It doesn’t seem like its been so long since the 1st draft of the script for Sahtyre’s “Suicide” was sent out. My personal favorite song from Sahtyre’s LSD (The Prelude) mixtape, since first hearing the song and being offered to direct the video I’ve been super anxious to bring this song to life. We had done a good job with the Miss Communication video and the B.A.R.S. series back in early 2012 that I have been anxious to work with Sahtyre again, especially if we were able to to secure a decent budget for the next one. After initially throwing ideas back and forth, the original concept being the creation of Sahtyre himself, we were confident enough in the script to wait for the right time to shoot it. Before shooting Suicide, Sahtyre shot and released three other videos from the mixtape (LSD-The Anthem, Bad Habit, & Broccoli) with assistance from another videographer/director, Adam Stanzak, all three being really incredible, although the LSD video stood out to me as some next level stuff. I was after about 7-8 months later starting to have my doubts about the Suicide video actually becoming a reality….until about late September when I got the call from Sahtyre to finally do it. Steez.
Enter: Suicide….the story of a young girl who gets caught up in the allure of “fame” and “super-stardom” and who subsequently ends up paying the ultimate price for it all in the end. The video follows the young girl (Kiara Black) through her slow transition from dancer to model (Brianna King), and her fall from grace leading to her…suicide. Shot on location in Hollywood, CA, the video for Suicide has a very polished, clean but dark and ominous look and feel to it, which was exactly what we envisioned.. More short film than music video, and with no performance shots or even a small cameo from Sahtyre, the video depended solely on the dark aesthetic and the gripping story to pull the viewer into the world in which we created. Working with Sahtyre, Adam Stanzak, and Michael Paredes made directing a breeze. Our pre-production work definitely made all of the difference in the world, and the fact that all of the actors were all on point made filming this video the smoothest process it’s ever been for me. Shot in just two days, the music video for Suicide is arguably my best work yet as a director and has only got me anxious for the next one. In the meantime…watch and enjoy.
Note: There are many different themes being presented in this video…lets see if you can pick up on them.
C Plus is one of my favorite upcoming artists on the scene. Chase Moore and Hippie Sabotage are quickly becoming my favorite producers in the game. All Nighter finds the Sacramento emcee C Plus linking up with Chase and the Hippies to bring you the perfect combination of solid production and dope lyricism, with the sample and visual treatment inspired by the movie Drive. With this video I had the freedom to creatively bring to life a hip hop influenced take on the film, with C Plus as the driver and the sexy Ciara Gorman as the co-star. Shot in the only a day and a half, one at first look probably wouldn’t be able to tell how much work went into the pre-production of this video but I will say that planning definitely pays off. This video has to be one of my favorites so far in how the whole concept and look came together.
In the video C Plus stars as the driver, who with his female accomplice, ends up going head to head with a mob boss (played by Chase Moore) and a hired hitman (played by So Crates) after a botched robbery plot. Anyone who has seen the film Drive will quickly pick up on the loosely inspired plot and theme, to which Chase Moore and Hippie Sabotage superbly do the sample justice. In All NIghter C Plus must quickly learn how to deal with these threats, all while seeming totally cool and unnerved by the attempts on his life. Chase Moore and So Crates do an excellent and convincing job in their portrays of their characters, and we’re still sure that So Crates is still in a little bit of pain. All Nighter can be found on C Plus’ Still Out Here mixtape which is available now at thirdletta.com. Enjoy.
Back in August we released our first collaborative video for Sacramento emcee The Gatlin, entitled Victorian Muzik, which followed Gatlin through an awakening process from the street life to attaining enlightenment. The video attempted to shed light on the drug game as a government set-up and followed Gatlin through his becoming aware of the trap. We now come to the second installment of the video series with the video for Gusto, which takes us back to the events that take place before Victorian Muzik and acts as the impetus of this self-awakening. In this new video, a prequel if you will, we Gatlin caught in the paradigm of risk vs. reward and the rules of the streets….and almost loosing his life as a result.
The video begins with a drug deal gone bad and then explores the events that led up to Gatlin’s near untimely death. The video paints a realistic portrayal of the pitfalls of the street life alluding to the fact that although the reward may be great, in the end the risks one takes with his/her life is not worth that reward. Gatlin learns this the hard way, although he ultimately survives death and is able to live to tell the story. Gusto in no way tries to glorify the street life, rather tells of the reality of its dangers which often lead to incarceration or certain death. The video co-stars many of Sacramento’s noteworthy emcees who join Gatlin in bring this street tale to life. Watch and enjoy.
First off let me say this….Locksmith is a genius. I have been very blessed early in my career to be able to work with artists who are serious about their craft, the quality of their music, and the presentation of their visuals and image. Locksmith is definitely one of those artists. We had discussed a similar concept in the past, for the song “Gone Tomorrow” off his previous project, Labyrinth, although due to scheduling conflicts we were unable to shoot it. I’m glad we made up for it with “Be Free.” Produced by Kashif of 9th Wonder’s Soul Council, the song immediately grabbed me upon hearing it the first time and I knew we would have to do something special visually with this one. We tossed around a couple ideas and a draft or two of the script before we settled on the final concept of having the lead actress, played by the beautiful and talented Alejandra Cruz, on the Golden Gate bridge…I think about two days before we were scheduled to shoot. I’m glad we decided on that because it came out crazy.
This was the first video we shot with the Canon 5D mark III and I won’t be using another camera, besides maybe the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, for a while. The picture quality is absolutely amazing. Even though it was raining with very minimal sunlight, the high ISO capability if the Mark III worked amazingly well under the conditions and made for a beautiful picture. The camera was even able to capture the rain drops which added a nice natural effect the the video, making it worth shooting in the rain although poor Alejandra almost went into hypothermic shock from the freezing cold. Hats off to her because she pulled it off very convincingly. I’ve been very excited about this video, not just because of the look and feel of it, but because it is very rare that hip hop videos depict story-telling in such a creative way, and more so without using a super voluptuous video vixen playing the lead. Everything with this video came together quite well…and while I was a little skeptical at first with the idea of using the same shot in the hotel room for Locksmith’s performance, his vision and insistence paid off. Glad to have been a part of this. Enjoy.