Case Study: Music Video Before/After

I’ve been talking a LOT about tour visuals recently. And maybe that’s not your thing… But the truth is that the concepts behind creating tour visuals can have a big impact of helping take your edits to the next level in general - especially for projects like music videos...

For me, this experience really came to life in my work for the first time on a music video I directed a couple years ago for a song called “Til the End of Time.”

The song (as the title states) explores the concept of time running out. And to bring it to life, I wanted to incorporate stylistic moments that made it feel like the footage was tearing apart or degrading in some strange way (as if time had not been kind to it).

The song (production and lyrics) just felt like it was calling for more than just a simple footage edit. So here’s how I created something a little different…


01. Below is a sequence of the clean footage only (before being affected and “remixed”). The red footage was shot in studio with a strobe effect on both Skypanels shooting at the white cyc wall. We also projected a countdown clock on the wall behind Cody for a few takes to add a stylistic element. It was motivated by the lyrics and the sense of urgency that the production of the song brought to life:

02. Here was the same sequence but with the overlays only (footage muted). To create this I took a sequence of stock elements run through an analogue TV and filmed it in 4K:

03. Here’s the same sequence with portions of the footage heavily affected (overlays muted):

04. And FINALLY, this is how the pieces all came together in that sequence to create subtle moments of energy and intricacy:

Plus, here’s the final music video if you want to see more of these moments in play.

It’s a couple years old now, so I’ve learned a lot since then. But (in my opinion), these little details added to a massive improvement in the energy, connection to the meaning of the lyrics, etc. And even 2 years later, it still grabs my attention.

Up til this point in my career, I had kept the worlds of experimenting with textures and editing “real videos” separate. But allowing those worlds to collide brought a fresh approach to this video and caused new clients to take a second look at my work. I can honestly say it was a big catalyst that’s led to work with some of my dream clients in the past 2 years (including more work with Cody). Only sharing to encourage that it’s worth trying new things and pushing the boundaries of an edit. You’d be surprised what can come of it…

If you’re interested in how I create moments like this, I break down my favorite effects and techniques in my new Tour Visuals + Textures Masterclass. Like I’ve said before, these concepts are for WAY more than just tour visual projects. So click here to learn more!

Happy editing everyone!

Ezra CohenComment