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The Year of the Dreamers: How we're Scaling the Music Video Experience

We're deeming 2023: The Year of the Dreamer



Are you Dreaming big? Well, this is the permission to do so. Being in the music video space is all experimentation. It's so odd for us because, looking back over the years, we built this business to create a formula for successful projects. We created a structure for artists to thrive and make better projects. We're proud of our release rate, client satisfaction, and our process; however, we have limited our ideas in many ways. So we're challenging our thinking in 2023 and encouraging the dreamers.


At JECP, we believe that artists have the capacity and should dream big. Our tagline for years was "Ideas Made Possible." But, let's be honest, we've all held ourselves back at some point. We get caught up in what we're good at and must remember to step outside our comfort zone. Growth and change can be scary, especially when you've built something that works. But we want to grow and innovate, just like our artists. We are sharing a few small ways we've been evolving lately and how that will carry into specific projects in 2023.


Before all the growth and excitement, here's what we know. Our process is robust, and it ensures project success. That won't change, but we will be betting on more significant ideas. For years we have looked at volume, marketing, and long-term content to support artists. Often this has included batch producing and scaling ideas down so we could make artists more sustainable. This will still be a strong emphasis for newer artists or those that need to build more awareness; however, growing artists and seeking healthier artists who have strong awareness is about raising the stakes. These are the dreamers.


You'll hear us repeatedly preach consistency over big ideas, but there is a time to encourage the dreamer. Build a strong foundation first, and then you can entertain your fan base with less risk of failure and more ROI. Of course, we never want artists "going for broke," but taking the time to make one grand idea instead of crunching three videos into a day or two is the direction we are heading.


In 2022, we took small steps to help our clients break out of their comfort zones. We're setting our foundation with small gambles. We took to more character creation through campaigns, emphasized more prep work through projection-based videos, and even took a stab at a BOLT project. So how does this matter for our artists?


The trendsetters in music videos have a rewatchability factor.


Character building is the key. We've been asking how we can translate themes and collections of songs into relatable characters. Making this connection evokes emotion, and consistently utilizing talent builds brand past awareness into authority. The Weeknd does this phenomenal album after album, as do many other noteworthy artists. We've taken more time with styling, makeup, and props to sell these characters and get actors excited about their roles. This has worked twofold. Our artists get better projects that are cooler, and we're building more opportunities for actors, which brings us excited.






LED walls are getting tons of attention these days, and we've seen many artists use them creatively. Believe it or not, we have access to a 30' wall at our favorite studio, OHD. We have yet to commit to a project entirely. Still, we have been doing the work in developing the workflow, having conversations with the team at OHD Studios, and utilizing projects as baby steps into an LED wall project. Over the years, we've focused on accuracy, meaning we don't want to do a project about ourselves and fall short for a client, but we need more understanding to take the next step. OHD has been instrumental in leading us to new creative goals and tools.


We have learned with LED walls and projectors that it's all about the prep. You're creating the music video and world before you arrive on set. These projects have been fun exercises and inform how we will eventually tackle an LED project when the opportunity arises. This technology feels like a different ball game. The experience is surreal, and the options feel endless. It saves time, opens the world, and lets you control many variables. I see this trend sticking around, and when we finally get to tag Josiah X in for some Unreal Engine work, it's game over. I'm manifesting it here.



Additionally, the BOLT is a goal for 2023. For those who don't know, the BOLT is a robot arm that can be programmed for near-perfect accuracy shot after shot, unimaginable movement, and lots of post-production potential. I've offered my help on two BOLT productions, and with our sister brand, Myelin, we had our first operated project in 2022. That project took looks at prep, coordination, and organization, which are all areas we've been diligent in over the years. The project went significantly smoother than we thought, but theres endless room for creativity and thinking in this space.


We want to land a few projects using this tool to use motion tracking and perfect timing to create an ultra-engaging and creative edit and increase interesting camera movement since the options are endless. Another way to look at the value of the BOLT is the wow factor. The highspeed repeatable motion is impossible by humans, and you're essentially adding a $750K value to your production for less than 5% of the cost. Bonkers.



With all these areas of growth comes a more considerable emphasis on world-building. For years we have primarily done this through lighting and color, which we will continue, but by taking massive swings, we're focusing on the art department. Of course, to make it all work, we must sell the character and world to the viewer to keep that rewatch factor in our minds. Growing here is endless but think set builders, customizing props, scaling the team, and getting into the details. These all work together from attire to technology, allowing artists to make a statement with their art-- think legacy.


What are we looking for in 2023? Giving traction to big ideas for healthy clients for a legacy that will make an impact. This will not be for every artist, but we will still keep our time-focused high-volume approach, but we're looking for artists who are ready to take their visions to the next level and dream with us. We all know video is powerful. There's so much opportunity to leave a lasting legacy and entertain fan bases for years.





Leadership is also a key focus for us this year. We've gone from the old days of proving ourselves to leading the trends for Ohio, at least with music videos. With that comes a responsibility to innovate. We're building bigger teams and using more of our network to provide our clients with the best possible experience. Our last big swing, Dark Island - Paradise, was a testament to our commitment to providing a great experience. This year, we're ready to take it to the next level and show our capabilities.






It's an exciting and scary time for JECP.


Lastly, this mindset has hit me with a sense of pride. Being from Ohio and not one of the "big cities," we at JECP have had something to prove. We know great work is happening in these cornfields. Honestly, though, Ohio is full of resources and potential that aren't getting tapped. We have built a strong network of creatives, operated as minimalists, made conservative budgets go 5x further, and continued to innovate. The artists we take through these subsequent phases will indeed be memorable.


We still value artists having a sustainable marketing budget and respect long-term health over a creative idea. Still, you better believe we will seek more dreamer opportunities and assess those artists. Our mission is to evolve artists. This isn't just an external effort for the bands; we see ourselves as artists. Developing other creative's skills, creating job opportunities, and continuing the reputation of Ohio doing great work are all goals we committed to in 2023.





JECP | Creating Confident Artists

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