Why live music videos are the purest expression of your emotions

I’ll openly admit it here and now: it’s fun to plan a video shoot minute by minute with shot lists and call sheets, and assistants buzzing around – and seeing it all come together. But it is nothing compared to recognising yourself and your intuitions in the semi-planned camera movements of a live music video.

You feel the voice pulling you in, so the camera moves closer.

This is a video I made with the wonderful and amazing singer-songwriter NELAVIE last year (go check her out!) It’s a song about that odd feeling of standing on your own. You know, the feeling where you’re both anxious and powerful because neither can anyone hold you back, nor is there anyone to catch you if you fall. In the face of these conflicting emotions, however, you’re at peace with yourself.

And this is exactly what it feels like to create a video such as this. You fall into the music and with every take you connect deeper with what this song means to you. You feel the voice pulling you in, so the camera moves closer without you thinking about it. You feel a certain calm, so you let your subject glide to the side with a big empty space around her. There is a short hesitation in the rythm, so you hold off on an otherwise obvious camera move, until the song suddenly picks up energy again.

Your camera is a passport – sometimes it’s a passport to yourself.

You cannot plan for this. There is no shotlist, that can replicate this. It’s no esoteric connect-to-the-universe kind of thing. It’s not that you don’t think about what you’re doing. It’s that you are attentive to your experience right now by way of a camera. So to be über-kitsch: They say your camera is a passport – I guess sometimes it’s a passport to yourself.


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