When I was 12 years old, I started writing songs. After a couple years of this I decided all I wanted to do in life was write music and make music videos using my own original songs. I was told for a long time that I wouldn’t be able to accomplish this and there was no point in trying. When I got into college, I was miserable with the business degree I was settling for and decided to look into the communication emphasis’ to see what other opportunities I had. When I saw there was a video production emphasis, I knew instantly that it was what I’m supposed to do. I went into the video production emphasis knowing that it would give me the foundation in video storytelling to be able to pursue my dreams of making music videos. When it was time for my senior project, I already knew what I wanted to do – make a music video.
I already had my song chosen out before the semester started, and I had someone I was working with to get it produced. When the semester started, I started looking into who had the skills needed to make this music video and I sent out messages to every department I could think of to find help. I filled in the main roles, Director of Photography, Producer, Editor, Audio Technician, and then had more people down for on-set crew. I worked closely with my DP and Producer throughout the semester on the whole project, rarely every making a decision or doing something without them. We went location scouting together, worked on the shotlist, getting equipment, all preparation for production and every shoot we had was the three of us running everything.
We had four shoots total over the span of three weeks before we finished filming and handed footage off to my editors. From there the editing process took about three weeks, myself having to review several cuts of the video and meeting with my editor before being satisfied with the end product. We got the final video exported two nights before senior showcase where I presented it on a loop in an enclosed booth for people to view, and had a QR code available to find the complete music video on YouTube.
A Closer Look
A lot of time went into making this project, more than I was able to keep track of. I had a notebook that I kept in my backpack and took everywhere with me so that any time I put any work into Proud, I could mark down the day, time, and what I did. I did this for awhile before I couldn’t keep up with tracking every minute I spent on this project as it was spread out through the day, every day. I switched to only marking down significant parts of the process and the time that I worked on it. After production finished, I stopped tracking completely. I had passed fifty hours and it felt unnecessary at that point.
Because of my connections with different departments on campus, I was able to easily get permission to film in places and use the resources those rooms had, such as lighting and other equipment. I had printed out location agreement forms for those in charge of scheduling to sign for my use, and even had other confirmation forms sent to me to ensure I could legally use the rooms at the times we agreed on. In addition to location agreements, I also had every member of my crew sign a talent release form saying they agree to the use of any footage of them for behind the scenes purposes.
Now that this project is complete and I’ve achieved something I’ve dreamed of for so long, I have to plan for where I want this to take me after I graduate. I know this is a difficult field to enter and making music videos requires time, money, and resources I don’t yet have, but this gives me the experience to show future employers that I know how to prepare and produce a music video at a professional level. This is a portfolio piece I can show to a sponsor who could provide me with what I need to continue making music videos we could both receive a profit from. I’m glad I had the opportunity to create something showcasing the abilities I’ve gained from my time here at BYU-Idaho and I know I will take these skills and apply them to any position I have from here onward.
To reach me, please contact Nissa Suggs at firstname.lastname@example.org or on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/nissa-suggs/.