Matt Edde is a true behind the scenes talent. He and his twin brother, John, create music videos for country music superstars like Jon Pardi, and former CC Artist of the Month, Adam Craig. Prior to calling Nashville home, Matt grew up in farm country of Central California. The brothers knew they had a passion for film and went on to study film and television production at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
In our latest addition of our Behind the Scenes Series, Matt shares the story of how he got started making music videos and what goes into creating them.
Q & A | Matt Edde
Country Clones [CC] | Talk about some of your creative influences?
Matt Edde [ME] | As a kid I was fascinated by the works of Walt Disney, and the creativity in storytelling in his earliest films. I can remembering watching Disney cartoons as a kid and learning about how they revolutionized the motion picture with pioneering tools in animation like the multi plane camera. As I grew up I became inspired by the works of Steven Spielberg. In college I began to watch documentaries and became interested in that type of story structure and technique.
CC | Who are your mentors?
I have to credit an early mentor of mine, John Hartmann, who, almost by accident got me started in the music business as a filmmaker and storyteller. He was a professor of mine in college at Loyola Marymount University, and just listening to his stories as an artist manager and agent sparked an interest in me to explore that industry. From there, I leaned on people in my field who were where I wanted to be, doing what I wanted to do. Shaun Silva, who has directed almost every Kenny Chesney music video (among hundreds of others) became a close friend and mentor to me after I moved to Nashville.
Moving from California to Nashville, how did you get into the music industry?
Technically I got started in the music industry before I moved to Nashville. After I began watching documentaries, I stumbled upon a director, Ash Greyson who had been working with the band Hanson for a number of years, documenting their career as musicians. We stayed in touch, and he asked my brother and I to fill in for him while the band was in LA recording. We went into the studio with them, for about 2-3 days, and well, the rest is history.
Take us through the process of creating a music video?
The process of making a music video can be different from project to project. But, generally, when an artist has a new single, the record label will solicit directors to write what is called a treatment. That is the director’s concept for a video, after listening to the track. They send along things like the song, lyrics, budget and any creative notes if there are any. From there, directors write up their ideas, and submit them to the label. If the artist and label choose your concept, then a shoot date is selected and pre production begins. For me, the first thing I do is hire a producer, who’s tasked with putting the crew together, helping secure locations, hair/makeup, wardrobe, and the list goes on and on. Once location and crew are locked in, a tech scout takes place a day or two ahead of the shoot, where the key personnel walk through the locations with the director and determine what the lighting/electrical needs are. Next, the shoot happens, and hopefully without a hitch. After the shoot wraps, post production begins. I typically edit all of our music videos, but this is where an editor would cut the piece. After the label, artist and management agree on a cut, the picture is “locked”. From there is goes to a colorist who color corrects it and makes it look awesome. The video is then closed captioned, dubbed and sent to whatever outlet is going to broadcast it.
How do you determine where the music video is shot?
A few things determine where a music video is shot. The main factor is obviously the song, and what best suits the lyrics of the track. If it’s a song that talks about sipping mai tai’s on the beach, then normally a beach setting springs to mind. But, that may not always be possible if the budget doesn’t allow for travel. So, its a delicate dance between creative desire, and actual financial feasibility.
What has been your biggest accomplishment thus far in your career?
My biggest accomplishment so far, I think, would actually be launching an app. We recently launched an app on iOS (coming soon to Android) called VideoBomb, which allows users to put themselves in their favorite music videos, movie clips, or pretty much anything they want!
What is the key to working and owning a business with your twin brother?
The key to working with my twin brother is compatibility. We both have very similar creative ideas, so we normally mesh really well. On set, it’s nice because there are two of us to handle everything. We can kind of divide and conquer.
Do you and your brother share the same vision/direction when it comes to creating films?
For the most part, yes. Often, when we’re collaborating, we combine ideas, to make one really cool concept. So if one if us is lacking on a concept, usually the other one will say something that will spark some creativity, and get the juices flowing.
Who is your dream artist you would like to collaborate with?
Dolly Parton. duh.
What’s your take on video apps available for anyone. Apps like Triller – allow you to create your own short films?
When it comes to video apps that allow you to make your own films, there are several. Being in this space myself, I believe that VideoBomb is the funnest and easiest, and also allows the end user the most creative freedom. I think we’re in an age where millennials are consuming an incredible amount of media on mobile devices. And 80% of the media they are consuming is video content. They’re looking for ways to make that video consumption more interactive and dynamic. That is where apps like VideoBomb come in, allowing users to not only consume, but to customize and personalize the experience by adding their own content into it.
Can you tell us about any current projects your excited for?
We’re currently excited about the App, VideoBomb, but also working with a lot of new, up and coming talent. Any time we get to work with a new artist or “baby act” it’s exciting to be not he leading edge of their creative endeavors!
Watch the making of Adam Craig’s “Just a Phase” music video below.