ATLANTA MUSIC VIDEO DIRECTOR ROUND TABLE

Naked Unicorn Music Video Director Round Table
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Three music video directors come together to share their experiences, successes and advice on this episode of ECG’s enlightening podcast, The Naked Unicorn.

Three Atlanta music video directors. One table that is not round. A ton of great information!

There are not many people that I really follow in the Atlanta music video scene, but there are definitely two directors who’s latest work I’m always excited to check out: Video Rahim and Tim Daust.  I was lucky enough to have the guys join me at our studios in Atlanta for an honest chat about producing and directing music videos. If you are trying to break into the music video scene, whether its in LA, Atlanta or overseas, this podcast will serve as a great learning tool. Enjoy!

Royce Rizzy Tim Daust, Music Video Director
The Biters, Music Video Director Video Rahim

An open and honest discussion about making music videos in Atlanta.

Episode 3 Transcript

Jason Sirotin: Welcome to the Naked Unicorn Podcast. I’m Jason Sirotin. Today, I’m here with two of my favorite Atlanta video directors, Video Rahim and Tim Daust.

Guys, what are you up to? What’s the newest videos that you’ve got out?

What’s your latest Music Video?

Video Rahim: I just finished up a music video for Gunpowder Gray for Saints. You can find it on YouTube.

Jason: What’s the concept behind it?

Rahim: Basically, they’re a hard rock group, very similar to like Alice in Chains and AC/DC. We went for the old 80’s vampire flicks like Lost Boys because they very much resembled Lost Boys and picked it up from there. We worked with Shane Morton. He created all the effects and blood and vampire looks. Basically, it’s just a splatter fest of the lead singer becoming a vampire and they probably kill at least 20 people through the video.

Jason: When you get a song when it comes in, how does it start from concept to completion? Do you come up with the concept or is it a collaboration?

Rahim: Every time it’s different so it really depends on where the band’s at in their career. A lot of bands need help with that and then some bands know exactly what they want. You have to figure out where it really works.

I noticed that the videos that we have that are more successful seem to be the ones that we come up with concepts for. The other ones it’s more like someone’s come up to a concept with you and then you got to figure it out. You never know if they’re really happy.
At least when it’s your concept you know that you took it to the right place where with them you’re just like are you guys satisfied. That’s a whole different place to be as a director.

Jason: Tim, what was your last video?

Tim Daust: Royce Rizzy – No Moe, which actually was weird. Rizzy called me up at 2 a.m. one morning and was like “Hey, I’m in the studio. I just recorded the song. I’m about to send it to you.” I’m like:“Okay.” He’s like: “I want to shoot the video tomorrow.” “What do you mean you want to shoot it tomorrow?” “No, seriously tomorrow.”
It ended up being two days later but we didn’t have a treatment, we didn’t have anything going on. His brother and I just collaborated on it. Went out and shot the whole thing in two hours and then somehow Jermaine Dupri, his manager, sent the link to the first edit to P. Diddy and then all of a sudden it was the final edit and it was gone on Revolt and I had no idea.

It was just that crazy. They didn’t ask me for a high quality version or anything. They said we’re going to put it on Revolt tomorrow on TV. Wow!

Jason: After two days.

Tim:It’s three, four days maybe. It’s like over weekend. He sent it to me like a Saturday and it was up on Tuesday.

Jason: Now in a situation like that we’ve all had trouble getting paid by rappers, I’m sure. In a situation like that where it’s typically those spontaneous last minute shoots are like, they’re usually disasters. How’d you get paid?

Tim: His brother and I have this thing so it ended up being a free video. That’s why we spent two hours on it. I mean it was not supposed to be a big thing. It just happened to be something that when the management saw it and he said oh well, we didn’t spend any money on this. He sends it to Puff Daddy.

I don’t even know how that works. How do you just have the number in your phone to text Puff Daddy a link to a video but Jermaine Dupri has that. I don’t know. It ended up being free video.

I don’t do a whole lot of free videos but if you look at the videos there’s really no production value. There’s no lighting, there’s no nothing. I rented a Glidecam, threw my 5D on it and basically told all these people who wanted to be on the video where to stand and I just came up with something on the fly.

It was zero prep. Didn’t even have anyone with me but Rizzy’s brother and my girlfriend.

Jason: That’s crazy.

Tim: Yeah, is it?

Jason: Have you had any experiences like that, last minute videos?
Rahim: No.

Jason: I don’t think I would do that.

Tim: Really? Wow. Am I … I don’t know.

Jason: I don’t know. I think if I really liked the song that’s important to me. I might not love the style of music but if the production is good on it and it sounds good then I’m more interested but I would have to love the song.

Tim: I just had this thing happen with Rizzy where I did this video for him that got him … We came at the wrong time kind of right time. I was involved in his whole thing where he got signed through RCA Records. When we first started collaborating working on his God Damn video, it wasn’t meant to be that he was supposed to be signed. He was an unsigned artist and I was working directly with him. Then all of a sudden right as we’re shooting the video, Jermaine Dupri is getting him a contract.

My video actually never really got released. They went ahead and just skipped my video, said it was the wrong image. It’s great video and then they reshot the remix video because I had a bunch of big names on the record and that’s what … The record label put $30,000 or $50,000 into.

Here I shot a video that frankly was like a $2,000 video and it looked great, I put a bunch of post work into it. Next thing you know, they just threw it on the table and I know that everyone has had that experience of just having something you work and then all of a sudden they just don’t use it.
That happens paid or not.

Jason: My best video I shot a year and a half ago. It hasn’t been, they aren’t allowing us to release it yet.

Tim: That’s crazy.

Jason: They’re releasing videos that they shot on their iPhone so it’s really, really strange. A lot of people think that making music videos is a glamorous, cool business and we all know that it’s not. A lot of times it hardly pays anything. When it comes to negotiating cost with the artist, what are your techniques?

Rahim: First of all, it’s finding the right songs. We have a lot of people come to us and most of the people that have money have horrible music. That’s what we find. The people that don’t have resources or any money usually make the best music. It’s basically, A, trying to find the right song that you feel really fits your category and that if you have any fans that they’re going to like as well.

When you cross genres a lot I’ve noticed that a lot of your fans get … They think you sell out if you jump a genre or if they don’t really like that music where you may like the song, it may not be your favorite song, but it is business at the end of the day. It’s just really about finding the right song. Then from that point, once we find that song, we’re like can we let this video go. Then it really becomes about how much do we want to do this video.

We’ll throw some rates out there to see how they come back. Usually, most of our rates are really expensive that we hit them off with right away and just get them to get out of the way. Every once in a while if it’s something that we really want to do like Gunpowder Gray, it wasn’t about doing the money.

When it comes to Biters, I mean there’s certain bands, it’s not always about the money, it’s about trying to make it work.

Genres in music videos.

Jason: You mentioned genre. To me, you have a very succinct style. It transfers to everything. Tim, a lot of your do too. I feel like I’m all over the place.

Tim: I’m a chameleon. I very much am pop culture influenced and I just attach to whatever visual style it is that fits with the bands rather than my own where Rahim is the complete opposite. He’s got a unique style that’s him which honestly, I think you told it to me when we had a conversation a few months ago, Rahim, that you thought that maybe one day I would find my exact style and I’ll have a distinct style.

Right now I think maybe I’m just a little too green in the directing to have an exact style.

Jason: I don’t think I’ll ever have an exact style.

Tim: You like doing the same thing where you try to come up with the best imagery, visual regardless of whether it’s your aesthetic?

Jason: I listen to the song over and over and over again and then I think of whatever comes into my head that I think is cool because music videos aren’t how I make money. For me, it’s…

Tim: I want to make something cool.

Jason: I want to make something that I think is cool and if the band likes, they like it and they’ll pay for it and if not, fuck them. I want to do something I really like. I don’t think I’ll ever lock down on a style. I think I have some things that I like to do and some effects. I love visual effects so I’m always going to have some sort of visual effects.

That’s what I’ve admired about Rahim’s videos is that there is you know it’s a Visual Luxury video. You know it’s a Video Rahim video. I don’t think that with mine you get that which is fine. That’s just not who I am but I think that’s cool because there are some with Michelle Gondry yet his videos, he has such a unique style and I think that’s really cool.

To people who want to make music videos, how would you advise them if you’re looking at a young director?

Tim: I see a lot of young directors. I’m pretty active on the industry. I see a lot of young directors and I think that the best piece of advice is it’s all about who you know. Developing relationships with the artists is first and foremost the most important thing.

The only thing next to the artist would be video commissions and there’s only a handful of video commissioners out here in the business. There’s only a handful directors they like working with and production companies they like working with. If you get a chance to work with them you better sure as hell make sure that you don’t mess up because one mess up and you’re not going to be working with any of these video commissioners because people talk.

The biggest piece of advice I could say is it’s a small world and there’s a lot of people out there who are thirsty and you really have to make sure you build the right relationships with the right people.

To me, it begins with the artist. Like Rahim just said, I have a lot of artists, he has a lot of artists that just come to us with wanting content whether it be music videos or viral videos, whatever you want to call it. Sometimes it’s just about finding the right song that we connect with and the right band we connect with. It’s about finding the people who matter to put our time in to because we don’t make a whole lot of money on music videos.

It’s part of your entire career catalog. You don’t want to do something that you regret 10 years from now which we probably have all done music videos like that. It begins with the relationships and I think relationships end up putting you in the pathway of doing the right kind of work.

Jason: AOL Music called my first music video the worst music video ever made.

And She Said…in glorious 240P!!!!! Named AOL’s worst music video of all time.

Tim: That’s not good. But then you get this AOL Music, who would trust their opinion?

Jason: It was back in 2002 was my very first. It ended up getting 10 million of views but it’s a horrible dance song by an artist called Lucas Prata and it was really, really, really popular but you got to go watch the video. It’s called And She Said and it’s an awful video.

It’s him making out with this really hot Playboy chick. That’s basically it.

Would you guys consider yourselves owners of music video production companies?

Rahim: Not me. I’m just a director.

Tim: I’m a director and I definitely have a company. Room One Studios is a company but originally when I started it, really I wanted to do visual effects and really just postproduction. I’ve had deep, deep, deep ties in the music industry here in Atlanta for well over a decade. It’s only natural that because of who you know that’s how you try to make your start and music videos has been my forte to have a hobby and film without having to spend a ton on money on trying to do short films because to me short films will never get you anywhere.

Jason: I think short films are a waste of time. What about you, Rahim? (Jason Sirotin is a Partner at ECG Productions in Atlanta, GA)

Rahim: I like them. I want to make them but again, the biggest problem with them that we find is when we do music videos we don’t have to worry about sync sound. Trying to shoot a production all day long the biggest worry is trying to get good sounds. If you take that out of the mix you’re having a lot of fun and then again, if they’re bands that you like, that you go to the club with or you party with, it’s not really work. It’s a lot of fun. You have those moments.

If you could direct any artist who would it be?

Jason: Who’s your dream music video, if you could do anyone?

Rahim: To shoot?

Jason: Yeah.

Rahim: I probably want to shoot for one for Mars Volta. That would be a lot of fun. Somebody like Jane’s Addiction because I was a fan of theirs from a long time ago. That would mean a lot to me. Spiritualized, I mean I could keep going on.

See, the thing is that we love music. We love music and we love movies and the two work together so well that they … Somebody has always told me that basically when you’re looking at a screen 40 percent of what you’re seeing you’re hearing. If you don’t like the music then there’s no connection to the video.

It’s so important and I think that’s the biggest. You got to love music if you want to do it.

Jason: What about you, Tim?

Tim: I would have to say definitely Ludacris. I don’t know why. I’m from Atlanta. Really love Ludacris. If Outkast actually does another record, Outkast would be huge on my list of wanting to do. Those are dreams that probably will never come true.
The same thing with Britney Spears. I know it’s a weird one but I grew up in that time and I’m certainly pop influenced.

Jason: She had some really great videos.

Tim: She did. My favorite director, one of them, is Joseph Kahn. He did tons of her videos. Joseph Kahn’s done ton of really…

Jason: Slave was an amazing video.

Tim: Yes, absolutely.

Jason: So was Toxic.

Tim: Toxic, that was Joseph Kahn, amazing.

Jason: It was awesome.

Tim: Yeah, Joseph Kahn has done a bunch of other non-Britney Spears videos as well. Yeah, ever since I saw his work. He did this really sub par movie called Torque. It’s amazing good movie but unless you really like movies you’re not going to watch it. That came in 2004 or something. It’s a motorcycle movie. It’s like Fast and the Furious on motorcycles.

Jason: I mean you guys have both had big success on YouTube with some of your videos. How important is YouTube to music videos these days?

Rahim: It’s everything right now. It’s more important now to musicians than it is to us because we’ve been using it. It’s been our platform for at least the past five, eight years where they’ve just realized and they’ve all read it on internet that YouTube is the place that more music is streamed than anywhere. YouTube is the most important thing for musicians now.

Now they need us but again, the business aspect is trying to figure out where, who needs who the most.

Jason: When you get a call from an artist. You have something to say about YouTube?

How has YouTube changed the music video space? Can you make money as a music video director?

Tim: I really do actually. I don’t want to make this a Spotify comment or anything but I would like to say that I believe right now we’re in the verge of a shift in the music industry, especially when it comes to money and making money in the industry.

The music industry itself has been dramatically changing in the past decade. I try to keep up on the newest ways that people are marketing, newest ways people are trying to get in to the industry, and I believe that they’re trying to really push professional artists who are trying to make money to Vevo rather than YouTube.

The regulators can have their thumb on it to make sure that they’re making money and per view with ads. YouTube is hit or miss because yes, you have ads revenue but we’re talking about a totally different type of revenue than what you would get through Vevo.

I believe that YouTube has its place and it’s great, great place for us to distribute digital content whether it be podcast, music videos, it doesn’t matter. YouTube is a great, great avenue. When you’re trying to make money in music videos I think Vevo is the next step for everyone to finally shift over to.

It’s been slowly, slowly, building, building, and it’s a huge company which is a conglomerates that own it but it’s taken a while for people to believe that’s the new MTV or that’s the new thing because the music industry is changing, it’s changing so fast that people are confused at what is the platform. YouTube is in general the place I would say you would go but I think that for people who want to make money on music videos, music videos being the key to make money on, it’s Vevo, that’s how you make money.

If you do deals with artists where you can split and do profit sharing that’s how us as directors can make money on music video, especially music videos that we don’t make money on.

Jason: Right, I’ve never even thought of Vevo was an option.

Rahim: See I always think of Vevo as YouTube.

Are music video promotion companies worth the cost?

Tim: Vevo is a company. There’s different ways to distribute through that. The easiest way is through this company called DMDS. It’s based on Canada. If you go to the website, you log on, you pay a fee, either the label or the director or the artist can do it directly and it’s self distribution.

Just like TuneCore or any other audio distribution which they offer that too, not only for video distribution, they also offer, and of course I’m not affiliated with them in an any way, but they offer it like the ability to be able to pay to put your video and submit it to CMT, MTV2, MTV Jams.

You can pay to put your video, your audio on web, on different distribution methods besides radio but they have markets you can pay $15 or something per market and you can get it put on radio. You can get it put on Sirius satellite radio, stuff like that.

Jason: I send my artists to Rive.

Tim: Rive, see I’ve never heard of that. Totally different. Is that the same sort of thing as distribution?

Jason: Yeah, they get it to MTV, they get it to all those places, they get it into the shopping stores and stuff.

Tim: Yes, yes, that’s where you make money. That’s where you make money.

Jason: Yeah, I think it’s called, I’m just looking it up right now, Rive Video Promotion. Yeah, yeah, video promotion company, RiveVideo.com. It’s like 2000 bucks but they get it everywhere.

Tim: The thing is all these places want content. They won’t be playing the same content for 10 months. They want to be just the same as everyone else up on the newest hippest thing so they want content constantly. They’re starving for content.

Yes, you have to pay for it, but you’re paying for like a giant office of people to work to get your stuff out there. I think it’s money well spent and for directors like us who barely scrape by it making money and profit, we’re scraping profit off of these budgets on these music videos.

I think it’s important because we can actually have a way to make residual and come on a music video just like a film. We can make residual off of distribution on a film and I think music videos deserve that too.

Jason: If somebody is watching a video 80 million times, you should get something out of it, right?

Tim: Yeah, yeah. I don’t want to be the person who point fingers but…

Jason: Please point.

Tim: The biggest facade is YouTube, view pumping. The fact that you can go and buy views for pennies on a view, means that you can have a million views and be famous. Anyone can be famous but what is exactly famous? I mean that’s the question.

The question that I ask all these new directors is do you want the fame or do you want the money because there’s two different things you’re dealing with.

Jason: I want the money.

Tim: The money is probably more important to have a successful life, that’s for sure.

Jason: Money is freedom, right?

Tim: Freedom, yeah, absolutely.

Jason: That’s why I do music videos because it’s the ultimate freedom.

Tim: It is freedom, yeah.

Jason: Yeah, I can do whatever I want. I don’t know if I’ve seen your whole catalog but I think Rahim and I have a lot more nudity in our videos, which I think also helps and hurts.

Tim: Absolutely, I love the nudity.

Jason: It’s great.

Tim: I love the police-cocaine video. It’s one of my favorite. I love the band obviously but man, he does an excellent job on a video. I’ve watched it probably a million times. I love it.

How do you decide when your music video will contain nudity?

Jason: Rahim, when it comes to making the decision to use nudity, how do you make that call yourself?

Rahim: Basically, I’ve been working around music for such a long time so I remember when we used to have to actually send stuff to MTV. They would send it back and you would go through maybe 30 times of you can’t say this, you can do this and it really just sucked.

Again, here you’re making music videos, you’re not able to be free and do what you want. Once MTV moved out of that platform and YouTube was up and you could get a little bit more risqué on YouTube and again, you’re competing with so many videos and the edgier you can make them, the more people remember them.

That’s where we started to realize that they really started to add a lot more extra views.

Jason: Absolutely, especially on Vimeo, there’s a whole segment of Vimeo perverts.

Tim: Yeah, I can tell you if you come up my Vimeo account, look at what videos have the most views, it’s all the ones that have any kind of nudity, period. I have one video, it’s not even, it’s only a girl putting on a shirt, and that one video has surpassed most of every video on my Vimeo and it’s like a minute-long promo video. It’s not even a music video.

Jason: Yeah. When those nudity videos come out, it’s like, like, like, like, like, added to this thing, added to thing, added to that.

Tim: Thirteen-year-old boys like oh, oh.

Jason: That’s who I’m going after.

Tim: Hey, target market.

Jason: Absolutely.

Tim: Honestly, I have something to add to that which is that everyone needs a gimmick. I’m not saying that nudity is a gimmick but you have to have a reason for people to want to watch videos these days.

For instance, everyone has experienced an OK Go video. Their latest video is incredible.

Jason: Yeah, the umbrella one?

Tim: Yeah, at the end of the day it’s a gimmick. It’s a complex crazy expensive gimmick but it’s a gimmick to get you to click. If the simplest gimmick is a screenshot, we’ve all fallen victim to that. The next biggest gimmick is the whole entire creative content.

With the OK Go videos, I know that every time I click on one of those videos, it’s going to be an experience that I’m going to remember. That’s the point behind having gimmicks in the first place.

I don’t want to say nudity is a gimmick at all because especially when you use it the right way. I love the body painting stuff. That’s awesome. I’ve never been able to do that in one of my videos. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for sure.

Jason: Yeah, I don’t think I’ll do it again because that now I feel like I’ve done it twice and it feels a little played but …

Tim: You did it before right, Rahim?

Rahim: Yeah, we’ve done it on a few videos.

Tim: Does it take a long time? I’ve never …

Jason: Hell yeah.

Tim: I mean, do you have to have three hours prep just for that before you even …

Jason: Yeah.

Rahim: Yeah. Sometimes you find yourself actually painting the model too, just to hurry up and get on with the shoot.

Jason: My first one was Vitaly K’s Universe and I was really worried about her breasts bouncing too much and hurting her and being uncomfortable. The body painter Stephanie Anderson was painting the model and I was like, “You know, do we need to put any plastic thing to hold her boobs up?”

She goes, “No, open…,” and she’s just like you don’t need anything because this girl’s boobs were so perfect. It was just … That was a big concern for me is like how floppy her boobs were going to be but it turned out, it wasn’t.

On our last video, we had them out here in the lobby. They were painting them for like four hours and it took forever.

Tim: That seems that you have to prep that. You asked earlier about how we come up with concepts or something. With me, I always come up with concepts directly in correlation with the budget because we make so little money.

If I know someone has X amount of dollars to spin, I’m going to try to make the most out of that dollar amount and so that to me has been one of the reasons I’ve never done body painting. It’s not because of the money you pay the artist, it’s the time that it takes.

Jason: It’s the time and the cost for the body painting.

Tim: Yeah, but the time to me is a huge part because that’s half of a day of shooting.

Jason: Absolutely.

Tim: You’re shooting other stuff while they’re just getting ready and you hope that it’s ready when you get back?

What do you do when a music video lead comes in?

Jason: I have a method so when a lead comes in, I say, I have a form letter that I send back and it says, “I’d like to listen to this song. If I like it and connect with it, I’ll get back to you.“

Tim: It’s a form letter?

Jason: “What is your budget,“ yeah.

Tim: Man, I want to see that.

Jason: I’ll send it to you. It says what is your budget, the budget will be the difference between what we can do for that budget. Do you have a concept in mind or can we create one? I would prefer to be the creator of the content.

Here is what we send out to artists seeking music video production.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Hello Artist, we would love to learn more about your project. 

Our music videos typically range in price from $5000.00 to as high as $60,000.00.  We have been know to do performance pieces for between $4,000.00 and $6,000.00 if we dig the track. 

Pricing for all of the above depends on a number of factors like number & type of cameras, special effects, talent, locations, etc.  In order to prepare an accurate estimate for you, we’ll need some more information:

1) Can you send us the track? We like to hear the song and make sure we connect with it. That’s important to us.

2) Do you have a concept in mind, or would we be developing it from the ground up? We prefer building the concept based on the budget. 

3) Do you have any budgetary constraints we should be aware of? In other words…What’s your budget?

4) Are you local to the Atlanta area or would travel be involved for you or us?

Pending your answers to the above, we can prepare a comprehensive estimate for your review.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Tim: Wow. That’s like the best one paragraph that any director can say to a client and you summed it up.

Jason: It works really well and it gets rid of a lot. I’ve had this whole campaign where I wanted to be number one in making, getting music video leads from the internet so now I’m number two in the world under Wikipedia for music video thoughts, right?
If you go anywhere in the world and you type music video cost…

Tim: Music video.

Jason: Yes. I SEO’d the shit out of it. We get so many calls now and most of the people are just, you know?

Tim: Clueless.

Jason: Clueless and their songs are awful. There was one song that came in that was so awful that I wanted to do it because I was like, “Oh, this will be really fun.”

Tim: Rebecca Black.

Jason: It was actually like a Rebecca Black scenario and I was like this will be really fun. I was like, as long as I can make some money on it and have some fun with it and make it so weird that people get it, I would do it.

How do you promote a music video?

When it comes to promoting your own music videos what are you guys currently doing to promote it? I hardly do any of my own promotion. I usually go so hardcore on the videos we end up putting so much extra time and effort into it. What are you guys doing to promote it?

How much promotion do you do? How much do you rely on the artist?

Tim: If you rely on the artist, you wouldn’t get anywhere, most of time. There are a few artists like Royce Rizzy, I have to say, is one of the few artists I’ve ever met who has the determination to make it whether someone helps him or not.

Most artists expect someone to help them because they deserve it or they’re entitled because they make music. Unfortunately, you have to push it as hard as you’re going to push it and as far as it’s going to take it. Unfortunately, with promoting, it’s a lot about money.

Rahim: The business levels are really hard for us to figure out how to make it work when it comes to money but it’s even harder for the artist that have no idea what we do, how long it takes, some of these people think I edit a video in a day.

Jason: We’re talking today about why music videos don’t cost $500. It’s an article I wrote a while ago that has I think almost 800,000 page views at this time.

Rahim: There’s no real understanding. Before this, only the way I really compare it to is what it must have been liked before they wrote the Bible. God still existed and they still had all these stories but finally, somebody put it all in one book and said, “Hey, look this is what a DP costs.”

It may take more than three days or two days or half a day to edit your video. Normally, it takes this long. Finally, there’s some real things that you’re saying in there that are really important that I think open people’s minds up and it’s on the internet so it’s real.

It’s not something we’ve created and it’s from another director. There’s so much information that I think is knowledgeable for them. Then the other thing about it is once they start to see the real prices in the industry, they look at what we’re trying to charge them and they’re like whoa.

Tim: This is a deal.

Rahim: Right. Wow. Yeah, this is amazing, I want to stay with these people so I think it helps in so many ways but it does open people’s eyes.

Jason: I’m so glad that it’s actually helpful because I personally don’t send it to anybody.

Tim: What did you write it for? What made you come up with that? People need to know this. How did you find out there’s an epidemic because it really is.

Jason: Because I was getting calls so many times and I was like …

Tim: You’re frustrated like we were.

Jason: I was frustrated and I was like I’m tired of answering these questions. You know what’s so funny now is I feel like a dick if I send it to somebody because I got some poor kid who wants to be a hiphop artist.

Tim: I purposefully am a dick by sending in to people.

Jason: Right, so I’m not a very good troller. I’m super emotional so I don’t send it to people but I’m super psyched and I get emails from people all the time from all over the world saying that they used it.

People in Spain, people in London being I used your blog today. I’m like that’s crazy to me, because for me it was just emotional. I was just venting.

Tim: But it’s vented in a very professional way that takes it out of us having to say it to the client. Most of the time people because of relationships, again it goes back to relationships, people take things personally.

It’s just business at the end of the day though. We have to have money to create this because we need this many people and this can take this much time. It’s a math equation. Really, some people aren’t good at math and math is simple as this plus this equals this.
Jason: And to give credit where credit is due, Jason Marraccini, my partner, he rewrites all of my articles so I vomited it out into a mess and he makes it make a lot more sense and probably made me sound less like a dick because I believe I was pretty fucking pissed off.

Tim: It comes from the place of being a dick because you have to be that way with people who just are trying to take advantage of you even if it’s on their side not purposefully.
If someone’s taking advantage of you it’s your right and your responsibility to not let them and I think that that article really helps, really does.

Jason: That’s awesome. I hope it gets shared a lot more and I appreciate you guys sharing it. It means a lot to me.

Rahim: You should write a book.

Tim: Yeah.

Jason: I’m writing one called … right now… it’s going to take me forever.

Tim: That’s what it’s called?

Jason: How to make an independent film and why you shouldn’t.

Tim: Yeah, that goes along with why short films are … unless you’re trying to just …

Jason: Make a calling card.

Tim: Yeah, the same thing can be said with just making a feature. Just go out and make your first feature, especially now the DSLRs are out. If you really want to make a feature and you have a good story and you can tell it, do it, prove it.

What camera’s are you shooting your music videos with?

Jason: I wanted to ask this in our previous podcast but what cameras are you guys using? What is your camera of choice for music videos right now?

Tim: It goes with the budget but I love the RED personally. I have never shot on the ALEXA but the RED is just my favorite camera to use. I’m about to try to start tinkering with GH4 but my camera to go to when the budget doesn’t have the money is my 5D Mark III.

Jason: That’s a great camera. What about you, Rahim?

Rahim: I’m using the Panasonic AF100. None of our music videos are usually hitting broadcast, maybe one or two in the past three years so I mean almost everything is on the internet so we just…

We’ve got the AF100 so we just continue to shoot with those.

Tim: I have to be honest, a lot of the people who come to get videos from me, they insist to shoot RED. It’s almost like part of the budget from the onset before we even talk about any other thing, they’re like, “We’re going to shoot this on the RED, right?”
They don’t really have any understanding of what that means to the post. They don’t have any idea what that means to anything other than it’s a name.

Rahim: Money.

Tim: Yeah, it just means money but very rarely do they even want to spend the money on the camera and the lenses because this is what I found. It’s more than the camera.

Once you get a real film camera involved, you normally need a team of people to run that camera and not just a person and that’s where the big difference is. It’s like as soon as you take that camera to being more than four or five cars value you have to have a pretty good amount of team of people to be responsible for that especially in rap videos. It takes it a whole another level.

Film cameras are not easy to log around and I see so many people who are out here with REDs and they just have a Canon lens on it and there’s no any accessory but the RED. It’s like, “Do you guys really know what kind of tool you’re using because you’re using the poorest but you’re only really using the hood.”

Jason: Right, yeah. I think that when people want to use the RED they don’t think about all of the other things that go along with it, the accessories. The magazines …

Tim: The magazines, the matte box.

Jason: Yeah, everything that you really need. For me the reason I like to shoot with the RED, and we shot with the Dragon this weekend was, is overcrank, especially in a hiphop song …

Tim: It does it really well, yeah, mmhmm (affirmative).

Jason: …you got to have overcrank footage. What I’m hoping to do soon is try the FS7 out.

Tim: Yeah, yeah, I’ve shot on that.

Jason: Or have you?

Tim: We shot that with one of my friends, Huston Tronnes. We did a video together called I’ll Be Fine with Mike Fresh and we shot on that camera as a VCAM.

Jason: How was it?

Tim: To be honest, the slow motion looked great. I didn’t think that it matched well with the other camera we shot with but I’ve used Sony cameras for years and I love them. This is a great camera. I believe that Rahim mentioned it earlier the distribution and what you’re putting these videos out should have direct correlation with what you’re shooting.

I know feature films that still get shot and they just mastered them at 2K which is just over 1080p. Most people have no clue why they need 4K other than it’s hip. Really as a filmmaker I should be the one saying, “Oh, I want to do this because it’s hip and I want to do it because I want to have gratification on working with this format medium.”

Really the artist should have nothing to do with the camera.

Jason: I like shooting bigger resolution because I can do …

Tim: Cropping, yeah.

Jason: …cropping and all that stuff.

Tim: Yeah, that’s the best thing, yeah.

Jason: If you’re doing a steady cam shot at 6K you can basically get rid of every single bump. That’s really awesome.

Tim: Yep, so thankful for … I’m assuming you’re using premier now.

Jason: Yeah.

Tim: I’m so thankful for the word “stabilization” that changes people’s lives right there. One thing that came up with me a couple of weeks ago with someone was that you guys shoot with Blackmagics, right?

Jason: Yeah.

Tim: How are you guys liking that because I’ve stayed away from them because of the post work flow.

Jason: I rarely do any editing nowadays but it’s been great. It’s a great camera for the price and it’s worked out really well for in-studio stuff. It’s not great in low light but it’s a good camera and we haven’t really had any post production problems.

Tim: That’s interesting.

Jason: It’s been pretty good. We’ve …

Tim: I might have to rent that from you guys and shoot something with it.

Jason: You know what, you can borrow it.

Tim: I’ve never shot with one. It’s just because I’ve read people posting about how painful the cinema D&G process is and with my experience with … I’m a very nerdy person so I use the hacked Magic Lantern software on the 5D so I’ve shot raw on that now and it works great.

It looks amazing but the workflow is the worst, it was so slow.

Jason: Remember we switched from shooting 5D raw on lower budget stuff to the cinema 4K camera. Since they did the firmware update, it’s been really great. They got rid of there was this big problem where if you shot, the highlight.

Tim: The highlights.

Jason: You would get this big glowing red ball in the background.

Tim: I didn’t really fix that.

Jason: Yeah. It was fixed but anytime you want to borrow it, please do.

Tim: I will try to make that happen. I’m so interested to see how the crop sensor works as well.

Jason: Yeah, it’s a great little camera for the money. For three grand, please, really?

Tim: The GH4, I mean I’m about to put my hands on one of those and that’s supposed to be getting really good reviews.

Jason: I haven’t touched that one yet.

Tim: Again, it’s all about what you’re trying to do and it’s just a little small, small, small micro camera but I just can envision going around New York City and shooting with an artist and being able to get some cool, cool shots because it’s all indie.

Jason: Nobody will know.

Tim: Yeah, no one will ever know that I’m doing a music video.

Jason: You know what’s interesting the first thing I thought when I saw the Royce Rizzy video?

Tim: Was that?

Jason: Was like this guy has a lot of confidence to have his shirt off. I was like he is so confident. He doesn’t give off …

Tim: He doesn’t care. He doesn’t care.

Jason: Which is so awesome.

Tim: It’s awesome. He’s a great guy. He’s a great guy. He’s young and he’s a great guy and he just wants to make it.

Jason: He’ll make it.

Tim: He already signed and Jermaine Dupri is his manager so as far as I’m concerned he made it.

Jason: Sky is the limit.

Tim: Yeah.

Jason: He’s a nice dude.

Tim: He’s a nice dude and that’s the thing. I work with a lot of people and some people are nicer than others. At the end of the day, just because you make a good song doesn’t mean that you deserve our time as directors to put our life into trying to make you
sellable.

I mean at the end of the day, maybe we just want to make content that we like and whether we care whether it doe anything for you or not. Now that directly correlates with how well you can market a video.

You can have all the money in the world but if the song sucks and the video sucks, it’s not going to go anywhere. No one’s going to actually connect to it. No one’s going to like it.

Jason: What do you do?

The music video is done. What’s the first thing you do?

Tim: I normally start at that method. Actually, that email you were talking about, normally one of the first contacts with the client, I’m asking them what their distribution method is, where their target distribution is.

Because to me nowadays, especially, I don’t want to waste my time, if someone doesn’t already have a plan when they’re spending money with me, it normally means the video is not going to go anywhere and I’ve learned that.

Very early on I decide, okay, well, if I know this video is only going to YouTube and I’m never going to make money on it then I definitely want to put as little time while making it as best as possible. While time managing, how much time I waste at it? Because man, I can noodle for six months on a video if you asked me to and I will make it amazing.

Jason: What are the steps to promoting or are you leaving that to the artist?

Tim: It depends. If they’re signed or if they have management. I mean sometimes the artist’s management know less than the artist and I think that’s dangerous too. It’s about knowledge and how much experience you have in this industry.

I was lucky and I have some friends who resigned to Island Def Jam when I was very young and I was able to see how the record label treated them. I got really interested into the business well before directing music video. Music business as a business is business.
How you distribute your music video directly is in correlation with how much money you’re spending and how much money you’re going to make. YouTube at its surface is just a distribution method for free so that you can get your content out there.

I think that that’s a huge part of it just having people be able to see content and flooding the market with brand. As far as my steps, I’ll tell you, I’ll try to be a little bit transparent here. We already talked about DMDS.

You mentioned another service, what was it?

Jason: Rive. How much does DMDS charge?

Tim: It’s different. It’s different for each market and what you’re doing with the content and it’s different between a video and just a song or you can package the video and a song.

I mean they have all sorts of different ways to do but it’s a couple of thousand dollars for their basic package. Then you have all these people who are really shady, in the gray area of the business and I’m going to call it the gray area because it’s there, they’re
there.

They’re just paying a DJ to get your song on the radio but you can pay and you can get it right on TV. The next day, bam, you’re on MTV Jams, the next day, directed by whatever. Take a screenshot, put it online.

Now you’re famous because you’re on TV and it’s all because he’s paid $2500 to get it on TV. Really, is that worth it at the end of the day to get it on the TV one or three times? If no one knows it’s going to be there, did you just waste your money to put it on TV for the self-gratification of being on TV? Yes. That’s most of the time what it is.
If you ask me, there’s no correct way to do it or wrong way to do it other than not planning it as the wrong way and planning it with a budget is the right way.

Jason: Other than having breasts in your video, what do you think about video promotion,
Rahim?

Rahim: That’s something that’s real serious to us but what I’ve noticed is again, genres play a big part of that. The hiphop genre seems to have a life of its own. Where if you make a hiphop video, you might just all of a sudden appear on five to ten blogs which is totally different than rock and a lot of the other genre, especially pop.

With rock, we work with a lot of rock people that already have a fan base so their fan bas might be 30,000 and there’s a lot of magazines that are really into them. I’m talking about the Biters, for instance, and Green Day has called them out as being one of their favorite bands.

There’s a lot of people looking at them for the new face of Rock n’ Roll but they’re still underground so we get a lot of PR people reaching out to us to put anything with them.

We use Latest Disgrace which is an Atlanta blog. They’ve got voted by Creative Loafing as best blog. They’re pretty down with putting out whatever we want to show. Creative Loafing has been a big help but really it’s getting the PR firms but it’s like you said, it’s gray.

I’ve seen people spend two grand and get 200 views and then I’ve seen people spend two grand and get a million views so it really depends on who you know. If you’re trying to launch this thing on a pop world, you better have a lot of money.

Jason: A lot of money.

Rahim: Because you’re going up against so many people that want to be there that have a lot of money. Again, it’s different. In the rock world, you’ve got to really be on the cusp of what you’re doing. You got to really be able to play shows and have a reach out there so.

Again, it’s genre-specific, it’s band-specific. The last music video we did we just got in Delirium magazine which is like a horror, sci-fi magazine. I think Fangoria might actually do a story on it as well. It’s looking for little niches as well that you can get in to that would appreciate your music.

Tim: I think this also has to do with how long you have on the turnaround for videos too because most videos of my experience are from concept to delivery, it’s about two months on average.

I think artists that expect it to be done any quicker than that are just so unprofessional that they don’t understand that there’s more to just making the video. You have to have the video. Then there’s the distribution and the distribution is really the biggest part of it.

While we are noodling in our lairs getting our videos great, the artist or the management or the labels need to be, most of the time we’re not dealing with labels, they need to be on the distribution part of it, trying to plan it and trying to figure it out. Really, when you have a release date, just like a film, you have a bunch of anticipation that you build up to the release date which I love.

You always do that with your video releases, Rahim. There’s a big anticipation build up so that people know it’s coming out because in this day and age, and also when one knows it’s coming out they tend to watch it a week or two after it comes out on the tail end of its height of success you’d say.

The lifetime of videos and distributing them, all have to do with how you’re planning it.

Jason: It’s so funny that you mentioned that because I’m always talking to people. They want to sit around and hold it and come up with some big plan. I’m like just release it because they never come up with a plan that actually works so they’re just sitting on it. Just release it. It sounds like what you’re saying is that it might be better to have a real plan.

Tim: It sounds like you found the egg before the chicken because how is that possible for you to pay a production company to do a video and you have no idea what you’re going to do with it. You are obviously way ahead of yourself. You really need to figure out what you’re going to do with the video.

This is a business and unless you’re just doing it for fun, there’s got to be some sort of rhyme or reason to it. As far as what I do to release videos, I mean it really goes by the people because sometimes they are so clueless that I have to have a huge part in releasing the video. Sometimes they say they can handle it and you give it to them and does nothing. Then sometimes you hand it to them and they do something great with it.
It really all depends on how much money they’re spending and what they’re trying to do with it in general.

Jason: Rahim, do you have a ramp up plan for most of your videos?

Rahim: It really depends on the band. If I feel like they need help or if they’ve got something we work with the consolations and their label did everything. Of course, they wanted the video edit in three weeks which we stayed up every night. There’s intense effects for that one.

Got it done and then it sat for a month as the label waited for Vevo to decide that they would premier it and then they get the Vevo premier then they made their own trailer for it which was cool so we didn’t really have to do anything.

The video did get pulled off YouTube for being explicit but stayed on Vevo and that’s where we learned that basically, YouTube controls Vevo’s view count because our video never grew again after they got pulled off YouTube.

Jason: No kidding.

Rahim: Yeah. All of them are really different as far as what happens but what I find mostly is that when the PR companies want to show the magazines, the videos, to post on their blogs or the blog services, they have to have a complete finished video. By the time you finally complete and finish the video then they usually want to sit on it for a month before they can find the right person to debut it.

That’s the part that we really hate is it’s such a rush, rush, get it done, get it done and then you just sit on it. If you do try to put it out earlier or show somebody an earlier cut, a lot of the times they’re just, it’s just not as impressive as …

Jason: Never show anybody an early cut.

Tim: Bad News Bears.

Jason: Yeah, never.

Tim: I consider the first cut that I show them really like the tenth edit. Most people don’t know that but I’ve already been through my turmoil.

Jason: Yeah and there’s no way I’m showing anybody a rough.

Tim: That’s the funny about that Rizzy video I told you. I spent two hours shooting it, probably about two hours editing it, most of it was long single takes but selecting the shots, quickly filling it on time. I didn’t even do any color correction but real basic color correction and I send it to him having no idea that it was going to be seen by Puff Daddy.

That’s the second time I know that one of my videos have been seen by him and I just, it’s so weird to know that he saw something that to me is so not what I would show people.

Normally, I’m so self-conscious of my work and I hold on to it until I feel very proud of it.

Jason: Do you both, are you the DP as well on your videos and the lead editor?

Tim: Not me.

Rahim: I am.

Jason: You are. You direct, shoot, and edit?

Rahim: Yeah.

Tim: Which man, cheers to you, Rahim. I can’t even … I do it sometimes, sometimes I do DP but I like working with DPs. I’m coming from a passion and film meaning, not saying that you don’t but I’m saying that I come from the workings of a unit and having a hierarchy of people who can make a script turned into exactly what you envision it and it all takes team of people.

To me a DP is really the essential part of a look which also goes back to something we talked about early on which is the style and it’s part of the reason why my style is all over the place because I work with other DPs as well as sometimes I DP myself.

I think that it’s always good to be able to DP for yourself, especially on budgets that you can’t even hire a crew. I think that bringing a DP on and allowing you to be able as a director really just focus on the performance of the person as well as all of the other, especially if it’s a narrative like all of the other stuff as a filmmaker. It really, really helps you. Just like a film, I don’t have to worry about whether or not it’s going to look great.

Hiring a really good DP that you communicate well with and get along with is the most key part to using a DP as a director. Really it has to be someone you’re really connecting with. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to like the same things. Band mates all the time have different influence to the music but it means that you need to have a very clear direction that you like working the same way together.

Jason: I’ve been working with on I think the last three. I’ve had three guys that are all individual DPs.

Tim: Chance White, have you worked with him?

Sometimes I work with three DP(s) on-set and I love it.

Jason: I used Chance, Trey Gregory and Brandon Peterson. Trey is a partner here and Brandon’s one of our in-house DPs. When they all collaborate and they’re all adding to it, I just love it. I just really, really like it because everybody’s bringing something special to the table.

Tim: Rahim, you’ve worked with other DPs I know because you work with Matthew.

Rahim: Yeah, I work with other DPs, it’s just that our budgets aren’t big enough. Not only am I filming or DPing, I’m also gaffing, ripping, I’m doing everything.

Tim: DIT.

Rahim: Ashley, he’s my executive producer and she’s AD-ing, coordinating. A lot of times, it might just be two of us. We do work with another camera man named John Manfredi who’s young. He’s more of a second unit camera.

We work with a big DP and he didn’t touch the camera all day long so it was then that it just became real apparent that all right, you just need to get in there and do what you need to do because you just never, you never can’t trust somebody else’s style.
I do want to work with other DPs but it’s finding a DP that I can A, afford, B, that can understand what kind of style I’m looking for and truly like the biggest thing is I come from more of an art background. I started art school in like the eighth grade. I went to art school in Atlanta so I’ve always been like…

In art school if you’re a painter you pick your drawing, you figure out what your subject matter is, you buy your canvas, you stretch it, you draw it, you paint it, and then you hang it up in a gallery or somewhere.

To me to have somebody do one of those six steps at some point is ridiculous. If we were making a movie and not a documentary, I definitely need a DP but when we’re shooting music videos and people are lip synching and we’re push and play and we’re having fun and guys are drinking beers. It comes to a point there is a lot to do and so when we do work it’s exhausting, we’re working 12, 14 hour a days.

The next day we’re just, don’t want to move, don’t want to do anything. At the same time, to keep a small crew and keep it fun for the musicians and that’s the other thing about it, I think a lot of people don’t understand, is we come from these film worlds that where you make movies and it’s not really a whole lot of fun when you’re on a set.

Jason: It’s horrible.

Rahim: There’s a whole lot of people and there’s a lot of yelling and all that stuff. Bands really enjoy the difference of when they go to a studio and it’s total production, they’re not relaxed. You got to put them on their elements sometimes.
I think a lot of the times it helps just to be able to switch it up because they are artists.

Jason: If you want to burn out quick in this business you work on a couple of movies in a row and you’ll burn out, quick indie films. If you’re working on a big budget one and you’ve got a very really nice catering, it’s different. Let’s wrap it up with one last thing.

Let’s talk real quick about …

Tim: Can I mention one more thing on the DPs? Just the scalability. I think just so much as we have to be flexible as directors like with budgets and how we do things. Finding a really good DP to work for a music video is the same thing. He was saying, most music video DPs, like people who will DP a music video they want half of the budget of the video.

I think that if they could be as scalable as we are as directors a lot more DPs would work with us but the thing is they’re just not. Most people are not. They want their price and this is what they do for a living. Unfortunately, that passion only goes so far. With directing, I think it requires a ton of passion.

Jason: Absolutely. Yeah, you’re making a ton of sacrifices constantly.

What makes making music videos in Atlanta so interesting?

I want to talk about music video production in Atlanta specifically because I feel like this environment is so different from other places that I’ve worked.

What makes Atlanta a challenging place to create music videos or a great place? What is our opinion?

Tim: Are you asking me first?

Jason: I’m asking whoever wants to answer first.

Tim: Do you want me to answer first?

Rahim: I would say the genres because Atlanta has changed so much in the past 10 years. Before it was always corporate entertainment or it was African-American entertainment which is where almost all of the music videos that come out of Atlanta flow from so they do have budgets.

When you’re talking about the more eclectic bands like Deer Hunter or Black Lips and that rock genre, there’s not budgets, There’s little budgets so it’s so different as far, again, genres speak really loud as far as how you’re making these videos and what kind of budgets you’re getting.

Jason: You’re saying that in Atlanta there is a big class warfare almost. With …

Tim: Towards hiphop rap. It’s the minority of what music videos are in Atlanta. I would say I get eight rap songs to every two rock songs I get.

Jason: What’s your preference?

Tim: I come from Atlanta, man. i come from Outkast just growing up. I mean I love rap. I can’t really say that I have any preference. I love music. Music is my reference and good music.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion and so my music style is, maybe people don’t like me, I like all sorts of types of music. Going back to your question about Atlanta, I think one of the biggest challenging things in Atlanta is there’s a lot of competition. I don’t mean that it’s just as in Atlanta a director competition. I also mean that there’s a lot of competition within just artists.

Like he said, the genres. You can find artists of every genre here. There’s even composers you can find to do music videos for here. It’s just that the only real market here in Atlanta is rap and hiphop. Again, that’s a small community, you just have to have the right connections to even get into those videos.

Really, you have to choose whether you want to make videos that you really want to make or whether you want to make videos that you’re making just because you’re trying to give them to the industry. I think that’s really what it is in Atlanta.

It’s a challenging process to decide what to work on. Do you want to work on rap videos? That’s something you have to decide. I know a lot of people who don’t work on rap videos. I would say crew guys, people who do video shoots for us, and crew guys, some of them just won’t work on rap videos. That’s just their rule. It doesn’t even matter if you feed them well. They just won’t work at all. They won’t step on to them again.

I know director is the same way who I’m done with rap videos, no way. You can’t get me one of those again and it’s that attitude. It’s not necessarily there’s a few bad apples or anything, that’s the way it is with any shoots but unfortunately, in Atlanta it’s hard sometimes to get paid from people.

Having handshake deals and verbal agreements with people just doesn’t work in this business here.

Jason: What are your payment policies?

Tim: For music videos, I do one third upfront, one third before we shoot and then one third after. Sometimes when I believe that the person may or may not possibly pay me, I get 100 percent by the time I show up to shoot. It just depends by the budget too.

If it’s over 5000, I’ll do a third on the tail end because at the end of the day I’ve got their video and they’re not going to get it on watermark until I get paid. I have leverage there.

With other artists or other people that I’m working with meaning management or labels, it just really depends on the budget. If it’s $1500, $2500 music video, I’m definitely going to get 100 percent of it upfront because it’s not even really paying me for my time.

Jason: What about you, Rahim?

Rahim: Each artist is different but we usually try to get them to give us something at the very beginning and then again, we make that decision if we need everything by the shoot or if we can wait till the editorial.

I was going to say, the thing about hiphop videos, I love hiphop, I’ve worked on hiphop videos since 1994. It’s how I got into music videos in Atlanta coming out of college and just working on them. The problem that I see with the hiphop videos and I don’t mean to take us back is that a lot of times they want to do the same thing.

If you watch most music videos right now on hiphop music videos, you’ll see that almost all of them have been scaled back to where they’re in one studio and they’re bringing everything to that studio and it’s usually they want a nice car, they want some girls and they want a whole lot of cash and all that stuff cost a lot of money.

At the end of the day you’re not making anything off these videos and then if you’re not able to be creative with it, unless you’re really trying to reinvent the whole look of the studio and again, that all comes down to money again if you want to do something … If you want to pretend to be some hotshot director and come up with a look and style, it’s going to be very expensive.

That’s the reason like we’ve gotten in this thing after trying to do hiphop videos for such a long time that we got bored with it just always being about hey, can we lock down Peach tree, but you don’t have a real budget. Yeah, but can we lock it down?

Tim: That would be like getting on top of Spaghetti Junction and trying to shoot.

Rahim: Yeah. It just gets old and the problem is because we both haven’t got our MTV video where we’re still young.

Tim: We’re coming, we’re coming for you guys.

Rahim: We’re still working our way up there trying to make it happen so people aren’t hiring us for our style. They’re hiring us because we’re just another video director that happens to be in Atlanta and we can get it done. That’s all they’re really looking for. That’s the thing with us lightly is that we’ve really tried to create in the past probably three or four years like I used to … I sat for 10 years and won’t do a music video unless over 10 grand and I barely did any music videos on that 10 years.

I just got really bored with a lot of the Atlanta work, corporate and broadcast and was just we’re really going to want to make music videos that we really like and that are creative. We finally got to the point where we made a bunch of cool music videos that had style and then I could take it to Sleepy Brown from Outkast and be like, hey, this is what we’re doing. Do you want this kind of stuff? Can we do something different?

Once you can prove it in a marketplace or show it somebody else, they start to see what you’re envisioning that makes it so much easier. Just to go out and before if I would say that to Sleepy, he wouldn’t let me do something different. He wouldn’t let me have cops chasing him in a club and all this other story stuff.

Again, it would be all like … His first video we did was jut in his bedroom him with a girl and that was it and so there’s not anything really creative you can add to that except for, how can I light this or…

Tim: What’s so creative about that? That girl.

Rahim: Once they start to see that you do have some style or they can see it then it’s a lot easier to sell them into it. That’s at some point you have to reinvent what you’re doing and that’s where we came from was that we had to do something different to get these people to want to actually let us do what we do and not make us just like a house painter. Hey, come over to paint my house.

Tim: Can you fix my dishwasher? Thank you.

Rahim: Exactly.

Jason: Guys, thank you so much for joining us today. If somebody wants to do a music video with Tim Daust, what do they do?

Tim: Email or call me. I mean http://www.timdaust.com. You can check out my website for my music video directing. You can check it out and email me. My email is on there, my phone number is on there. You could text me. Texting is the best.

Jason: Spell your name so they can get it.

Tim: D-A-U-S-T. It’s German.

Jason: What about you, Rahim? How can people get in touch with you?

Rahim: You can go to http://www.musicvideorahim.com and Rahim is R-A-H-I-M.
Jason: Cool.

Rahim: Just the easiest way.

Jason: Awesome. Well, I really appreciate you guys coming.

Tim: Thank you.

Jason: I’m Jason Sirotin, you can see me at ecgprod.com. Follow our blog at https://www.ecgprod.com/blog and keep tuned for more Naked Unicorn Podcast. Thanks guys!

Jason Sirotin
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Tim Daust
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Video Rahim
The Biters – Hallucination Generation

Jason Sirotin

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