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NEWS FROM THE OTHER WORLD
05 June 2003
Taken From: Burrn Magazine (May 97) #4

Making a music video is a ?necessary evil? of today?s music business. In other words, to be competitive with all the other artists and groups that are making it in music you must at the very least make a video. On top of that, there are internet web sites, interactive CD?s and many different innovative ways of marketing and promoting one?s music.

As a musician, and sort of a purist, I have always been skeptical of the music video. I still find it uncomfortable and unnatural to ?watch? music. I?ve always believed that music is listened to, if not in concert, for the most part, while doing something else. For example, while driving, working, exercising, etc,. I never agreed with the idea of some video producer deciding how the listener will envision a song. Shouldn?t each listener develop his or her own personal vision of each song? A song should bring back a memory of what you were doing when you heard the song playing in the background. Maybe you were losing your virginity, maybe partying with friends, maybe hanging out with your girlfriend or boyfriend, or maybe a song brings back sad memories. The idea of all people having the same memory of a song because they saw the same video is one of the less appealing things about music today.

Nevertheless, regardless of my opinion about video, I have to conform to the system to some extent because making videos is an important promotional tool for a band like Megadeth. I believe as a rule, heavy and hard rock bands don?t really like the idea of videos. We are creatures of the live concert. The excitement of performing live without the aid of movie directors and film techniques is very much a ?hard rock? thing.

Last weekend Megadeth shot the first video for our new album. It was for the song, ?Trust?. We all showed up in Hollywood on Friday. As usual with video filming, the first day was a little slow getting started. The first thing we did was each of us decided which clothes we wanted to wear and the discussed them with the video director, Liz Friedlander. She has a good idea of which colors will work well with the background and which colors will clash. Since this was a ?performance? video, we also had to discuss our choices for guitars with her.

Once that is all worked out, we go into the studio where the filming will take place. The film crew had built a ?set? that looked like the inside of a house that had been destroyed by a truck! There were broken bricks scattered all over and there was a fireplace with a bowling pin and a deer?s head (!) in it. Very strange! I?m sure Liz knew what she wanted to do visually with this scene, but I had no idea.

The sound technician starts the music and we lip-synch along with it. This is very awkward because we have never really played this song together as a band. The closest thing to that was when we were writing the song, we were rehearsing the basic structure, but by the time the song was finished in the studio it had changed alot. It?s a good thing that our guitars were not plugged into anything because they would have sounded pretty funny.

So they film the whole band together, then each member individually, and then from many different angles. We did about 25 takes of the song with this background before Liz said that this scene was done. We worked until about 9PM which was great because most of our videos had us working until 3 or 4AM.

After waking up in the middle of the night because of a 5.0 earthquake, Saturday morning the limo took us from our hotel to the studio about 11AM. The crew was very organized and they were ready for us. They had created a totally different set, this one was a desert scene. It?s really incredible how they can make a set look like a completely real desert inside a building. Sasuga Hollywood! We shot with this background for a few hours and by this time all of us are learning how to play this song pretty well!

In the evening they set up individual shots of each of us simply with our instrument and our amplifier. This shot is where they get a lot of close-up shots of the face and the hands. The crew is so professional, they get what they need in about 4 takes of each person. We get finished and back to the hotel and during the night came another earthquake! I used to live in Hollywood so earthquakes are nothing new to me but still they make me nervous when I?m half asleep.

Sunday is to be the last day of shooting. The call time is 3PM, which is great because I can asanebo and then visit some friends in the L.A. area. When I get to the studio, I see an awesome set that the crew must have spent many hours on. It was a swamp scene that looked so cool that I won?t explain it now, I?ll just let you see it in the video.

We do many takes of this scene and by this time we can all play this song REALLY well! We finish at a good time of about 10PM and then Dave gets the whole crew together to tell them that of the 20 or so Megadeth videos, this has been the most well done, best organized video we?ve ever done. I agree with that. It was actually fun. Usually video shooting takes much longer than the producers promise, and they make you show up at the studio way too early.

But if the producers and the crew are well organized, it can make it easy on the band, and that helps to keep us from looking bored in the video! Anyway, even though the four of us are done, the video is far from finished. Now, the editing will begin. This is the most important part of the process because now they either make you look great or like an idiot! We want to make a video that our fans enjoy, and that we in the band enjoy. The record company wants to make a video that the heads of MTV will enjoy. That?s a lot of pressure for the director. I haven?t seen the finished product yet, but if Liz edits as well as she organizes her filming this video should be absolutely amazing.

Taken From: Burrn Magazine (May 97) #4
 
 
 
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