Guest Blog: Unleashing the Music Video Muse
Unleashing the Music Video Muse (Within No Minimum Safe Distance)
Written by Florida Chapter Board member Veronica "Milcho" Milchorena
“…So I see myself walking into a smokey club where I bust my hot video boyfriend with another girl! Shocked & upset, I run out!” says a very excited & talented artist about her music video idea she wants me to direct when suddenly I was abruptly struck by merciless tunnel vision! The inside of my mouth instantly sprouted a voluptuous fluffy cotton field as my tongue morphed into a panicking farmer. As she continued to explain her proposal, pandemonium broke out in between my cheeks where the crop was spreading like wildfire. As I was gasping for air, the desperate farmer tongue was my only hope within the immediate perimeter, who could clear my air passage and save me from suffocating before ever even taking a sip from my grande extra hot soy latte at Starbucks. I recognized the symptoms immediately. I was suffering from a severe attack of “F.O.N.S.S.C.” Fear Of Not Shooting Something Creative!
Being that I’m a huge fan of not dying, my farmer tongue heroically reached into the deepness of my throat to remove the last cotton ball from my esophagus. HALLELUJAH! The pathway was clear for my breath to regain force and my voice to reclaim sound! Without wasting anymore time, I reached into my inner Soprano and with all my might and intention declared:
“I see three green elephants controlling you via remote as you're a latex galactic prisoner attached to a lightning spiral! Your weapon of choice... a Gibson guitar!”
I chased my epic visual translation of her song with a gulp from my not-so-hot-anymore soy latte in celebration that I had made it out alive! A week later we were shooting the music video.
It’s been about 8 years since that cotton mouth “F.O.N.S.S.C” episode, yet it is an episode that has repeated itself over and over again since I directed & shot my first music video in 1984. It’s not surprising that creatively some people feel safe re-creating popular images that they’ve seen before since it’s a validated formula proven to be successful for whomever created it first.
“Have so you seen Beyonce’s video? Lets do the same thing!”
(Insert Emoji of girl raising her hand.)
“Excuse me for interrupting BUT if Beyonce already did it, why would you ever wanna Re-Beyonce-It it again? Why don't you just re-invent the Fork instead?”
(Insert Emoji of girl holding both hands in question mode followed by one rolling its eyes back.)
The greatest advantage of the social media times we are living in today is that because we are constantly bombarded by innovative images, the viewer is more receptive to engage with visuals that scream outside the box. So if that’s the case, why are some artists & directors still stuck in that club with the cheating boyfriend? (Get rid of that fool already, he’s not worth it!) So if that’s the case, why not feed the viewer a more stimulating visual meal when they have such a big, tolerant appetite? And more importantly, why give ourselves intentional creative constipation, ingesting repeatedly the same predictable ingredients attached to a creative experience that at the end of the day will be forgotten as it’s being lived because we’ve done exactly the same thing over and over again inside a challenge-less & fearful creative cooking comfort zone? Too deep? Throw me a rope. Not deep enough? I can get deeper, but the Academy might suggest I blog for Deepak Chopra instead. (Insert deep thinker emoji.)
It’s clear that the more we’re exposed to alternative world-wide styles of art, film, music, photography, architecture, dance, writings and all other creative stimulants under the umbrella held by the “All Mighty Muse," the more possibilities we have of being provoked to explore and experiment with more confidence outside our Creative Comfort Zone.
In other words: Become addicted to framing no less than anything that triggers you to launch exhilarating rockets of limitless imagination.
Personally I live with a muse who’s rebellious and stubborn, she says “Jump” and I say, “Lets jump together…without a parachute!” Then she’ll say “…in a pool of aquatic dancing piranhas” and I’ll follow with “can we change the pool to an erupting volcano please?” As a director, I don't take the responsibility of adding images to a song lightly, and as a video artist, I stand clear from projects that have creative limitations. As per my doctor (who happens to also be my Muse) those limitations trigger painful hives aside from the already well known syndrome “F.O.N.S.S.C.” introduced earlier in this Royal Rumble of words. Therefore, creating anything less than who I am puts my health in jeopardy & shortens my lifespan. My apologies to those for whom I cannot direct… it’s me, not you.
So next time an artist or director suggests a “Jealousy scene at a club” don't be afraid to substitute the other girl for a coquette French gorilla, replace the club for a yellow submarine and the cheating significant other for a great tropical fruit salad… and if anyone has a problem with that, just tell them Milcho told you to.