Music Videos

Last Man Standing - "Everything Must Go"

Posted by Paul Devlin:

Here’s the latest from my good friend Max Vanderwolf, and his band Last Man Standing.  More videos from Max on the way.


Power Trip Extra - "Paraskiing Music Video"

Posted by Paul Devlin:

This is a fun, extended scene that was cut out in the final version of Power Trip.

One of the fringe benefits of going through the struggle of living and working in a developing country, is that you also have opportunities you could never get away with in developed countries.

Everything is cheaper and less regulated. Piers would have never been able to build his own chalet in a ski resort in the States. Paraskiing straight off the mountain would be a nonstarter and helicopter skiing would be prohibitively expensive, if it were allowed. But for an expatriot in the Republic of Georgia, all this is possible.

Not that regulations are bad. I had no intention of going Paraskiing myself - looked way too dangerous. But then I realized I needed to get the POV shot to make the scene complete, shrugged my shoulders and almost got killed when my guide bungled the takeoff.

The version of this scene in Power Trip generated criticism at some festival screenings: "How could Piers and his colleagues be enjoying themselves when they've created so much suffering for the people of Tbilisi. Shame on them!" Fair enough - I'm documenting, not defending. On the other hand, I suppose you could make that argument against any fun, any time, anywhere, when people are suffering elsewhere in the world.

So enjoy this little adventure - but not too much.

Power Trip DVD
Power Trip Trailer

Max Vanderwolf in Last Man Standing & Naked Sun

Posted by Paul Devlin:

I met my good friend Max Vanderwolf at University and made this music video of his band Naked Sun when we were both living in New York in the late ‘80s, early ‘90s. I’m proud of this piece, shot on Super-8 film, because it captures the flamboyant, edgy East Village that I remember so well, but which no longer exists.

And the second part shows Max still at it, making great music with his latest band, Last Man Standing.

Music Video - Fury in the Slaughterhouse - "Every Generation got its own Disease"

Posted by Paul Devlin:

This song by a popular German band was a hit in its day, and played a lot on MTV.  But the real star was the director of this video, Doug Aitken.  He went on to become a major visual artist, exhibiting his work in top museums worldwide.

I did both the offline and online edit and it was a thrill to work with Doug, whose task was to make an American version of the original German music video. Many of the visual effects he achieved in-camera shooting himself with a 16mm Bolex. For example, he purposely threaded the film incorrectly to achieve the "flutter" effect in some of the images. He was also very open to my experimenting on the edit which was a lot of fun.

FOOTNOTE:  This was back in the day when Avid was new, Final Cut Pro didn't exist and many non-linear systems were vying for acceptance. For a freelancer, the more systems you knew, the more work you could get. This was off-line edited on an Emc². Anyone remember that one? It was left in the dustbin of non-linear history.


Music Video: The Blasés - "You Don't Know Me"

Posted by Paul Devlin:

The summer after I made Rockin’ Brunswick, I hooked up with The Blasés again to shoot this video on 16mm film all over New Jersey, and then brought it back to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor to edit.

We had a lot of fun making it and I think it shows.  I love the color and the energy and the serendipity of two very different wedding parties finding their way into our shoot.

We managed to get the video played on MTV’s Basement Tapes, a weekly competition for unsigned bands, hosted by Martha Quinn.  That week the guest host was Billy Crystal, and as our video finished, the camera caught him saying to Martha as an aside, “Ooh, I really like that one.”

A heavy metal band with a lot of special effects in their video won the audience voting award.  The Blasés were disappointed not to win the recording equipment prize, but it was still a coup for us all to get a video on MTV during its heyday when we were still in college.

To see more from The Blasés, get the DVD of Rockin’ Brunswick here!

Music Video - Homework – "Special Kind of Lady"

Posted by Paul Devlin

This is the first music video I edited professionally.

It was cut at National Video Industries, a big, chaotic, post-production house that sprawled over several floors in a narrow building on 17th Street in New York City.  Sometimes the video tape machines I was controlling were two floors below me, and I had to call down to get tapes changed (or run down the steps to do it myself when they got too busy).

I freelanced there as an online editor, and took a couple jobs that were beyond my skill level. When you’re in the driver’s seat editing, with a client behind you paying top dollar per hour and you get caught in a technical situation you can’t handle, it’s like an actor forgetting his or her lines onstage. Then it’s all about recovery.  If you can persevere after those experiences, you’re bound to succeed.

This piece was cut old school: off-lined on 3/4 inch tape with burned in timecode, the Edit Decision List (EDL) copied by hand by an assistant, and then online conformed in the big rooms on 1” tape.  Being able to do both the offline and online edits made me popular with the music video clients at NVI.

Big thanks to the director,  Bruno Artero, who was nice enough to give a newcomer a chance.


Music Video – CeCe Peniston, “Finally” - Director’s Cut (Never Before Released)

Posted by Paul Devlin

This is the Director’s Cut of the music video for CeCe Peniston’s “Finally” which has never been released publicly as far as I know.

This was back in the day before it was easy to do special effects with Avid Plug-Ins and Adobe After Effects.  To get this look, the Director, Claude Borenzweig, came up with the unique technique of layering different shapes over the same sections of video, all Black and White. The different layers were passed through isolated Red-Green-Blue channels of an old-school Kaleidoscope effects box.  When the layers overlapped, they created all sorts of surprising, unusual colors and shapes which were further manipulated. Clever concept and a great look.  

But the record company was very conservative and forced Claude Borenzweig to pull back on his bold experimentation with the process. He found that frustrating.  So after the project was completed and delivered, he came to the boutique edit house Chromavision where I was working as a video editor, with the raw tapes.  He wanted to make his own version for his Director’s reel.   My instructions were to re-create the process and go wild with it. Which is exactly what we did.

Take a look at this version and then compare it to the original and let us know what you think in the comments below!

Music Video - The Vestrymen – "3 Kings"

Posted by Paul Devlin

While making The Vestrymen music video for their song "Backyard" I came up with a concept for another song, “3 Kings,” that we could shoot quickly and inexpensively to sneak in a 2nd video for their album, Ruby Ranch Meets the Plastic Hassle. We shot some Super 8 film of singer Matt Davis on the beach, and the sky made a perfect blue screen to mix in some fun mountain footage I had already been shooting. Then I added some of my travel footage from around the world (and also borrowed from a friend, Douglas Carver). The Tarot reader is another friend, Janine Waldron. The Vestryman’s record company, Vertebrae did not cover the cost of the video, so only this excerpt was completed. This is the first time it has been released.

Music Video - Cyndi Lauper - "Who Let in The Rain"

Posted by Paul Devlin

My work on music videos gave me chance to meet quite a few pop stars.  I was the online editor on this music video and had a chance to work with Cyndi Lauper for a couple days in the edit room.  

She was a character! Very smart and verbal – lot’s of fun, chatty stories.  But she was also very demanding and exacting, and would joke about “Sabotage!” anytime there was any difficulty in the edit.

She also had a very keen eye:  Because of a discrepancy in the film-to-tape transfer between the offline tapes and the online tapes, each shot in the final edit was off by one “field.”  This is half a frame, which represents 1/60th of a second difference.  None of us trained professionals caught it, but somehow she saw that something was “off.”  

Not an easy fix, believe me.  “Sabotage!”

But we got the job done, and the video looks great.

Fat Boys - "Whip It on Me"

Posted by Paul Devlin

I edited this video directed by Scot J. Mathisson. Scot and I worked on a few music videos together back in the day at Chromavision. I had a chance to meet Darren Robinson (a.k.a Buff Love) and he was very no-nonsense about the work and his career. The Fat Boys had a lot at stake and were hoping to make a comeback with this video.

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