Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Everybody Talks by Neon Trees

Post Represents: Monday, March 12, 2012

For some reason this video came to mind and I searched for it. Then I discovered it. This is the first time I've been apart a music video and no one informed me that they noticed me. Upon pressing play I thought they either they cut me out of it or that I was barely seen in it. I watched it and I'm scene in it only twice. Its not a lot but its more than many of the others. Background work provides no guarantees.

Scene Location: 1:39, 1:58

Final Thoughts

After being apart of this video with Neon Trees and Introducing The Starliners from Paris (Starliners was a bit different but I'll explain in a future post) I started to sense a peculiar energy from the directors. I'm not attempting to use the race card but I did begin to notice that a lot of directors don't truly acknowledge the presents of African American. Overall, extras typically don't get acknowledged but there was a peculiar energy from this shoot.

Before I continue, I want to state that I exude a lot of energy at all my shoots. My energy is noticeable and several times it has drawn the cameras in my direction. The camera were certainly drawn to me in this shoot. Not by the directors camera but by the additional camera man.

In this shoot, there were only two geeks/nerds. I was the other. When we were together the other nerd whose first name is Mason, was trying to switch spots with me the whole shoot because I made really creative use of my position even though my seat was broken. In addition, I was making him among several others laugh often.

Later in the shoot, the director suggested an additional part for Mason. Which is cool. We both didn't know if the director was serious but my presents certainly wasn't acknowledged. As a matter of fact, Mason and I was sitting in the car and the director talked right over my head as if I wasn't there. Right when the shoot was about to end, the director asked one of his assistants to get the nerd for the extra scene. They came and got me. I'm assuming the reason they got me is because I stood out the most. I gave a lot energy that day and to some I was most notable. Shortly after the brought me to the location the director (or maybe someone else. I'm not sure) said, "No, not him the other nerd."

I'm actually happy for Mason the other nerd. From an African American perspective, I've been in few shoots this year that made me sense a distance between myself and the director. At a following shoot COVER DRIVE The Band with the new Rihanna, a few ladies shared the same sentiments in a similar conversation. We've rarely experienced interaction between the director and ourselves. Its almost as though we're invisible sometimes.

These are just observations. No conclusions. I don't have time to pull the race card but it is what it is. Being noticed/shown in a video is a good feeling. Nonetheless, when I'm cast as an extra I take that opportunity to work on my improvisation skills. That's all it is too me. Sometimes good things happen and other times I may appear invisible.

Regardless, appreciation for the opportunity will never change. Its not about being seen in a music video. Really, what can that do for ones career. Probably nothing. Its about building relationships with people. Those relationships may be with the production team or with other fellow background extras. Barely seen in the music video or not my mission at this shoot was accomplished.

Actually, after watching the video for the second time my placement in the video was fare. My observation stands the same. Across the board my observation probably applies to every gender, creek or race. In the end, some people make magically connections and others don't. In Hollywood, it just happens when you least expect it.

Other than all that rhetoric, the video came out really nice. I'm proud to be apart of it. Thank you Neon Trees.

Previous Related: Working with Neon Trees

As the quest continues...

The Future of Late Night

Motown Maurice

Update Date: 9/7/12 

I should of updated this post shortly after I originally published it. I'm updating it now because I'm about to publish the behind scenes of Neon Trees newest music video Lesson In Love. I worked on it a week ago and I think its appropriate of me to clear the air. Without rereading what I wrote above. I'm going to briefly further analyze those thoughts. The fact that I wasn't shown in the music video much wasn't the issue. I was shown twice and honestly that pretty decent for a music video. Extras work on music videos all the time and never get seen. I've had that horrible outcome on one music video with Sparks - Cover Drive.

I believe the reason I had an issue with the last video was the fact that the director didn't take the time out to know my name and acknowledge me by name. In the music video I did with Neon Trees a week ago (Lessons In love) I was greeted by the director this time among a few others. The director and the lead singer thanked me for returning. I even took a photo with the director. I have no grief. However, what I did notice is that he called out a few extras by name. Maybe those extras worked with the director on multiple projects. Or maybe not.  This issue really isn't a big deal its just some basic observations. I was certainly directed by the director. Even more than the others he knew by name. Either way its not that serious. The VIP's of Neon Trees may not know my name but the certainly know my face and loyalty. For this situation, that's all that important.

Next Post: Neon Trees is Full of Surprises

As the quest continues...

The Future of Late Night

Motown Maurice

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