How to become a music video director

video film maker

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Name: Stacey Goldschmidt

Career title:

Music video / Documentary Director / Videographer / Editor

Full-time/part time: Full-time

How long have you been doing this: 8 years

Qualifications and/or training duration:

Attended Columbia College of Chicago


I am an indie film maker that likes to do everything myself – I oversee the projects, fund them on credit cards, direct, shoot, edit, and try to pimp the project as much as I can – when I am not working. Mike Carney has been my right-hand man for many projects.


$40,000 – I have not been paid yet for any of my film projects – my pay is from a photography/video studio I work for during the week.

Job perks:

Feeling good about what I am doing. Every project I shoot – I do it for the love of music and for my subject. If I get paid for distribution of one of my projects – great! But, if I don’t – I will not stop making films and videos.

Downside of the job:

Not having enough money on credit cards to make a film on film.

What made you want to go into this profession:

I love films and music. I started taping bands live and I thought – “Sh*t! Why didn’t I start doing this sooner?” I wish that a lot of bands I saw – who are now broken up and not playing live anymore – had had someone to record them. It is important for me to record as many bands as I can and one day have a web site for others to enjoy the shows. For all the shows I try to have 5 camera angles and the best sound I can get – that always depends on the soundman or woman.

Then I wanted to know more about these underground bands and started making documentary films about them. I was working on 2 documentary films this last 3 years. One is about “Weird Paul“, a lo-fi artist from Pittsburgh, PA, that had a record on the now defunct Homestead records. I have great interviews with Lou Barlow (Sebadoh/Dinosaur), Calvin Johnson (K – Records/Beat Happening), John S. Hall (King Missile), Britt Daniel (Spoon), Ethan Buckler (King Kong), Dave Sisson (Three Blue Teardrops), Karl Hendricks (The KH Trio), Paul Caporino (MOTO), Mr. HCI (The Happy Flowers) and Lord Grunge & Grape-a-don (Grand Buffet), as well as many of Paul’s former band members, the man who signed Paul to Homestead (Ken Katkin) and Paul’s parents, relatives and son, Tristan!

From working with Paul I met “Grand Buffet”, an excellent rap duo from Pittsburgh and started a project on them. From meeting Grand Buffet I met “Gil Mantera’s Party Dream” who I started a live project on and made a great music video for their song “Chalklit pyhe II” that you can see if you go to or You have to check this band out!!!

These bands knew I was not out to make money off of them – that I was genuine – no bullshit – in what I do and they were really willing to work with me. Ultimately I would love to get paid to go on tour with the bands and make their live DVDs, but until then I am content with what I do.

How physically or mentally demanding is the job:

It was stressful to tape these shows at first, but now I have taped so many shows that it is a piece of cake. The only time stress comes into play is when I do not have someone to help me start all the cameras. I have been shooting shows with borrowed cameras and I hope to own my own equipment soon.

Long hours?

The editing can take hours, but the shooting is fun and I don’t notice the amount of time I put into it. I get the best seat to watch many amazing shows.

Most amazing career moment to date:

Having my video played on web sites, also having a short of one of my documentary videos played at a film festival and having every one cheer when it was done.

Most hideous career moment to date:

Not getting into Sundance or SXSW. I am not commercial enough for those festivals and I knew that when I submitted my work.

Do you meet interesting people and if so, who was the most interesting?

I worked on a project called “Rhyme Spitters” in Chicago for a great guy named Rich Seng, He puts out DVDs called “Cherry Bomb” and he put some of my work on one of his DVDs. “Rhyme Spitters” will be available through Net Flix. Through his project I met two amazing Chicago Rappers named Vitamin D and Jah Safe. Vitamin D won the hip hop battle that we taped that day and Jah Safe won the battle this year. I had the privilege of following both of them and making a short film on them.

Danger factor:

No danger

Sexy uniform?

Not really, just my regular clothes. If you dress up or look too trendy bands tend to think that you are out to make money on them.

Opportunities for travel/work abroad with your career?

Yes I travel to interview people – when I can afford it. I travel a lot by car.

Can you still see yourself doing this in 20 years time?

Definitely!!!! I love what I do and do not want to stop. I will be the first 90-year-old videographer going to concerts!

What advice would you give young women who are interested in this career path?

Just go into it with a good heart and be passionate and you will succeed.

Anyone can contact me at [email protected]