Our initial concept of our final music video was not fully realised. We were trying to push a narrative music video where our protagonist, Willy Dynamo, starts off as the underdog and because of his own inner goodness is transformed through a chance meeting, thus going on to triumph over his inner demon/ Bad Willy. The video was going to have a cartoonesque fight scene and thus a detailed storyboard was made up to help economise the shoot process. It was going to have a 70s look (aka Shaft), replete with big fluffy coats and perhaps women and his crew fawning over him in a convertible or indeed, on low rider bicycles sweeping along St Kilda beach.
Yes, well it’s nice to dream!
We lost most of this due to unforeseen circumstances in that our hero character was not available for designated shoots and was not on board with the suggestions in the script. Therefore, we cut our losses and did the best with what we had.
I guess this experience taught us all to be flexible, that the monster of making a music video involves goal posts being magically moved at the last moment, that what you set out to do doesn’t mean it will materialise. The art in the process of making art is knowing when to fight for something and when to let go.
Having said that I think we are all quite proud of the work. Where we did succeed was making excellent camera and editing choices. Knowing that we didn’t really have much of a narrative left forced us to really consider each cut. The skill of matching the music beat to the cut or to an expression or to cover stuff that wasn’t working involved a lot of collaborative work and arguing for or against various scenes. Most of the time we agreed and there was no ill feelings when a shot wasn’t chosen. The key is learning to give distance to something for the greater good of the end result.
I enjoyed working with Luka and Sean. They were flexible and thoughtful. I’m glad I did argue against them planning to do two music videos as they initially wanted. Though I agree, it could’ve been done I just didn’ think it realistic under the circumstances of a student film shoot.
Where the video doesn’t work is the sameness of some shots such as Willy rapping to camera quite a bit. It was hard to make that interesting and we had to do a lot of work to choose the right shots to lift it. Also, the narrative we were left with was just Willy picking up a necklace and somehow is has some kind of magical properties that makes him happy. It doesn’t really make sense at all and we don’t see his metamorphosis or whether ‘Whose World Is This?’ has any bearing or informs the music video on any level.
In regards to other Hip Hop music videos, our video has elements that are similar such as the graffitied walls, the police sirens in the beginning, the hint of violence, the profanity, drug references (him smoking a joint and Willy being a charismatic performer.
Overall, our video comes across fitting the genre and has come up a lot better than we had expected considering the difficulties we encountered.