Sep 7 2011

I’m a VC – Behind the Music

Yesterday we released a video written, produced and directed by my partner Jason, that attempts to capture “the human struggle of four venture capitalists trying to make the world a better place.” From the response on Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere on the web it seems to have hit a chord with people; and I hope has been taken for what it was intended – a parody of lives as VCs (certainly no one can accuse the four of us of taking ourselves too seriously!).

It was for me a unique experience, not just creating the video but also recording in Jason’s studio and watching the editing and finishing process. For 5:56 of video (including outtakes) we spend hours recording and filming (not to mention all the time Jason spent mixing, re-recording and editing). It was a blast. Especially the day we spent running around Boulder in full costume(s) filming. We turned quite a few heads and at a couple of points had a full audience watching us perform. I learned a few important things that I thought I’d share:

I can’t sing. Like most people I think I have a pretty good singing voice. I sing in the car, sing along to my iPod, occasionally sing in the shower. And I thought I really had it. So when I got to the studio I belted it out like I was feeling it (and I was). And then Jason played it back for me and it turns out that I suck at singing. It’s disappointing to admit, but it’s true. Alas, I better stick to my day job.

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Brad sings even worse than I do. If I can take any solice in the fact that I can’t really sing, it’s that Brad can’t sing either. And he’s even worse than I am. So at least there’s that.

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Go big or go home. There was no question for the four of us that if we were going to do this, we were going to go all out. For me that was the beard (thanks to my wife Greeley for shaving it down to JT perfection the night before the shoot!). And for all of us (thanks to the internets) the costumes. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing as embarrassingly as possible!

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Impromptu can work (sort of). Most of our shoots were meticulously planned out by Jason in advance of the crew arriving, but the scene we shot in the shower (which I’m a bit mixed on, actually) was completely impromptu. Like “hey – do you think we could all fit in the shower?!” kind of impromptu. Sometimes you just need to go with it!

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I love my partners and the fact that Jason conceived of this project and more importantly that we actually went ahead and did it is a testament to why I like working with them so much. Here’s to having a good time. And to not taking yourself too seriously!

Photo credit, Brian Sweeney (who did yomans work the entire day of filing by both being in charge of still photography but also carried around the music, carted equipment and generally did anything/everything that needed doing. His wife Megan Sweeney was the lead videographer and editor, btw.