Archive for the 'video' Category

Nickelback’s “If Everyone Cared” – A “We Are the World” for Our Time

May 10, 2007

I recently heard the Nickelback song “If Everyone Cared” and was both shocked and uplifted by this, their latest release. “If Everyone Cared” carries a similar message as Lionel Richie’s and Michael Jackson’s inspiring “We Are the World” of 1984 and even makes references to Live Aid. It is an incredible example of a modern, socially conscious band and although Nickelback were already a successful and well liked group this masterpiece makes them unpredictable and unstoppable.

After watching the music video above in excess of 60 times in the last two weeks I have a few comments as an American living abroad. I find it very interesting how in this Canadian Band’s video there was little or no reference to events that have taken place inside or because of the United States. I am referring to such monumental events as the speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King and the turbulent decades of the Civil Rights Movement. Although I am a patriotic American I am aware that my countrymen are among the most violent and combative people on this small planet. I think it is possible that Nickelback in their writing wisdom opted not to show American events in order to avoid offending Americans by not mentioning the politically correct tragedy of the week. This song, among other messages tells us that our problems are within us and and be fixed within us.

Although the lyrics of “If Everyone Cared” are somewhat over optimistic for the modern world it is truly a “We Are the World” an inspirational and uplifting anthem for the twenty-first century and beyond. I encourage all who read this to share this video and its message with those you love, and maybe, just maybe we might be able to play this song again in the twenty-second century.

For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal. – John F. Kennedy

Copyright 2007. Sebastian Prooth.


My Cardinal Rules For Producing a Music Video

December 11, 2006

I have to admit that I am guilty of annoying people when they are trying to watch MTV. When I tell them what I think of the editing of the video that they are enjoying. I frequently say something like “You know, if that video were cut more on the beat it would work so much better.”

When I’m not bothering others I usually tap the beat out myself, and decide where I would cut it, if I were the editor. So I decided to write about this topic if for no other reason to simply help me organise my thoughts.

I genuinely believe most music videos that are being produced could profit from some better editing. For example, the artist could be walking along, but in perfect rhythm to the music. With the proper coverage and the director and artist paying close attention to the rhythm of the music this is the kind of raw material the video editors need to really work his or her magic.

Even less than perfect footage can be transformed into dynamic, visually charged material for the video that might have otherwise ended up on the “cutting room floor.”

The video above is brilliant example of both sides of the equation. It is one of my all time favourite songs, but it was not until yesterday that I saw the music video on YouTube. The song is happy, the beat is lively and the colours used in the video are vivid. Not only is the video’s cinematography exciting but the editing is, for the most part, quite good. There are several points in this video where the editing is not good and is not executed directly on time.  You can not only tap your foot to the beat of the song and to the beat of the cuts the editor executed. The activities and movement of the characters in the video are enhanced by the precision editing making this a truly excellent peice.

There are a few cardinal rules that I use when editing video footage to music, including but limited to:

  • Create Entertaining and Engaging Visuals
  • Fast cutting, But not too fast that becomes distracting.
  • Cut the video to music, not vice versa.
  • The use “tap your foot” method I described above

Watch the music video above with a director’s eye and you will notice everything I am describing. Start tapping your foot on the first beat of the song and watch the visuals closely. In the first few cuts, watch the singer tapping the bar and the raising of the ketchup bottle, even the sweeping brush is going with the beat. The perfectly timed editing occurs throughout the song. Particularly note its use when the sink is spewing water towards the end, the action in the video is ON the beat.

To a music video editor, the concept of rhythmic editing should be the most obvious and important factor. But for those who “don’t get it”, there is still hope! I am no expert at producing music videos, but I have directed, produced and edited a few and I always try to follow the “rules of rhythm” when editing music videos.

I owe a lot of my understanding of rhythm and “editing on the beat” to my studies of the record spots produced by my friend Joe Klein. His tutelage has helped me grasp some of the fundamentals of editing audio and I was able to carry them over to my video editing endeavors. If you have a music video project that you are working on and have found this useful, feel free to drop me a line or leave a comment.

The Vloggies ARE TONIGHT! 7PM PST, Only a FEW Hours Away!

November 4, 2006

Vloggies LogoA couple of weeks ago I announced that my video Rock and Roll Heaven was entered into the video awards that are taking place in San Francisco, the Vloggies! Well those awards are tonight. Although my categories, Best Editing, Best Original Music and Best Experimental video are not being presented for awards at the show there will be a video screening the non-live announced awards. Cross your fingers and send some mojo my way and maybe I can bring home a Vloggy!

Not only is Rock and Roll Heaven in the running for a Vloggy, my good friend and associate, Joe Klein, of the Podcast Voice Guys will be the announcer at the awards. As I stated before the audience is in one hell of a ride with Joe on that mic!

Vloggies SponsorsThe Vloggies are now being sponsored by multiple online companies, including but not in any order, Intel, Yahoo Video, Revver, Pandora and a quite a few more. See logos on left for some and for a complete list. I was really excited to learn that big companies like Yahoo and Intel are jumping on board but also Revver the up and coming video community website where the producers are actually paid for their content, unlike the popular YouTube.

I really wish I was there this evening for promises to be one hell of a blast of an evening! I have it on good authority that the guest list is really impressive. Appearances from popular blogger/vlogger Robert Scoble, CEO of PodTech John Furrier, and Diggnation star Kevin Rose are expected.

For more details on the Vloggies see my previous Vloggies announcement.

For official details go to the Vloggies website at