Artist Pro Series: Radar
After a career in music promotion, TV and film, Caroline Bottomley decided that the world of music videos could do with a change. With the internet at her fingertips she founded the music video market place Radar, opening up the playing field to artists and video creators worldwide. Eleven years later we wanted to ask her some questions and learn a bit from her incredible expertise.
Give us a quick overview about what you do for artists at Radar
We connect artists with up & coming music video directors, designers and photographers worldwide. It helps great content get made and helps new talent to succeed.
We see Radar as a bit of a game changer when it comes to video production for music. Can you relate to that?
Oh that’s nice of you to say, thank you! When we launched 10 years ago, Radar was the first marketplace for finding new production talent. The landscape has changed a lot since then, and we’re still very committed to innovation and improving the game. It’s a shifting landscape - the internet has made it possible for a huge amount of people to spend more time being creative, expressive, and working with other creatives. It’s an exciting time!
As visual experts, what do you think are the advantages of a high quality showreel or promo video for musicians?
Visuals are very powerful influencers. I think we prefer visuals because you can learn so much so quickly. For Headliner artists, compare a written bio and a short, snappy video, and the video will get the gig every time.
Assuming you agree, then of course you’re going to want a well-shot, well-presented video that conveys the message of your act - professional, classy, exciting, good time, soulful, etc.
Bookers will want to know what you’re like as people too, and a video is the perfect way to show it.
Your video sells you to bookers and sets their expectations. The better looking & sounding your video, the more they’ll want you.
How did Radar come into being? What’s the back story?
I started working life as a promoter, at the Leadmill in Sheffield. Eventually I changed career to work in TV & Film documentary & drama, which was interesting and rewarding, but I missed working in music and with music people. So I set up Radar :) I started thinking about it around 2005, just as YouTube was launching. I loved the potential of 'access for all' from the internet. I’d seen how much of a closed shop TV could be, even more so for music videos. I wanted to open all of that up, so that talented filmakers from Southampton to Nairobi could have as much of a chance to build a career as a well-connected London/LA/NY filmmakers.
What’s your number one advice to artists when working with filmmakers / other creatives?
Make sure you’re on the same page before you start shooting. Agree a rough storyboard, agree cashflow - always keep some of the agreed budget back to pay on delivery. Agree what could be changed in a re-edit if necessary. Agree the delivery date. Agree other things important to you both up front and preferably in writing. Always.
We have a downloadable production contract on Radar, created by Wiggin Media Lawyers. The discounted cost via Radar is £25 (the price via Wiggin is £40)
What’s your favourite video that’s been created through Radar?
Oh I can’t answer that! I’m really proud to have helped so many come into being, so it doesn't seem fair to single out one. But twist my arm and I'll choose this one on the basis that it's been the most successful. It's won awards, it's by far the most successful video for the band, it got the director signed to not one but two of the best production companies in the world. It's ‘Breezeblocks’ for Alt_J, made by Ellis Bahl. Such a clever story and it works so perfectly with the track. It cost the label £4k.