Over the past few months we’ve become big fans of the visually deviant music promos to come from the combined directorial force that is BRTHR (Alex Lee & Kyle Wightman). In their latest video for Iggy Azalea track Bounce, the pair expanded their original Indian wedding treatment to a multi-coloured India location shoot. DN asked Alex to take us through the process of working at a vastly larger scale than on their previous projects.
“The whole concept formed as we listened to the song for hours on end in the basement of our pad. We immediately acknowledged the play on Indian music as they have parts with the tabla drum and Indian violin melodies. We wrote the treatment for an Indian wedding initially, as it was to be shot in LA. Once the label and Iggy saw our treatment, they invested a LOT more money into it as they really liked it. Iggy put in a tremendous amount of her own money too to make the trip happen.
Production was an enlightening, great experience. We are very young and this was our first HUGE shoot. Being 20 and 21, it’s natural that we were intimidated, our crew went from being just me and Kyle to 40+ Indian crew members. However, through the guidance of our amazing producer Brendan Lynch and our EP Geoff McLean, we were able to get everything we wanted and were able to run the set with more confidence. Obviously Eli Born also came into play – he was our DP. He does a lot of Tim and Eric stuff and is super talented, nice and thoughtful. Just being able to rely on a great DP and work hand in hand with him really broadened our perspective, as well as creative flow.
On top of that, our Indian crew was top notch. They all spoke English, specialize in foreign clients and have an amazing background (they did stuff for Daniel Wolfe, some ads with Brad Pitt, etc.); super organized and experienced people. Eli said “This is the fastest working crew I’ve ever seen”, they were also super passionate about the project and really wanted us to do a good job. We formed relationships that broke the cultural barrier and by the end of the shoot, we were all not co-workers but friends. People there are so welcoming and great. We worked hand in hand with a choreographer as well, who made sure we got everything right; from the dances to the traditions, to everything. We also consulted our Indian producer Avinash Shankar, if there was anything offensive going on, etc. Ultimately Kyle and I really respect the culture and wanted to do it justice.
We used the Red Epic and Zeiss Ultra Primes. Post time was about 10-12 days with 16-18 hour work days. After eight grueling cuts, and corrections, the final product was released. It was INTENSE!”
It seems all that hard work has paid off with BRTHR embarking on the next chapter in their career by signing to LEGS Media in New York and Vision for Canada, so expect to see much more from them in the future.
MarBelle has a strange compulsion to watch as many films as he can get his hands on and find jobs that give him a legitimate excuse to drill filmmakers about their work. Directors Notes is the latest incarnation of this disorder and so much cheaper than film school. Twitter: @MarBelle