Showcase Your Talent...Tell Your Story...

Archive: Nov 2010

TalentWatch Personal Video

Posted on November 24, 2010 by admin

Okay. So you want to be discovered… have everyone listen to your music… and attract a huge fan base. Right…? Well, here’s the deal. Besides showcasing your talent, you’ve got to tell your story. Why? To help create an emotional connection with your fans. Your fans want to know you.

How important is the personal video? It’s more critical than you may think. In order to appear on TalentWatch each artist must upload a personal video AND a music video. Why do we require both videos? The reality is there’s no shortcut to success. Like your music video, your personal video provides an important element to help you attract more fans. In addition, we want every fan to have an engaging and entertaining experience whenever they check out an artist at TalentWatch. By the way, fans are viewing the personal videos even more than the music videos!

Keep in mind both the personal video and music video(s) will be rated by member fans. That means both videos can increase your exposure. When creating your personal video, consider the following elements:

1) Be genuine
2) Keep it personal
3) Share your struggles/dreams
4) Don’t try to sell your audience

Before you shoot your video, organize your thoughts by creating an outline (so you don’t ramble). What do you think your future fans would want to know about you? Let them take a peek into your life. What else do you do besides your music? Do you have children? When you talk about your music, try to express it in the context of why you became an artist or what the music means to you.

When you record your video, imagine that you are talking to close friends. Yes, you can joke around and have fun with this. On the other hand, it is okay to share your struggles. People admire music artists who are able to share difficult times. Feel free to be creative and by all means show some personality. The more personal and genuine you are, the better. Try not to use the personal video as a way to sell your music or promote your website. This is not the right approach. Keep in mind we provide itunes and amazon links on your page for fans to buy your music.

One last thought…..Have fun with this! Try to keep it at about 90 seconds. Your audience tends to have a short attention span

Creating a Successful Video, by Chris Curtiss

Posted on November 11, 2010 by admin

I have seen music artists change their career with the right video. How would you like that to be you? Do you want to create a compelling video?

Consider the following four areas before creating your video:

1. The Meaning of Your Song

2. The Quality of Your Audio

3. The Visual Format

4. The Editing Process

1. The Meaning of Your Song
Before we get technical, consider the song itself. What message do you want to deliver? What do the lyrics mean? What’s the best way to represent the music? How do you think you should portray yourself? You must answer these questions before shooting your video.

2. The Quality of Your Audio
Do you want your audience to be able to immerse themselves in the feeling of the song? You better make sure you have high quality audio! If they can’t hear the lyrics and track properly, or if it is distorted, you’ve got a problem. Don’t use your mobile phone to record your music or personal video. There’s so much audio equipment at your disposal, ready for hire. You can use a marantz, a directional boom mic to record the live set, or you can ask an audio technician to send you the audio straight from the sound desk if applicable.

3. The Visual Format
Once you determine the meaning of your song, decide what format you would like the video to be. For example, you can have a simple performance video, cut together from various angles to give it a ‘multi camera’ look. You can add cut a ways, to generate a simple narrative within the video. If you don’t have access to a camera, you can even use a slideshow of pictures, which represent either the lyrics, or emotion throughout the song. If you are aiming for a more stylistic video, consider the right location. If the song is about love, and happiness, you wouldn’t want the artist to be in a derelict building, with bleak colors surrounding them. You must create the right atmosphere and mood within your video. An important area to consider is the lighting. A simple technique used is ‘3 point lighting’. This is a way to bring your artist or focal point to the center of attention. This simple technique can be achieved with any lights. Place two lights in front of your subject, one slightly to the left, and one slightly to the right. These are called your key and fill lights. The key is to illuminate the subject, and the fill is to erase any unwanted shadows. The third and final light is the backlight, which helps the character or object stand out from the background. Once you have your lighting correct, you need to decide on the angles you would like to use in your music video. If you shoot from a lower angle, your character will look much more dominant on screen, whereas if the camera is situated higher, the artist will look more vulnerable. If you don’t want to show the location that the artist is situated in, stick to close up’s. This can also help bring out the emotion in the video, and help an audience understand how your character is feeling. Are you filming hand held, or using a tripod to involve fluid movement? Both techniques have pro’s and cons. If you are attempting a performance and narrative video, make sure your cut a ways are relevant to the song or subject matter.

4. The Editing Process
Remember, it is always best to capture too much footage than not enough. This way, when you edit the video, you have more options available to you. Before you edit, consider the pace of the video. Would you like the cuts to be fast, creating a hectic and ‘busy’ video; or nice and slow, maybe with some transitions in between to calm the audience. Once again you must consider the subject of the song, as well as the lyrics and beat. Cutting to the beat is always advantageous. It helps hide the cuts and makes the video flow much more coherently.

Follow the four steps outlined above to create a successful video. For those of you interested in more advanced techniques and personalized attention, feel free to contact Chris Curtiss, music video director, at chriscurtiss@live.com. Chris is located in the United Kingdom.

Heart to Heart

Posted on November 5, 2010 by admin

Are you guilty of letting your fears get in the way of your dreams?  Be honest.  What are you scared of?  The fear of failure?  Or the fear of success.

You perform, network, promote your music, even hire a manager, yet the results fall short of your expectations.  It’s hard to get discovered- isn’t it?  Do you sometimes feel like you’re going up a down escalator?  Does life seem to get in the way?

Suppose you had a treasure map which you knew lead you to one million dollars.  Imagine it would take just one year for you to find the money.  Assume it wouldn’t be easy.  Would you do whatever it took to overcome the challenges?  Would you let life get in the way?  Would finding the money be on your mind every day?  Are you as focused on your music career?   If you keep doing what you’re doing, will you get to where you want to be?

So what is it that you need to do?  You know what you need to do.  There are hundreds of articles out there for you to read.  You’ve already heard it all.  Are you doing it?  Do you want to look back 20 years from now and feel good about what you’ve accomplished?

Do you have the talent?  Are you ready to tell your story?  The opportunities are right in front of you.  Look at TalentWatch’s innovative platform as an example.  It’s the only destination on the web where undiscovered artists from all over the world showcase their talent AND tell their story in an engaging and entertaining video-driven format. Do you want more exposure?  Do you want to rise to the top?  What are you waiting for?  This could be your missing piece.  If there was ever a time to for you to be discovered when do you suppose that would be?

Go ahead-take action.  One more thing…. Enjoy the journey!