Students chime in to music video project

Under the Bell Tower provides an outlet for students of all majors to participate in roles that could eventually be their jobs.


Photo courtesy of Noah Wilson

Rebecca Mitchell, Writer

One student’s passion for making professional-level music videos has rallied the help of students from various majors from around campus in creating art as a community.

With Under the Bell Tower, Justin Sinclair, junior music composition major, started a way for students to make professional-level music videos, along with the help of many other students including Nolan Anderson, senior film major and project director.

artists coming together

The hope for Under the Bell Tower began with Biola’s best artists coming together as a community and making one cohesive piece of art, Sinclair said. One of Biola’s most iconic and well-known parts of campus, the Bell Tower, became the place Sinclair chose to film because it so recognizable.

“I love the message that it gets across that we are creating art that we send out to the world in the same way that the … bells did in their original location in downtown Los Angeles. It would play out hymns to the world, I think we want to do a similar thing … we’re sharing our art with the world from this center which is Biola,” Sinclair said.

The first live music video aired last semester on Facebook, with alumna Arielle Howell and Moses Hooper, senior film major, as the featured artists performing the song “Parachute.” This first video was not funded by the Student Government Association, so artists volunteered their time and talent, but still gained a rewarding experience.

“It was a really great experience in terms of creative expression. The actual event itself was really cool to see tons of people come together for that from the production side, but also just spectators,” Hooper said. “It wasn’t like [a] show where you don’t actually get to communicate or interact with your crowd, this one we were face to face with people.”

smiling the whole time

Taking lessons learned from the first video, Sinclair received money from SGA to make a four-part concert series. However, with the desire to pay students for their work, all the money went to the second music video and preparations for the future, such as a promo video.

For students to be paid with money from SGA’s contingency, the human resources department requires it to go through the university’s time card system. However, since the filming occurred near the end of a pay period students did not submit their time cards on time. Therefore, Under the Bell Tower used $1,000 of their allotted funds for late fees, according to Graham Gantzer, senior business accounting major and vice president of finance, technology and HR for SGA. All students were paid except the featured artist, Chris Rasmussen, senior art photography major, who essentially received the filming of his music as a gift.

“I really believe in paying artists to do their craft,” Sinclair said. “That’s something I’m really passionate about is helping provide work for artists to make a living doing their craft.”

As artists working in their field of expertise, students prepare music they have written in Rasmussen’s song, “If You Were Looking.” The instrumentation was arranged by Sinclair, including adding instruments and finding musicians. The filming of the music video is done all in one day, usually in about three takes.

“I just remember smiling the whole time, I was just so excited the whole time, it was such a cool idea to have it be like a recording session, but also like a film set which is like two things I just love and just like shoved together and make something interesting happen,” Rasmussen said.

including more students

While Under the Bell Tower aims to promote artists, many other students worked to make the music video happen, including film and public relations majors. Erin Wilson, sophomore public relations major, handles the social media accounts and interpersonal connections for exposure on campus.

“I think it’s been so neat to see everyone work together so intentionally and with this goal of creating a beautiful product that everyone at Biola’s [going to] love,” Wilson said. “We really want this to be something where it could bring in prospective students, where it’s very collaborative and open.”

As Under the Bell Tower continues, they hope to include more and more students. Eventually they want to become a production company, mentorship program or missionary point for students to receive training before going into the music and film industry. In the fall, students could have the possibility of sending in applications or resumes to see who would best represent Biola.

“I’d love to see this turn into something that would make Biola a center of Christian art within the student body and change the world and change the music and film industries with our art,” Sinclair said.

0 0 votes
Article Rating