“A lie may take care of the present, but it has no future. So if your life is a lie guess who doesn’t have a future?”
So my former teacher and now fellow colleague Carl Verna hit me up on Facebook and was like “Big Body, I need you to AD two music videos for me in one day!” I was kind of taken back because Carl is known for his AD’ing in the industry. So why not AD for a person that can help me out and tell me what I need to improve on.
Show time! Going into this video, I was kind of anxious to work with a different director outside of my usual core of directors that I work with. You know everyone works differently and nothing is the same. but it was cool. We shot everything at Full Sail which made things easier but as you can see from some of the pictures, it was cold as hell! And we were outside during the coldest part of the night!
The first video was “Test De Foundation.” We shot this video all in one location on the backlot and we shot there for about 6 hours. It was like a big dance party outside for 6 hours. It turned out pretty cool. The final edit could of came out stronger but I can’t get everything I want!
Test de Foundation
This project and the whole 35mm process was a big ball of kayos too begin with. Not everyone wrote scripts but then you had to sign on to scripts to work on the crew. I personally was on about 7 different scripts and none of mine got chosen so I had the potential of working as a grip or something on a project. Now I don’t have anything against grips but that is not what I do.
So after the storm settles. I end up on the camera team (sighs. . .) for this project. Let’s fast forward to the pre-production and actually building the set. I kind of mixed these two steps because pre-pro was pretty light on my side. I was on the camera team. Then came building the set. I am a fan of building sets, measuring stuff and cutting things with powerful saws. I think it’s fun to build stuff and it brings out the manly man part of every guy when your cutting stuff! lol Things were going good. I’m usually the lead foreman when it came to the school projects and I pretty much was on this one with Kev Dogg. We were building away on this project just like we did on the project Perception but this time we were thrown a different lab teacher who will remained nameless. And he came with an attitude. He out of no where thought I was slacking and not working because I take things seriously but my personality doesn’t put that out and so we had problems. Then I turned into ass hole Doug. So to make a long story short, he tried to take GPS points off of my grade and fail me but I am good with the other teachers so that didn’t happen!
So here we go on the actual production. Long story short. The AD didn’t have her A game on to say the least and we shot a lot of wide shots. I was frustrated with what we were shooting cause we have to edit the footage and from an editors standpoint, editing wide shots is a waste of time. But I was on the camera team and I was learning a lot about the Arri Studio Cam and the Arri 235 camera. We did shoot at a cool location downtown Orlando on Church Street. And another bad not was Krafty. That probably was the worst I have ever had. We shot 12 am to 12 noon and they thought it was a great idea to eat burgers (cold) at 6 am. Terrible! I always ended up leaving and going to McDonald’s. I didn’t tell anybody else cause they probably would of made a scene out of it.
So here is where the fun begins at Full Sail. This is where most students start talking ish and complaining on why their edit sucks. But I always go in and try to save the film and make a good story out of it no matter how bad it was shot. In order to take some wide shots out and make some close ups, I choose to add the anamorphic bars to the movie and use the 3d camera movement in the Avid to create new camera movements and close ups. I was really happy with the outcome from what we started with. I had a team help me out. I had my man Dan Selby come through and help with the sound design. Kev Dogg came through with the color correction. Victor did an amazing after effects intro. Kris Fame did the amazing score. So it was a team effort to get this project done and I think it turned out the best it could. The final cut is pretty long but I stayed on course with the actual script instead of doing the “student editor” thing and re-creating a new story and sucking! lol Be sure to check it out.
Behind The Scenes:
Falling from Grace (35MM short):
I directed this commercial back in March of 2008 for a indie record label (r. e. d. Label – which stands for rtistic expressions defined). Going into pre-production of this project, Tru (CEO of r.e.d. label) wanted the commercial to be in a first person point of view so that the artist can see the actual process of what it takes to be an artist on the label as well as making it in the business.
The song featured in the commercial is “Gotta Try” performed by r. e. d. Label artist Peter Baldwin who makes a cameo in the video as well as Hau (r.e.d. Label, music producer – Nastaytraxxx, Autumn, Drew, DJ Gonnie and a lot of other people who were extras in the video and I don’t really remember their names.
The only thing that sucks when doing little to no budgeted projects is that the things that you want to do in the particular project have to be dumbed down and make it feasible to do it the easy way cause you can’t get everything you want but I think this came out pretty cool.
Some of the crew on this project:
Director of Photography: Jonathan Bregel
UPM: Alexandria Taylor
Camera Operators: Brad Burke/Kevin Griffin
Editor: Marcus “M Kutta” Small (with no ‘S’)
Key Grip/Gaffer: Chris “Super Grip” Fountain
So now comes the big move to finally up and leave North Carolina and really pursue my dream in becoming a filmmaker. I had a lot of different things going on in my life around this time. It was pretty crazy. I was living in Greensboro, NC in an apartment, I got laid off of my job I had working in Human Resources at WSSU, I was suppose to be going to the New York Film Academy but my credit wasn’t good enough and trying to juggle a stressful relationship. It was a lot of shit and some stuff just had to end so I can move forward in life.
So while in North Carolina and finding out I couldn’t move to New York, I came across this film school down in Orlando, Florida called Full Sail. I checked it out, went it visited and I was like I’m going to film school down in Florida. Some people didn’t believe that I was gonna threw with it but I did and started to meet new people who were on their grind and I started to put in work.
“Hosanna” was the first music video I did when I got into Full Sail. It was for my homeboy Gove of Flex Entertainment. He was in school at the time towards the end of his program (recording arts) and he need me to shoot a quick and easy video for him. So I did. On this it was just me and my brother Marcus aka M Kutta on the video. Besides the abundance of light rays (Marcus), it was a pretty descent video for shooting it by myself. Once again a growing process and still learning more about what it takes to make a good project.
“Hosanna” by Mainstream Orlando”