phredd

30 Day Photo Challenge – Day 26

Day 26 – A picture of something that means a lot to you

These guys

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Kids Music and Me

I’ve been editing and putting together goofy little videos since I was around 15 years old. Unlike today, personal computers weren’t something every household had and high schools weren’t even close to offering video editing courses. iMovie and Windows Movie Maker weren’t even on my radar and I was editing movies by hooking up my video camera to my VCR and pressing “Pause” and “Record” at the right place. It took forever and the video distortion lines that would pop up every time I paused the VCR were annoying to say the least. I wasn’t able to stop and check how it was coming along for fear I lose my exact place and end up with a couple of frames of black and white “snow” in between shots, so when I put my early videos together, it was done with a “Wow I hope this is turning out OK” prayer repeatedly running through my head.

In 2003 I bought my first video editing software for my computer and decided to teach myself how to edit digitally. I was living in Nashville and had plenty of time on my hands. The very first thing I edited on the computer was a music video. I wasn’t looking to do anything epic, just something really basic and somewhat short to jump in with. The shortest song I could find was on an old Sesame Street CD and the final thing came out looking like this:

For my first stab at it, I still think it turned out OK. It’s goofy and dorky and ridiculous so I guess it fits me pretty well.

Since then, between videos I’ve done for work and stuff I’ve fiddled around with on my own, I’ve put together just about 700 videos. Zoinks. I didn’t realize that number was so high until just now.Granted, some of them don’t really involve a lot of editing but hey, 700 is 700.

The latest video I worked on was one for ukulele singer/songwriter Phredd. The whole text-only video thing is pretty big right now, and we’ve never shied away from a trend. His song “Text the Cell” was perfect for this style.

It was fun putting it together. A lot more went into it than one might think, but I love the simplicity of it and I’m really happy with how it turned out.

I started my video-editing adventures with a kids song…and 700 videos later it’s still something I enjoy going back to.

But that doesn’t mean if I saw The Wiggles on the side of the highway I wouldn’t swerve to avoid them. I mean, come on.

Zoo in Space

I’ll be honest: I’m really pleased with the video Phredd asked me to put together for the song “Zoo in Space” from his new album Phreddtastic. He came to me with the idea of compiling a bunch of stock footage clips to put with the song and I had a good time going through old NASA footage and royalty-free cartoons.

Here’s the final product, as can be seen on Phredd’s Youtube page, along with more music to keep your ukulele-lovin’ foot tapping.

The “How to Write A Hit Song” Jingo Jango

As I mentioned in a post last week, tomorrow is the release day of the new Phredd album, Phreddtastic. To help celebrate that fact, I thought I’d offer up a little insight as to how one of the songs, “Jingo Jango” came about. Instead of telling you how Phredd and I wrote the lyrics, I thought I’d show you by copying the emails we sent back and forth that birthed the song. And yes kids, this is how ALL professional songwriters write their songs.

EDDIE to FRED:

Fred,
Are you up for writing a jingle for WJTL’s listen live feature, a la those annoying freecreditreport.com commercials? Kinda like the poor sap lost his radio or something and didn’t have a way to listen but now he does. I am actually going to lip synch the song since, just like in the commercials, the guy “singing” the songs isn’t the actual singer. Did you know that? He’s a French actor. True story, dude.
No rush on this at all. At all.
Eddie

FRED to EDDIE:

I love it.  Let’s do this…
Come up with a title and then let’s write (email) lines back and forth to write the song.
So you send me the title, and then…
Let the fun begin.
Fred

EDDIE to FRED:

“The No-Radio-Needed Jingo Jango”

FRED to EDDIE:

Jingo Jango Who need ‘da radio?

EDDIE to FRED:

I thought I did til my boombox broke

FRED to EDDIE:

Cruel old joke, when my boombox broke

EDDIE to FRED:

(Now) My boombox won’t tune in any mo’

FRED to EDDIE:

OK, I went a little crazy.  Start the second verse. :>)

Hey Radio Man now there’s a void
Yeah you succeeded
My life’s destroyed
No Radio Needed
Chorus
No Radio Needed (Jingo Jango)
Yeah, you succedded (Jingo Jango)
Casey Kasem pleaded
Rick Dees conceded
All your fears are now exceeded
Jingo Jango No Radio Needed

EDDIE to FRED:

Dude you are SOO much better at this, lol. I’m still trying to get my last contribution to fit in the structure…
Jingo jango, don’ need da radio

FRED to EDDIE:

Now I don’t have a life soundtrack

EDDIE to FRED:

I need music back, no tunes is pretty wack

FRED to EDDIE:

Wackitta wacka whacky no sound

EDDIE to FRED:

But Internet Man do what you can
Your technology
Can musically span
This dilemma probably

FRED to EDDIE:

Bridge/Middle eight
So I’m singing Papa papa papa papa
momma momma momma momma
Papa papa papa papa
Hm, Daddy Momma turn the radio on!
(OK Eddie – Big 3rd verse.  this is where we hit the point of the song.  The big finish so to speak.  You start)

EDDIE to FRED:

Jingo Jango what’s dis by da radio?

FRED to EDDIE:

Why, its my portal to the internets

EDDIE to FRED:

Now I gets no worries or frets

FRED to EDDIE:

Cause I can tune in 24/7  (or – Cause I can tune in all the time)  if you like that better

EDDIE to FRED:

Listen online man if you’re out of range

FRED to EDDIE:

Hey, we be streamin’

EDDIE to FRED:

You ain’t dreamin’

FRED to EDDIE:

Hey, You ain’t dreamin’
We be streamin’

NO RADIO NEEDED
Eddie, I think its done. The only other addition might be to talk over the ending, like listen online at wjtl.com or “get better speakers” or “nice profile pic dude.”

EDDIE to FRED:

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha sweet!! You are sooo much better at this than me. I gladly stand in your shadow!

FRED to EDDIE:

already got the tune in my head

A few days later, Fred sent me an actual song based on what we’d written. As someone with no songwriting talent, I was crazy impressed that Fred was able to take our random lines and work them into a musical structure. He tweaked some words here and there, cut and moved and re-worded and the rest…well, I’ll say it. The rest is musical history.

Here’s the music video, set to Fred’s original rough mix:

Phreddtastic is available online at the WJTL music store and will also be available on iTunes in the near future. A free download of the first single, “Text the Cell” will be available online at the WJTL website from Tuesday Dec 8-Monday Dec 15.