How we made a music video as friends (with money) and still enjoyed each other's company afterwards. / by Julian Focareta

As some of us know, it’s hard to mix friendship and work. For example, in college a lot of my friends would star in my shitty classroom shorts with whatever terrible acting they had to offer. Some would show up, some wouldn’t, some wouldn’t take direction, and some would simply be a big pain in the ass. 

However, as we grow older as artists we tend to try and collaborate with new people to extend the network that we have. For some of us lucky ones, we are surrounded by extremely talented friends who have always been creative and artistic their entire lives.

 All photos from here on are taken by  Mike Budny .

All photos from here on are taken by Mike Budny.

Chousand is a band made up of a bunch of extremely talented and charismatic individuals that I have been fortunate to work, be acquainted, and live with. (Visit here for their music!)  A lot of the work we have done has been purely out of passion with little to no budget. Why? - I believe in passion projects no matter the level/age of artist that you are.

It is hard to stay passionate and hungry when you are depending on your discipline of art (or anything for that matter) to survive. When we focus on making ends meet with money, we tend to capture rather than create.

Our latest project (as seen below), was fortunate to be backed by a (small) budget. I was able to hire a crew (thank you everyone who helped out!). We were also able to buy props! (May have overspent) However, as nice as it was to be backed with the small amount of a budget we had, it was difficult in terms of keeping our minds on what our collaboration was all about.

The initial conversation dealt with timeline, and like most, it was way shorter than it should have been. Whatever! This was fine with me because I enjoy working under pressure when I truly believe in a project. After this, we discussed budget. Where was the spending going to be most useful? This conversation really didn’t involve me (thank god) but I always tried to lend an idea when I could. After this, we talked execution. As you can see from the video, it is a one-take shot that engulfed wrestling, fireworks, set changes, choreography, fog machines, and walking up a set of stairs backwards by myself with no spotter. (FUCK YEAH)

At certain points, arguments ensued for sort of unclear reasons. A lot of it was stress driven and in my defense, passion driven. 

Each step of this process became more and more stressful. I don’t necessarily need to get into details because I'm sure we have all been there. However, there a few things that helped us stay leveled with the foundation of this project:

-This is a collaboration. It's simple as that. Respect everyone's decision.
-Friends before anything. This doesn’t mean professionalism doesn't exist but these people enjoyed your company before looking at you as a paid worker.
-Let whoever has the money, decide what to do with it. (Don't be afraid to make educated suggestions)
-A passion project will most likely always lack budget, don’t ever forget that.
-A passion project is labeled this way for a reason.

It is as simple as this.. don’t forget where you came from, who you are, and definitely don’t forget what each project means. Some projects may be for your own notoriety, great pay, or networking. This was an intensive collaboration between two entities passionate about their discipline. 

Some more photos for you: