Tips for doing Music Video Playback

I had a reader ask me for some music video playback tips so here are a few:

1. Try to be your Playback tapes ahead of time to check them make sure all DAT tapes have timecode on the  left channel and program material on the right channel

2. The night before the shoot take the lyrics sheet and next to each line write the timecode number so you can quickly cue up the song. Most of the time they want 8 seconds of pre roll so I add that it when I do the sheet.

3.  When arriving at the shoot communicate with the 1st A.D since he will be telling you your cues all day.  Also talk to the Electric department about your power needs.

4. When they tell you the cue “24 frame playback at line 16” Always repeat back what they said “Roger 24 frame playback at line 16 with pre roll to line 15 plus 8 seconds”. Then after I have the cue and have checked it via my headphones I will say. “Playback standing by at line 15 plus 8 seconds for 24 frame playback”. It may sound redundant but sometimes they change the cue without telling you and you want to be ready at all times.

5. Set up next to VTR so you can make sure they are getting good audio for video playback and so you can make sure they are slating correctly.

6. Always stay professional and be ready to change quickly.

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