“Project X” by Alumni

We were all drunk during this video. Even me. Alumni, my regular collaborators, wanted one more music video following the successes of (Take A Walk On) My Side and Pretty/Dope before I went away to begin my senior year of college. We threw a party at my house on a Sunday night, and I floated around with my shoulder rig. I had a few set pieces in mind before the party started: the dancing in the living room, the game of flip cup, and the destruction of the pool table. The rest of the video would be comprised of random moments of intoxication woven around that triptych. I liked the idea of experimenting with freestyle filmmaking, especially after our previous two, ultra-structured, collaborations. The resulting music video is a mess. Sort of. But it’s our mess. And if my drunk, shirtless brother doesn’t make you laugh, then you’re just an asshole.

“Pretty/Dope” by Alumni

The most difficult artistic endeavor I’ve ever pursued in my life. I developed the storyline with Alumni group member M.I.Geezus. Then I went away to write. The resulting screenplay was more ambitious than the hip-hop group had anticipated. We weren’t just making a music video; we had a short film on our hands. We filmed the final act of this redoubtable hybrid in a live bar during business hours, which is exactly as difficult as it sounds. I lost approximately six pounds of water weight during that night of principal photography. The intersecting character arcs were supposed to be Altmanesque. The editing technique was supposed to recall Don’t Look Now. But I’m most proud of the fact that we actually got this thing done. I now more than ever subscribe to that old adage (I suppose Kennedy made it famous) about things only truly being worthwhile if they are difficult to accomplish.

 

“(Take A Walk On) My Side” by Alumni

The first single from Alumni’s SQUARE album. The video was shot guerrilla style, as we did not obtain permits to overtake the dead-end neighborhood street. Captured on a makeshift dolly in one continuous shot, we filmed three takes; this is the third. And the fires are real. Special thanks to the residents of South Sacramento’s Meadowview area for not calling the fire department when their skies filled with smoke. We were lucky that they were content to watch from their backyards and porches as we guerrillas scrambled about in the middle of the street.