Need advice on promo for record labels

zakhopper316

Silver Member
Hey all, I'm in the final stretch of record my first ep for my solo project and I have an idea to send a promo video to labels before I release the cd maybe to get signed (long shot I know) its electro music tho which is a smewhat small community so its not like im aending it to sony. This is what I have so far as far as the promo goes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_vXfRdeFx4

Should I make it longer? Also do you think I should just send them a whole song and skip the cheesy edited "promo Idea or will they think that this shows I'm serious and able to market?

Thanks a lot guys!
 

jeffwj

Platinum Member
Well - is this how you want to present yourself and your product? Have you considered the following:

-There is only one camera angle - viewing you from the side/back.

- It is in black and white. Retro? Maybe if there were more of a focal point to the video.

- There is no fade out - the video just stops.

- There is only one track in the demo - Is there more than one song on your CD?

- The top of your head is not in the video.

- Why have a video of you playing? There are other instruments (even though they are most likely programmed.) You are marketing a full musical product, not a drum CD - correct?


Jeff
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
- Why have a video of you playing? There are other instruments (even though they are most likely programmed.) You are marketing a full musical product, not a drum CD - correct?
For mine, this is a big one. Record companies are not looking to sign a "drummer".....if they need a drummer, they'll get one of the producers on their roster to go and hire one.

They're looking for music (some may even argue an image) that they can market...not a drummer at home on his kit. If it were me, I'd be taking the emphasis off the drums and making the music the focal point.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Record labels don't care how talented you are.

They care if they can sell your product. And the only real way to do that is prove you have a following.

My advice is to not make video demo for a label, but make video for your fans, and once you have enough fans, you can go to the label and show them how well your product is selling.

As far as "edits" go, look how many bands/artists have full songs on youtube.
If it comes down to you or the next person, and the next person has a full length video, well, you can guess from there.
 

zakhopper316

Silver Member
Record labels don't care how talented you are.

They care if they can sell your product. And the only real way to do that is prove you have a following.

My advice is to not make video demo for a label, but make video for your fans, and once you have enough fans, you can go to the label and show them how well your product is selling.

As far as "edits" go, look how many bands/artists have full songs on youtube.
If it comes down to you or the next person, and the next person has a full length video, well, you can guess from there.
That's a good point. I am planning on releasing 2 of the 5 full songs onto YouTube and stuff. I'm gonna release the first song before the EP release and the second with the EP however I really got to thinking about your comment about making videos for listeners and not labels and I see your point. I guess I'm putting the car before the horse with this however I'm planning on using that little video as a way of getting the word out.

And POCKET, making a video involving other things besides me playing the drums in my room I think it's a good idea but could be pricey and also hard to figure as I am the only artist and the drums are the only instrument other than the stuff I sequenced.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
And POCKET, making a video involving other things besides me playing the drums in my room I think it's a good idea but could be pricey and also hard to figure as I am the only artist and the drums are the only instrument other than the stuff I sequenced.
This is where Ang Lee or Martin Scorsese would come in handy.

Regardless, I feel you need a more novel approach than you on an ekit in your bedroom. It just doesn't scream professionalism, for mine....but then again, I've been known to be outta touch. :)
 

tbdd

Senior Member
That's a good point. I am planning on releasing 2 of the 5 full songs onto YouTube and stuff. I'm gonna release the first song before the EP release and the second with the EP however I really got to thinking about your comment about making videos for listeners and not labels and I see your point. I guess I'm putting the car before the horse with this however I'm planning on using that little video as a way of getting the word out.

And POCKET, making a video involving other things besides me playing the drums in my room I think it's a good idea but could be pricey and also hard to figure as I am the only artist and the drums are the only instrument other than the stuff I sequenced.
Find some band members dude, turn it into an epic project. I am also situated in the electronic music. all on acoustic drums to :) its rad fun!
 

Chromium

Senior Member
...making a video involving other things besides me playing the drums in my room I think it's a good idea but could be pricey and also hard to figure as I am the only artist and the drums are the only instrument other than the stuff I sequenced.
I am a professional video producer/director (as well as a drummer!), and would dispute that assumption. Nowadays if you have access to a camera (you obviously have), and friend or two and some basic editing software you should be able to shoot a suitable sequence for almost nothing. A bit of creative thinking is all it takes... listening to your music I envision a journey... Have you got a car? Build a little story sequence.

Here's a shot list...
Friends Meet (wide shot on tripod)
Face reaction shots (hand held medium close-ups)
Shaking of hands (first a wide shot on tripod then close-ups hand held)
Entering car (multiple shots)
Starting Ignition (close up)
Pulling away (from outside car)
Inside car shots of faces
Shot of driver concentrating (side on)
Shot through windshield
view out of side window
close up of driver
face shots - friends talking/joking/messing about in car...
view out of rear window
etc.. etc..

I'm sure you get the idea. Get the shots as steady as you can and in focus... then edit it all together - make every shot count if you can and never show the same shot twice (unless there is a reason to). You could expand the story... After a while they stop... where are they? Its a junk yard... what are they doing? They grab car parts and make two 'goals'... someone gets a soccer ball... they have a kick around...'GOAL' someone scores - a big celebration! They pack away... get back into the car... drive back... (visit a car wash... drive thru - whatever). You get the picture? This would take a bit of help from your friends and some time and effort... but not beyond anyone.

I'll leave you with one of my music videos that cost very little to make... as an illustration of wide shots vs close-ups. This was a very low-budget production. The band paid me for my time (obviously it's how I scrape a living) but it cost them under £1500 which is peanuts for a professional band with a small record company.

http://youtu.be/UvzbR2s8IBI?hd=1

Hope you find the above all useful advice.
 

zakhopper316

Silver Member
I am a professional video producer/director (as well as a drummer!), and would dispute that assumption. Nowadays if you have access to a camera (you obviously have), and friend or two and some basic editing software you should be able to shoot a suitable sequence for almost nothing. A bit of creative thinking is all it takes... listening to your music I envision a journey... Have you got a car? Build a little story sequence.

Here's a shot list...
Friends Meet (wide shot on tripod)
Face reaction shots (hand held medium close-ups)
Shaking of hands (first a wide shot on tripod then close-ups hand held)
Entering car (multiple shots)
Starting Ignition (close up)
Pulling away (from outside car)
Inside car shots of faces
Shot of driver concentrating (side on)
Shot through windshield
view out of side window
close up of driver
face shots - friends talking/joking/messing about in car...
view out of rear window
etc.. etc..

I'm sure you get the idea. Get the shots as steady as you can and in focus... then edit it all together - make every shot count if you can and never show the same shot twice (unless there is a reason to). You could expand the story... After a while they stop... where are they? Its a junk yard... what are they doing? They grab car parts and make two 'goals'... someone gets a soccer ball... they have a kick around...'GOAL' someone scores - a big celebration! They pack away... get back into the car... drive back... (visit a car wash... drive thru - whatever). You get the picture? This would take a bit of help from your friends and some time and effort... but not beyond anyone.

I'll leave you with one of my music videos that cost very little to make... as an illustration of wide shots vs close-ups. This was a very low-budget production. The band paid me for my time (obviously it's how I scrape a living) but it cost them under £1500 which is peanuts for a professional band with a small record company.

http://youtu.be/UvzbR2s8IBI?hd=1

Hope you find the above all useful advice.
Dude this is awesome! Thanks for taking the time to write that out for me, I'm gonna do this over the weekend I think. I actually have some ideas I'm gonna change up your script a bit haha. I'll let u know how it turns out. Cool video!
 

Chromium

Senior Member
You're very welcome... and good luck with it...

Remember - Try to shoot a lot more material than you think you will need, including lots of cut-aways (look it up if you don't know what that means), then you can cherry pick the best shots in the edit AND you will have enough material to cover the whole song... Typically we shoot about 3 hours of material to edit down to a 3-4 minute music vid, and we're professionals!

Have a good time shooting it... :)
 

usrockband

Junior Member
As a signed drummer, let me give you some tips which i hope help!

Make sure you have a nice bio of yourself or the act, and yes a promo video would give attention to a&r's for sure. Take those tips given though ^ they will deff help you.

Also as to who you might wanna send this too... Well I assume you know of the small indie labels (dine alone, arts & crafts...) and the major labels (sony bmg, warner...). Honestly big labels are dying. Artists aren't getting any money from them. Alexisonfire is signed to an Indie label Dine alone Records, and from their last album, the band themselves made nearly 4 million (approx.). If they were signed to a label like Sony BMG or Warner, they probably would've only made a fraction of that, say 70,000. My point is, if you want to be on a major label then go for it, but I personally support indie labels over majors.

Hope that helps,
 

FelipeJose

Member
OK, Here's the deal. No need for a video unless it's VERY well produced and shows you playing in front of a sell-out crowd. Don't waste the effort.

Focus on 3-4 songs that are the best you think they can be. when putting side by side with competitive how does it measure up? Be honest with yourself.

Contrary to someone's earlier post, labels DO care about talent. And they care what your bringing to the table for the long term. Take your time to put the best-possible package together - not something that just seems "good enough for now", this may be your only shot.

I work for a large indie label and have worked on both the artist and business sides of the music industry for a long time. I've seen people too many times try to get by with subpar presentation and it's made it harder than necessary un the future to get people to pay attention down the road.
 
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