Jahdan Blakkamoore

Music Video Premiere | “Wicked Scams” Dubstuy Track | Von D & Jahdan Blakkamoore

Directed this newest music video for Dubstuy Records!

Producer Von D and artist Jahdan Blakkamoore express a political allegory for our times. The video was based on a concept and treatment created by Cyril Dosnon (creative director and illustrator for Dubstuy Records‘ releases). The original plan involved a MUCH longer table and a cast of 40 individuals, so we had to pair that down to make it feasible with the resources and short, week-long preproduction schedule we had available!

VIDEO STILLS

Von D Wicked Scam Music Video
Music video graphics by illustrator Cyril Dosnon
Jahdan Blakkamoore Wicked Scam Music Video
Having slick title graphics is paramount to creating a professional music video. Bad typography can immediately lower the production value of the entire video, no matter how good the cinematography and music is!
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Tabletop styled by the infinitely skilled art director Cassaundra Franklin / @daturablacknyc on instagram.
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Cyril’s concept was heavily based around the masks making these “crooks” anonymous figures. While it would have been amazing to see 40 individuals all wearing masks in different costumes as it was originally planned, our resources only allowed for a limited bunch. I emphasized the strangeness of the masks by using lots of intimate close ups instead, and emphasizing the idea of ritual. Props and wardrobe are a great way to expand the narrative in a music video or short film.

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business crook mask music video

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I don’t know how to bake a cake, so we just used random ingredients for texture. I thought it was funnier adding the most random things to the “cake” mix and yet still ending up with a perfectly baked cake at the end of the day

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jahdan blakkamoore chef music video

CHOREOGRAPHY

We created choreographed movements to form a “ritual dance” making the “crooks” less human and more like anonymous evildoers. There’s something about synchronized movement that can seem very eerie in certain contexts. My inspiration for the “dance” was the work of famed choreographer, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. Her work utilizes synchronicity and ordinary body language to express eerie feelings of grief, solitude, and introspection. Check out “Rosas Danst Rosas” for a good example of her work. On a related note, Beyonce’s music video “Countdown” heavily referenced moments of De Keersmaeker’s choerography throughout, featuring scenic elements from the dance film as well as iconic movements. A scene at 2:30 in the video is almost a mirror image of the film, and sparked controversy upon the music video’s premiere.

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The cast did a great job at taking direction and memorizing the choreo in such a short amount of time. Only one actor was a trained dancer.

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kitchen music video

CUSTOM PROP CREATION

I added the cake design of the world map myself, using a detailed stencil technique to “print” the image with black sugar on the surface of the white cake. I don’t have too much experience with baking and I wasn’t going to risk learning how to bake a giant cake in a week for this project. So we purchased this pre-made cake as a simple white frosted block with the frills along the edges.

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The challenge was to place the stencil on top of the cake surface without marring the smooth white frosting. For this I carefully outlined the entire perimeter of the cake with tooth picks (hidden by the frills of frosting) and then placed the stencil on top of that. The board that I used to cut out the stencil was light enough to sit on top of the toothpicks and firm enough so that it didn’t bow in the middle. If it had been made of flimsier material, then the center would have sunk and ruined the cake surface.

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The cake had to be topped with soft frosting and NOT fondant, so that as the actors dug in, it would pull away in fluffy chunks. Fondant is applied in sheets, and we would have risked the sheet pulling off, creating a confusing, distracting image instead of a quick, instant destruction.

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I subtly tinted the eye color to green in some of the extreme close ups. We shot the video in 240 fps slow motion.

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Art Director Cassaundra Franklin developed this formula of green edible fluid to create “poison.” It was an expert mixture of green mint jelly, smashed green cherries, and green cherry juice with green food coloring.

Jahdan Blakkamoore

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Spoiler alert!

CREDITS

Music video by  Von D feat. Jahdan Blakkamoore performing “Wicked Scam”

Director: Lee Milby

Creative Direction: Cyril Dosnon

Producer: Sharan Kukreja (Yellow Beanie Productions)

Art/Prop stylist: Cassaundra Franklin

Production Assistant: David Erde

Record Label: Dubstuy Records

Special Thanks: KSK Studios NYC, Cyril Dosnon, Yellow Beanie Productions

Cast: Mike Falco, Susan Kroll, Tom Martone, Joseph Maracina, Keith Mackler, Marc Thomas, Hassan Farrow, Allegra Ashton, Sindey Belle

© 2018 Dubstuy Records

About the author: Lee Milby