*Explicit Language Warning*
This project started with my friend, Yung Khalifa (now Deadstar) recording No Hook with his friends, Jilly and Lewis.
Yung Khalifa showed me the record and mentioned wanting to film a music video for it. At the time, he had no clue I had experience editing videos. I thought the track had potential so I decided to help Yung Khalifa produce the MV.
Unfortunately, it was finals season for school so, the weeks before the shoot everyone was busy studying. We decided to shoot the video a few days after my finals were done.
2 days before the shoot, we decided on the location — a graffitied parking lot in Kensington Market. I had no camera so, I borrowed a Cannon Rebel T5i camera from Lewis.
1 day before the shoot, Yung Khalifa, Lewis, and Jilly contacted their friends to be in the video.
It is the day of the shoot. I arrive on the scene with Yung Khalifa to be greeted by Lewis, Jilly, and their entourage. Everyone was freshly dressed in streetwear / hypebeast clothing. You see high-end brands such as Balenciaga, OVO, Bape, Off-White, and Stone Island. Someone even brought out their red Mercedes convertible with Supreme tattooed on the side door (a highlight of the MV). Another person brought their dog with a $300 Off-White belt repurposed as a dog leash. Everyone was ready for the shoot.
I held the camera and was ready to record. We first filmed the intro of the song where the Mercedes pulls into the parking lot carrying the 3 rappers. Next, we filmed the entire song at multiple locations around the parking lot and graffiti walls in Kensington Market. I also filmed some B-roll throughout the shoot. I was active with the camera, trying to get as many interesting and unique shots as possible.
Yung Khalifa, Jilly, and Lewis did amazing in their performances for the MV, especially Yung Khalifa — he was quite exceptional (made my job easy). Overall, the shoot went smoothly. I was sure I’ve gotten plenty of footage to use in the edit. There was one scene I was quite proud of where I directed everyone to just walk towards the camera. It made for a cool movement effect. We concluded the shoot with a scene where everyone yelled out in unison “China the Mainland we repping it” — the final phrase of the song.
After compiling all the footage, editing was a process that took about 2 weeks to complete. This was the largest video editing project that I took on so far (at that time). I used Adobe Premiere Pro to edit. The process consisted of learning new effects from Youtube tutorials, downloading new plugins, and the actual editing process where I had to stitch together the best clips. My editing philosophy was to make the scene transitions and effects smooth and natural. If you look at the MV closely you can see that each scene transition was closely coordinated. After 2 weeks, I was ready to show everyone the final edit.
What’s a good MV without any views. The next step after posting the video on Youtube was to find a way to get people to watch it. Besides sharing it on our social media, I shared the MV to a couple of big promotional accounts based in Toronto on Instagram. Since these accounts receive tons of messages every day, I wasn’t expecting a reply.
To my surprise, 6ixtrend reposted the video on their account without replying to my message nor linking our Youtube video. This was a problem because our video on Youtube wasn’t getting any views from the repost because people did not know where to find the full video. So, Yung Khalifa, Jilly, and Lewis started commenting on the post saying “search No Hook” on Youtube. Our video then started racking up views to the thousands. Then 6ixtrend finally changed their description (after a few requests) and tagged our Instagram accounts. The public opinion on the MV went a like: “this is fire!”(75%), “is this a joke?”(15%), or “this is trash ?”(10%). Overall, I was happy the video got any views at all.
In the end, filming and editing the whole video was very fun and I would totally do it again. Getting a few thousand views on Youtube and reading everyone’s comments was a bonus too.