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Blog: How To Make Money From The Arts

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On Sunday afternoon I ventured out into Rainy London Town to meet Mr John Dredge to film some more videos for The Plinths. Our exciting new record, "The Emergency EP" is out on Monday and we're planning to gradually do videos for each of the four songs. We are VERY MUCH like Duran Duran in this way, possibly in others too.

The rehearsal place we'd booked into was one of those "studios" that are actually a suite of abandoned offices. This seems to be very much a THING in That London at the moment, it is one of at least FIVE that I know of where a theatre company has rented out some unused office space and then sublets loads of the rooms for people needing rehearsal space. It is, in the nicest possible way, a bit of a RACKET. It costs MORE to hire these rooms than it does for music practice rooms, which have to have some soundproofing, PAs, amplifiers and all things which require maintenance, whereas these are JUST old offices. I have often thought that the way to MAKE money in The Theatre is to run a venue and FLEECE theatre companies by hiring the space out to them, but clearly renting rehearsal rooms is even better!

This place was FINE though, and it did have something in common with music rehearsal rooms i.e. the people who have the room before you are pretty much ALWAYS dickheads who NEVER pack up in time and will carry on playing as long as you let them. There was a DANCE TROUPE in our room before us, and at five minutes to the hour I heard the troupe leader say "We've only got five minutes left, so let's learn one more step." I knew THEN that they were going to be trouble, but thought to myself "Give them a chance, perhaps they will surprise you!" They very much DID NOT, so at five PAST the hour, when they were still dancing away, John and I went in and asked them to leave. They DID NOT LIKE THAT. "We're just finishing", said one of them, disgusted at my impertinence. "You can wait outside." "No," I said, "I can't."

There were about twenty of them and they were mostly ANGRY LOOKING YOUNG PEOPLE, so I felt a bit SCARED, but at my great age I cannot be doing with such twattery. I stood firm and they sullenly started packing up. The leader came up to say he had forgotten the time, so I told him I had clearly HEARD him saying "It's five to" ten minutes ago and he went away, TOLD.

It took me SEVERAL minutes to calm down after all that, though on reflection later I realised I was never really in any danger of getting duffed up. They may have been YOUTHS, but they were YOUTHS with an interest in interpretative dance, so the worst I could have expected would have been an excoriating piece of performance art criticising my actions in six months time (funding permitting).

With our room secured we set to work, with John getting into a SUIT and me filming four takes of him miming to the song "Alison Alien". This one is hopefully going to feature some animation, so all we needed to film was John singing the song to be cut into it later, which was fairly peasy.

The NEXT song, "Rose Tinted Glasses", however, was anything BUT. The video plan had a very complicated STORYLINE that required us filming everything out of sync, with different scenes needing to happen in similar locations at different times. Luckily I had written most of it down, and it was only John who had to do the actual ACTING, so there followed 90 minutes of me shouting "Now do this one SLIGHTLY NERVOUSLY!" at him. We also dashed about doing occasional GUERILLA filming, nipping into unoccupieded areas to film extra bits when nobody else was looking. It was lots of fun, especially when we had to utilise the few chairs and tables left in the room to creation the ILLUSION of different locations.

When I got home that evening I thought to myself "I will just have a quick look at the 'Rose Tainted Glasses' bits, to make sure it makes sense" and ended up doing a rough cut of ALL of it. It did seem to work in the end - it's going to need quite a lot of fiddling with to get it properly done, but I think it's going to be PRETTY FLIPPING COOL when it's ready.

The plan is, as I say, to do a video for every song, releasing them roughly one every four weeks. It all starts on Monday next week, when the EP is released and we UNLEASH the video for "Going Down". I hope you like it, I think it is PRETTY GOOD!

posted 23/1/2018 by MJ Hibbett

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