Producing A Live Music Video with James Wightman (PCP112)

James Wightman joins us today to discuss the gear needed for a music video shoot and why unique shots aren’t always the best shots.

May 10th, 2016

James Wightman — see his demo reel at — is a part-time church creative director, creates videos over at Bad Christian and joins us to deconstruct the making of a Kings Kaleidoscope live music video in this session of the Pro Church Podcast.

What’s In This Session?

  • Filming a music video for Kings Kaleidoscope (11:36)
  • The gear needed for a music video shoot (14:57)
  • Working with complications on a live shoot (17:54)
  • Raining on set (22:33)
  • Not getting in the way of other camera sight lines (25:31)
  • How to creatively film a live song (27:40)
  • Why unique shots aren’t the best shots (31:47)
  • Using slow motion to fill in the gaps (34:01)
  • Editing a 7-camera multi-cam sequence (37:29) 
  • Pro tips for shooting a live music video (44:58)

Show Notes & Resources Mentioned

3 Instant Takeaways

  1. Don’t be surprised by chaos. Extreme time constraints, going to the wrong airport, the logistics of inexperienced staff, loaned gear and threatening weather — these were all challenges James encountered in traveling to create a music video for Kings Kaleidoscope. The adventure taxed his resources but resulted in a beautiful product.
  2. Seven cameras were used for the shoot. How did the staff keep themselves out of each other’s shot lines? James broke up the stage into zones and each staff was responsible for the hand-held and tripod cameras located in their zone. Rolling the entire time ensured a lot of footage from every angle. James suggests camera operators get a ton of ordinary shots rather than lose footage trying to make extraordinary or unique shots.
  3. Deadlines are great for filmmakers. James says that creativity comes out a lot more with restrictions on it. A blank canvas can be daunting for creatives. In the Kings Kaleidoscope project, despite the tight timeline, the challenges, the shots James didn’t capture, and knowing that he would do things differently next time, the music video was well received.