How To Film A Music Video With An iPhone

10 Tips For Filming Music Video With An iPhone

Keith Stancil on set filming Vespa scene for Holly Starr “Umbrella” music video.

After reading an Apple Insider article about Steven Soderbergh filming his latest film, Unsane, with an iPhone, the desire was planted in me to learn how to film a music video with an iPhone. Soderbergh, known for his Best Film Director Academy Award for Traffic, Erin Brockovich, the Oceans trilogy and other groundbreaking films thrives on unconventional filming methods. Like Soderbergh, I am an early adopter of technology but unlike Soderbergh, I had never filmed a scene outside of birthday parties and family vacations. My video experience drastically changed in the last couple months as I ventured into directing two music videos using my iPhone 8.

All great music videos begin with an incredible song, and I knew I had the perfect song for my experiment. Holly Starr’s “Umbrella” knocked me out from my first listen of her original songwriting demo. “Umbrella” was birthed from one of Starr’s first writing sessions with artist/producer/writer, Matthew Parker. Starr & Parker’s writing/recording relationship has sense blossomed into a string of beautiful fresh pop songs found on Starr’s latest album titled HUMAN.

The second thing most great music videos possess is a compelling story. The story hit me immediately but capturing the story would take some creativity. I wanted the story to represent two people falling in love for life beginning at childhood and moving through their senior years as a married couple. The element that would give my story uniqueness would be an umbrella serving as the central character of the story knitting the three stages of life together. My wife and I purchased a Totes® umbrella with loads of character a few years back at the Marks and Spencer store on the Oxford University campus in the UK. That umbrella, without a doubt, was the perfect umbrella for the starring role.

As I began crafting the story board for “Umbrella,” I simultaneously ran across the SMOVE MOBILE gimbal which served as a great tool for capturing the story. Amazingly, the $159 SMOVE MOBILE purchase gave me the ability to capture “jib type” shots I never dreamed possible with an iPhone. For $25, I then purchased a monopod stick from Walmart and a small Joby GorillaPod ™ from Best Buy for $25 to round out my video director tool box. Google searches for filming with an iPhone led me to FilmicPro , an app most iPhone video enthusiasts recommend.  Excluding the iPhone 8 which I already own, my new video filming kit cost a total of $225. Not a bad price to set up as a music video director!

New Christmas Song Recorded With An iPhone

The Gray Havens Release New Christmas Music

Husband/wife duo The Gray Havens  just released a new Christmas song they recorded using an iPhone.

“City of David,” birthed as a surprise to the duo while working on their new studio album. David Radford explains “We really hadn’t planned on recording a Christmas song this year but inspiration kicked in one night and I started recording on my iPhone. When we showed the song to our producer, Ben Shive, he voted to keep the iPhone vocals, declaring them to be cool, so we did!”

The Gray Havens rush released “City of David” to digital outlets including Apple Music and Spotify and created a “making of” video, which can be viewed HERE.

In addition to the new Christmas song, The Gray Havens recently released “High Enough,” the first single from their forthcoming album scheduled to release in Spring 2018. The Gray Havens can be seen live on some of Andrew Peterson’s Behold The Lamb Tour dates including the sold out show at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.

For further information, visit or contact Artist Garden Entertainment.

Sonicbids Kills Artistdata


Why did Sonicbids kill Artistdata? A question I’ve been pondering since receiving the kill letter on Friday.

New internet tools for bands appear on the scene quite often. Some offer great innovative solutions while others merely clone other services. Tunecore, Bandcamp, CD Baby, ReverbNation, Fanbridge, Sonicbids and BandsInTown are among some of the elite survivors. Working as an artist manager leads me down the path of many of these services only to be disappointed and frustrated by limitations. One service I stumbled upon seven years ago, Artistdata, proved to be an incredibly useful tool. Finally, there was a service that offered one place to enter show information that would then magically appear on multiple sites. Artistdata created something pretty special for artists and the best part was that the service was free! While there were some growing pains along the way, Artistdata worked tirelessly to improve their service. As I began to dig in deeper with our artists, I discovered even more great features being offered to artists. One of my favorites is the Daysheet & Tourbook feature. Originally, those two features required a premium monthly subscription which came with a fee, but for a heavy touring band it was well worth the minimal fee. One day, the premium fee disappeared. Could this be real? That should have been a sign that something was cooking up in the back room. Indeed something was cooking as the announcement followed that Sonicbids had purchased Artistdata. Of course Sonicbids promised the purchase would only make Artistdata better.

Last week I received the disappointing letter that Sonicbids is decommissioning on Oct 14 2016. Of course, the letter states that I should subscribe to Sonicbids and move all data to take advantage of Sonicbids’ great services. The only drawback is there is a substantial monthly fee and I don’t see the daysheet, tourbook and other services listed. I would imagine the founder of Artistdata, Brenden Mulligan, now has a garage full of Ferraris but right now I’m wishing I would never have been exposed to Artistdata as it is so painful to see it disappear.

If anyone has any suggestions on sites that offer the daysheet and tourbook features, please leave a comment!


YouTube Releases Music App

The music streaming race gets a little more interesting with the today’s announcement from Youtube. Youtube announced the release of their music app for IOS and Android. I’m just downloading the app so no opinion from me yet on its functionality, however, I’m sure it will quickly move to the top of every music marketing plan. Upon hearing the news, I found this amazingly produced video that Youtube made to introduce the service. Interestingly I was the 50th person to view it so I wanted to share with those of you who haven’t seen it. After watching this video, I’m stoked. How about You?

Streaming Sound Off!

As we approach the launch of Apple’s new streaming service, Apple Music, streaming is front and center on the agenda for anyone connected with the music industry. There are theories, analysis, pros, cons, fear and excitement regarding music streaming services. Spotify, Apple Music, GooglePlay, Tidal and Rdio are the major players vying to win the customers but there are others quickly jumping in to set up shop.  I thought it would be interesting to do a little different post today and let you do the talking. Leave your comments with any thoughts or feelings you have regarding how streaming will affect the future of music. Go!


Artist Garden Entertainment

Will Your Website Survive The Google Mobile Friendly Change?

Many artists hire someone to create their websites but there are many Do it Yourselfers who take advantage of the user friendly platforms like WordPress and SquareSpace to create their websites. Fortunately, I caught wind of a change the Google is rolling out that could potentially make your website invisible to those using Google Search. Google has decided to penalize websites not set up to be mobile friendly beginning April 21 which is only 7 days away.

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 10.12.20 AM

Thankfully Google has provided a link where you can check your website to see if it measures up to the standards they will be looking for. I would encourage everyone to check your site via this link If you website fails the test, you should put some changes in place to make your website mobile friendly. There is a free plug-in that I discovered on WordPress called WPTouch which solves the issue fairly quickly. You might also check with a website designer for additional help.







New Nashville Recording Studio Open For Business

One might be inclined to ask “why would a new recording studio in the Nashville area be big news?” Owners Mark Lange and Chris Brush would respond by describing their new PlethoraTone studio as a giant candy store for those in search of that special tone. The new studio is loaded with a plethora of unique vintage guitar amps, guitars, bass guitars, keyboards and drums which promise to bring extreme joy to those in search of that special tone. There are even a few unexpected instruments for those looking to explore something unique.

Mark Lange has spent his career in Atlanta, Seattle and Nashville producing, engineering and pioneering one of the first Midi/tech stores in America in the early 80s, Micro Music.

Chris Brush, a Dallas Texas native moved to Nashville in 1999 to tour with various artists in Christian, rock, pop and country genres. Brush now spends his time as an in-town session drummer, mix engineer and producer.

PlethoraTone was designed for tone and acoustic excellence while offering a private, comfortable and creative environment as top priority. Producers, engineers and musicians will experience an incredibly unique and friendly environment amongst a plethora of possibilities for tone.

For more information visit

Something To Learn From Dyson’s Great Marketing

Branding plays a key role at Artist Garden Entertainment in both our music marketing and as artist managers. Building a devout tribal following is always our objective as it is the “Holy Grail” of great marketing. I believe two companies, Apple & Dyson, do it best.

A few weeks ago, I received the email below from Dyson. As an owner of the Dyson Ball vacuum cleaner & the Dyson Air Multiplier, I am a huge fan of their products and game changing technology. Fireworks of curiosity were exploding in my mind. There was so much anticipation that I began budgeting for this new product without knowing what it would be or what it would cost. A couple of weeks later I received a second email with a video revealing the Dyson Airblade Tap. While I’m not sure I will rush out and buy it just yet as it appears to be more for commercial use, I have proselytized to many.

Do You Own a Dyson Product?

The Teaser Video


The Airblade Tap Revealed

Marketing Music On Pinterest

As a music marketing professional, I like to explore all things new on the horizon and especially when it comes to social network marketing. When I first heard of Pinterest, I avoided joining due to the reports I was hearing that its primary users are women trading recipes and craft ideas. Afraid of losing my manliness, i decided to hold off joining. To my surprise, news recently broke that Pinterest is now ranked the #3 social network behind Facebook & Twitter. That definitely got my attention! After attending Podcamp Nashville and listening to a panel on Pinterest, I knew it was time to join. One of the panelist, Daniel Bear Hunley, talked about the explosion of Pinterest and how he had picked up 2 million followers in just a few months. That excited me and made me realize its okay for men to join. I am now the proud owner of a brand new Pinterest Account.

Up till now, the music industry hasn’t found a way to maximize Pinterest as a platform to drive sales. I am sure we are minutes away from some new artist exploding due to a clever way of using Pinterest. I of course would like to be the person to figure it out, so I am madly attempting to master the technique of being a great “Pinner”. This past weekend, I uploaded and pinned a photo I took of a beautiful door in Nappa. Within five minutes, I proudly had 20 re-pins from total strangers and my door photo appeared on the main page of Pinterest! Wow! The adrenaline was pumping. Through my experimenting, I discovered that food, gardening, architecture and fashion are huge items of interest. We just have to figure out how to sneak music into those buckets.

I would encourage all artist to join Pinterest and start building your platform. That brilliant idea of promoting music on Pinterest is just around the corner. I look forward to hearing any ideas you may be trying?

Follow Me On Pinterest



Apple Announces The iCar

While most Apple fans have been caught up in anticipation for the iPhone 5 and Apple TV Set, the top innovator in the world announces something totally unexpected, the iCar.

When Walter Isaacson stated in the Steve Jobs biography that he had “figured it out”, Jobs wasn’t talking about TV like previously believed. Jobs had apparently hired award-winning Japanese car designer Autosan Makertz in 2011 to create the ultimate driving machine, the iCar. The iCar will be sold at Nissan dealerships until Apple finalizes construction of their free-standing stores which they plan to call Apple World. The stores will serve as both a car dealership and a location to sell their electronics products. The Apple World stores will contain service centers for the new iCar which will be a brand extension of the Genius Bar. Initially two models will be available:  White 4 Cylinder and Black 6 Cylinder. The cars begin shipping to US Nissan dealers in July.

iCar Features

– powered by i10 Apple Cells (charged by solar panels)

– iDashboard has the look and feel of an iPad

– Gorilla Glass Windows

– touchpad steering wheel

– Beats by Dr Dre Stereo System

– Quad core exhaust

If you enjoyed this April Fools story, tune in to the Music Gardener weekly to hear about great new music!