Last week I reached the three-year milestone of releasing monthly music videos. What began as a one-year challenge to myself is still going strong. The video that I released last week was “This is Your Life,” which is a setting I wrote for the Holstee Manifesto. We crowdsourced the entire video, which I think worked really well. Here it is:
And this is the Holstee Manifesto:
These words were written by three twenty-somethings after they left their jobs to go out on their own and start a printing company. I read about them in a magazine, and then cut out the tiny picture of the Holstee Manifesto from that magazine and pinned it up on my bulletin board. One day, I was walking around my studio with my guitar and trying to come up with lyrics to a tune I was writing. The tiny picture of the Holstee Manifesto caught my eye and I started singing those words as placeholder lyrics. Before I knew it, I had set the whole thing to music. It stuck.
So, what have I learned from releasing over 40 music videos (so far)? Here are my favorite gems:
- It’s made me unafraid to fail. It’s just art, after all.
- Music is moving. Words are moving. Images are moving. Music+words+images = the possibility of creating something enormously powerful.
- I never know how a video is going to be received. Here’s what’s cool: The more videos I make, the less I care.
- Why do I do this? It’s fun and challenging and I learn new things every month.
- Making music videos requires an investment of either time or money. These days you don’t need both. I spend a small amount of money and a large amount of time.
- And finally, here are some (until now) closely-guarded secrets:
- I shot seven videos on an iPhone 5
- A lot of those videos were shot by son, who was 10 at the time.
- I learned how to make music videos because I couldn’t afford to hire anyone else to do it.
Have you ever sustained a long-term project of any sort? What did you learn from it? I’d love to hear about it.