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The Director's Chair Issue #86 – May 19, 2008 (How to Get into the Music Video Business)

Free Monthly Ezine for Film and Television Directors

May 19, 2008                  Scene 9 – Take 5

Published once a month.

Publisher: Peter D. Marshall
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1. Introduction
2. Learn How to Direct Music Videos
3. Film Directing Tips and Resources Blog
4. Filmmaking News, Websites, Articles and Events
5. Subscriber Shameless Self-Promotion
6. Subscriber Links of Interest
7. FEATURE ARTICLE – Getting into the Music Video Business
8. Write an Article for The Director’s Chair
9. The Director’s Chair Filmmakers Discussion Forum
10. Filmmaking Workshops
11. Back Issues of The Director’s Chair
12. Subscribe & Unsubscribe Information
13. Copyright Information


Welcome to Issue #86 of The Director’s Chair (May 19/08)


Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahamas,
Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Botswana, Brazil, Bhutan, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, China,
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Republic, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Faroe Islands, Finland,
France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland,
India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica,
Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon,
Liberia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico,
Monaco, Morocco, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand,
Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Portugal,
Puerto Rico, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia,
Serbia and Montenegro, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sri
Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tanzania,
Thailand, Trinidad and Tabago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda,
United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States,
Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe

NOTE: If your country is not represented here, please let me
know and I will add it to this ever growing list.

2) SPECIAL FEATURE ARTICLE – This month’s Feature Article is
called “How to Get into the Music Video Business” by Jamal
Johnson. “My name is Jamal Johnson but I’m known in the music
video production industry as Jag of Johuri Films.  I started
in music video production over 12 years ago first doing
music videos for independent artists in the Hampton Roads
area of Virginia, but after my 4th “indie” music video I had
my first major music video for U-God of the Wu-Tang Clan
which aired on B.E.T’s Rap City. (see below to read entire

3) FACEBOOK – The Director’s Chair has it’s own page on
Facebook. If you haven’t signed up to Facebook yet, I
sincerely recommend you think about doing it. Facebook is a
fabulous place to meet people who share your passions and it
is one of the top Social Networking sites on the Internet.
Here’s the Facebook home page: http://www.facebook.com

Once you are signed up, type in “The Directors Chair” and
the page should come up. Sign up as a fan and then start to
join the discussion forums, post photos, videos and write on
the Walls. If you are already a member of Facebook, here is
the direct link to the page:

From time to time I will contact you by email to inform you
of certain filmmaking workshops or film products that I feel
are beneficial to filmmakers like yourself. Of course, you
are under no obligation to purchase anything. I only offer
this information as a service to subscribers of this free

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Peter D. Marshall

2. Learn How to Direct Music Videos (Special Offer)

I’m just letting you know of a very special offer from Jamal
Johnson, a subscriber to The Director’s Chair.

Jamal “Jag” Johnson, whose work has been seen on MTV, MTV2
and BET, has a new product coming out that shows you how to
make money shooting music videos for indie and major music
artists.  It’s called the “Music Video Development Training
System” featuring Skillz.

Now you know I don’t endorse many products, but after
reviewing Jamal’s product (I was very impressed with the
valuable content and the production quality) I thought you
might be interested in his offer.

“The Music Video Development Training System” is launching
on Tuesday, May 20 at 8:00 am EST and Jag has generously put
together an exclusive special just for you since you are a
subscriber to The Director’s Chair.

On May 20 when “The Music Video Development Training System”
launches at 8:00am EST, all of my subscribers will get the
training system at a special reduced price not available to
the general public.

He’s informed me that this special offer will be available
only for 3 days (5-20-08 8:00am EST until 5-23-08 8:00am
EST) so I encourage you to make this one of your filmmaking
tools. There’s nothing out there like this, I promise you

Jamal also wrote the feature article for this issue called:
“How to Get into the Music Video Business” so you can find
out more about Jamal and his work.

At the end of Jamal’s article there is a link to the “The
Music Video Development Training System” webpage so you can
check out his unique system for yourself.

The “Music Video Development Training System” is designed with
the beginner and expert in mind. It doesn’t matter if you’ve
never touched a camera in your life or if you’re already in
the music video industry full time!

And the best part is, the same techniques you’ll discover in
Jamal’s training system will work for any genre of music.

The special price Jamal is offering is good for only 3 days
so if you are interested in learning how to shoot music
videos from one of the pros, I would take advantage of this
opportunity right away.

Again, the special link he put together for you will expire
on Friday May 23, 2008 at 8:00am EST. So if you’ve EVER
thought about making money shooting music videos or want to
improve your own techniques, I highly recommend this
training system.

For more information on my step-by-step guide to launching a
successful music video production business, please visit

3. BLOG – Film Directing Tips and Resources Blog

Take a look at my Film Directing Blog and post some
filmmaking tips or add some resources. And please, make some
comments on the posts – your feedback is important to me
because they will help me decide on the content I will add
to this blog.
Blog – http://filmdirectingtips.com/
RSS – http://filmdirectingtips.com/wp-rss.php

Here are some of the latest blog entries I have made:

– Walk the Talk: How to Direct the Money
– So You Wanna Work in Movies? by Oliver Stapleton BSC
– A List of Film and TV Production Categories Where You Can Find Work
– What are the Three Golden Rules all Film Director’s Must Know Today?
– 10 More Tips on How to Work and Survive in the Film & TV Business
– 10 Tips on How to Work and Survive in the Film and TV Business
– THE WORKING DIRECTOR by Charles Wilkinson
– 201 Things You Wouldn’t Know Without Movies or Television

4. Filmmaking News, Websites, Articles and Events

1) On the Prowl for Telegenic Experts – by Susan Coe.
Television today is awash in nonfiction programming. A&E,
the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, Bravo, Oxygen,
and dozens more present hours of documentary programs every
week that explore everything from the history of hot dogs to
how to ward off hypothermia. On any given day, as many as
2.5 million viewers tune into these shows. And every show
has at least one “expert” or academic who can give a
scholarly gloss to the rest of the program.

As a veteran producer, I am always on the prowl for
telegenic, enthusiastic experts. If you ever get a call from
me, there are certain protocols and guidelines that can make
your on-camera appearance easier for me, more enjoyable for
you, and more profitable for us both…(read rest of article)

2) AFI ScreenNation: Filmmaking For A New Generation – A
place where teens learn about filmmaking, share their work,
and compete for prizes and recognition. Future challenge
themes will range from global warming to the power of

3) The Detroit Windsor International Film Festival is
throwing out the gauntlet of a 48 hour film challenge.
Filmmakers will be tasked with writing, filming, editing and
delivering a 4-8 minute short in 48 hours or less.
Interested teams can register at
http://www.DWIFF.org/challenge. The challenge will be begin
in the evening of Friday, June 20th. Films submitted by the
qualifying time on Sunday, June 22nd will be judged for the
Detroit Windsor International Film Festival and the winner
will claim a $300 prize.

4) Create Magazine is inviting film & video professionals
from across the nation to enter the 2008 Create Awards – one
of the top creative competitions for professionals and
students in advertising, film and video, motion graphics,
graphic communication, photography, printing, interactive
media, and copywriting.

The 2008 Create Awards (http://www.thecreateawards.com) has
once again doubled its prize pool from last year. More than
$125K worth of prizes are up for grabs including the latest
in software and hardware from leading creative industry
manufacturers is up for grabs, not to mention national print
and online exposure in Create Magazine.

5) The Digital Video Information Network – Message Board

6) Rootclip.com was created to give filmmakers, writers,
actors and anybody who just likes to watch movies the
ability to collaborate on a video project. Our goal is to be
the catalyst that gets people thinking and being creative
with video in such a way that it infects the masses and
brings a new life to the art of filmmaking. Get creative and
show us what you’ve got! http://rootclip.com/

7) Can you make a movie in 24 hours? Geoff Summers of
Filmracing.com has informed me that their nationwide
competition and 2008 city tour is making its rounds.
Contestants have just 24 hours to write, shoot, edit and
score an original film no longer than 4 minutes (including
credits) based on their theme and surprise element

8) Indie filmmakers brace for hit from recession – How
vibrant is the independent film scene? How much does it
depend on the major film festivals? How useful are the
markets that accompany them?

9) The Future of Documentary in the Age of Internet Video –
On Friday, May 30, 2008 there will be a discussion titled,
“The Future of Documentary in the Age of Internet Video” at
Making Media Now, the annual event for professional and
emerging filmmakers in the Boston area presented by
Filmmakers Collaborative.

10) Sai Yoichi talks filmmaking in Japan, South Korea and
New Zealand – Respected zainichi Korean filmmaker Sai
Yoichi’s first foray into South Korean cinema “Soo” has
finally seen the light of day in Japan, which is definitely
something to be grateful for considering its troubled
production and the demise of the Korean wave, not to mention
the fact it failed to click with domestic audiences and
received quite a few patchy reviews to boot. To mark the
film’s limited Japanese release, the May issue of film mag
Eiga Hiho interviewed the outspoken director.


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If you are a subscriber to this ezine and you want me to put
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Again, I also reserve the right to edit the promotion for
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7. FEATURE ARTICLE – How to Get into the Music Video Business

“How to Get into the Music Video Business” by Jamal Johnson

My name is Jamal Johnson but I’m known in the music video
production industry as Jag of Johuri Films.  I started in
music video production over 12 years ago first doing music
videos for independent artists in the Hampton Roads area of
Virginia, but after my 4th “indie” music video I had my
first major music video for U-God of the Wu-Tang Clan which
aired on B.E.T’s Rap City.

I got into music video production because I would see music
videos on TV made with high budgets that turned out crappy.
I would always say “I could do way better with a lower
budget”. So I put my money where my mouth was, brought a
camera and an editing computer and  17 music videos later
the rest is history.

Getting into music video production is very easy.  Think
about it.  No matter where you live, there are music artists
looking to pay someone to shoot and edit their music video –
so you already have a starving market. But when most
directors get their first music video, whether it be indie
or celeb, they get 2 important things wrong.  Let me

First, if you want to get into music video production
there’s one thing you need to know.  Keep It Simple Stupid.
Again, when I started I only had a camera (Canon XL1) and an
editing computer.  I didn’t have all the bells and whistles
that most people in my field had.

When I got my first music video I kept the concept simple.
The song had 3 verses so I shot 3 different performance
scenes (the scenes where the artists are seen performing the
song) for each verse and we went to a lot of different
locations and shot b-roll footage (scenes that you see in
music videos where no one is performing ie: car driving in
slow motion or sexy girl slow grinding on someone in the
club).  It only took 2 days.  By the time it was all said
and done, I submitted it to B.E.T and it aired on Uncut and
Rap City.  You understood me right.  My first music video
aired on national TV.

I am a firm believer in “making it work with what you got”
and as a film maker, you should always keep that in mind.
Bigger budget does not always mean better final product.
When you don’t have unlimited resources you’re forced to
think and make do with what you’ve got, and some of the
hottest music videos are born from that seed.

Next, you must know that to make a good music video you need
good locations, extras, and props.  Most importantly you
need to know that you don’t have to pay for any of these; at
least I never have.

Lets talk about my first music video and one of it’s major
locations, crazy props, and extras.  I needed a church scene
where a funeral was taking place and the choir was singing
in the background.  That meant I needed floral arrangements,
a casket, an extra to play the guy laying in the casket, a
church, a Reverend, and about 20 people to fill in the pews.
All I did to get these items was simply ask.

To get the casket I went to a funeral home and told them I
need a casket for someone to lay in for a music video shoot.
Keep in mind when setting up a scene you have to think in
real world time.  Make your scene look the way it would in
real life.  That’s when it hit me that I needed flowers to
go around the casket, so I asked the funeral home where
could I get flowers to decorate the scene.  They pointed me
to a flower shop they worked with and they gave me a slew of
floral arrangements made just for funerals.

My next feat was getting a church.  This was a little more
difficult being that it was a rap video and most churches
don’t agree with that type of music.  After being turned
down by 3 different churches, I found a church that said
yes.  I had access to the choir and their reverend.

I had everything I needed for my scene all without paying a
cent out of my budget.  To achieve this, simply say “I need
to use (name of item) for a music video shoot but we have
exhausted our budget.  If it’s OK we would like to use (name
of item) for our shoot and we can give you credit at the end
of the music video.”

I have never been told no (except for the 3 churches). Using
this statement, I have used stranger’s vehicles, schools,
resorts, hotels and many other props, locations and extras
that most director’s pay for when they don’t have to. All it
takes is just asking.

Just knowing these two things will make your entry into the
music video production field as easy as mine was and if you
are already in the music video industry, use this info to
keep more of the budget in your pocket.

If you need more information on shooting music videos, I
have put together a “Music Video Development Training
System” where you will learn step by step how to shoot music
videos from start to finish as well as how to gain industry
clients and even how to submit your music video to B.E.T.

For more information on my step-by-step guide to launching a
successful music video production business, please visit

You can contact Jamal at mailto:johurifilmworks@gmail.com
Visit his website at: http://www.johurifilms.com

8. Want to Write an Article for The Director’s Chair?

If you would like to contribute articles, tips, links of
interest, industry news, interviews, special event dates or
other resources to The Director’s Chair, please email me at:

9. The Director’s Chair Filmmakers Discussion Forum

The Director’s Chair Filmmakers Discussion Forum.

Ask film directing questions, submit your website for
review, post film and television directing links, share film
making tips and special events or just keep in touch with
other filmmakers from “The Director’s Chair.”

This forum is for subscribers of “The Director’s Chair”
only, so you will have to register in order to post
questions, give answers or add links. All you can do without
registering is read the posts.

Please visit this new forum now, sign up and take a look
around. http://www.actioncutprint.com/smf/index.php

10. FILMMAKING WORKSHOPS – Peter D. Marshall

I have worked in the Film and Television Industry for over
34 years – as a Film Director, Television Producer, First
Assistant Director and Series Creative Consultant. I’ve been
asked many times to share my Film and TV production
knowledge with others. As a result, I developed several
workshops that I have successfully presented over the past
15 years.

To find out more about these workshops, just click on the
link below. If you are interested in any of these four
workshops for yourself or your organization, please contact
me to discuss how we can bring these workshops to you.


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