FACT: The cost of a music video should always be treated the same as the cost of a car(JA$)
I'm about to clear something up that someone should have done long ago. This is particularly aimed at the cheap sons of bitches with the unrealistic expectations and the viewer who wishes to criticize productions in an ignorant and unreasonable way. Note this first though, this blog does not apply to the "Diwrecktors" out there, the hustlers who're just in it for the hype or the money, the ones who no matter how much money they're paid couldn't direct their hands to their asses much less a video. Now that I've cleared that up, on to the matter at hand. And all figures mentioned are Jamaican dollars unless stated otherwise and if you're not Jamaican or familiar with the Jamaican music/motion picture scene then I doubt you'll be able to relate.
What's my point you might be wondering, well anyone in my field who has to work in this country will understand, again, the hustlers and wanna bees do not count, because no matter how much you pay an orderly, that person will never be a surgeon! Go to med school and return a surgeon yes, but until then, sit your orderly ass down! So yes, these diwrecktors do not count. And so my points are these, one, when we hear that a particular director will take no less than $20g(US) for a video, stop hating, it's for a logical reason(no, it's not me), blood can't be made from stones and after a while, especially when you don't have to, working for a little for a client who's expecting a lot gets real old! So when a director has made his mark or fortune and decides to tell the cheapskates and broke asses to go to hell, I have no problem with that :) Secondly when you pay a producer a "pittance" stop expecting the world! Again, no blood from stones! Stop trying to make these R. Kelly videos, "up in the club" joints, it's whack! And if I did any "up in the clubs" videos, then i'm sure they were whack too! Clients need to stop requesting these "bling" videos with their pathetic budgets!!! But I blame the diwrecktors for allowing the client to believe they could pull it off! Although from personal experiences some persons are totally unreasonable so it boils down to a "take the money or leave it" kind of thing.It takes more than a make up artist, an HD cam and a few friends in a club to make your videos look like a Jay Z joint. And I don't care if you did pay a real director or who your DP is, nobody(in Jamaica) has done it right to this day! I do believe though, they're a select few on this rock that could do an excellent video to compete with the greats with a real budget! Thirdly, before you criticize another well put together Jamaican video by a real director who tried his or her best and start comparing it to international videos, think! How much did artist X pay the local director and how much did the multi million dollar international artist pay?! That's right, money isn't everything, but it's a whole lot and unfortunately in every field you have to sometimes take the smaller jobs first in order to build, congrats to all who didn't have to, if you figured out a way to run before you creep, please share.
So my respects to all who are doing their best, all the veterans who are teaching the young ones while still improving their own game and all the young talented directors who respect the game as an art, not a hustle.The word hustler in Jamaica and black America(probably a few more places) is used with respect and I understand why, it symbolizes to many, overcoming odds and making it by any means necessary, but to me, from what I've seen, a hustler is like a parasite! A termite! Anything hustlers get involved in gets watered down severely! Anything hustlers flock to gets ultimately ruined, like the music, that's why auto tune is so damn popular and that's why most singers today can't really sing! God help us the day that hustlers over take the medical industry(or maybe they already have), but that's content for another blog.If interested, look out for my next blog entitled "A camera is not a magic wand!".
A Camera isn't a magic wand
Today fortunately and unforntunately technology has made it easy for just about anyone to buy a DSLR (5D, 7D, etc) and get great low light shots and a "filmic" looking shallow depth of feild. So now everybody is a film maker and now more than ever, everyone is a "music video director". Most of these delusional prima donnas tend to venture into music videos because it is easier to do a four minute long music video than any length movie. And if you do a poor job at producing this video you can just throw some graphics and split screens in there, attempt to cover up the mediocrity and just label it as "style". This is unfortunately acceptable in Jamaica, our standards are much lower than other developed countries. I shudder and cringe when I use the word "our", as I do not stoop to these mediocre standards, but the fact is I am Jamaican. Anyway, these new "reasonably" priced cameras are both good and bad, because even though the talentless hustlers will grab them up and try to make the camera make the production, they're still truly talented motion picture producers out there who are now able to let their lights shine without breaking the bank. The thing people need to take into consideration when treating a camera like a magic wand is this, true producers, cinematographers and directors were making great motion pictures long before the advent of these "HD" cameras, long before. And it is very easy, effortless even, for a true pro to use the oldest, weakest camera and produce a better picture than a novice with the latest Red or DSLR, or whatever the current craze is. Again, It's not the camera, it's the skilled person behind it. Also, and these are just my observations over the years regarding Jamaican productions, especially music videos, a Jib or Dolly (while being the amazing tools they are) do not equal a great production. You could have all the equipment in the land, if you have no true talent, experience and professionalism, all that equipment equals nothing. I've seen displays of this fact time and time again, every week in this country it seems new videos are released and very few of them are of any decent quality, mostly just hustlers trying to make a buck, using equipment and popular musicians as their selling point and very little in the way of true talent. It would be very easy for a trained military person to use a snub nosed revolver to take out a novice with an M-16 assault rifle. It would also be easy for a trained race car driver in an old 1973 volkswagon to outrun a novice in the latest sports car once placed on a track that requires skill to navigate. This is an indisputable fact! You see, if you were to give a pro an old beat up PD 150 camera on a properly lit set and do the same for a novice with a 5D Mark III and just tell them to press the record button, as every other setting was already done, then the novice would win because that's all left to the camera's abilities, but just like on a track that requires skill to maneuver through, the same principle would apply to a shot that had to be skillfully composed from scratch, a novice could not deliver in such a situation and technology has not yet reached that point where the camera will wipe your ass for you, so there's my point, skilled hands. This isn't Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry, no magic wands here. Look out for my next blog - The world belongs to the "Doers", not the "Talkers"
This world belongs to the "doers", not the "thinkers", and definitely not the "talkers"!
Here it is, blog number three. Now we all have to think before we act, even if these thoughts come from our subconscious, even if these actions were instinctive, even if they were reflex actions. So if you're brain dead I doubt there will be much action on your part, so yeah, I believe there must be some thought involved in what we do. And of course (unfortunately in many instances) we have to do some talking. So I'm not saying thoughts and words aren't important, but most important(at least to me) we must act!Throughout history there have been a lot of "thinkers", great minds, some went ahead and used their great minds and invented stuff like the light bulb and what not, this is good, they thought for many years and they acted and got things done, great.