Published Oct 01, 2006Originally from Halifax, Jannie McInnes began producing music videos in 1996 with Sloans "The Good In Everyone. She is now Executive Producer of the international award-winning production house Revolver Film Company.
What kind of music videos does Revolver make?
We make videos in Canada, the U.S. and the UK for independent artists and major labels. Our clients may at once be the Hidden Cameras, Sean Paul, and the White Stripes. Making groundbreaking work for bands we love is the point of what we do, but weve taken on jobs for artists like Celine Dion and Aaron Carter to keep the lights on.
How do you match up a band with a director?
A label can send us a track for a specific director because they love the way that person takes music to unpredictable visual places or maybe the artist knows they want animation, for example, because the song is fantastic or they arent available to shoot a video. Some artists choose directors they trust and know, like Micah Meisner and k-os, who have collaborated together many times. We sent Floria Sigismondis reel to Sigur Rós and the video she did for the band won the award at the European MTV awards against Missy Elliott, so that worked pretty well.
In your opinion, what makes a great music video?
When you feel like the visuals are inside the music so that you get to hear the song and its parts in unimagined, totally synchronised but unpredictable ways. Marilyn Mansons "The Beautiful People is a good example of this. A great video manipulates emotion, like the baby animals in the Weezer "Island in the Sun video, the violence of the U.N.K.L.E. "Rabbit In Your Headlights video or the referencing of Aphex Twins "Windowlicker video.
What are some serious no-nos that bands should consider when scripting a video?
There are [broadcast] standards rules about violence, furs, headless women and guns that dont apply to big acts like Jay-Z or Green Day. If something looks shitty even if its purposely lo-fi looking, MuchMusic will likely not play it. Dont use MP3s as an audio source, no strobing is allowed outside Canada and if theres performance make sure the footage is properly lip-synched!
What advice do you have for inexperienced video producers, in terms of what they can do to make things go more smoothly?
The worst videos are low-budget ones that try to emulate big budget ones. Dont try to do bling videos on a shitty budget. Dont do post [production] heavy videos unless you have either a lot of time, talent or money. Dont show artists their video until the director loves it, unless theyre involved in the creative process with you. The video will suck if the artist is unhappy, uncomfortable or doesnt trust the director. Every meltdown happens because ideas arent communicated properly. Reference material is good "modernist can mean a lot of different things. Videos can be the most exciting, experimental film format. The rewards are not financial but its amazing if youre a part of delivering visual magic to the world.