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As Inigo Montoya would say, “We’ve got to go back to the beginning.”

Whether I'm creating videos for a packed house at Carnegie Hall, or for a shy boyfriend looking to propose I begin the project by asking the same 2 questions:

1) Where are your videos being presented?

Think about it… are you entertaining 350 guests in a formal ballroom? Or 13 year old Bar Mitzvah kids who want to “Bang Bang into the Room”. Or maybe your montage will be shown on your living room couch surrounded by close friends and family?

The feel, the umami of the video, begins and ends with music choices. It drives as well as shapes the project. And music can be incredibly manipulative in provoking a feeling.

It's so important to UNDERSTAND and KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. I have seen parties stop dead in their tracks because bummer music choices brought everyone down. I have been to events where hard charging rap songs delighted the honoree but made everyone else look uncomfortable. (That’s not to say that rap doesn’t have a place in your montage. As I said up top, know your audience.)

If you want your video presentation to be a success you’ve got to “play to the room.” Yes. I know. The honoree’s musical tastes should be considered. But, if this is going to play in front of invited guests, who gave up a Saturday night to toast your son, you should be a considerate host first and foremost.

2) What do you want your audience to feel?

There are two types of Bar Mitzvah montage parents: those that want a sweet and peppy “Oh my! Wasn’t he just adorable?“ montage, and those that make you feel your being held hostage for 17 excruciating minutes while you're forced to watch umteen photos of Bubby and Zaide.

I’m a short but sweet, less is more kind of girl. If you want your party guests to feel happy and excited, use music that is upbeat and sparkling. If you want your party to come to a screeching halt, use slow, schmaltzy music. If you MUST use a sappy sentimental song, MUST MUST MUST then put it in at the top of your project and gently switch over to the upbeat and sparkling music for the finale.

(Check back in a few weeks for TERRIFIC TIPS in SELECTING THE PERFECT MUSIC for a BAR/BAT MITZVAH MONTAGE - PART 2 featuring overused songs, the virtues of Michael Buble, and why your video should NEVER EVER EVER EVER EXCEED 8 MINUTES.)

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