Here’s a blast from the past. I created this simple music video way back in 2010 using an old handy-cam, iMovie, and two lamps. It was to promote the CD release for my solo music project ‘radio caroline south’.

DIY Music Video

Back in 2009, I wrote, played, recorded and produced a music CD under the name ‘radio caroline south’. I wanted some videos for YouTube to promote the release but I’d spent all my funds on the studio recordings, so instead I took my handy-cam and made some DIY music videos.

While the videos certainly wouldn’t win any awards, they did the job required – getting views and helping to promoting my CD release, which was quite well received especially in the UK. I got this lovely review from UK indie music magazine, Leicester Bangs.

Radio Caroline South – Brunswick Road (Independent)

‘Radio Caroline South is just one person, Australian multi-instrumentalist Thalia Kemp. She’s been called a female Beck, which is a little lazy, but you can understand the reasoning….Her indie rep was earned singing and playing bass with Australian cult band the Ziggerants, and now solo, she’s developed her influences and experiences into a collection which retains the spirit of the alternative, but is altogether more refined and, dare I say it, elegant. My two favourite tracks bookend the disc. “Funky Damon” and “Trash Elastic” both incorporate elements of dance music, and both ooze atmosphere’. – Rob F.

I created three different videos with my handy-cam for the CD, and it was playing around making these videos that ultimately drew me into video editing full-time, and ultimately, to founding Sonic Eye  in late 2014.

The fabulous high-tech equipment used to make these was one JVC handy-cam (which only shot in 720x576p) two lamps (because I had no other lights – I can tell you it’s not easy dancing while holding two lamps!) and a box set on a table in place of a tripod. A bit of gaffa-tape to mark the spot to stand (so I’d be in shot) and some dark blue curtains which I used to create a pseudo-green-screen to make an overlay, and a copy of iMovie.

Oh by the way, I forgot to remove the gaffa-tape once I’d used it to mark my ‘spot’ so that I’d be in shot. If you look closely you can see it, a little ‘x’ in the background! Hahaha! Like I said, it was never going to win any awards.

I used some footage of a concert light show to create the mock-green-screen background effect and overlays. The intention was to have my face clear but the rest of the video fuzzy and pixelated – no point trying to make a glossy number with the equipment to hand!

Editing in iMovie is not easy for a music video where you are trying to sync to the music by hand. Amateur editing software is a real struggle with this type of thing, the timeline just isn’t meant for audio editing so ‘slipping’ an audio track is a real wrestling-match! I learned two things from those projects. One is that making things for cheap, always looks cheap. The other is, never try to shoot your own music videos, if you’re planning to be in them, although it is a lot easier today, with ‘selfie-friendly’ technology at least you can see what you’re shooting!

Things have certainly moved on since then, with Sonic Eye starting trade at the end of 2014 and we’ve not stopped making movies since!

I’d love to work some magic on some cool music video content, so if you’ve got some footage, or just a ‘big idea’, get in touch (I promise absolutely no handy-cams, and definitely no amateur editing software!)

I have made some pretty cool music videos using just an iPhone though, check them out on our Music page and if you want your music video footage edited into a YouTube video, get in touch!

Thalia is the video and sound editor at Sonic Eye video editing.