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Video For Musicians, By A Musician

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HOW & WHY IT BEGAN - Bad Dog Video began as an idea in 2007.  The idea was bourne of frustrations over the quality of work turned out by other people who came out to video of my bands.  While I was appreciative of their time, trouble & efforts to do so, and I believed at the time that "some video is better than no video", I later came to believe that this was NOT the image I wanted to publicize as the quality of my musical work.  Fact is, it seemd like these videos were never shot the way I would have liked, or looked as good as I felt they should have.  They had moments.  But usually had many glarring and sub-par sections as well.  Using this kind of material as promotions for my band, I felt, wasn't putting our best foot forward.  And, at that time I had just retired from a long career as a telephone cable troubleshooter for a major telecom company.  So, I thought the timing might be right to try my hand at creating video that better represented performing musicians executing their craft.

WHAT WASN'T WORKING - One of the things I found disappointing about amatuer video shooters footage, was their apparent lack of musical knowledge, and how a live music show typically unfolds.  While they were all music lovers, their lack of knowledge about the basic structure of music would always show in their work.  For example, the singer was singing his or her heart out, giving a moving performance, both musically and visually, but the camera would be focused on the drummer, or keyboardist at that moment... who were only playing supporting riffs for the vocalist.  Or, the lead guitar player would be playing an incredible solo, and suddenly the camera would pan away from the action and land instead on a supporting player.  Or, there are two guitar players on stage... with each taking turns at playing solos, while the other backs the soloist by playing rhythm.  A blistering solo begins by one of the players, but the camera swings to the rhythm player for all, or nearly all, of the solo.  Frustrating!

So, what was wrong with that?  Those moments in a live show, which quite possibly were one of a kind, or one of the best renditions performed to date, were completely lost and not captured on the video.  To me, this was extremely disappointing, and I believed I knew how to do it better!  I have performed in bands for well over 40 years, and while there is always much more to learn, I know the basics.  I know who is playing what instrument, who is soloing, what the basic parts of a song are.  And, if I'm unsure momentarily, I know how to figure it out very quickly... because of my experience playing alongside musicians for years.  Remember, you only get one chance to capture those special moments in a live performance!

Video Editing - Editing can be a time-intensive endeavor if the video is not shot right in the first place.  Why?  Because you are always trying to fix something in the edit that could have been avoided if it was only shot differently, or better planned out.  This is particularly true in studio shoots, but can also be the case during live shoots too.  Have you ever noticed how some videos have a jerky feel, lots of very quick changes or cuts from one scene to another at odd times?  Like music, editing has a timing to it.  And, as in the case of music, not all people are cut out to be instrument players... or video editors.  It takes a special sense of what is happening in the action to decide where the cuts should occur, and how.  Bottom line is, if it doesn't quite look right when it plays back, the editing, or the shooting, or both, may not have been done quite right... all affecting the final look of your project!

Other problems & disappointments in the footage others captured of my band during live performances manifested themselves too.  Poor lighting, relying on camera mics to record the audio portion of a performance, performers not standing in the lights were problems that were all present in the videos I had people shoot for me.  Most camera mics were NEVER intended to record live music... they were designed to capture the human voice... and especially NOT LOUD LIVE MUSIC!  Poor lighting, or low lighting, while recording video, nearly always produces terrible results, unless you have a professional camera that can compensate for it.  Even see those videos that are really dark, where it's very hard to see who's in it and what they're doing, and the screen seems to be filled with ugly static or flecs?  Inadequate lighting is to blame, and the camera produces that static to act as a substitute for the poor lighting.  In any case, it does not look good, and certainly doesn't look professional.

OVER THE YEARS - Over time, we have worked out solutions to most of these problems, and while there is always some new twist that comes along from time to time, we have the experience to overcome many of them quickly and effectively... in one way or another.  So, that's about it to our story, so far.   We always strive to find new ways to improve our product's quality, either through improvements in equipment, techniques, or editing and rendering our videos.  Check out our Client's Page to see how our work has evolved over the years, and the wide range of project types we have done.  You can also check out our list of endorsements on LinkedIn via the small icon to the upper left of each page.  We are always endeavoring to improve the quality of our work, to make our clients happier!

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