For Leeni Ramadan, videomaking isn’t just about promoting her music. Rather, it’s

For Leeni Ramadan, videomaking isn’t just about promoting her music. Rather, it’s a part of the total package, yet another outlet for a brain teeming with ideas. As Prom Queen, the Seattle singer-songwriter creates lush ballads that cast a bygone era in a tantalizing darkness, transporting the listener to a lounge in the 1960s where the music is seductive and the clientele is not to be trusted. The music videos that Ramadan creates for her musical act complete that journey.

Last year, the New Hampshire native released Midnight Veil, a full-length album and DVD in which every song is given a video, the entire collection telling a story filled with larceny and lust and populated by frustrated housewives, cat burglars and lots of burlesque dancers. It is for that collection that she was selected as one of three Featured Directors for the 3rd Annual Sync Music Video Festival, which is produced by Seattle Weekly in partnership with Artist Home and SIFF.

In advance of the Saturday screening of select videos from that series, we delve a little deeper into Ramadan’s role as a videomaker.

Are you able to support yourself with your filmmaking? If not, what’s your “day job”? I don’t really have a single “day job” per se. I have 12 different tax forms this year because my living is very piecemeal. I am a video editor, I edit corporate videos, mostly Microsoft stuff. I also shoot video as well as composing music for videos. I make music beds for animation, web videos, iPhone apps, commercials, etc. In addition to those, I also perform singing telegrams, I’ve been doing that for about 10 years now with Live Wires, a local company. Everything else I make is performance or merch-sales related, music licensing, and I’ve recently started getting commissions making velvet paintings! It’s all over the place but it has to be scrappy. If have a slow month with corporate work, I can pick up more shows or paint more paintings or just cross my fingers a lot and hope something from one avenue or another comes my way.

What is the first music video that you remember ever seeing? For some reason, I feel like the answer to that is Madonna’s “Dress You Up” which kind of a boring video because it’s just a concert performance-style video. But I have early memories of being terrified to watch “Thriller” but also being completely intrigued by “Thriller” and being blown away by it. In addition, one of my favorite shows growing up was The Monkees and they had a lot of videos in their show. So probably any of those!

How did you come to make your first video? The first music video I ever made was just filming a car wash from inside my car and then slowing it down to a song I wrote. I like it because it’s simple and it’s a place where I love to hear music (the car wash). It’s a very pure video, in that it’s kind of meditative and DIY/no-frills. I don’t think videos need to be too complicated or clever. I just love the simplicity of a moving image to a good song.

What is your average budget for a video? Where does that money come from? Honestly…average budget is zero. Maybe some pizza for people? Sometimes not even that, cause pizza is expensive and it has all that gluten and stuff in it… But really, I never have any money to pay people so I’ve mostly had to work with people who are passionate and who are friends! I am very fortunate to have some extremely talented friends who believe in what I do! Kickstarter helped me be able to pay some people to help with our Midnight Veil videos, but it wasn’t everyone and it wasn’t enough!

Midnight Veil is a tremendous work with so many moving parts. What was the greatest challenge in making this collection of videos? How did you overcome it? The greatest challenge was scheduling and coordinating all the moving parts. With a regular movie, you will probably have some reoccurring characters and locations. We didn’t have that. Every 4 minutes in this film, you are transported to somewhere completely different with completely different people. Not to mention, music videos are fairly dense, there’s typically a lot of cuts and a lot of shooting to make a video dynamic. So we had our work cut out for us! Thankfully, people cooperated so well and with web apps like Basecamp and Doodle, making schedules and staying organized wasn’t as challenging as it could have been!

Do you currently have any projects in the works? At the moment, my biggest project is to try to get the word out about the album we have just released (Midnight Veil) and play as many shows as we can. We are hoping to be able to do some touring this summer and then I plan on starting to write a new album as soon as I have the time!

What is the one piece of advice you would give to anyone approaching their first music video project? I would say to first dream your biggest dream of what your ideal video would be! I started by making Pinterest boards for each of my videos, so the ideas can take shape from there. Write a synopsis or treatment then look around and see what things you have access to that might help you with your idea. And don’t be afraid to ask people you don’t even know for help! Even if it’s using their location or a prop or having them be the star! It’s a great way to meet people and to expand your creative community!

And, finally, what are your three favorite music videos of all time? This is really hard! But here’s what I think

The InnovativeBat for Lashes, “What’s a Girl to Do”

Bat For Lashes – What’s A Girl To Do from Blink on Vimeo.

The Classic/NostalgicA-Ha, “Take On Me”

The BeautifulBjork, “All is Full Of Love”