TCF students produce music video for Hollywood R&B artist
R&B singer Gifted traveled to Tuscaloosa recently to film the video for his song "Superstar" with a group of UA TCF students.
Watch the behind-the-scenes video of TCF students in action: https://vimeo.com/43871480
On a red-eye flight from Las Vegas, singer-songwriter Gifted, known most for producing “Good Luck Charm,” R&B’s Jagged Edge’s last gold record arrived in Birmingham. He was brought directly from Birmingham to Tuscaloosa by Dr. Rachel Raimist, Assistant Professor in the Department of Telecommunication and Film Department, because production on his “Superstar” music video began early the next morning. Gifted was in town to work with Dr. Raimist and her students; she is teaching TCF 444: Producing & Directing Music Videos as a summer course. In the course students conceive, write, produce, direct, film and edit original music videos for local artists, starting off with this video for Gifted.
Gifted’s “Superstar” music video concept was written and directed by UA senior Micah Russell, who graduates with dual degrees in Telecommunication and Film and Computer Science after he completes this course. Russell’s idea for “Superstar” is a classic story of man’s pursuit of a beautiful woman. In this video it’s not about that end, but about the chase - a playful cat and mouse game, weaving through locations where the students filmed including “Above” rooftop bar at the Redmont Hotel and NV Ultra Lounge in Birmingham. The students also built a last-minute set to film a romantic corner booth set when a Tuscaloosa location cancelled permission to film (a real-life issue the students had to contend with, with less than a day’s notice), and a small stage in Studio A in Reese Phifer Hall for performances filmed under various brightly colored backdrops.
“I teach this course once a year and my students love it,” Raimist explains, “It is one thing to study music video form, the body of work of their favorite video directors, and increase their technical skill and filmic techniques, and it is another to work through ideas with the artists who recorded the music.” In this course students study music video style across musical genres, they learn to write treatments, go through the revision process with the musical artist, have to work with a crew to produce – doing everything from casting, to location scouting, budgeting, transporting equipment, filming and editing. “It is a tremendous amount of work, but the students don’t seem to mind.”
“This course is important […], it has taught me the pressures of being a producer and it gives me an edge for future employment opportunities,” said TCF senior Katie Stewart, “I would not trade this experience for [anything in] the world.”
This year 13 enrolled students and about 40 other current and alumni TCF students helped to crew for the video. “It was the largest production that I’ve produced in the department,” Dr. Raimist explained. “We have 15 cars and trucks transporting students and a tremendous amount of equipment from location to location.” In the end, my students are exhausted but exhilarated, and production on the next video, though smaller than this Gifted video (which was an entire class project), will begin soon. Treatments for individual and small group videos (for local artists) are due this week.
For more information about this course and the media production track in the department of
Telecommunication and Film, please email Dr. Raimist at email@example.com