When Jeff Miller asked me to come shoot video of his new band The Contribution in the recording studio I said yes without hesitation. The fact that I did not own any video gear nor had any experience editing was not a deterrent in my mind. I got a small Canon HD cam, showed up on day one, and recorded everything I could… I’d figure the rest out later. When Tim Carbone asked me how I thought we could make this CD package special I said why not put a “Making of” DVD in alongside with the music? Now I had really gone in over my head. Not only was I going to shoot video, I had just committed to authoring a DVD. Since I loved the band and their music so much I set aside a couple months to learn final cut, edit together as many videos as I could, and figure out how to master a DVD. It turned out to be one of the most fun and rewarding experiences of my life. Recently I took that experience, and a few more cameras, into the studio with New Monsoon for their album, Diamonds and Clay.
Shooting video is like a dance with the studio musicians and personnel. I like to set up my gear and then get out of the way. I don’t move while the musicians are recording. The space is small and the last thing I want to do is be an annoyance. I try to be as quiet and unobtrusive as possible. I also try to be there for everything because I like to assemble footage afterwards that shows what everyone’s contribution was. When the album is edited this becomes very challenging.. things like a solo, or drum track, can be stitched together from several takes.. so I find the right video and sync it to the final mastered song. Shooting live concerts is a lot of fun for me too. I am just beginning to learn that art and collaborating with my mentor Dan Friedman has been a huge eye opener.