you kind of have a method or rituals for brainstorming or coming up with concepts for videos? If C, do you want to start?
CP: Sure. C in the spa? Okay. Yes. So, I mean, I think it's a little, it's a little recently in the last year just because like, a lot of the world was shut down. I feel like my process was a little bit more insular than maybe it normally was. I really typically have been very inspired by architecture and buy paintings. So I would just like to go to museums a lot. And that would be an interesting, maybe not even necessarily a good starting place for a specific video, but just to like, keep my mind in a place that felt like fantasy. And those two mediums in particular, I don't know, I just always took them pretty keenly. And, and so those I think, you know, have certain more of a subconscious, like underlying foundational influence, most likely, but a lot of that was kind of taken away with COVID. And I think even more maybe was reliant on movement or sensations like I think what I had to talk about this a lot in the last few months I feel like I'm, maybe for the first time kind of figuring out what my own process really even is because it doesn't really quite feel codified to me, to be honest, but I really like to approach films with the way that I want to feel when I watch it. And I think this is because moving and movement and dancing is like just a huge part of my human practice. And so I think, like, I like to approach the film with the idea of like, how the Edit will feel. And either that chaos in the anti chaos form of the anti form that the Edit will carry. And then from there, I'm like, Oh, my God, okay, these are the sensations that I'm super interested in. Okay. And then from there, I'm like, Okay, what kind of camera movement? Or what kind of color scheme or what kind of, you know, choreography will help deliver those sensations. So, yeah, I think that's kind of how my mind works for now.
MA: Awesome. Sean or Zhamak?
SF: Yeah, I was just going to say like, just accuracy. I think that's, I think that's the first time you hear the trap, for example, it's really pure, that feeling that you get and just kind of following that sensation and trying to get like, as immersed in as possible. That's usually my process. And then, yeah, trying to figure out what those feelings are and how you can visually interpret that. And I think now often dictates, like, whether it's more dance LED, or more narrative driven. I guess it's really starting from that big idea. And then I think then all the other factors come in. So it's like, can you afford this idea? was like logistical for the amount of time you have. But it's always nice to go in a kind of blue sky and big and then I guess kind of like going backwards?
ZF: Oh, well. I'm not sure if I just leave my mic on the whole time. So I just chime in. But for me, what I do is that I just draw inspiration from anything and anyone in my life, especially a lot of my friends. Just to ask, since I move a lot to there's always something going on, but um, I draw a lot of references for movies, I watch a lot of movies, so is that just anything from my life, my personal life and movies, I like using stuff like that for my treatments, or like making music videos specifically, or dreaming a lot. I dream a lot. So he's a lot of stuff in my dreams as well. Really.
MA: And I also wanted to talk a bit about suggestions on making connections with commissioners labels and artists like if there's I guess, like are you guys mainly getting approached to do a video or if you have an artist in mind that you know you want to work with are you doing like the cold outreach to try to get connected with them?
ZF: I think there's a lot of both so I was just going to jump in. I think there's a lot of just either way for this situation like personally, personally for me word of mouth is really important. And like if you do a good job on one set, or like whatever it is like a job or anything if you do give it your best that's always gonna be avoided a mouse will always win. It'll always be a job. And I've done both. I like to reach out or and get a shell just like whatever works out works out.
SF: Sean Yeah, I'd say a combo to say I think relationships are super important and kind of like staying on people's radar and But yeah, I think if you're inspired by music or an artist, it's Akin never heard to reach out. I'm trying to think of when I've done that. I can't remember but yeah, I think it's like it's you This whole thing and I think a lot of artists would probably be really honored. And if they're trying to come up with a visual for a particular track and you kind of like to hit on the right emotion, then I think that's a really good way to possibly create a visual for them.
ZF: And I was also wondering if you guys saw a show on if you guys read, because that's another way of getting yourself out there as well. Like, if you have a manager or agency or whatever it may be like, they can always pitch you and like, that's, I think the third option other than reaching out and getting reached out to, you know,
CP: Yeah, I have a lot of, I basically keep it a little open where I have, maybe I would say, like, four really strong relationships with either commissioners or just like producers. production companies are like relationships like that to kind of like, you know, bring consistent opportunities. But I do have to say, most, most, if not all of the jobs I've gotten, I've been like, just pretty much like, there happened to know the person, or it was like, either Yeah, I had reached out or they had reached out, and not so much through like the larger system. I've definitely done my fair share of pitching through the system. But I think it's actually more rare to win a job. In my own experience. It's rare to win a job through formal channels than it is to have some sort of direct relationship. Direct with dm. Yeah, totally.
ZF: It's definitely the word of the mouth situation. But I don't. I don't know if you guys know me, but like, are you guys? Are you guys wrapped or have management or anything like that? Because I want to see what his experiences have been or if you guys are freelance right now. So a lot of artists are freelance. And I'm curious, curious to know.
SF: Yeah, I'm wrapped by a production company called Love Boat. And they're fantastic. And we've just been working on a few music videos together. But I was freelance for years. I mean, I was signed quite early on in my career, but doing mostly kind of branded content, and kind of commercials. And then I kind of went on a journey to really discover what I wanted to be making. And it was more kind of narrative and dark and had different versions of music. So yeah, I think that's where relationships, both with artists, and also commissioners were really key when I didn't have a production company behind me. But yeah, I think it's, it's not kind of the be all and end all, I think it's another really good route. And you can definitely see much more of the pitches, kind of going around. But I think ultimately, it does really come down to those relationships.
CP: Yeah, I just signed with French company for your peon representation for music videos and for commercials, but they seem to jump in. That's fine. between New York and LA, I live properly in LA, but like, I'm in New York right now. Yeah, but for the US, it's like, I don't know, I, I kind of like ran around in our little hub of people that now we're kind of like, I think very influential producers in the music video scene. And so being wrapped up in one company in particular, just didn't really reveal itself to be my flow for the United States. Because I have really strong relationships with like three or four entities that I really love and like to work with all of them. And they're all really cool with that. I just believe in alignment. I believe in alignment, not only with directors and artists, but I also believe that sometimes not a certain production company is right for every single job. Because the nature of the music video industry in the culture of each genre is very different. I feel like and, and I like to curate projects differently on the crew side. And even sometimes the production company side. Just because like so like yeah, I don't know, just like parkwood is like a client and they have a strong relationship with free enjoyment. And so all those jobs will always run with free enjoyment. But let's say you know those like We my good friend Cole, who runs a company called field trip, you know, she's Latina acts and runs all the like bad Bunny and roselia and those types of videos so I don't know, I kind of-
ZF: Isn't Zack Zack and James are also part of the field to those?
CP: I think I might be in a different company. It's like Cole, Sally Eli.
ZF: Field Trips? Field Trips? As if it is a production company or it's okay, so yeah, it's like a label and they have artists on? Yeah, so go ahead.
CP: No, no, no, that's, that's kind of my flow.
MA: With that, when you are first all first kind of started in music, video directing? Were you able to do that full time? Or did you have another job to balance it out? And how eventually did you kind of make the jump into directing as the only thing you do? Like as a means of financial income?
CP: Well, for me, I yeah, I mean, I put in, you know, like, I think I'm like, going on my fifth year now of like, you know, post college and being in supporting, you know, myself through the arts. And I was sort of simultaneously dancing in the company, which is also in conjunction with music videos, like, you know, barely, barely pays a thing. So for me, what was really influential was just keeping my overheads super low, like, as low as humanly possible. Just kind of scraping away from there. But yeah, so I danced and was directing. And that was, like, I was somehow able to scrape by with that. And then now, I kind of predominantly just direct and sometimes choreograph.
ZF: Well, again, like I said, at the beginning, photography is what opened the door for me, specifically. I live in Toronto, and my best friend, Sky. She's a singer, and she's an artist. And I used to take her photos. And then she was the one that was like, Oh, why don't you start doing my videos to like, just is basically the same thing. It's moving pictures. So that's, that's how I got started with directing. But definitely my photography was the reason that I got into directing. And for me, personally, like, even if I'm not mainly just making music videos, or whatever it is, like, I'm consistently doing work through photography, but I consider myself photographers anyway. So it's just always gonna be like that.
SF: I mean, when I was in college, I definitely had multiple jobs as I was getting started. I think it was kind of quite early days, I guess, like a lot of video content coming out. So I was working a lot as a videographer on photographers said, so like, films that it was quite a good way to generate income and have these like, shorter kind of jobs that you can kind of like hand off at the end. And I think it was also a really good way to like, learn the craft of editing, or Yeah, just kind of like, creating imagery yourself and just being like, a one man crew for four years. So that was Yeah, kind of how I started out and just did a lot of smaller gigs. And while I was kind of developing the things I was really passionate about. And then I think even now, it's still like doing certain kinds of like white label jobs that might be, you know, pay the bills, and I'm not necessarily going to publish it. But yeah, I think it's just kind of like balancing it, balancing it all out. And then, you know, oftentimes, the jobs that we're really passionate about or really excited about, maybe aren't going to be so financially beneficial. But yeah, hopefully it's just kind of finding that balance between all of them.
ZF: I love how honest you are about that too, like doing some jobs. That is just for the money. We've all done those with, oh, my name could just not be on this, maybe
MA: I'd like to go into that a bit more. And just talk a bit about promoting your work too, because you're all independent artists who have to put your work out. So how do you kind of go about that? And then it seems like you know, certain jobs like, it's just a way to pay the bills, but you're not really going to post about it or showcase it. Yeah, just advice on things like, getting your work out there and doing self promotion in a way that feels authentic and good to you.
ZF: I feel like Instagram plays a big part these days. Although I really hate it. Come down, get a post. And it's always been a problem with like, if I've had an agent, or management, it's just been like, you should post more. And I'm just like, I can't even be inside. But it's been something that everyone always says, like, posts on Instagram posts, mobile search editorials, you know, the, but I don't know. I've kind of given up on Instagram right now. for promotion.
CP: Yeah, I think the best way to navigate it too is like say, I've been the same way. We're like, sometimes I'm just, I'm just not really like you. I don't know. Not. Yes, like, I don't know, if you didn't, if you're not on that tip, then it's difficult. And My only advice is to only do it like riding your own feelings. Like don't do it. If you don't want to do it, who cares. And then do it if you want to, if it's fun for you. And if you want to celebrate yourself, like that should be respected and like everybody deserves, we put in a lot of work. So like, we should be proud of the work that we do. And it's, you know, the music video scene is pretty rough, you know, so it's like, it's cool to be proud. It's also called an IP Pro. And just like riding your own flow.
ZF: I love that you said that it's cool to be proud. It feels like a lot of people think it's like I personally I used to think that just you know, big up in yourself or like boasting yourself and like your accomplishments is not. I don't know, like gassing yourself isn't humble. And then I realized that like, no, it's like, as artists, especially as freelance artists, should be
CP: Because I think it's also like, there's a difference between the people that are always gassing themselves and, or they do it in a way that's just, like, awesome. Like, I want to share this because, like, it gave something back to me in an emotional or spiritual or like, just fun way. And like, I'm excited to share that with other people. And like, that's the intention of sharing. And I think there's some people that share because they want, they like, want, they like want or need, or really riff off of specific types of attention. So I think as always, it's just like, what's your intent? You know?
ZF: Yeah, and I think it's just also something I've learned the past years, like, being humble isn't something we shouldn't be especially like, especially people of color should definitely be guessing themselves. You know, it's a game, it's like a black brown, like literally again, people of color should be loving ourselves and putting ourselves out there because it's always everything's just against us. You know?
SF: I'm loving you both have the same feelings around social media cuz I think sometimes you can get stuck in this echo chamber of Yeah, everyone else is like an online presence. And yeah, I like to struggle with social media. And I think like I've had phases of being very active and phases of being very active and I think I've kind of now settled on a place where Yeah, it's like a platform for mostly work and I don't like to post a ton of things like my personal life. But yeah, I think everyone's different and everyone's usage is different. And it's kind of interesting to see. Also the way I think Instagram is apart from is developing. I remember doing all the protests last year, like what an amazing tool of information. It suddenly became and suddenly it wasn't about posting selfies or, you know, just kind of like bragging or sharing, you know, random bits of info. And it became really informative. And that kind of shifted my mindset on how it could actually be used for something useful. Yeah.
MA: And I guess just within all this, there's so many complications and the music video industry is just, it's rough as an independent artist. And I'd kind of love to hear from each of you on how you've learned to advocate for yourself as artists and freelance directors. I just repeated that again, I didn't catch it. Yeah, I was asking how you each have learned to advocate for yourself as artists. I think for me, there are a few things. The first, the first and maybe most impactful thing My dad always instilled in me was like, to know when to say no. And to know when like, you can, you should just trust or like, if the money isn't there to facilitate the idea properly, or if you can't get the right crew, or if you're or if you're just like, you're like, I just don't know, if I want to make that video, and like, everybody emailing me, is telling me that I am the person to make the video. Or even as simple as someone being like, would you even be interested? I think it's just really important to say no, when you want to say no, and to not be pressured into, like, making things you don't want to make, because I just think there's nothing more powerful than the law of attraction. And if you are making things that you don't want to make, people are just going to continue to set you up for that. And you're never going to be able to get out of it. So I think it's like, you know, quality over quantity. And that's sort of like a big thing. Like for me to learn. It's very, very hard to do sometimes. stuff is so important. 1,000%
SF: Yeah, I think it's like, That's such a tough skill to learn. And it's like, yeah, I think the importance of saying no is really critical. And, you know, often it feels like you might be turning down the most amazing thing. But I think often you're just clearing space for the next thing to come along.
CP: Yeah, completely.
MA: And kind of within that, I'd also love to hear advice in regards to rates and budgets. How one, are you defending your rate? And two, how are you determining what it should be? per project? This is a complicated one, because on the projects that I really love, most of the time, to be honest, I don't make a right. And that's just kind of wearing that is like the artists that I really believe in. Don't have very big budgets. And so the passion projects. Yeah, the ones that you're like, Oh, my God, I've been dying for this, you need to be given the space and opportunity to make something like this. And finally, the artist comes along and has, you know, the platform and the music to do that. Fully, you know, just being transparent on those projects. I typically, sometimes even put in money to make it happen. And then the defending of rates really comes to the crew. Yeah, I mean, you know, obviously not for every job, but for the other jobs that I've really ever loved. I never made a single dime on them.
ZF: Because you especially like to believe in that person to feel and you want them to shine. And like, if they look good, you look good too.
CP: Truth, truth. And when you take the money out of it, like, like not necessarily the budget, but the rates of yourself, not not of others, but of yourself out of it. And that has, I think, proven to be sort of like a wonderful place to gain and artists trust to be like, Look, we're in this together. Like I'm right here with you. I'm a collaborator. I'm not in this for any alternative motive of trying to capitalize off anything, push it to be able to do this, but I think that that can be a real slippery slope because you also simultaneously don't want to set an expectation that you work for free. And I really believe in that. And I think that even though I've had an I think we all probably have done this tenfold is like, not only not making a rate but putting money into something is pretty horrible actually. It makes me very sad. But at the same time, you know, if you're lucky enough to be involved in the commercial scene or have another source of income, where you can come, you know, balance things out, you can maintain a pretty positive relationship there. But yeah, I think and then I think when it comes to defending rates, you know, first and foremost, I think, for me, at least, it's like, I'll defend the rights of my crew and be like, No, no, no. Like, this is what this person needs and deserves.
ZF: Absolutely. I think that's very important. And just, again, going back on the other question, the previous question and knowing your worth in your value. And just, you know, we're all doing this, for the art and to make our visions come to life, yeah, like, we have bills and all that too. But, you know, it's mainly about just making your art and having that space to be yourself. I'm sure we've all done jobs that, you know, complications out. Just sometimes just goes out the door, and you just get stuck with something you don't like anymore. And for me, personally, in the past year, I've been working with a couple of artists that have allowed me to be myself and make what I want to make. And I think trust is also really important, you know, and trusting yourself and your vision, having the artist to also see that, you know, because Be it as they have a big budget or a small budget, you want them to look at you equally just as an artist. I think that's really important. And recently, I think, I've been getting, making a lot of work from a lot of work. I get to thrive and have that trust from the artists to make it happen and not be questioned a lot. Are things changing a lot, is really making what I want to make. And I'm so thankful that that's happening. That's it?
SF: Yeah, I think Yeah. You're saying is so true. And I think often when jobs come in, you have to, like, do a bit of a math equation and just figure out, you know, is this like, financially rewarding? Is it gonna be artistically rewarding? And, yeah, balancing the two and, you know, it can get hairy, and often the ones that you're really passionate about, maybe going to be the most financially rewarding. Yeah, I think you just have to really kind of, like, have a conversation with yourself and figure out if you're in a position to do that. And I think that is really part of Yeah, advocating for yourself and because it's a lot of time and effort and energy, and it's kind of all consuming. So it's like, if you're, I guess prepared to put that in, and possibly not a huge raid, and you believe in it, and I think it's worth doing, if you think, again, like having I've done a lot of stuff was this point where it's like, I've just gotten so upset with myself for putting it out. You know, and that's another thing that's very important, that you should always put out stuff that you love, or are happy about, or else is just very emotionally exhausting, and it's toxic. And just be nice to yourself and make sure you do put something out that you love.
ZF: And especially also because at least for me and the people that you know, they're sort of like mentoring me in a certain type of way. It's like they really do say and believe that music videos can you know can be an are your like portfolio that get you into a career. personal space. And so you know, the more aligned you are, with your music, video work towards your larger goals. Not like even though you might be investing your time now, you're sort of like really investing in your future. So there is a payoff, I think.
CP: Yeah, and I'd say, I mean, I've worked through a few different mediums within the film world. And I think what's great about music videos is you really get to play visually and conceptually, and I don't think like all formats, the format allows. And so yeah, it's often like, yeah, it's a smaller budget, but you get to be really creative with music videos. And there's something Yeah, just like great about that. And I know when I've done other other forms of filmmaking, I kind of missed that experience on a music video. So yeah, I kind of like balancing all the worlds and
MA: And then I have another question. Kind of within, like, the scope of advocating for yourself. One thing that always has really bothered me within the music video world is the issue with credits and like advocating for having your credit and like that. I thought I wanted to ask all of you a bit of advice for just getting properly credited, getting properly tagged for like the release of your work, it somehow is an issue on every single thing that I do. And I don't know why.
ZF: Oh, my God, literally, I'm always like, it takes a split second to tag someone.
CP: Yeah, that's hard, that's a hard thing. That's definitely been a hard thing in my experiences of like, I'm like, wow, if you don't really have the, like mindset of crediting people like me coming to you and having a conversation, like, that's not really my job. And like, I just got like, I'm like, I would love to confront people about that. But at the same time, I'm like, wow, if you didn't think of it already, like we're on kind of different planets. So I don't really like weird conversation, especially when you're talking to a client. I think that other people probably have, like, a poetic way of confronting that situation. But in my own experience, I've just been like, Well, you know, I don't really care then if you didn't credit it, because like, it just speaks volumes to me about like your personhood, but it's complex, it's very complex, difficult situation, because I've found myself wanting to constantly advocate and stand up for what I believe in. But then when you're in the act of actually doing it, if you feel like some loser, like you're hard to work with, because you're just asking for literally the bare minimum as an artist, right, right. But then on the other hand, just to play devil's advocate, even on myself, in my own argument is like, these artists are like, you know, building personas of themselves. And so like, I don't know, I think sometimes they just like the idea of like, this is me, instead of like giving away ownership, which I understand to a certain extent, but at the same time, it's like, you know, the reality of it is that it takes a village you know,
MA: Kevin, are you still there? From the league?
K: I'm still here. I've been loving and appreciating so much. Also, Yeah.
MA: And also I just wanted to get like one word on your end to on the commissioner side, like, especially for the community that we're serving as a lot of emerging artists like how are you finding directors and like new talent to work with? Is that something on your end or are you open to people like cold call reaching out to you?
KK: Of course. I mean, one I just want to say that is really cool to hear. Obviously, I feel like I take into consideration so much of the stuff you guys are saying. Especially with things like budgets and credit. And I think it's really important too so it's really cool to hear everyone here. Their process, but um, but yeah, in terms of finding directors, I mean, you know, FREE THE WORK is the number one. I love FREE THE WORK and I love the plateia they're, they're the best. And they have so many they work with so many incredible, incredibly talented individuals. I used to really have the bandwidth to like, constantly scouring the internet. I used to just look at days and Vimeo staff picks and IPTV and it's everywhere.
ZF: Listeners do that just to chime in, like you can try to guess Oh, Kevin, but like, No, for real, like, you actually pay attention for like, you do your work.
KK: Thank you. I mean, I love finding, finding cool, talented people. And there's nothing more, I love them being able to find that really cool filmmaker and connecting them with a musician. But now it's, there's just so much quantity now that the reality is like I'm for example, I'm overseeing, I think about like, 30 something videos right now. And so and so, I, you know, I, I really want and you know, half the time, there's situations where an artist will come and say, hey, I want to, I have a director in mind. I want to direct something myself. I'm doing a job right now we're regarding some ideas and, and they didn't like any. So then the artist wants to kind of come up with a concept and find a director to execute their concept. And so you know, at the end of the day, a lot of times I'm at the, at the whim of the client. But the coolest opportunities to me, you know, finding new directors are always open to cold calls and emails, I try and get to everything I can and, and forward along the work to the rest of the video team I work with and, and to, you know, if I see something and it makes sense, I'm always like, oh, man, you know, whose team wouldn't would love this? You know, send it to a manager or an artist. Like you guys said earlier, I think if you can find organic ways to connect with artists, you know, I think it'll piss off labels sometimes and piss people off. But you can always go around. Like, if you have a way to get to an artist, half of the biggest jobs I've commissioned, it's because the director found some way to like, hit up a manager, hit up the artist or hit up a friend of the artists and, and it just ended up like getting in touch. And I'm not saying you know, don't stalk people or whatever. But, um, but yeah, the traditional way it goes is you know, you're pitching against a lot of people and so it's just a probability game. But, um, but yeah, so I love like, you know, for example, with Mac, who's been doing so many incredible little Yachty jobs, you know, I think we connected you and then you guys now are like besties and talk every day. And it just works because you guys speak the language. And it works. And so I love to see those relationships. And I really do think when there's collaboration and the artists truly trust in the directory and you see with like, Childish Gambino in here a mirage or like, you know, there's tons of examples. I just think that's so cool to me. And I'm My style is very much you know, connect the artists, connect the director, you guys do your thing, but you know, it's not always that smooth. But yeah, always always looking for new people. People can find, hit me up, whatever, but I'm happy to always have been affected. So I wish I had more time to nerd out on weird videos on the internet.
MA: I want to open it up to the audience for any questions as well. So if anyone has a question, just raise your hand and I can click on anyone. And then just a heads up also that we are recording this for anyone in the community who couldn't tune in. So
GUEST #1: Hi. Hi, I'm Amory. Firstly, I just want to say thank you to everyone. That's here because I feel like you've all echoed things. Sorry, my dog is having a great time. That's where this is going. You’ve all echoed good things that I've experienced. And it's just good to know that other people are experiencing that. Like, I know that the reality of the world is so much bigger, but sometimes you just feel like, I'm sure I'm playing by myself. This sucks. What should I do? So thank you for being vulnerable and sharing. My question is about things like, I have done a couple of music videos, I know that technically music videos are not how you make money. I know that's where you like to express yourself and make art. But like to get more music videos, did I just keep collaborating with friends and other artists and just keep making videos?
KK: I mean, not from a directing perspective, but just from a client perspective. I can have two jumps in so I figured I'll drop some, some info. But I would say yeah, of course, always keep collaborating with your friends. Keep hustling, keep making cool videos, to whatever you can try and make some cool stuff but if you're specifically interested in pitching on your music videos, you should look at music video reps, there's only like five or six of them really. It's like Lark creative. Janet left on this tiny little Buddha, reprobates, you know, if you look up kind of music, video reps, and then look at, if you want to put on budget videos, look at the major labels and try and just do your research and figure out who are commissioners. There's usually anywhere from like one to eight commissioners. Every label, there's like 10 commissioners at Interscope Records, there's I think there's seven or eight at Capitol, there's, there's, you know, a few at Republic and they're the ones who are constantly kind of sending out those briefs. And they're sending them to those reps or directors directly. So if you can research that, that's, that's not going to be your answer to like, you know, you're not guaranteed to book anything, but that's how a lot of the budget videos are happening. And then otherwise, just kind of reaching out to artists directly. Looking at labels. We're paying for the videos for the most part, just bugging bugging people like me if you if you find, you know, my info and sending your walkthrough, which, of course I recommend you do and then but then yeah, looking at other people that are hiring specifically for music videos, so you can kind of keep pushing. Other vectors kind of, say their piece from their sides.
ZF: And I think being persistent was you know how Kevin's like oh, hit me up, you know, like, I'm sure he gets hit up a lot. And you should just if you don't get a response the first time like you shouldn't give up, you should still put yourself out there and like try reaching out and no 100% Yeah, like no one is not like, he, like Kevin's all gonna get annoyed. It's like, we're all artists, it's like, just be persistent. Just keep putting yourself out there. It's very important. And also you can make money from music videos, like you can get to make money. It's not, oh, you'll never make money from music videos. This is money they, it'll happen
MA: If anyone else wants to say anything.
GUEST #2: Hello, my name is Olivia. Thank you guys for speaking today. I have done about five music videos at this point. And I just wrapped up my first video with a label. So I'm kind of navigating that. But the hardest thing I've had to navigate is dealing with an insane amount of notes and navigating on which ones to compromise on and how to professionally stick up for what you think would jeopardize the integrity of the video. And I'm just curious if you guys have any advice on that.
CP: It's an interesting one. I think it really depends on like, so like in this case, it's like maybe you don't have a strong, direct relationship with the artist that's him or her or their self. Because like in cases where that is the situation sometimes Dialogue can exist. And, you know, you can sort of gracefully paint out, you know, like, listen and hear them and maybe, you know, audition their notes for sure. And then, you know, talk from there about, like having mediums, potentially. But a lot of times, a lot of times they're really good salt is but like, you know, ultimately, at the end of the day, it's the artists video, and there's other people that are paying for it. And those minutes need to be heard, and respected. And then something that you would also like to have in your back pocket is a director's cut. And that's something that I think a lot of people have found peace in. So like, you know, having a director's cut after the fact. And that is, you know, the way you envisioned it. And then another thing is, like, kind of knowing that like, even if you do, you know, you have your team, do a pass at an edit or you do an edit yourself, and you really stand behind it. Your perspective, of course, is not the only perspective. And so having like a small trusted circle of like two or three or five people that, you know, maybe they're not even artists themselves, or maybe there are other types of filmmakers or other types of people having a small trusted group to like send your edits to for feedback, and be like, do you think, you know, what do you think could be better? Like, does this make sense? Totally, it is also helpful.
SF: Yeah, I think those are really good pieces of advice. And yeah, I think it's all about defending your vision by then staying open as well. And I think like always saying, like, what you think and why something would or wouldn't work? I think that can go a long way, like, your passion as to why something should be in one particular way. But then, yeah, I think directors cards are a really good kind of compromise. And, yeah, it's tricky, it's tricky to navigate. And I think, yeah, she said, as well kind of, like, zooming out. And just like, sometimes letting go of things that perhaps seem really important, but pretty when the video comes out, it's only something that, you know, you might have liked, seen, I'm very guilty of this all the time. And no one else kind of notices, and, you know, it all plays and it's beautiful. They're great. But yeah, it's a hard one to kind of, like, navigate through.
ZF: Yeah, Director's Cut, I love director's cuts, to be honest. But sometimes you don't have the opportunities to do that. I think you should just be very assertive, instead, try to stick up for yourself as much as possible. And make the vision come to life and like not that anyone, you know, ruin that for you. Because, again, like I mentioned earlier, too, like it's emotionally exhausting. And it's not good for how you feel about yourself as an artist and just feel good about it.
GUEST #3: Thank you for hosting this. And the question I had was really, so right now, I do like a lot of lenica stuff. So I like direct shoeing in my own stuff, like with the artists, but I wanted to really know how to transition from that. So working on bigger projects, or getting to the budgets where I can do more and maybe have like a small team or like the team to execute better visions.
CP: I think a pathway which is like a unit where you don't need to rely on larger systems to facilitate that like straight off the bat is like, just actually if you happen to know others like, if you know DPS or production designers just hit them up. Or like if you're not super involved in like, if you don't know, people like that are crew, then just doing your research and like finding the artists that you really identify with, and then just hitting them up and being like, Look, I've got, you know, this small thing I'm really passionate about it would you be, you know, down to just like write it out with me. And that was kind of like how I how I did it
ZF: Or just saying fuck it and just do for yourself. Like, just shoot your own friends and like, the more what I can say about this is the more you do for you do your own thing, and make art for yourself with what you have, the more other people are going to notice it and want to have a piece of visit and like actually be like, oh, whoa, like this person mean original, like doing their own person doing their own stuff. And I think that's really important. And like, this is something my friends and I always talk about. The second, you start doing your own thing, and you're working on your own projects and passion projects. That's one and one's just gonna notice, because you're also simultaneously practicing on your craft and bettering yourself and experiments and more. You know, that's and that's important.
SF: Totally. And I think just to echo what we were saying earlier is I do it, you know, if you have an idea, and you can shoot it on your iPhone, and you know, that's a way and if you can, if you really passionately believe in the thing, then I think others will pick up on that. And you know, there's ways of shooting things cheap and then finding financing later on. And maybe you kind of like to develop it further. But yeah, I think it's interesting, because often brands will look at those passion projects that you've, you know, done for $0. And you last night it's asleep and that's the thing, I'll try and replicate it. So it's always kind of funny the things that I mean, I find get referenced on my reel. And yeah, is often not the big money job.
MA: So I'm gonna add one more person in the room, because I don't want to hold you guys for too long. Thank you for the advice. Yeah, that's you. coming in.
GUEST #4: Hey, everybody, my name is Canard, shout out to FREE THE WORK and all y'all for it's on his transparency, and advice. One thing I've noticed, like now a lot of credit or music videos is sometimes there'll be a director and a creative director. And I think for me, my experience really so far, seeing what creative directors will do it kind of can feel a bit confusing, like, oh, what was their relationship, like between the creative director and the director? And maybe you have worked with that may have had that partnership before about security? Because can I speak to that at all? And what's that been like, have you liked it? Are you dealing with someone who's constantly just fleshing it out and executing it? Or is it? Or does it play out differently?
ZF: I think creative defense also, that is the creative director on the artist side, or it's someone that you brought on yourself, because personally, I've done projects, I've worked on music videos, where I've brought on my own creative director, you know, and, and I've also co directed a lot with the same person. It's just like, it depends, like, if it's from the artists that are label side or your own side. I don't know, like, if you want to let me know about that.
G4: Well, I think it's good to hear your response. If you were to bring on a creative director, what does that mean for you? Like, what are you looking for from them? And what are the roles responsibilities coming? Split?
ZF: I honestly have loved having a creative director on the project, because it gives them more the merrier. And also if it's a super talented artist as well, it works better for me. And, you know, if I'm focused on one thing, they can help me and add to that or, you know, bring my attention to something that I wasn't seeing. And there's been times that I've worked with a creative director where it's like, it's just not aligning with my vision, and that's really Aggie annoying. But for the most part, it's been people that I've enjoyed working with and respect them and love what they had in their head. So for me, that's that and like decree when you said how you differentiate the roles I think, I don't know, I just see creative directors, to me, like I've created directed projects. And I think it's kind to me personally, it's a great director and director, there's just besties, basically. So to make what everyone wants to see happen, you know, that makes sense.
CP: And I think it's different for me, it's been different every time just like any time you use a different production designer, different procedures. And also that is like, you know, there are some DPS that bring a lot of new ideas to the table, and then there's some DPS that are executioners. And so I, my experience with creative directors has been like, kind of a full spectrum, some people that just give you like a mood board at the top, and then you kind of never hear from them again. And then some that are like involved in every single, you know, accessory of the wardrobe and, you know, are with you step by step every step of the way. The overcontrolling ones are definitely the ones I was saying they weren't fun. I think it's like, I don't know, I do. But for the most part, I've had like, pretty nice synergy, like Like you said, it's like they can be in hopefully shouldn't be like your bestie in the process, because you're both the two kind of only voices really advocating for the macro vision of like, understanding how the pieces are fitting together and sort of curating the right people and the right brands and the right, you know, energy to be involved in something and to make it all feel cohesive. So, you know, the best ones are the ones where you're like, Damn, we want to go grab a drink.
MA: Yeah, for sure. For sure. Sean, do you have anything to add?
SF: Yeah, I think that was Yeah, I think it's kind of dependent. But yeah, I think ultimately, having people on your team who kind of like advocating for the vision is really important. And, you know, if you're aligned with that creative director from as early on, through pre Pro, then you know, that's gonna really help. And if you're both kind of passionate and changing or chasing after the same things, then I think there's so many parts of music videos where things have to shift or change. And, you know, sometimes you have to really fight for certain things. So I think it's always useful to have another advocate.
MA: So, I'm so grateful that you all took the time to share so much wisdom and advice about your practice and your process. And I just wanted to remind everyone in here as well to check out FREE THE WORK and apply to be a part of our database and community and that we're active on all socials at FREE THE WORK and to also follow and check out all the incredible work of these directors.
ZF: Thank you. Thank you. I wish this was going on longer to feel like we're cutting things a little short, but definitely enjoying this.
CP: Yeah, really grateful to be a part of it. Thanks.
SF: Yeah, thank you so much. And Kevin is currently left quiet.
ZF: I wish this was longer so we can all chat about this more
MA: If everyone is open, we can take a couple more questions, but Sean and C are. Okay, cool. I'll add a couple more people.
ZF: I'm personally not rushed. But that's just me.
MA: And then just one reminder, again, to anyone asking questions that we're recording this session just for anyone in the community. I didn't tune in. Go ahead, Emily. Sure.
GUEST #5: Thanks for letting me know. Hi, my name is Emily and I work as an assistant high in the film industry. And this question is kind of specific to C, but it may maybe relate to other people too. But I'm also from the dance community and just in dancing too, and coming from that, and I also wonder, how did you feel like transitioning into the film industry? And like, I know the lingo has changed. And there's, there may be things that you didn't know going into the music video industry, too.
Yeah, I wanted to ask how that transition was for you and how you found tools to like, educate yourself, or maybe you took tools from your DS, history and past? Yeah, that's my question.
CP: Okay, so like, how basically like, how is the transition from the dance world into the phone? Or like the music video world more specifically?
G5: Yeah, I think that's a good way to start today.
CP: Yeah. I mean, I think it is a beast of a question. Like, it was pretty, like, insular. For me, I didn't really, I guess maybe like two years in, I saw like, okay, I started dancing on music, video sets, that's how I really started meeting people, like I was dancing. And so that's actually like, one of my best friends who's also a female identifying director, her name is Ariel Fisher. I met her dancing on her set. And now we like to direct all the time, and are literally like, like, She's my best friend. And she had been in it like, a year or two before me. And so we just like, honestly became friends, because we were actually going through deep heartbreaks, at that time, and either when, like, someone's in deep pain, and you can, like smell it on them. And so we kind of like her, you know, she was like, That girl's like, has a rough moment right now. And she was like, at that moment, too. And so we just, like, got drinks, and became close friends. And then, you know, since then, like, we've been friends for like, four years now. She kind of, she kind of taught me a lot. I think it's just like how it always is, but kind of with everything in this industry, and, and maybe in life in general is like, if you have a strong community of people, that's kind of the best way to get through it. Because like, if you have friends, friends are looking out for you. Friends are like, down to actually teaching you things. And you can also just observe them intimately and like, have dynamic conversations about like, you know, when you're petrified for your first short film, or like, you know, like, you know, oh my god, I don't know, reaching out to this Commissioner for the 17th time, it's like a bad look, you know, like, having having people to, like talk to you was really helpful for me. But it wasn't that lonely. From the get before that really happened? I don't know. I mean, it's just like transitions are a beautiful place to live. And I think it's mostly like, try not to be afraid and try not to overthink, like, reaching out to people or overseas, asking questions and like, kind of just be like, authentic to yourself. And like, when you do reach out, and when you do ask questions, and you do these things, and like, vulnerable, like, remember to learn intentions and what, like you're coming out of most likely from the best place possible. Like, just like wanting to learn, and like, don't, don't judge yourself, and don't be hard on yourself. And like maybe being behind the curve. And know that your embodied knowledge is extremely profound. And, and the best thing I think for me, being a director is like, you know, listening to your own gut. And it's something that you deeply learn with dance. So you're actually in a pretty good place.
G5: Yeah, it sounds like it was fairly organic for you. And like, it was through these, like, really intimate and beautiful friendships, are you able to learn a lot? So? Yeah, I think that's definitely helpful. My answer. Thank you. Yeah, and also something that like, you know, I think a lot of directors right now are, like, something I'm interested in too, is like, bringing people into the process that are like, you know, down to learn and like down to, you know, obviously, like, when you you want to, like, you know, share energy and like, with the people that you bring into your process, because of how wonderful it is, but like, not being afraid to ask certain directors like, Hey, can I shadow you? Can I be involved, like I'm here to learn? Like, that can be a cool way. And sure, yeah, I hear a lot of advice about that kind of stuff, but it's definitely something I've been doing and putting into my practice. So thanks for reminding me and I, it seems like it goes a long way since even the people here on the stage are so willing to mentor and to share. So yeah, thank you.
CP: Yeah, of course.
MA: So, Diana.
GUEST #6: Hi, everyone, and thank you so much for sharing your stories. It's been a beautiful conversation so far. And it's also been very enlightening. I am a narrative dp mostly, who has become very interested in dipping into music videos to expand my creative horizons, if you will. Have you ever worked with a dp who's just starting out in the music video world? And if you have, what were you looking for in their work and in their, in that individual to connect with for your project?
ZF: I've definitely worked with a dp that's very new. And he shot one of my favorite music videos I've ever done. But label issues and stuff, and it's never gonna come up. But in my experience, thankfully, every time that I've worked with someone somewhat green, it's been to me, it's been just as delightful as working with the big experience. dp, I don't know, I think it's important to see how you guys vibe, you know, you guys are doing the video together dp and a director, it's, you know, they're very, their relationship is really important and how they vibe and how they have the same vision or don't have the same vision, you know, but I've definitely worked with people that are green. And this worked out great. And what I see in it is that, you know, someone at one point in me a chance, and now I'm doing the same thing that I think if I look at this person, and I see that they're doing something that has potential, and I believe in them, you know, you never know, you could just spark something or that person and change their life for the rest. No, and it's important.
SF: Yeah, we're gonna say it's actually a really interesting question. Is it a bit of narrative work right now and narrative? It's interesting again, because there's other considerations like, how you tell the story of Hogan emotion.I mean, I kind of see there's no reason why narrative TV couldn't do an amazing music video and could actually pretty bring a lot more knowledge to in a storytelling capacity, and pretty like, you know, experience with like, amazing lighting and stuff. And I think, yeah, there's kind of like these different modes within filmmaking. There's, like, you know, filmmakers who are very much in the commercial space and filmmakers are more music video narrative. And, yeah, is interesting that, you know, technically everyone should be able to do all of them. But yeah, I do think there's maybe like a rhythmic thing. Yeah, I'm not sure. It's something I was thinking about as well.
G6: I'm gonna add in the last few people that raise their hands, Lauren. Hello. Thank you all so much for this chat. It's been super informative. I am a working full time freelance director in narrative and branded content. And I've worked with a lot of people. I tend to work with kids and teenagers. A lot of young folks who have tons of followers on YouTube and tik tok and stuff like that. And music videos are an area of interest for me to grow as a director, specifically working with kid and teen talent. Because that's where I have a lot of experience and it's a passion of mine. I'm just curious, like, if any of you have come from narrative to music video, how that transition was, if you think it's possible to get hired, with a background that's only narrative or if it's necessary to make, like a music video spec, or you know, shoot a music video, as a passion project before you can sit or getting hired, even if you have a large body of narrative work.
SF: Yeah, I see that you want to go. I realize I ended the last question.
CP: So I was gonna say I haven't. I haven't really come from narrative into music video, it's kind of the opposite direction for me. So you should take it.
SF: Yeah, I mean, I think it's always a great idea. Like, if you can, you know, you have the means and you could shoot a music video as a kind of sample for your reel, I think that would definitely go a long way in terms of, you know, then sending it out to commissioners or whoever might be kind of green light in the job. So, yeah, I think it's like one of those things of like, perhaps you have relationships already. And, you know, people really trust you already as a director. And that's the route or, yeah, I think having a sound of where you want to go and kind of manifesting that is always really useful, too.
CP: Yeah, I think there's also, there is a sphere of narrative music videos, like, you can definitely find plot like artists that want narrative driven music videos, like maybe there's not necessarily dialogue, or maybe there's just dialogue with dialogue at the top or in the center at the end. But like I didn't, one of my other really good friends was Sandler who's a really rad director. Also, she is very interested in narrative driven music videos. And I think that if you were interested in colliding worlds that that's definitely something that could be on the table for you.
ZF: Yeah, I haven't done a lot of narrative work with music videos, but I think just directing music videos, to me personally, in general, is the practice for me to eventually do my movie. So be it mute, if you are a native or not doing it is all a big fat practice for one day when I make and get my Oscar.
G6: So Absolutely. Thank you guys so much. Hopefully that answered. I don't know. Yeah, no. And I love hearing about, you know, like, thinking about the different genres within music, video, dance driven video versus a narrative driven music video, it's a great way to think about it, especially, you know, sort of knowing what your strengths are and how you can fit in in the beginning.
ZF: And I don't. I don't think I don't think should be scared to do a narrative. I know director to director, it depends on like, every director is different, you know, and some people are scared of doing narrative, and some people aren't, or like, we struggle when they're to work, don't struggle, there's just I think everyone should try different things all the time. But to add on, I can see how narrative could be. Because you know, it's such a short time, like a song, let's say, as long as two minutes long, or minute, 45, or three minutes or four minutes. And you really want to portray a story that's either personal to you, or is special to you. And you don't get to do that quite or like you do shoot that narrative. And then in post, you just, you know, you see the flaws or creative arguments or whatever, I just I the way, it's like, I think it's a good place for every director should, at least two at once, and to see how they feel about it.
SF: Yeah, and I think if you can tell a narrative in like, two to four minutes, that's amazing. And it can be so beautiful.
ZF: It's really hard to do that. Right? Imagine doing a movie in two minutes. It's like, shout out to anyone that does that amazing thing.
MA: Last questions, Sam.
GUEST #7: Hello, guys, thank you so much for this amazing room and oversaturation. Thanks, shout out to FREE THE WORK. It's been amazing really. Thank you so much. So my name is Sam, I'm an independent music video director. And yeah, my question is about contracts. When you do a music video, it's kinda your difference when you're doing for the label to a contract or is done via Commissioner. So what happened to me in a music video signed to Sony Music was that when I put the music video out, like, on my Instagram, it was the first time the visuals have copyright claims? Like, you know, it's aside from the music, so it gets blocks. And even I, as a director cannot really, you know, showcase my work. So, I want us to hear tips about this. Has this happened to you? Like, is it normal that the visuals really are corporate content? And you cannot really, you know, show them on your socials. And it comes with this error in the contract, or if it's a lower, thank you.
CP: This happened to me before for sure. But um, I didn't ever think it was like a, like a, let's get a lawyer involved or anything like that. All I did actually was just like, hit up. As happened with sub pop when I was doing a clipping music video. And with Interscope for me a follow up on that has happened to me all the time. But you just hit up someone at the label, and they shouldn't be able to, like, I don't know exactly what they do, but they were able to, like lift the block, or like in advance, like grant rates to specific people. And yeah, so like, in my experience, it was a number, like, so serious. We're like, we needed to be in a legal situation. It was just like, oh, yo, like I ran into this issue. Do you mind sharing the rights to like, share it or whatever, and then it was fine. Also, if you post, like, it might have happened to like a video that you posted. I also like the workaround. One of my friends told me that if it's 30 seconds, it's more likely to get flagged than if it is 29 seconds. So like anything under 30 seconds is usually in a safer zone. Very true.
ZF: I learned that the hard way too.
MA:I was going to say that for FREE THE WORK with our roundups, we even do under 25 seconds, because we've had issues with that as well.
G7: That's a wonderful tip. Yes, they usually do whitelist content. But my my question about lower was that maybe there is a situation that we can kind of circle clouds and contracts like you know, with a tape of the lower or if you have done that I wanted to know so this is a common problem with the visuals as well as the music because it has not really happened to the visuals for my videos before. It was only the content but now that I just share a picture of my work it gets the corporate note. Maybe that's just an issue with your Instagram. I don't know when you dispute that issue? They go, does it say back to you? That says that the visuals belong to Sony Music. It says that the visuals are what belongs to Sony Music. Entertainment.
ZF: Yeah, I don't know. For me, again, like how C said it is when I do the videos I just disputed once or twice and then it comes back after. I think that's more technical, like the label side question.
G7: But I want to make sure this is a common problem. And so thank you so much.
CP: Yeah, for sure. You're not alone in that.
MA: Thank you again to everyone. I really appreciate it and I just wanted to remind everyone again, if you missed out earlier to visit FREE THE WORK and apply to be a part of our database and also visit us on socials and we have tagged the handles of all these directors. So definitely check out their work as well. But thank you so much.
ZF: FREE THE WORK is always great because all this support is small or big or whatever. You guys really actually give the opportunity in the space for everyone to shine. It's great.
SF: Love FREE THE WORK. FREE WORK is really nice to meet you guys. Say I thank you for having me. Yeah, so great guys.
ZF: Great artists. See you Sean. Thank you guys. Very nice meeting you guys over the internet. Yeah, you are this audio space.
MA: Thank you again, everyone. Stay safe and have a beautiful night.
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