I made a promo video!
Providers’ videos are a trip, man. They can be so magical, so slick, so cymbal-crashingly-beautiful that sometimes I want to cry and prostrate myself at the feet of the real-life angel who has strutted and spun her way into my heart.
(Often, clients don’t even realize that providers are so compelling and wonderful that other providers are bewitched by them as well.)
And provider videos are a trip because it’s 2018, so not only do we have beautiful websites, constantly updated social media feeds, artfully written advertisements, email newsletters, private photos or social media feeds for VIPs, frequent professional photoshoots, etc. etc. — but promo videos that, in terms of narrative and structure and overall production value, often top the commercials you see on actual television. Oh, and we convey emotion without showing our eyes. Noooo pressure.
We live in strange and wonderful times indeed.
So. A promo video. Like so many things in my life, it was an idea that didn’t quite make sense, until it did. I wasn’t ready for it, until I was.
I learned about Point of Vue, a boyfriend-girlfriend duo making some really killer films for providers, and within a day of emailing them, we had a shoot scheduled for a few days in the future. I booked a location, storyboarded the video, chose outfits, gathered and purchased props, made decisions about hair and makeup. Wham, bam.
It all came together lightning-fast — and thank God for that, because I have a tendency to overthink things. Tight deadlines are like crack for me, because they force me to make decisions and go with my gut — and things always come together, because they have to. Even if that means whipping up a batch of simple syrup and cutting a dozen limes the morning of the shoot, because I decided I was making mojitos in the video and I don’t believe in fakery or shortcuts.
In the end, we made something that, primarily, pleases me.
Hopefully, it pleases you too. Shining my little light will beckon kindred spirits. I hope it will, at least.
So. Back to the process. Choosing the music was the most intense part, as the music would define the overall film’s mood and style as much as the visuals. I spent many blissful hours listening to my favorite songs and artists — and many new, unfamiliar ones — and keeping a running list on my phone. I’d furiously add and subtract songs to the list at the gym, in cabs, walking to appointments, everywhere.
Eventually, I culled the list down to two choices:
Sigur Rós - Varúð.
This song is moody, dramatic, maybe a little somber. But I’m faaancy, ok? And this is movie trailer music — I’ve always loved movie trailers.
The other choice was Chet Faker - No Diggity. A choice that fills me with joy, because — if you know the original “No Diggity” or listen to the lyrics — it’s hilariously on-the-nose.
This track is, of course, a slower-paced cover of the beloved Blackstreet song released in 1996:
There are numerous other version of this track on music streaming services, and I urge to you to listen to them immediately because they’re all great.
What can I say? It’s No Diggity, man. No Diggity!
I’ve loved this song for a long time. I adore 80s and 90s R&B — it brings me back to my teen years in California, and puts a huge smile on my face every single time I hear it.
If I was based on the West Coast, I may have chosen the original version of Tupac’s “California Love” as the video soundtrack — one of the most perfect songs ever made. Or maybe Naughty by Nature’s “O.P.P.”, another banger. (Too much?)
Covers of beloved classics are, of course, a questionable proposition (see: every cover of any Beatles song ever), but when I first heard Chet Faker’s cover of “No Diggity” a year or two ago, it stuck with me as a fresh and legitimate take. The song has a chill, relaxing vibe that stuck with me. It’s a very close match for my personality and, thus, the vibe of the video.
But that realization came later. When we shot the footage, I was about 95% sure we’d use the Sigur Ros song. I really loved the idea of being cinematic and faaaancy and using a song that didn’t have recognizable lyrics (the song is sung in Icelandic).
However, during the editing process, the Point of Vue team advised me it was too somber. So “No Diggity” it was.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy my little video as much as I enjoyed making it.
(And please excuse my terrible, horrible, no-good hair. It was rainy and misty out, and in the chaos of hauling everything to the shoot location in the rain, what remained of a halfway-passable blowout got super fucked up. Really, it’s my bad for not hiring a Glam Squad to come to the hotel room — but we would have lost valuable daylight by doing that. Ok, I’ll stop now.)