Jake Williams

Equinox Staff


Famously, music videos laid waste to the radio star in the 1980s. Now, the Internet and the proliferation of video sharing sites like YouTube have ended the music video’s status as a main cog in establishing an artist’s prominence.

However, for Keene State College students in Film Professor Lance Levesque’s Production I class, it remains a viable medium for showcasing their skills.

Film Production I students held Music Video Night on March 5 in the Mabel Brown Room, the event’s new location. In previous years, videos debuted in KSC’s Putnam Theatre, but the rising numbers of attendants forced the move, as previously reported by The Equinox.



Slow hordes of students trickled into the Mabel Brown Room up to the 10:30 p.m. showing time, eventually packing the majority of the ground floor and extending into the balcony section.

As an event, Film Production I student Joe Fusco said Professor Levesque has hosted this night for about a decade.

According to Film Production I student and freshman Rebecca Connolly, students had about three weeks to plan, shoot, edit and finalize the production of a music video.

She said that after first assigning a smaller project to gauge where students’ strengths were, Professor Levesque, in effect, chose the four student groups randomly.

Whereas some groups were able to promptly decide on a song and concept, Connolly said for her group the task proved more difficult. “Our group definitely met [to work on the project] the most,” she said.

“It [the project] was a struggle, it really was,” group member Fusco said. Connolly said each member had individual ideas for songs and concepts but were unable to zero in on one during their initial meetings.

That’s when she said their professor recommended they steer away from the darker, more serious themes explored by other groups and reach for something “upbeat and fun.” Connolly said this sort of teacher-student engagement ran concurrent during the filmmaking process. “He’s probably the most encouraging professor I’ve ever had,” Connolly said.

“He’ll shoot you down if he thinks it’s crap, but he will also shoot you sky high if he thinks it’s a great idea. He won’t just leave you with nothing [to work with],” Fusco said.

“He’ll call you personally and work it out, he’ll fix your ideas. Nothing is over with Lance [Levesque]. We could always improve it and we could always make it that much better. That’s why he’s a really good teacher.”

Following this interaction, the group found an angle to pursue for their video, and according to Fusco their concept and song choice hit simultaneously.

“We got the idea down and it sounded really magical,” he said. “Then all of a sudden, B.o.B, the song ‘Magic’ popped in my head and I was like ‘Let’s rock ‘Magic’.’”

“From an editor’s standpoint because of its beat and its tempo [there’s] a lot of fun stuff that you can do editing wise, making things more fun to watch and aesthetically pleasing,” Connolly said.

However, not all aspects of this project happened with the speed of a magic show.

According to Connolly, the film’s main editor, because of their choice to use special effects they needed 80 minutes of login time on the computer to complete the video. She said that not only were they burdened with learning new software, the editing suite Avid, but also they, “had to learn extra stuff that people who have maybe used Avid don’t even know because we’re trying to get these effects that are in our heads on the screen.”

Michael Messina, sophomore and teaching assistant for the Film Production I class, said that Avid can be a tricky software to learn with the current computer capabilities in Keene’s Film Department.

Messina said he helped the students with the production aspects of their film but also with the formulation of ideas.

For Film Production I student James Attchridge’s group, the creative process took a slightly different approach than Connolly’s. He said his group first picked the song  “Young Men Dead” by The Black Angels—and then brainstormed on what direction they would take their video.

“We looked at the lyrics, looked at the mood of the song, and just shot out ideas,” Attchridge said.

Although Attchridge admitted their five-minute video was a bit long, he said he wouldn’t change anything.  When asked what it was like to see his production on the big screen, Attchridge replied, “It’d be better if it was less green.” This seemed to be the only aspect of the night to leave some with a sour taste in their mouth.

“It’s a little annoying because kids work so hard on editing these videos and that’s part of editing, getting the color correct,” Messina said.

Not to worry, because those interested in viewing the music videos with the proper color correction, will be able to view them in HD on Vimeo.


Jake Williams can be contacted at 


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