Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lambo's, A-Hole Office Managers, and closed Hwood Clubs: Another day prepping a music video.

I didn't post yesterday because I spent the day driving down to, around, and home from Orange, CA with our producer, Dan Figur, looking at locations for the music video. First of all, traffic on the 5 south at 1 PM is utterly ridiculous. Stop and go the entire way. Having mostly ridden a motorcycle for the past year, and zipping through cars, driving has become a frustrating endeavor. I think, if there's anything that will push me out of Los Angeles, it will be the traffic. God forbid the day when I'll have drive a car vs. the bike.

Anyway, I digress. Dan and I finally got down to my brother's house. The house is one the main locations, comprising about the first third of the video. We ultimately decided that we'd stage it as a backyard party, since my brother and Randall still have the stage from their first show, the back yard is open with tiki torches, party lights, etc, and it'll have a great feel, rather than the closed in feel of the house.

That done, we all sit around trying to figure out this car situation. We've been looking for a really awesome car (a Lambo, Ferrari, Aston Martin) something exotic and ridiculous, for these guys to have in the video. But all the exotic stuff was really pushing us over the budget and we trying to think of what to do. Finally, my brother and Randall decided that they didn't want to finish the video and wish they did something. They'd rather put in the little extra money to make it happen than feel like we fell short. I think this first video and album is so important to them in establishing their legitimacy as serious hip-hop artists that they don't want it to fall short. Which is fine for me. I've never shot a video with an awesome car in it, so why not.

After a few calls, my brother tracked down this baby blue Lamborghini Gallardo, a very rare color, and they had just gotten in. We got a pretty good price on it so we went with it.

That problem solved, we headed out to check out the next two locations: an executive office for our record exec and the studio. First stop was the executive office, which we came to find out was just a bunch of offices that some weird, creepy dude on vicodin rents out. Luke had spoken to someone there and she quoted him 30-40 bucks and hour. So we were like, okay.

We showed up, me, Dan, Luke, Randall, and their friend Joe. That was the first mistake. When location scouting for something, show up with one guy, maybe two, and don't bring your artists. It's only going to scare the owner, which we apparently did. He quoted us a price of $1200 for four hours. Ultimately, we realized that he really didn't want our business and was just trying to get us out of there. The guy was total tool, 40 something, bleached blonde hair, beer guy, and just stoned out of his mind. On the OUTSIDE of his office, next to the door frame, were probably 15 full page computer printouts of him holding babies. The most bizarre thing.

After that disappointment, we headed over the studio, which looked good, served our purposes, etc. Then, Dan and I headed back up to Los Angeles. In order to avoid traffic we took the 57 to the 210 to the 134. What a great route! It was rush hour and we were just flying the whole way. Will definitely go that way from now on. They talk about construction on the freeways making traffic better but when it takes you 10 years to add two lanes, and in the process of doing so you make traffic worse for those 10 years, you have to wonder.

Another big location we're looking for is a club setting. Initially, we were going through contacts, and then ended up speaking to a woman, a club promoter, who met look and wanted to help us set something up for the video. We've been dealing with her for the past couple days and while we apparently have some leads and have one confirmed yes, we have yet to see the places, which is something I need to do to decide. You get the impression she's a lot of talk and no action.

Anyway, last night, I heard from my brother who spoke to her that Dan and her were gonna go look at clubs. Knowing Dan was at a dinner until whenever, I called her and let her know I was going to join them because I need to see these clubs and make a decision by Tuesday so we can f-ing move on!

She tells me to meet at her house at 9:45. So, I get there, and get to sit around, waiting for people, only to finally leave at 10:45 to stop by a birthday party at Camden House for some old dude. You know, it's great to have met you to talk about our needs, but did I need to meet you this early? I could have met them at the first club at 11:30 and been fine. And, had I waited, I would have inevitably found out, as I did at 12:30, that NONE of the clubs were open Monday night. Really? Why did I come out? It was a huge waste of my time and gas getting around to these places.

HOPEFULLY, I'll be seeing the clubs today. I know we have two confirmed but I need to see those anyway. And there's two others, which are front runners, but we need to confirm them and I need to see it.

Anyway, yesterday was a mix of good news and disappointing news and now I'm trying to deal with some of these things left hanging that we sort of need to take care of, as their an integral part of the video.

We're coming down to the wire here because we need to get people to the place, we need to confirm our shooting schedule, and we've got tons of stuff to get done, myself included. It's hard to plan shots and ideas when you haven't seen the place you're shooting.

Nonetheless, I am excited. If everything comes together it's gonna be one kick-ass video. Paul Niccolls, our DP, flies in Thursday morning, we've got a few tech scouts, and then shooting starts Friday. I've got to buckle down, write the opening, plan whatever shots I can, and make sure everything is locked up.

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