Wednesday, May 28, 2014

MTV Didn't Want This Video...

Lean on Me
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

It's hard for me to believe that 20 years have passed since I took my first class in video production at Southeast Missouri State University.  I had switched majors from radio to corporate video, which included learning how to use a camera and edit video. It was 1994 and we were using three-quarter inch equipment.  So you had a camera that connected to what was essentially a VCR, that's where the tape went.  These two components ran off of a "battery belt" that the photographer strapped around their waist.  It was quite the set up.

The first project in my first (and what ended up being only) video class was shooting and editing a music video.  I checked out the equipment one afternoon and went to my residence hall with a plan of recreating Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler."  Several of my floor mates gathered as I got various shots of them playing cards.  I didn't like how it turned out, so I went back to the drawing board.
The breakup

I came up with a plan to do Michael Bolton's version of "Lean on Me."  Yes, I am a Michael Bolton fan, judge me if you must.  I enlisted the help of some of my Sigma Nu fraternity brothers and a sister from Alpha Xi Delta to recreate a breakup and then the bonding of two buddies.  I learned a very valuable lesson with this shoot.  The song is about four minutes long.  That day, I thought if I recorded four or five minutes of video, I'd be just fine.  Anyone who has ever edited anything before knows that's WRONG!

I remember sitting in that dark editing bay for the two hours that I could reserve it for.  The glow of the monitors and the buttons on the board providing the only light.  I sat and cursed and cried as I got more and more frustrated with trying to figure out how to put the music track down and then cover it with the video I had shot. Once I finally figured it out and had to repeat several shots throughout the video, I sat in horror when it was time to share our projects with the class.  My professor didn't judge too harshly and I actually got a B on this, but there's no way I deserved such a high mark.

Ridin' away 

This was the most frustrating and stressful thing I did in college. I eventually changed the focus of my major and dropped the next video production class because back then it didn't sink in for me. Never did I imagine that I'd eventually be doing this nearly every day of my professional life.

So without further ado, enjoy the magic of my first masterpiece some 20 years after its original release.

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