I’m going to break down a music video by Echosmith called Stuck, directed by Danny Drysdale. Keep reading to learn more on how to actually film a music video, how to do the pre-production, create a storyboard and film.
By the way, if you don’t know Echosmith, you know them. Trust me. Do you know the song Cool Kids? Yes, that’s them. They have an amazing new album called Lonely Generation.
How To Create A Storyboard?
Firstly you have to identify the location where you want to film. Is it going to be a single location or do you want to film in multiple places?
The music video Stuck consists of 3 locations, actually within a single main location. Basically, the production found three different spots for filming in one location. The whole music video consists of 12 scenes in total.
So just let’s go ahead and have a look at the actual storyboard. You know, fake one like from reverse engineering, because I don’t have the original one or I actually cannot draw.
First of all, when you create a storyboard or a screenplay, you have to put the interior or exterior.
So in Echosmith Stuck music video, the location is a desert. Let’s call this location number one. And it was filmed during the day.
So when you film a music video and you have three different locations in especially band playing the song (A-ROLL) the whole time, and then you want the shots in between (Inserts).
So what do you have to do, you have to divide and conquer? You have to divide your locations and do all those shots at once because you don’t want to start filming the band playing and then you jump into actors sitting on chairs. That is what you do in the post-production, not production. That’s why you have to create a storyboard. So you know exactly all the scenes that you have to film.
Let’s have a look at location number 1. I call it chairs. We have four scenes in that one location that we have to do and we’re going to place them actually in the video at different times, not in order, but we want the production to be productive.
Wide Shot, Medium or Close-up?
So we have WS which stands for Wide Shot. This is basically a note for the director of photography. And then we have a little bit of description of what’s going on in the scene. That means we can see the whole person and then we have the description for the actor and camera movement and so on. So in this case, it’s the boy all capitals. You give a storyboard to an actor or actress and they read what they are supposed to do. So when they come to a location, they already know what they are supposed to do.
Scene number two, it’s a wide shot as well. Actually, all those scenes in this certain location are white shots. And the second scene is the direction. So basically from the director is laid down on the chairs. So the boy is now so bored he’ll lay down and is now sleeping and see no free. The girl is sitting next to the boy watching the show. And then the clip they both clip and the girl actually leaves out of the picture. So that’s actually in that same scene.
You filmed these couple of seconds of scenes and you have four scenes done in pretty quickly. This whole thing, once you set it up, once you do the lights, it’s pretty easy when you have storyboards. And of course, every scene can take multiple takes. Basically, you can do as many takes as you like as a director.
How many takes do I need?
For example, David Fincher does actually a hundred takes, which it’s hell for actors, yet every director has their style. I don’t think this particular scene needed 100 takes. So now the second location. So once the chair is done and filmed, it’s a wrap so actors can go home and so on.
So now you move on and you bring the band and like you can do this in the beginning. You can do this after. I would suggest doing this in the beginning. So the band is fresh, but maybe they had their makeup done and their style. So basically, they just did the scenes with the chairs. And now they call they call the band.
So the second location is the same desert, but at a different angle, a different place. It’s filmed during the day, obviously. We have seen number five, which is a wide shot and medium shot and slow motion. I don’t know if they filmed it in 4K or 35 millimetres but if they have a huge format, they can zoom in in the post-production without losing the quality. So then you can have a wide shot and also a medium shot. And depending on the resolution, you can also have Close-Ups. So this is amazing. Of course, the budget is big, but why not?
To learn the rest of my analysis, watch the full video:
If you want to learn more on film-making, I recommend The Film-maker’s handbook I mention in the video.