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I’ve always wanted to direct a music video, but most local music artists I asked didn’t trust me with their single. So what’s the best way to prove to them that I have what it takes to make a kick-ass music video? Make my own song and do a music video of it to showcase my skills. And that’s exactly what I did.
The most popular music genre this time around is pop/dance. And it’s pretty easy to make too, unlike rock music. All it required me to have is a beat maker and a few singers. Throughout summer, I assembled some of the most talented musicians I can get.
First the beatmaker, I found Khao (DJ Babyboi) through craigslist and he is from Texas. His skills were great, so throughout summer we made some catchy and k-pop inspired beats. After obtaining these beats, I asked several music artist that I know to help me with the song, a few turned me down, damn. Did I stop there and tried to learn how to sing better? Did I give up? No, because I got awesome and outgoing friends, like Marq Romero from the New Jersey band Warhol Soup. I also asked Lan Li who I saw opened for Far East Movement at ISA. They both agreed to be part of the project. Then I needed more to complete the team, so I asked Caroline to refer me to a singer, and she refered me to Florence. My team was complete. This co-ed team was a homage to some old school K-pop co-ed groups like S#arp and Koyote, which you don’t see often now. We recorded the vocals at my place with the equipment Marq brought.
Marq and I came up with the lyrics. I wanted an underdog love story (like most of my films) with a few nerdy video game reference, but not too much of it. So we came up with a story of an asshole guy (Jersey Shore inspired) who doesn’t really care about the girl and neglects her, but the nerd dude would give the world to her and swoop in for the win. We kinda butchered the 2nd verse with Street Fighter references, but it’s ok, it’s all in good fun.
Now I had to look for some dancers for the music video. I tried to get a well-known dance crew for my music video, but since it was a no budget video, a lot had turned me down. Did I stop there, and learned how to break dance instead? No. By chance, I met Li at my friend’s baby shower (yeah, I know) and she referred me to a dance crew called The Clock Strikes 12 led by Kristian. I checked their videos and was impressed with what I saw, so I contacted them. They were enthusiastic about the music video and did a dance number for it. I also contacted my samurai actress who is a dancer too, Lisa and an acting student Michelle. I got more than enough dancers for this video.
Mixing the vocals with the beats was the problem. Khao has gotten busy, so I had to depend on Marq to do the mixing, and he was just ‘ok’ mixing it. Did I stop there and learned how to mix or just give up? Did I just scrap what I had? No. I believed in his skill and he made the perfect mix as I edited the music video. And the mix turned out great. So Marq did the recording, mixing and he referred me to Liberty who became the lead girl in the video. Marq you are awesome and thank you for everything.
Initially, I only planned a 2 day shoot: a house party scene and a studio scene. But after watching the history of Soul Train, I wanted a soul train line. A 3rd day was scheduled and more footage was shot. We shot over an hour and a half worth of footage. I used my new Canon T2i.
The shooting went great without much flaw. It was fun getting to know all the people working on this video. It was really an honor to work with such an outgoing group of people. Everyone was all smiles, and was very patient. I couldn’t be any happier to have such awesome people to work with.
It all started with an idea in summer. My friends didn’t even think that this will work. But I still went ahead and did it. I didn’t give up even when the situation was going bad. I just kept going, hoping and always looking at the brightside. In the end, it was worth it. Now I have this music video to show my friends and family and see their smiles and reactions. Am I going to get money? No. Then what did I do it for? Why so ambitious? Well, we all gotta start from somewhere right?
Next music video: Waty’s Beautiful Mess