Here in Silicon Valley and NYC, the word entrepreneur conjures up images of Kevin Systrom, Jack Dorsey, Mark Zuckerberg, but not artists. In reality, however, artistry is a true form of entrepreneurialism, as these folks are selling their talent, a homegrown product, to the world.
Mason Jar Music, a collective audio/video production house based in Brooklyn, proves this entrepreneurial attitude more than any artists I’ve ever met. The company is made up of around 15 people — musicians, camera operators, producers, audio/visual wizards, etc. — who all live together in a giant loft and love making music.
Inspired by La Blogothèque they go about music video production in a totally new way. Instead of shooting a narrative music video, where the artist lip syncs to the track and plays out some story, MJM shoots live performances and turns them into true music video masterpieces. And not only that, the group shoots in the oddest of spaces, whether it be the catacombs under a church or a random island off of the coast of Washington.
In many cases, they don’t have the electrical outfitting they need to shoot properly, and they’ve had to think outside of the box in terms of feeding power to their various cameras, mics, etc.
After years of working at this, the result is a documentary that MJM shot off the West Coast, where they taped 12 different music videos (plus interviews) over the course of a week. They shot mostly outdoors, and had to set up a dozen sets without any power to complete the project. They ended up with a documentary titled Josh Garrels: The Sea In Between, which had its first screening this weekend.
The documentary will see a full release on January 29.
I recommend that aspiring stars and entrepreneurs take the time to go see it. It’s not only a story about making music, but a story about disrupting the way we create art in a world where being an artist is nearly impossible.
Here’s a little taste: