Making music videos.

The Brian Travis Band have historically never had great luck with making music videos. Due to the fact that we are perpetually functioning on a negative budget (which I am hoping changes now that our new CD is getting some attention and now that we are working with a real booking agent – more on that later) we’ve had to rely on aspiring film-makers who have wanted to make a music video for their portfolio or friends who have offered to help us make videos for free. The problem with having people do things for you for free is that 98% of the time, those “free” projects remain unfinished and never see the light of day.

Our first ever music video shoot was for a song called “Here in LA” (The closing track of our Past The Breakers CD) and it was shot by a creative German fellow named Mataj Purg.

We actually shot another vid for a song called “Defeated” which was done very early in our career and shot without permits in North Hollywood.

In the last few years we filmed 2 music videos that were never completed.  The first of these being a video for a song called “Forts”. We spent a full day shooting on location in the OC and all the footage was damaged when the director dropped the hard drive that contained un-backed up files of everything that was filmed. A lot of hard work organizing that shoot and a very long day of shooting was completely lost.  All that remains is this “making of” video that was compiled together by the assistant director from footage she shot.

About a year ago we were approached by a film student who wanted to shoot a video for our song “Losing”. We spent another full day shooting with his crew of college students.  It was an enjoyable day and the video concept was interesting, but again the director never completed editing the work nor did he give us any of the raw footage to edit ourselves. All that exists of this shoot is another “Making of” video that I compiled together from the day of shooting.

As you can imagine, I’m a little gun shy when it comes to handing over the reins to a director. Now that we have a new CD, I really need to make music videos to promote the new music. I’ve been shooting footage and compiling together little promo films to generate interest in the project and have released a few vignettes on the BTB youtube page (which you should subscribe to if you have not already done so. Here is the URL of the BTBand youtube: and now I’ve decided to dive right in and make our own videos. I decided to start off with one of the more acoustic songs off The Coyote & The Crow called “Grand Heights”. A few months ago, we performed a house concert in the backyard of a home in Oak Park. Our producer shot some footage of the day and that is what I used for most of the footage. I cut those scenes with some shots of myself in my studio dancing with the lovely actress Jacquelyn Gill. After I had the basic cuts and edits completed I imported the footage into Adobe After Effects (which I recently discovered I had as part of a bundle of programs in CS5). Having absolutely no idea what I’m doing in regards to After Effects, I looked up a few tutorials online and figured out how to add animated text to the video. This took me 2 full days to edit together. I made a great deal of mistakes and had to re-do a lot of it more than once. It’s finished now and I am in a celebratory mood. Here is the video. Please let me know what you think of it in the comments of this blog. I think it came out pretty nice and I like the home-spun feel of it. I think it reflects the nature of the song and the message of the lyrics. I hope all of you enjoy this video, and I hope you pass the youtube link along to anyone else who you feel might like it as well.

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