Join Ashley Kennedy for an in-depth discussion in this video Discussing music videos on Sesame Street, part of Conversations in Video Editing.
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- ♫ La, la, la, oh...♫ How does it go? - Ah! These no look right. - Wha! Agh! Oh, we'll never get this! Hmph. - Whoaaaa, yabiffgahbah! (drums crashing) Ugh, oh, awwww. Ya missed the drum! Nah, ugh. - (laughing) There, 2 + 2, eh... Oh boy. Elmo will never get it right. (pop music) - ♫ You tried to add, but the numbers came out wrong ♫ You tried to sing, but you didn't know the whole song ♫ You tried to cook, but the food it didn't taste right ♫ You tried to dunk, but you didn't get enough height ♫ You didn't do it right now, ♫ But keep trying, you'll learn how ♫ You just didn't get it yet, but you'll get it soon I bet ♫ That's the power of yet ♫ Yet, yet, yet ♫ That's the power of yet ♫ Yet, yet, yet, yet, yet ♫ That is what you get with the power of yet (bass solo) ♫ Come on! ♫ You tried to write, but you couldn't make the letter R ♫ You tried to jump, but you didn't make it very far ♫ You tried to drum, but you couldn't find a downbeat ♫ You tried to dance, but you tripped on your own feet ♫ Just breathe, don't look...♫ - OK.
- (laughs) - (laughs) All right, so that's fun. - This is Janelle Monae, by the way. Incredible talent. - That must be so neat to work with so many talented singers and actors and such. So take us through the process of production to post-production on a music video. - This was directed by Joey Mazzarino, who is a performer, director and also head writer.
I mention him because he is an incredible talent to be able to pull something like this off. Again, we're shooting in a very condensed time period. And so, he'll go into a script knowing when and where we're shooting which character, what part of the song they're going to land into. So I'd like to say that every location you're seeing is done with an entire pass, but he is much smarter than that.
So I know going into editorial where Cookie Monster is gonna be placed into the song, where Grover's gonna be placed. And there's always room, obviously, to change that, but a music video is something that is a little easier for me because I'm cutting rhythmically and also continuity. But someone like Joey is just so dang smart in terms of knowing when and where the camera should be and where it'll fit into his story he's telling over a music video.
- So in talking about rhythmic cutting, you obviously, you have a set sound bed. - Right. - And you are cutting to where he has envisioned each character to be during each part of the song. So you say that's easier for you. - Yes - But there's also challenges in everything. So what, again, I'll ask you the same question, what is fun and exciting about this process? And if there are challenges, what are they? - The fun and exciting thing is that certain pieces of it, like this shot here with the kids, are shot longer, so there's choices to be made whether or not we want to go back to the muppets or continue with this dance.
So there is definitely a lot of creative still involved. But the fun thing for me is helping to keep the energy and the pacing up and choosing the best takes as well. Obviously nothing's ever achieved in a single take. And again, there's challenges with part of the performers being puppets and part of them being people. And so every piece of this small puzzle, there's the choice that the editor has in terms of choosing the best performance to achieve it.
One of the challenging things for me is, I guess with any music video, is how to keep the energy up and chose and cutting on an action that will then bring you into the next moment. There's always some leeway of whether do we stay past the beat and let her finish her look? Or do we cut on the action, or do we wait till the action stops? I mean, a lot of the normal, fun editorial decisions that you get to make, but as you're doing that, you start to create a feeling and a pattern for where things are moving.
For example, with the music video, you're cutting more based upon where things are on screen, where your eye line is always moving to. Your eye trace is, are we looking here and then we're moving there. So it doesn't feel jumbled or confusing for an audience. I'm looking at the left side of the screen, and all the sudden I'm at the right. It's finding some kind of cohesiveness that makes it comfortable to watch and not just random.