A FOOL'S ERRAND - OUR FIRST VIDEO
Life Change was our first music video. We didn't know what we were doing, but we had a DSLR and some favors. Shahan really wanted to do something that felt like the Wire so we went out and shot the opening chase scene with our friends Mark Washington and Jermaine Alley as a proof of concept. Shahan was working at a local radio station at the time and he managed to get in touch with the Clipse. Their album Til the Casket Drops had been out for a while, but Shahan loved the song Life Change and asked if we could do the visuals for it. They said if you can get Pharrell... Surely sending us on a fools errand. Shahan simply can't resist a challenge like this. Soon he was on the phone with Pharrell's manager who said get to Miami tomorrow and you might be able to shoot something. Both of us had real junker cars so Shahan's brother Imran financed the rental of an Altima (and the rest of the video.) We drove straight to Florida making only one mandatory stop at South of the boarder to stock up on fireworks and obscene novelties.
When we got to Pharrell's South Beach studio we had no idea what to expect. Thunderous studio bass provided a soundtrack to us standing awkwardly in a corner with our dinky camera, tripod and 1k light. We played some FIFA with Chad Hugo and ran our phone batteries down twiddling around looking like we had things to check.
Finally the master came out and invited us into his studio. We watched him work until he caught a break and nodded to us to get our camera up and rolling. We had about as much time with him as you see in the video, but when the red light went off we knew we had something.
It got dark and a sudden rain hit causing all the beautiful beach types to run for cover. A loud crash brought everyone outside where a beach scooter had just collided with a SUV. The police lights threw palm shadows across the erie scene as Shahan sipped at his mountain dew and reflected on the day's success.
When we got back to VA we showed our golden egg to the Clipse and they were down to do the rest of the video with us. We needed a prison so we went to our local prison and said, "can we make a music video here?" They sent us to a lawyer who said yeah sure…I guess. We signed some forms saying if we were stabbed to death by angry inmates we wouldn't sue them from the afterlife. We brought Mark and a few friends with us and had pretty much free reign over what we wanted to shoot. Sort of a dream production scenario. Can we shoot fingerprinting? Yep. Can we shoot in a cell? Yep. Can we get a bunch of inmates to get into a fight…No probably not.
When we finished shooting we started learning how to edit a music video. It took a while figuring out how these things work. Then we were confronted with the greater problem of how to get the video on air. No one really helps you when you're a nobody so you end up learning things yourself. We did everything down to the closed captioning. At one point Shahan even drove it up to NY and walked into the Sony Building trying to hand it off to someone. After much trial and error we got it to the right people through the right channels. When it debuted all our friends who had helped us texted us pictures of their screens. Evidence that it wasn't just our TV having a temporary malfunction… we had pulled it off our way.