Duane Rajkumar ~ Music Video Treatment

Duane Rajkumar taking photoHi, I’m Duane Rajkumar and I’m writing on behalf of One Inch Punch Productions, a Toronto based video production company with experience creating corporate videos, music videos, short films, reality television and more. The typical music video fan who watches MTV, BET or VH1 has no idea of all the hard work that goes into the creation of these miniature movies. Most assume that the artist tells a director what type of music video he wants to make and the two then they work together to make it happen on the music label’s dime.

This is far from the truth. What viewers don’t know about is the treatment that serves as the foundation of every music video production. If you plan on creating your own music video, you’ll be best served by partaking in this process. Let’s take a look at what it’s all about and why it will be crucial to your music video’s success.

Treatment: The Unseen Roots

Music video treatment, commonly called the video concept, is a general outline of what will happen in the video. Storyboards similar to those used when creating movies, sitcoms and websites are utilized when developing a music video’s treatment. While this isn’t glamorous work, it sets the stage for the colorful and luxurious music videos that the public loves. If you put in the proper amount of time writing a solid treatment for your video, you’ll reap the rewards with a highly polished finished product.

You can take your video in any direction as long as there is a unified plan in place before the actual recording begins. Oftentimes, the most successful treatment writing sessions involve experimental exercises. This includes a search for visuals that fit the song and add more meaning. The treatment process is all about determining what types of imagery will enhance the music’s sound and help forge a deep connection with the viewing audience.

During the treatment process, you might meet with a video production company to plan the music video’s concept and style. They’ll help you brainstorm ideas regarding what the video should show, how your band should be portrayed and if the video should tell a story. It really helps to use the video production company as a sounding board and co-collaborator. You can take the DIY (Do It Yourself) approach if you’d like, but it’s a bit more risky compared to working with an experienced video production firm.

One Inch Punch Productions - LightingThe Treatment Writing Process

Most outsiders to the music industry are surprised to learn that the vast majority of treatment writers actually have no relationship with the musicians that they are crafting a video concept for. This is part of the reason why you shouldn’t be hesitant to dive head first into your own treatment writing. You won’t have to worry about an outside writer attempting to forge a connection to your music and get a feel for your unique vibe, persona and brand. The best treatment writers don’t try to force music video concept ideas right off the bat. Experienced treatment writers take their time as they understand that the best music videos are created after an extended treatment writing process. So don’t be afraid to let the brainstorming process develop as slowly as necessary.

After you’ve written down some concept ideas, it is time to select reference images to build a more complete picture of you and your band mates envision the music video. Sometimes these will be simple pictures pulled right off of a Google image search. Other times, treatment writers will find video examples on YouTube or from movies, commercials and other videos that he has seen in the past. Some even hand draw their own artwork in order to portray how they envision the video’s mood, feelings, aesthetics and story lines. Once you’ve put your ideas onto paper and have paired them to complimentary imagery, you can forward them to your video production company for their input. They might offer very useful constructive criticism or very slight tweaks to your treatment. Either way, you should view the opportunity to work with a video production company as an opportunity to refine your treatment process in a manner that will enhance your video’s quality.

Treatment Goes Beyond Concepts

It is important to point out that the typical video treatment does more than just plot a course for the video’s content. It gets down to the nitty gritty details of the locations for shoots, the types of images that will be used, the video’s pace and the stories/situations that the video will present to the audience. Your video production company will be quite helpful in this regard. They have all the proper equipment and they’ll know of shot techniques and settings that will help bring your concepts to life. The production company will also help you determine an estimated production budget.

One Inch Punch Productions - EditingA Foundation To Build Upon

Your music video’s treatment represents the necessary starting point that every music video needs to grow out of its infantile stage. Every popular music video from Pearl Jam’s Jeremy to Katy Perry’s Dark Horse began with treatment writing. While most high budget videos employ a team of treatment writers, this is a task that you can do on your own, especially with the assistance of a video production team.

Duane Rajkumar