Today’s edition of Call and Response features a talented director named Bubba Fish, who for his 5-minute CTPR 310 project at USC (for reference, here’s George Lucas’s), decided to collaborate with the rapper Automattic (of the rap collective MYTH) on a music video for his song, “Me 1, You 0”, and the results were excellent, noted as one of the top 310s of the year (and easily the best-recieved at its premiere). (Full disclosure: I did some work for Bubba on the video.)
You’ll wanna know Bubba’s name, he’s gonna be big. Don’t believe me? Watch, then check out the interview down below. I dare you to disagree:
1. How did you develop the idea for the video?
I wanted to make a hip-hop music video that somehow made childish, elementary-school activities somewhat gangster. The three ideas I thought of right away were– “Chillin with the whore playin N64” where Automattic would be playing N64 with a Barbie doll, his dance with the MILF-who-really-isn’t-hot, and the scene where he makes it rain Monopoly money. I sort of built the video around those three ideas.
2. Did you contact Automattic or did Automattic contact you? How did the collaboration come to be?
I initially contacted MYTH about the video, because I had heard some of their work and I was already a big fan of theirs.
3. There was a long delay between the premiere of the video and its release. Why the gap?
I wanted the video to look and sound perfect when it went on YouTube. I spent a lot of time testing out different file formats for the song, and I spent a lot of time working with a post-production house (High Hat Post) to add those flashy lens flares that every hip-hop video needs.
4. What drew you to Automattic, and why this song?
I was originally supposed to direct the video for another MYTH song, “Life of a Myth Boy,” which had a lot of elementary school, 90s, and childhood themes in it. But the other member of “MYTH,” Dnaps, was finishing his senior year of high school in Houston, so he was unavailable for the shoot. But Matt (Automattic) still wanted to make the video, so I asked him to write another song with similar themes in mind. The song turned out great, so we decided to make an Automattic video instead of a MYTH video.
5. You’ve made other films outside of class, so how was making this video for a class (310) different, better/worse, etc?
As any Production major will tell you, 310 is an insane experience. The entire class is a crash-course in every aspect of production. By the end of the semester, I had held almost every single major position on a film set. But it’s also a better environment to direct a film than any other I have experienced, because your professors, student assistants, and 17 fellow classmates are all there to help you make the best film you possibly can.
6. What’s next for you?
I want to try my hand at more music videos, because I think they appeal to my strengths as a filmmaker. I love the collaboration with artists and the immediate visibility these videos receive from the artist’s pre-existing fans. I also love the creative freedom that a music video provides– there can be a plot, a performance, a visual style that generates an emotion, or all three. Music videos allow filmmakers to experiment and break the rules all over the place. People seem to love watching music videos online more than they like watching short films, because music videos appeal to the extreme ADHD of our generation. I love the fast editing and rapid scene changes, because I’m quite an ADHD person myself.
7. What’s next for Automattic, if you have any idea?
Automattic is rejoining Dnaps in their group, MYTH. Their new mixtape, “We Are the Mayans” should be dropping soon. I’m sure it’s going to be incredible.
8. How, if at all, has being part of two fraternities, helped and/or hurt you in filmmaking? Or has it impacted you at all?
“Me 1, You 0” would not have turned out as well as it did without the help of my professional fraternity, Delta Kappa Alpha, and my IFC fraternity, Sigma Alpha Mu. A few members of DKA offered to drive my crew to locations, and almost my entire crew was made up of Sammys, so I am truly indebted to them. They also helped drive publicity of the video after its release.
9. What do you hope happens with this video?
I hope the video is seen by a large audience soon enough. Gotye’s video, “Somebody That I Used to Know” was largely ignored for months and months until it suddenly took off and became the #5 most viewed YouTube video of all time. I don’t expect “Me 1, You 0” to reach that level of popularity, but I hope it gets picked up by some big-time hip-hop or pop-culture blogs and gets a few thousand more hits. We’re sending it to some blogs and radio stations now, so we’ll see what happens. The video will also enjoy a much larger audience the moment that MYTH makes it big.
10. How was it to work with Automattic and would you offer your services as a music video director in the future?
Working with Automattic was fantastic. We became good friends through this whole experience, and I hope to work with him again as soon as possible. It was funny, because I don’t think he realized how good I wanted to make this video until he stepped onto set on the first day and saw a twenty person crew. He took me out to breakfast the next morning and said something along the lines of, “I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, and now that I know, I’m so excited.”
I’m also looking forward to showing this music video to other artists I might want to collaborate with in the future.
So there you have it! Keep a look out for Bubba and MYTH in the future, and in the meantime share and like their stuff. I know for sure I’ll be doing so.