As the Manager of Multimedia Arts, one of my responsibilities is to collaborate with artists to create content that is specifically tailored to their brand. Whether it be capturing behind-the-scenes social media content or conceptualizing and executing a full video shoot, it is my role to ensure each project correlates with the artist’s image.
In July, I boarded a flight to Marfa, Texas with singer-songwriter, Jenna Paulette, to capture content that would coincide with the release of her new music (hear her new single, F-150 here). Among the entourage she assembled for the trip, my role was to gather behind-the-scenes content, as well as to shoot and edit several acoustic videos, which will be used as promotional materials for her new music down the line.
Jenna’s artist identity is defined as “The New West.” Combining sleek and polished with wild and unruly, her brand blends traditionalism with the new wave. And the same can be said for her music. Raised outside of Dallas, Paulette’s roots are deeply embedded in Texas, playing a large role in her image. This made it an effortless decision to utilize the aesthetic of the west Texas desert to capture on-brand content.
As the director for the acoustic videos filmed in Marfa, it was my responsibility to conceptualize how each video would be shot to complement her brand. I knew I wanted to capture both the beauty of the surrounding landscape, as well as the unique architecture native to the southwestern culture. To do so, I decided to film the cover song outdoors and the originals inside and around the same room. This allowed me to create a unique element for the cover song video, as well as establishing a cohesive look among the originals.
The vast landscape of the west Texas desert is depicted in the backdrop of the first acoustic video that we filmed. Shooting at sunrise allowed me to utilize the best natural light possible as well as accentuating the beautiful colors of the scenery. With Jenna as the focal point in the foreground, I was successfully able to capture the contrast of her modernized style with the unkempt, natural beauty of the desert. A fitting juxtaposition to complement her brand.
The second batch of acoustic videos were filmed inside of the house we rented; a quintessential Marfa home with stucco exterior, concrete walls, and plenty of natural light. Once we moved all of the furniture to create the wide open space I envisioned, we filmed the three original acoustic videos with variations in positioning and camera angles to create subtle variety in each video. My goal with these videos was to create a minimal setting in order to accentuate the music and cinematography. Using this space emphasized the modern aspect of Jenna’s brand. The clean, empty, white room, resembled her sleek and polished aesthetic. However, the concrete walls, burlap rug, and natural light, incorporated a sense of authenticity that is rooted in traditionalism. Therefore, this setting seemed to complement her image appropriately.
In addition to the acoustic videos, I was responsible for gathering behind-the-scenes content during the concept music video shoots. The goal with the photos and videos captured was to simply showcase the informal side of the shoots, as well as creating promotional materials. As a behind-the-scenes photographer, I took little part in conceptualizing, directing, and styling for the videos, however it was important that I capture on-brand content in order to successfully promote the content that would later be released.
I love being able to collaborate creatively with such talented people in order to elevate an artist’s brand. Each project is a uniquely challenging and rewarding process. To be able to grow and learn how to create content within the boundaries of an artist’s image is such an important part of my job and I am so thankful for the opportunity to do so.