Lights, Camera, Action: Bailey Watts’ dream career in music video

By Bella Francis @bellafranxismedia

Talented young videographer, Bailey Watts, has worked with incredible people, including musicians such as Boy Soda, Flower Kid and Boo Seeka.

Watts tells Bella Francis about his fierce love for the industry he entered at the ripe age of 14. He has also recently started his own production company called Bones Collective, focusing primarily on creating cinematic content for businesses and musicians.

This interview discusses why Music Videography is so important in today’s society.

BF: What first interested you in working in video in the music industry?

BW: I’ve always loved music, I think everyone does. It’s kind of a universal language which is cool, a song can be understood across the entire globe in one language. Growing up I remember early Saturdays watching ABC Rage on the TV, being amazed by those songs to have films that go with them. I was simply curious about it and when the opportunity came up for me to embark on a music production, I did, and I never looked back. Music isn’t what I only do, but it’s one of the things I do that I love most. 

Bailey filming a music for Boo Seeka. Picture: Courtesy BTS

BF: How long have you done videography for?

BW: I started with a camera really early, like year 5/6 I was making small movies with friends and it grew from there. I was 14 when I got my first paid gig, once I got wind that this dream of mine can actually be a career, I went full steam ahead, leaving school at the ripe age of 16 I pursued the dreams and never looked back. I’m 24 now so I guess you could say close to 10 years I’ve been running around, making a living and loving every moment of it throughout. 

BF: Why, in your opinion, is video so important in the music industry?

BW: I think video in combination with the music, helps envision and extend the artist’s intentions to the song. It allows for another level of the creative planet to be expressed through a visual sense. I also think it can sometimes open doors to being able to understand the song more, understand where the artist is coming from, what the songs about, it also caters for an artist’s style, many times a music video is the first introduction to the public to a new look, new style, new sound, new venture for the artist so I think the visual aspect of an artist’s career is just as important as all the other aspects of their craft that makes them that artist. Video also gives the artist another avenue to express themselves through. 

BF: Working with such talented musicians I am sure has influenced you, how do you feel working with these musicians has helped you to grow throughout your career?

BW: I’ve been fortunate to work with some amazing people which has encouraged me to go harder at what i’m doing, some who have now become a best friend to me. However I think one of the main things I learn from working with these unique people are life lessons, different ways to look at the world. I appreciate someone’s creative abilities and when an artist allows you to represent what they want out there, that’s a special thing which great bonds are made from. Doing music videos however there not always the biggest budgets, many times your pushed in all areas of the project to try and execute something that most of the time is near the impossible, but it puts you on your stool to workshop it and push yourself to achieve great things with great teams. I think that’s what I learn best from each one, is either a new tool, new lesson or a new way of doing things each time, it’s forever evolving, there really is no format for music videos, the nature of them is endless, you can literally do what you want with them which means endless possibilities.

BF: After working in the industry do you have any insights about the future of music and video?

BW: I think music videos have changed drastically over the years, they’re continuing to change I’m just starting out myself. However, Australia has some real crazy stuff happening, maybe not on your mainstream radio stations with international artists but everywhere else, there are crazy talented musos working with crazy visual artists really producing some unique things out of our own backyard on an international level. One of the most inspiring things about all that above, is it’s being lead by the younger generation. There are teens out there creating some crazy stuff! If everyone is keen to learn and grow, we can all climb to the top together. 

BF: What is your favourite part about working in the music scene?

BW: I just enjoy it, I honestly enjoy working in the space, getting to meet people and walking away from a project with a sense of achievement. Not to mention the people you work with are one of a kind, you become a family and together as a family you grow. If you enjoy what you do you won’t feel like you are working a single day, that’s what I love about working in the scene, is that I just love it.

Bailey filming a music video for Boy Soda. Picture: Courtesy BTS

BF: What is your favourite part about working with video?

BW: Video allows for you to share how you see the world, to the world. It’s creating another life for someone through a camera. No two people can share the same eyes and see the same things, everyone sees everything differently. Video just allows for me to express how I see the world and interpret things. So much time and effort from everyone from top to bottom goes into making a film or commercial and that’s the best part about working with it, you’re working with a team of like-minded creatives all working towards the same execution. I also just love my life when I have a camera in my hand, I could sit in a nice space, with great light and just shoot until I drop I love it that much, it also allows for me to connect to someone in front of the camera in other ways. I can be relatively shy, not open, and when a camera is between me and someone else, I feel more open to what’s in front of me. 

BF: Do you have a favourite memory of videoing a music event?

BW: I got asked to shoot for some friends who are in a band, they were playing Bluesfest one year, I had always wanted to go to blues so when they asked me I jumped straight onboard with it. I still remember walking into the artist green rooms and just being in awe of the people that were around me. Jack Johnson, Norah Jones, Yothu Yindi, Garry Clarke.. The list goes on. It was a great time, getting to see my friends on stage play to big audiences whilst also getting to put the camera down and enjoy the music of others around me. That and probably the time I got my first decent music video opportunity, I had been working with Brae (Boy Soda) for a few years, we always joked about growing together and tackling the industry in our own ways, when the time came for us to shoot our first real music video together, it was a pinch-me moment but also a moment of reward as we had been working for it for so long and now, the sliding doors opened and what we had been dreaming of was becoming a reality.

Bailey filming a short film. Picture: Courtesy BTS

Featured image: Videographer Bailey Watts and singer Boo Seeka. Picture: Bella Francis

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