Posted by Chris Black on September 12, 2014 in Taped Before A Live Studio Audience
Hey imvdb heads! It's ya boy, Yung Parker Lewis Can't Lose! Bringing you another installment relating to all things Music Videos. Just want to thank y'all for the love!
So today we'll be talking about artists "directing" their own videos.
Let me share a story with you...
Back in 2011, I produced the ASAP Rocky video "PESO" for my boy Abteen Bagheri.
Prior to shooting, I had met with Rocky and his then manager to discuss the video. Abteen had a treatment on deck and I had shared it with Rocky. He thought it was dope, but he wanted to use what we wrote for another song. Cool. We still get to shoot this idea that we thought of but for a different track... not a complete loss. Sadly, the original idea we had pitched, that we were excited about, never happened. But looking back, it was an alright idea.
In that meeting, Rocky had told me his idea for "Peso." He said he wanted blunts, 40's, and to be posted up in front of the bodega and the Chinese fast food restaurant spot. As a director and a producer, we cringed at that idea. Abteen and I thought of ways to improve upon Rocky's idea.
The night before the shoot, Abteen, Isaac Bauman (phat shouts!), and I met up with Rocky at 3 am in Harlem in a tiny apartment. Blunt smoked filled the air. Abteen told Rocky his new idea and Rocky insisted on only having blunts, 40's, the bodega, and the Chinese restaurant.
We left that meeting feeling slightly defeated. In order to save the creative aspect, all we could do was to have Isaac kill it on the DP tip.
We shot the video and it came out and blew up. It blew Rocky up! It launched Abteen and Isaac's career and mine as well.
We checked the view count religiously! Peso had been viewed a significant amount of times more with each visit to the video. But we noticed something that was... off.
The credits had read, "Directed by Abteen Bagheri and ASAP Rocky."
We were shocked and pissed! We had worked really hard to do this video that blew up this artist and now he's attaching his name as director?!?! Fuck that!
We wondered if he did anything that would justify the credit. All we could think of was him being insistent on his idea. As you all well know... directing is more than just conceiving an idea. Never on set did Rocky give any lensing suggestions, or inquired about composition of shots, or even had any shots planned. That was all Abteen! So you can understand the frustration.
I've said this many times, but...Tyler the Creator ruined it for us directors. Here's another story, albeit quicker than the last one. After AG and I did the Earl Sweatshirt video, we were going to do another one for Domo Genesis. I remember talking to Taco and he said, "Tyler said we're doing everything in-house from now on."
Up until the Earl video, Tyler did their videos. When his debut album dropped, he directed the video for his first single, "Yonkers." Fast forward to 2013, Tyler and I were apart of this panel discussion featuring black music video directors. He told us that when it was time for him to do a video, he had no idea and said what came to his mind. And there you have "Yonkers."
Since then he's directed a handful of Odd Future's videos.
Tyler and Odd Future coming from that DIY style, solidified their self-determined brand. It also influenced other artists to take control of every aspect of their brand. Listen y'all, we're living in a time when it's not enough to be an artist. Youve got to sing, act, direct, design, etc. Being celebrated for your artistry alone is boring these days.
This is the plight of the music video director. Not only are budgets low, but now we have to contend with artists throwing their names on videos as directors. Youd think labels and artists would let us at least have a little shine considering we rarely make a living from music videos. But in this day and age, its all about views baby!!! Whats going to get the video MORE views, the fact that Chris Black directed a Lady Gaga video, or the fact that Lady Gaga directed a Lady Gaga video? Shout out to those that said me directing would get more views.
Artists fail to realize that sometimes the creativity of being an artist doesnt extend itself well to other mediums. Meaning, I cant say Ive seen a really dope video that an artist directed. One of my favorites however is the self-directed MIA video for "Double Bubble Trouble," which you will be seeing on my year end list of best music videos. This is a video that you know MIA imagined and told someone specific shots she wants (I dont know that for sure). Another series of videos that probably goes without saying are the Woodkid videos. This is lowkey a cheat code, because Id consider Yoanne Lemoine a director first.
Look, I'm not saying that artist's shouldn't have a specific vision or control of their brand. The problem is when they say they've "directed" a video when the real directors are out here, grinding and slaving away to increase your profile. Just because you've seen Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2 a million times, or that you can name more than 3 Hollywood directors, doesn't mean that you're fit to call yourself a director. Let's be honest, a lot of artists have bad taste. I understand that the music industry and music videos have changed significantly, but I personally still believe in the hierarchy. If you take music videos away from the directors then all we have left are our Vimeo accounts and film school student loans.
Chris Black is a music video director and producer. He's got the cool of Zack Morris with Mr. Belding's haircut. He's highly intellexual and hella urban. When he's not talking about rap, he's discussing the music video form. He's got Alfalfa dreams, but Buckwheat realities. Check him out on twitter (@theblack) or peep his website (chrisblack.la).
Posted by Chris Black on August 28, 2014 in Taped Before A Live Studio Audience Contributor Post
*Good Ass Job was supposed to be the name of Kanye's My Beautiful, Dark, Twisted Fantasy and it felt appropriate.PRESS PLAYWhat it do IMVDB heads!It's ya boy CB aka Kenan Thompson's stunt double aka Yung Long Read. Apparently IMVDB felt the hate mail we receieved (we received A LOT) wasn't… Read More
Posted by Chris Black on August 21, 2014 in Taped Before A Live Studio Audience Contributor Post
Hi IMVDB heads! Its your boy Chris Black aka Yung John Coffey aka Gulluh Guluh Island! The good folks at IMVDB have decided that it would be a good idea to give me a column (send all hate mail to email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org). Before I continue, let me give a… Read More
- Jason Baum's Top 10 Music Videos of 2018
- Jason Baum's Top 10 Music Videos of 2017
- Jason Baum's Top 10 Music Videos of 2016
- Caleb Jackson's Top Ten of 2016
- The Perez Brothers' Top 10 Music Videos of 2016
- John Merizalde's Top Music Videos of 2016
- Andrea Allen's Top 10 Music Videos of 2016
- BRTHR's VR Fantasy for "Diamonds" by Keith Ape ft. Jedi P
- UKMVAs Call For Entries
- Cool New Music Video: "Mad At You" by 3oh!3
- January 2019
- December 2016
- August 2016
- July 2016
- March 2016
- February 2016
- January 2016
- December 2015
- November 2015
- October 2015
- September 2015
- August 2015
- July 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- December 2014
- November 2014
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- Behind the Scenes
- Cool New Music Videos
- Doms Sketch Cast
- Event Coverage
- Hall of Fame
- Interactive Music Videos
- Lost & Found
- Most Popular Music Videos
- Music Video Premieres
- Music Video Relapse
- New Releases
- Original Content
- Site News
- Taped Before A Live Studio Audience
- This Week in Music Videos
- Video Previews
- Videos I <3
Content on the IMVDb blog is ©2012-2019 IMVDb and FilmedInsert, LLC. All Rights Reserved.