Here is a secret key to creating a magical video production (also theater, film/media production or any artistic journey), even when you have a relatively low budget. This article is directed to those who aim to create successful productions. If someone has other intentions and goals than the genuine success of the project, this article is not for him/her.
This magic key is always taken for-granted in professional high budget productions, but often neglected in independent and low budget ones.
When independent artists try to produce a media project, the first thing that comes to their mind is budget and cinematography.
- I have even seen resourceful independent productions that put the make-up department, the stage design, drones and special effects above strategy, writing, directing and performance. It is unbelievable how widespread this phenomenon is among independent producers.
- I have seen productions hiring someone, who speaks confidently and fearlessly, but the big talk is not in line with action and the achievement. And of course, the final product fails. Here, the producer must be aware of the behavior of those who have no successful achievements to indicate their knowledge, but project an image of wisdom and sophistication, while having no idea what they are talking about.
- Some productions set the cinematographer to direct the project. But, direction is not only about camera settings and composition. There are many other fields needed that have to do with the spirit of the project and not only the technicalities, like performance, dramaturgy…
- Some designate an opinionated friend or a “charismatic” acquaintance to observe and give “advice” on set, and then credit him/her as “the director”. Of course the projects fail. Remember, if one cares about the successes of his/her project, wishful-thinking is not helpful.
- Some producers would not designate a director at all. They would hire an expensive cinematographer, costume designers, make-up artists, drones… but one would not find a name of a director or a writer in the credits’ section. They have not hired one.
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All this ignorance and lack of awareness may be either because they are not conscious of how essential such a role is, or they simply think that it is not needed, since they all are “intuitive born directors and writers”.
Or perhaps they think directing is about control and they don’t like to be controlled.
But when a professional watches the final product, it would make total sense why such a production can never access an audience larger than their friends, colleagues and families, and why no neutral audience would engage.
Budget can buy expensive camera movements and hire impressive locations, but can neither buy the spiritual magic nor replace vital knowledge. It is fascinating to see how widespread the Dunning Kruger Effect in this pool is.
There are no short-cuts. Professional success requires a director who knows what he is doing and a writer who knows what he is writing. And this is a science that people study for years. We should never get confused by bureaucratic writers and directors, for they are not necessarily hired because of their competence.
And we should not compare our work in the private sector with governmental entertainment, for they have endless access to the tax money, so they can afford wasting time and resources, and hiring the wrong people. They will never pay for their mistakes, but in independent productions, only the producer pays, not the taxpayer.
Below you can find some examples of low budget music videos written, directed and filmed by me. They do not have too many special effects, but all are created from original and authentic ideas, a consciously directed performance and emotionally wealthy performers who master their techniques and are susceptible to guidance and direction.
All that has generated the engagement of an unbiased audience that resonates with its magic, to feedback with love and acknowledgement. An audience who are not colleagues, friends and families of the artists, but actual unbiased viewers and listeners who appreciate the work, welcome its inspiration and gladly reward it.