I went to LA bought a GoPro and filmed my first music video and here it is

7 months ago
67 in music

Hello everyone! I've been locked away for the past week in my studio working on my fave Australian band Ginger & The Ghost's debut album. We've finished the recording and now I'm back on Steemit to talk about how I shot and edited my first Benbrick music video for my song Forever Holding On.

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Shooting a music video in Los Angeles



Being an independent musician means that if I want something done then I need to do it myself. In 2014 I visited Hollywood for the very first time. For some reason I ended up in a Target store. I had a brainwave in the GoPro section that I should make my own video.

I bought the GoPro, downloaded Final Cut, and sat down on the sofa of the AirBnb to try and figure it all out with no idea what I was doing!










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Finding Locations

A couple of the scenes are from very close to where I was staying - for instance the intro is the water fountain/wall of Cedars Sinai Hospital. The white stairs are from the Leica Gallery across the road in West Hollywood.





I found myself spending day after day driving around searching for cool locations like The Getty, and The Sunken City. I'd set the camera up on long time lapse shots and then spend the whole night going through them. I was drawn to the colour palette of the LA sunset, and these sped up time lapses helped create a really cool mood. The pics below are the Hollywood hills, Santa Monica beach, and the lights at LACMA.









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Forever Holding On



"I've got to stop this hoping
Cos my heart isn't coping with it
Without you, I'm blue
Tell me do you feel the same without me?"




Forever Holding On is autobiographical - analysing all the conversations and situations that led to a breakup. BBC 6 Music called the EP "a heartbreakingly honest and modern take on the break up record."

I wanted the video to convey the feeling of melancholy.





I convinced a friend to be in the video to help tell the story. I experimented with shooting scenes with/without her & found an amazing free plugin called AB Source Strobe that would automatically flick between any two shots.





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Airplane spotting and waterproof cameras


Although I didn't have a real overriding theme for the video, I really wanted to get some shots of airplanes leaving and arriving. My AirBnB host told me it was possible to get right under the flight path near LAX. I set up the camera for an hour pointing vertically up to get overhead shots.



I ended up using the shot as a transparent layer in the water scene (see the gif below). The camera was waterproof so I spent quite a few hours splashing about getting sunburnt in the Pacific Ocean.






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Filming myself (in reverse)


As well as all the landscape shots there was a lot of miming to camera in different places. This was probably the most awkward part of shooting a video by yourself... because you look crazy.




One of the shots I did early on I'd transferred to my phone and onto Instagram which gave me the brainwave I could shoot the phone screen and then jump forward into the actual shot. This meant I could tie two scenes together. This probably makes no sense without watching the gif above!




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Finishing Touches


I was filming on and off for about three weeks. There was lots of shots that didn't make the final cut. The actual editing and finishing of the video took almost a month too. One of the final things that helped tie a lot of the video together was transparent overlays like this one I filmed of a Philips light up against the studio wall..




Watch the finished video here


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Sort Order:  trending
70
  ·  7 months ago

Hey pal, that is awesome. Would love to see more, its all about original mucians like you that make this industry worth while!

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67
  ·  7 months ago

thanks so much. I might post the whole record on here :)

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70
  ·  7 months ago

keep it coming! Im sure people will love it, if its of such high quality!

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56
  ·  7 months ago

That would be really cool. A bit of history possibly. The first full original album on Steemit? Go for it I say. As an old pro journeyman musician I found your synthesis of music and visual art very inspirational and moving. Wishing you every possible success for the future. Fantastic what you can stumble across on this platform ;)

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67
  ·  7 months ago

thanks very much. definitely something for me to think about

62
  ·  7 months ago

This is just absolutely hauntingly beautiful and inspiring. I'm a chill-out artist (Soul Sista Shakti) and I also bought a go-pro to shoot a video! My partner Aandra and I are in the studio now.

Congratulations and I wish you all the best of success you are absolutely wonderful.

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67
  ·  7 months ago

thanks! good luck with the vid :)

59
  ·  7 months ago

I had no idea it was possible to make such compelling visual art with such simple equipment! Upvoted and thanks for sharing!

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67
  ·  7 months ago

thanks for watching! FCPX is it's very intuitive - It's quite easy to start layering different plugins and videos to make something start looking cool. I must add... I basically didn't leave the house whenever I was not shooting... even choosing the Font took about a week..haha.

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50
  ·  7 months ago

I like what you've been doing here so far. Thanks for upvoting a post of my art. I hope you liked it!

66
  ·  7 months ago

Great job! Congratualions and keep on thriving on, namaste :)

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67
  ·  7 months ago

thank you! ^

68
  ·  7 months ago

Simply AWESOME @thisisbenbrick . Excellent job on the whole project. This will garner you the exposure you deserve. I live in LA btw, and I even once worked at Cedar Sinai Hospital. Anyhow, congrats job well done!
Full $teem ahead!
@streetstyle

66
  ·  7 months ago

Great, everything is great. You make it look so easy. But it isn't. You've put a lot of time and effort and TALENT into it.

Congratulations!

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67
  ·  7 months ago

thanks ervin!

69
  ·  7 months ago

Great work man. The video is great too! If you're ever in NYC I'd love to help with your next video.

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67
  ·  7 months ago

i visited NYC about 4 years ago (but only for 3 days!). I'll let you know next time i'm there :)

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69
  ·  7 months ago

Sounds like you're due for a visit :). I just did a post on shooting video on your smartphone, so I'm going to post a link to this post as well because I think it demonstrates what you can do with simple equipment.

76
  ·  7 months ago

wow ben the music video is amazing ! and you bring a lot value to steem!

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67
  ·  7 months ago

thank you @knozaki2015

73
  ·  7 months ago

This was fantastic, I thoroughly enjoyed the music video. You have a really unique voice!

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67
  ·  7 months ago

thanks for watching and listening! I'll be sure to share more of my project on here :)

53
  ·  7 months ago

Woah this is amazing! You're music is brilliant! I love the music video you really bring across the emotion you were trying to capture and the haunting scenes where you're "girlfriend" is beside you and then disappears is just brilliant!

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67
  ·  7 months ago

thanks so much for watching! :)

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53
  ·  7 months ago

Don't thank me! I'm thanking you for being on here so that I could find some awesome new music to listen to! Keep it up!

64
  ·  7 months ago

very cool!

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67
  ·  7 months ago

thank you :)

55
  ·  7 months ago

For the 'no idea what I was doing' and watching the final video it doesn't look like you didn't have a clue..
Looks good, well done @thisisbenbrick !

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67
  ·  7 months ago

cześć! thank you :)

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55
  ·  7 months ago

proper Polish there :) Google translator or you just happen to know? ;) Are you a fan of ginger apart from that favourite band of yours?
My next post with photoshoot will include some proper 'ginger' theme :D

58
  ·  7 months ago

Awesome video and post. Keep it rolling like a boss :)

48
  ·  7 months ago

Your video turned out great! Such creativity with few resources.

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67
  ·  7 months ago

thank you

57
  ·  7 months ago

You have a great voice! This post is also great, thanks for sharing your great work :)

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67
  ·  7 months ago

thank you!

67
  ·  7 months ago

Really cool video and an excellent post, thanks for sharing!

55
  ·  7 months ago

nice videos, enjoyable experience :D

61
  ·  7 months ago

Great ideas here!

54
  ·  7 months ago

I admire your spunk and photos. I want to do that!

29
  ·  7 months ago

You have a great voice!

58
  ·  7 months ago

You are an inspiration @thisisbenbrick!

25
  ·  7 months ago

Wow, very nice voice and i like this sound. Vote up

46
  ·  7 months ago

It's like "With or without you" -like a new interpretation. Well done! Anyway that's just IMHO.

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67
  ·  7 months ago

thank you :)

42
  ·  7 months ago

I love this song, such a nice voice you have and the lyrics are breath taking. Great timing as well. Video was cool! curating it outside of Steem keep up the awesome work with you music. Will sub out on YouTube as well and curate it there.

59
  ·  7 months ago

such a great post and still the music surprised me how magic thanks for sharing

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67
  ·  7 months ago

thanks elissa!

58
  ·  7 months ago

gorgeous gorgeous everything is gorgeous

51
  ·  7 months ago

Originality is the best

56
  ·  7 months ago

This is really beautiful.

31
  ·  7 months ago

That was really beautiful Ben & a well-deserved response from all of us here on Steemit! Keep creating, you have real talent

64
  ·  7 months ago

excellent articel. :-)

5
  ·  7 months ago

I really resonate with the lyrics in this song right now. LOVE THIS! I really enjoyed your post. Please post some more jams.

67
  ·  7 months ago

Nice work... try this platform for Bitcoin: http://www.watchmybit.com/#

ANyway there goes a whole industry with the old MTV, etc. video productions, leaving a low cost and absolute creative powerhouse in the hands of the artist themselves.

64
  ·  7 months ago

Great post! I enjoyed the track as well as watching the music video! Looking forward to the next one!

26
  ·  7 months ago

Рыжий петух!

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56
  ·  7 months ago

Thx for the inspiration and now I can't wait to post my music here. I haven't displayed music to the world since Myspace days :0 I will checkout the video now:)

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56
  ·  7 months ago

GoPro huh! I have to get one of these

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56
  ·  7 months ago

ok heard the song and now I have even more inspiration! This is the kind of song I needed to hear today indeed, thank you very much! I will purchase your album soon. I will no doubt follow you to stay updated :)
L.A. is my spot! I love to hang out there on Sunset and the wonderful Vally's. I use to live out there with my cousin back when I was 16. Lot of spoiled brat's out there but love the variety of ppl.

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56
  ·  7 months ago

I see you deal with bitcoin as well. I'm not really interested in selling music anymore since I found a much easier way to make my money(Forex Day-Trader), but if anyone was interested in buying I was thinking of using one of my bitcoin addresses as I would like to get paid in bitcoin 0r whatever currencies I have that other ppl might have. I know it's better to have a variety of payment methods but I prefer to stick with the digital users. This will also help promote the crypto economy 0r assist with drawing ppl on over to start understanding/using this new way transacting money . So I would say something like "Crypto Only Accepted". I was hoping maybe you knew of an auto-transaction type system that say, automatically transfers the buyer's song(s) of choice 0nce the m0ney(crypto of choice4rm selected options) is received from buyer? This would be nice! Is this already in play? I haven't studied on my music selling game in awhile :)

58
  ·  7 months ago

Down-voted for excessive payout.... excessive in IMHO.
Nothing against the content itself, just 100 or 250 equally good posts being paid less than a dollar(or 20) today because of such overpay.

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67
  ·  7 months ago

thanks for your thoughts. I think there is definitely a future discussion on earning caps that needs to happen. I get what you're trying to do, but not sure if this is the way to do it.

For the record (taking into account 25% curation rewards) this video/song cost me way more than the $1400 I'll make here. My studio rent alone per month is more than that.

I spend a lot of time in the steemit.chat trying to help new users that aren't getting as much attention as they should. If you check my earlier posts I'm also trying to help develop a front end to directly benefit musicians using this site.

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48
  ·  7 months ago

This is something I struggle to see past. The trending pages give posts a feedback loop that keeps out posts of just as good quality, there are more people on the trending pages than there are hunting down new content.

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67
  ·  7 months ago

The system is in its infancy, though. Being built on blockchain gives you the potential to take the information and put whatever front end you want on the site.

55
  ·  7 months ago

i want to get a 4k gopro - any word on if i should get the black one or get the regular 4k -i heard the black is more for audio enthusiasts, do you know the difference?

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67
  ·  7 months ago

I went for one down from the top at the time... I got Go Pro 3 Silver

40
  ·  7 months ago

That LA sky looks seriously messed up.

64
  ·  7 months ago

To be honest, I just can't stand this kind music, Justin Bieber style and no real instrument played, says nothing to me.

Sorry for that, try listen to some rock, jazz, blues, funk or other real music.

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67
  ·  7 months ago

Hey Andrew0

I'm a classical pianist. I played my Fender Rhodes Mk 1 from 1973. The violins are real strings that I wrote and arranged. The piano is a real Ships Piano. The synths are mainly un quantised (aka played live, even if through virtual instruments). I also produced, wrote, and arranged the whole thing in its entirity.

The record was mixed on a SSL G series, and mastered by the MPG Mastering engineer of the year (the same guy that worked on Elliot Smith and Mumford and Sons) - this was all paid for by me.


P.S. This post is about the video not the song :)


[P.P.S Please don't up vote this comment because SBD will be split with the original commenter :) ]

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67
  ·  7 months ago

BOOM. some people, man :))

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64
  ·  7 months ago

If the post s about the video, I will not comment the music. You played real instruments, that's great!

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65
  ·  7 months ago

---- this guuuy...aye aye aye

46
  ·  7 months ago

Without you I'm blue................................... Jesus.

67
  ·  7 months ago

I like your song and the video was amazing! Great work man, I love it!

54
  ·  7 months ago

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