The Day Of
Pre-performance preparations to embody your personal power.
Pre-performance preparations to embody your personal power.
Self-care tips to ensure a great show the next day.
A story about how Madame Z discovered her secret makeup remover for stage makeup.
Cheap, non-toxic, and simple skin care tips using things you probably already have at home.
Trying to get a realistic and classic look on camera? It doesn’t take much.
A memory of Christmas with my teen art program in San Francisco.
An article about how we price our music video productions to best serve our artist clients & our creative crew.
A story about instantaneous inspiration on set with local videographer Kent Kessinger.
KEEP IT NATURAL, BABY!"
Every year throughout high school and college, Ronald Chase and the Art & Film team would throw a big party Christmas Party for their students and alumni. Art & Film For Teens is a program in SF that introduces teens to high art in a big way. They take (or took, as in before Covid) teens to the symphony, the opera, the ballet, modern dance performances, the city’s museums and art galleries, the cinema, and would even host their own film screenings of classic films and modern masterpieces. But most importantly — they opened discussions about the work at every event, training students to not only take in art as consumers, but to form their own opinions, develop their own taste, and make intellectual connections between works and artists throughout history. This program was a huge influence on my own work and life as an artist, and I continue to participate in the program as an alumnus and a patron.
The Twelfth Night Party always occurred on a Saturday roughly 2 weeks after Christmas. There was a live classical quartet or a jazz trio, sometimes both: one in each room. There was a giant Christmas tree covered in single Poinsettia flowers, strings of white lights, and three-dimensional Gothic buildings that Ronald had handcrafted himself with paper and ink. The students, parents, mentors, and alumni would often arrive in costume — something frilly, something French, something black, something poetic. There was eggnog, apple cider, and Martinelli’s for the little ones. There was a giant cake, so tall that it leaned like the tower of Pisa. And somewhere hidden inside the cake was a large dry bean. Later in the evening at the cutting of the cake, Ronald would make an announcement about the bean, warning people to chew carefully.
Whoever finds the bean will be King or Queen for the night!"
He’d say, holding a paper crown to bestow upon our winner.
Eat meticulously," Huntly would chime in, "and for heaven’s sake, don’t swallow the bean!”
This bean-for-the-win idea was based on the old English tradition of Twelfth Night, where Kings would dress as peasants and vice versa at the end of a 12 day festival following Christmas. The festival originally started on Hallow’s Eve, hence the dressing up, and marked the end of harvest and the beginning of winter. The church appropriated this concept in the 19th Century to allow for Christmas festivities to carry on longer than just Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
At the very end of the party, most of the students and parents would leave, and only a few of us long-term mentors and alumni would be left. We’d help clean, gather plates and cups, put things away, and restore Ronald’s art studio back to a functional space. Before we’d leave… someone would always beg Ronald to play a song on the Harpsichord. And he always would, but it had to be at the end of the party. The harpsichord looks like a piano, but it is nothing like it. The keys are in a different order, so whatever you thought you knew on piano would sound completely ridiculous on a harpsichord. The sound is very different because where the piano has hammers that hit the strings within, the harpsichord has plectrums that pluck the strings, and for that reason it is much quieter. If Ronald would play it in a room full of people, you would barely be able to hear it, especially if people were talking. It was a small and quiet moment we all shared — shutting up around the harpsichord — but it left me with a feeling of peace and tranquility that I’d take with me on my walk home through the mission to my parents house, hearing the trills of the keys fade into the night sky above.
Merry Christmas Art & Film, thank you so much for hosting some of the most enriching memories of my young adult life.
You can learn more about the program at artandfilm.org
If you look around, you'll find that our prices are competitive and that we offer more art for your buck in terms of the professional creativity that goes into our videos.
It can cost from $5,000-$10,000 for low budget music video productions or up to $100-200K or even $300K on a high end." ~ Adjust Production Blog
Fees are usually per production day. Most production companies do 10-12 hour long film shoots, are extremely costly, and frankly these long days are unhealthy for the crew and the musicians who are starring in the production.
As an Italian-American, I think my fellow Americans have it all wrong. People simply don't produce good work after 6 hours. We strain our bodies and minds to create work we'll just have to undo later on. I used to do 8-10 hour film shoots, but we all (me, my crew, the cast, & the clients) would get grumpy and too tired to make good decisions after the 6 hour mark. Why push it? Making a music video is a special moment in your career. It should be fun!"
~Justine Lucas, Producer & Director at Madwoman
A Madwoman shoot day is between 6-8 hours. That applies to either pre-production, on set, or post-production. A typical music video needs at least one day of pre-production (story dev & concept), one or two days of production (film shoots), and then several days of post-production (editing) to create a polished end-product. We value our team and care about having good vibes and a fun experience on set for our crew and for our music artist clients. Our shorter days allow us to offer lower prices to musicians than our competitors, and have a more energized creative output.
Below is a list of all of the production services and creative roles that go into making our videos.
Story & Concept Development*
Coordinating & Communications*
Script & Storyboard Creation *
Costume Theme or Design *
Sourced or Custom Costumes
Camera Operators *
Production Assistant *
Hair & Makeup
Video Editor *
* Required for any production
“Kent!” I shouted from behind the other cameramen, “Are you ok?!”
“Yeah,” he exclaimed from the floor, “I’m just getting the right shot!”
And that was it. That shot added a new dimension to the climax of the film that established a larger-than-life feeling for the world of these characters.
That particular shot was only used for a fraction of a second, but it puts the viewer in a new place - between the conductor and the band. Throughout the rest of the film, the conductor (and actual co-composer of the song) Jonah Udall had only been an mysterious silhouette until this point in the film.
While I had created an entire storyboard for this film for Kent to shoot from, there were some things that I never would have thought of. Only an experienced videographer like Kent would look at the shot through the view finder and think… No, this should be weirder. And that’s why we love him!
It’s important to have a well-thought out and well-planned vision before doing a film shoot, especially when it involves an entire big bag. You want to honor their time for showing up and performing! But also… recognize when someone in the team has a fresh idea in the moment, and honor that inspiration. That’s how artists grown, and that’s how art evolves.
Keep it fresh, Keep it inspired, and Keep it real.