WRAPPING UP the decade
What we learned and where we're going in 2020
Josh Emerick | entry no. 18
In wrapping up the decade and leading into 2020, we wanted to take some time a reflect on what this year has been for us. This year has been full of learning, transitions, and focusing ideas for who we are and what we aspire to accomplish in the future. Our work didn’t drastically change, but its purpose became clear and focused this year.
In short, we are here to create the best experiences possible for our artists, alongside our crew. We’ve worked with many artists over the years, and with that, we’ve built friendships, created memories, and processes. The projects are great, but possessing all of this to reflect on is what’s essential to us. Besides, we want to not only create projects that help our artists but, through experience, change the music video culture so clients, as well as creatives, can all thrive together. This focus leads us to transparency, effort, and solving problems with strategy.
Our outlook is that if we start delivering more information, teaching process, and being leaders in this area, we can all win together. 2020 will challenge us to provide not only stellar projects but also document them into writing, video, design, and strategy that others can learn from and adapt to their usage.
This movement forward excites us, as it will demand us to stay sharp, build our team, hone in on specialties, and start analyzing deeper than ever before about our impact as creators.
Wrapping up 2019, we wanted to share a handful of projects that really shaped where we are heading forward, along with what each one meant to us.
PIECEFULL | THE WORLD I KNEW
"Teaching is the greatest reward"
This simple performance heavy video really was an experiment for us at the time, trying our first stripped crew in quite some time as well as our first intern, Adam Sines. At the time we wanted to work with TWIK due to our working relationship with Bassist Noah Hines. They needed content, we limited on budget and we decided to find a way to make the project a win-win for both parties.
They let us have creative freedom, helped in the production process and trusted us in building a new type of crew. This allowed us to give back to a fresher creative (Adam) who is now one of our trusted freelancers.
ohio | last youth
"Trust your team"
Being creative, it can be hard to relinquish control and trust your team. Ohio challenged me to build a team in specific roles, with a time crunch between, talent. We had never had such short time frames to create such a full idea.
In doing so every person had critical roles, from programming lighting, ensuring proper camera swaps could happen, to a props department for scenes, we nailed this project down ahead of schedule and surprised ourselves. Theres a lot of moving parts to this one.
genocide + evolution | inferious
"Organize your time"
Following up on the "Worm" project the year before we took this double project campaign on, during one of the coldest weekends of 2019. I think this project we prepared one of the most efficient teams in JECP history, with a two and a half-day production to produce these two films. The band was only available for one evening and we managed to knock out both band performances ahead of schedule and have two half days producing the storylines to each, making them some of our favorite projects.
Our big obstacle outside of time was creating consistency fast and moving between three floors quickly in limited power scenery. The team bared the weather and made these incredible films. Also, these were shot on the old hand 7dii and not some fancy cinema camera...
FINDING HOPE IN A BROKEN HOME | NEVER I
"Artists are creative too"
Sometimes you just need to trust the client. We love the lighting and many recognize it as our strength in production. This project required a collaboration between Never I and JECP with Never I's own DMX lighting playing alongside our lighting. This project truly has some amazing looks and so much of that is brought to life via Never I.
The cherry on top is this film really does a great job of bringing to life what it feels like experiencing these fellas live and in addition, we got to put some beautiful imagery inside.
limbo | no dice
"The best idea's are simple ones"
Simple can still be elegant, and sometimes that's all a video needs to be. For a long time, we've wanted to work with No Dice, but that stars never aligned. Along comes, Limbo and the air felt just right. We're stoked it finally happened, but even more so, this project allowed us to teach our crew some new processes with set organization, lighting technology and how to make simple feel bigger.
This project was chalked full of team collaboration, empowering them with new ideas and taking the time to truly train them. Not every project has to be groundbreaking visually, but each project should contain a lesson and a challenge.
dakrchops | elizabeth ii
"Assumptions are almost always wrong"
There's power in preparing your team, answering clients' questions and communicating and dangers in not practicing these ideas. While this project is visually stunning (we're biased) it served as a hard lesson in not just being technical. On paper, this project was set up to succeed, but we solved problems, without answering questions to our client leaving them in the dark at times and later having to swallow our pride.
All in all the project turned out great, but we learned some valuable lessons, that's moving us forward more positively than ever. We're thankful for Elizabeth II's feedback and trust after it was all said and done.
Fun fact: This was our first time shooting Anamorphic lensing as well as Arri camera systems. Can't wait to do it again!
problems | nya
"Clients who trust you are the best clients to have"
Big ideas are great, but keeping them realistic is always the goal. We never want to go bog and miss, instead, we plan for success with practicality and being straight forward with our artists. Luckily, NYA (Shania) came prepared, did her research and understood where she fit into the equation. We crafted a project that let her ideas and feelings see the light of day and feel as big as possible while sticking to her budget.
The collaboration felt natural and reminded us of what made us so successful in our early years; listening, providing answers and easing anxieties around the production process. NYA was hands down a favorite of ours for the year.
detox | feverwar
"Time builds relationships. Relationships build trust. Trust creates momentum"
The big take away is that repetition creates more and more trust. Years of working with Feverwar has granted us the ability to present more ideas with less push back. Not because we have great ideas, but because we understand their brand, aesthetic and overarching goals better due to consistency.
We typically don't create music videos quite like this one, but due to our closeness and understanding of the EP, Piss Poor, we pushed further than usual and honestly got more creative in terms of post-production and story. It's odd, colorful, gross and a highly interesting view.
Also, the smallest team production of the year with just Ross and Josh tag-teaming responsibilities. Looking at this project it makes us happy and sad, knowing we we went out of such a high note project with FW, but terribly sad we'll never be able to make another one. RIP Nich, we love you.
all that you lost | like moths to flames
"Trust your gut and collaborate"
The format of this one is another odd one, only involving singer Chris, but none the less one of the most creative projects we've been honored. Uniquely this felt like a perfect fit, as the band wanted to work with someone who valued art direction, conveying their ideas and supporting both parties' passion for expression.
The band trusted us, gave us the needed info to create and in doing so we took this project from concept to finish in less than two weeks, a record for us. It was only possible due to our incredible team, lots of information sharing, planning to the tee and following a system design to succeed.
FREEZING BLUE | LAVE
"Relationships build projects"
There's a ton of important aspects to Freezing blue, but the core thing we learned was how impactful being yourself and sharing intentions can be. Leading to this project we created it out of passion and shared the vision with LAVE (Joey) to find he loved the idea. It's rooted in both parties so it granted us creative freedom in execution. I think that is why this project has so much importance to us and stands out from many other projects from our whole catalog.
With passion being the driver, you limit resources, however, it attracts different purpose. This project allowed an opportunity to teach crew new roles, work toward their crafts and for us to give back deeper than a paycheck. In sourcing our team they all dedicated their time, share their intentions and we came together to create something meaningful to LAVE as well as ourselves. Even in selecting our talent we knew both Maggie and Jordan would trust what ever we threw at them and they didn't dissapoint. We really found our people and purpose on this one.
homesick | bravr
"Create projects your artists want"
Long-time friend Chris came to us because he trusts me, respects the growth in craft and wanted to re-surface in a new way with his new project BRAVR. He wanted something we could create that satisfied our needs, but to keep it simple, easy and be more of a hang session that a production.
In crafting this we designed a simple project that a single man crew could do and leaned more technical than creative in execution. Homesick is about reflection and relationship. That's broad but relative to many. Its design was on the craft of creation with writing, performing and emotion. Camera and lighting shaped its mood and we used a simple whiskey glass to refract light, which served in two ways. Reflection is key, but also reflecting on alcohol's negative impact on life when used in unhealthy manners. It's simple, pretty and done. Exactly what Chris wanted.
gossip | ldd band
"Break the formula and keep the process"
We're obsessive with efficiency, time and repetition, however, this project challenged us. In order to keep these core functions, we had to take more time in prep to create the plan and specificity involved. In doing so it saved us more time in production as well as post.
Our biggest take away was how important it was in making concrete decisions on parts of this song and then verbalizing that plan with our full team via production calls before the shoot. This empowered our team more than ever, saved us tons of time and gave everyone specific ways to work singularly and together. It also took an ambitious idea we were concerned we wouldn't have the time to achieve and did so ahead of schedule for two days straight. We're very proud of this one and also a huge shout out to LDD for trusting us completely and also working their tails off throughout the process too. A lot of credit goes to them and their attitude.
craft of poetry | serif creative's craft collection
"Own your strength's + Listen"
Going into this project it was a relationship between agency and production company. Serif had a vision of creating a craft series, showcasing craftsman that aligned with Serif's values. In this film, we showcase Larry's passion, inspiration and drive poetry. The art film was to create a relationship between intensity and inspiration. Serif provided films to draw my own inspiration from. From there I created the look I wanted through lighting, lensing, and motion. A lot of choices between framing, contrast, frame rates, and color.
With that we trusted our expertise and took it a step further in hearing where Larry personally was in the craft. This film for him was a reflection of achievement (finishing Words Saved Lives) and transition to new material. With that he flet currently he was exploring new ideas around growth, which let us focus on plants and the color green. It brought our vision to a full circule in art direction and created consistency in the film.
old friends | heavy things
"Mix your mediums"
This project feels more like a designer made a video than anything and that was on purpose. For years we've wanted to shoot something with lots of creative framing involved. We've even tipped our toes around it (Permanent Fix). For this track, we wanted to follow it's elegance through the chorus and verses and match it with a simple idea of the video living in frames.
This approach let us spend our time on framing the best shots, creating two simple looks and shooting for the frames. It is to date one of the best fitting films we've ever created and it capped off our 2019 as our final "released" project of the year.
We had an incredible year and 2020 is looking to be even better. We've spent the time this year focusing on what impact we want to leave, what we stand for and how we show up for our clients the best way. We've suffered some losses but learned some incredible lessons. this blog is also even different. In 2020 we aim to get our values out there better, continue to push our limits creatively, but more than anything give back as much information, resources, and effort through these sorts of resources. A new JECP is here and that's very exciting for us.
If you read this, thank you. If you shared it great! Thank you for giving us your time.