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As I wrote in my last post, I am producing a music video for the song “It’s All About You,” starring the powerhouse duo of Alexander Sack and Leota Penney. We spent long, grueling, invigorating and exciting hours shooting this weekend. For all of you who are considering getting involved in the movie or music video business, here are a few more things to know. 

5. Know your role: As a producer I had a hands-on role in the video every step of the way (creating the story, choosing the locations, hiring actors, etc…). However, during production there is so much happening and so many people that it’s hard not to step on people’s toes. There were so many times that I wanted to micro-manage and put in my two cents, but I couldn’t. It’s important to know your role, who you can give orders to and who you take orders from.  

4. Feed your crew well: On a film set mealtime does not only provide nourishment, but it is also one of the only times that the crew gets to take a break from their work. I heard a story about one production that fed the crew spicy burritos for lunch. The burritos caused the cast and crew to make numerous and frantic trips to the bathroom. On a set the food needs to be plentiful, high quality and kind to the digestive system! 

3. Dress comfy: Have you ever noticed in those behind the scenes documentaries that the directors are usually wearing an old t-shirt, jeans and a baseball hat? Being comfortable on a set is far more important than being glamorous. Of course, I am not recommending dressing like a slob, but I also would avoid heels, skirts or anything that limits your movement and comfort. 

2. Be nice: Films are a perfect example of teamwork. Every person has an important job, that’s why there are hundreds of names in the credits. The best way to make the team run smoothly, always say please, thank you and show your appreciation.  

1. Be Flexible:  I don’t mean physically flexible, although yoga is a good way to keep your mind and body refreshed. I mean mentally and creatively flexible. Creative endeavors require that you see the big picture and be willing to modify your plans in the interest of making the best possible product. A line that you loved might sound cheesy coming out of an actor’s mouth. You must be able to let go of that line if it means saving the scene.  

The video is now in editing. Keep checking my blogs for info on the release date! 
 


Sonja Mereu

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I am producing a music video for a song called “It’s All About You,” written by Tom Bernath and Alexander Sack. The incredible Alexander and Leota Penney perform it. You probably haven’t heard of these artists YET, but if this video and the surrounding promotion go as planned you will soon. On this project I have learned a lot about producing a film. For all of you who are considering getting involved in the movie or music video business, there are a lot of things to know. 

5. Always hype the money people: At first I told our financier that I wanted the money, and he said No Problem! Well, there actually was a problem. Out of nowhere he decided he had no interest in financing the project anymore. Since I don’t give up, the director and I kept reworking the script and making improvements. On a whim I called the financier and told him that I loved the project and was going to do the video either way. To my surprise he called me back 5 minutes later and said he would fund half of it. I continued to hype him up over the next week, and eventually got all the money I needed. 

4. Hiring actresses is hard: We auditioned a few actresses, and although the choice was obvious the nice side of me wanted to hire them all. How could I disappoint all these sweet, young girls? Casting requires a strong resolve and a cold heart! 

3. Work with what you have: The song talks about driving a Mercedes and eating in fancy restaurants. We couldn’t afford those things, so we designed our story around things we already had. We have access to a gorgeous theater and my house has a picturesque backyard, so those became sets. You may not even know you have so many resources until you have to get creative! 

2. Find a director that you can work with: Some directors, no matter how talented, are impossible to collaborate with. Luckily, my college friend David Chiu is an incredible director and a really cool guy. Our collaboration as producer/director has been artistically satisfying and fun. I can guarantee it’s not always like that. 

1. Keep in touch with all your contacts: Everybody is working for FREE. Make sure you stay on good terms with all the industry people you meet, because you never know when you’ll need to call in a favor.  

The video shoots this weekend – look for part 2 next week.
 


Sonja Mereu

The official cover of Keyshia Cole‘s upcoming LP A Different Me is here:

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Love it. Very grown and sexy, although it’s a little Rihanna-esque. Don’t you think? The hair, body suit, pose, etc. It looks good none the less. Work it out then Keyshia- literally.

A new Rihanna record recently leaked called to the internet called “Bitch, I’m Special”, reportedly from her upcoming album:

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Rihanna- “Bitch, I’m Special”

The song is sort of like an animated feminine rap. She almost doesn’t use vocals at all on the record, and if I haven’t been following her sound and music I would have thought it wasn’t her. Definitely a different sound for her, and I’m not sure I like it. After the early 2007 release of her uber smash hit single “Umbrella” her career took off in a spaceship and never looked back. Playing with different looks and sounds since she hit the scene in 2005 (she went from Reggae to R&B to Pop), it seemed like she finally found her place in the world. With this very boastful, egotistical single, it will leave some to think:

“Is her and Beyonce going to head to head for the crown as the ‘industry queen’? Who is biting off of who? And last but not least, who will win?” It seems as if in the music game Beyonce has been untouchable, with very few in her league, making comparison’s near impossible and on some instance’s- insults.

Like Beyonce, Rihanna has reinvented her sound on each one of her albums, but the Quen Bey hasn’t been as well received as Little Miss Sunshine. While Dangerously In Love was critically acclaimed and to some standards, considered a masterpiece (and to date her best), B’Day was not that convincing. Many was disappointed in the album and a petition was made against her “Deja Vu” video. As for her new I Am… Sasha Fierce era, many people are over her dance anthems and is tired of her experimenting with new sounds, her inconsistency is starting to become a tad annoying to many die-hard Beyonce fans.

So… what’s it going to be? Who will take the crown?


Tara Decoda
fashionmanifesto.wordpress.com
fashionmanifesto@gmail.com

Beyonce‘s next two single’s “Ego” & “Halo” has been confirmed as the follow-up to “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” and “If I Were A Boy”.

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“Ego” has been confirmed as the follow up to her luke-warm received “Single Ladies”. The single, which again plays on the arrogance of the extremely successful superstar, brags about her and her man having a “big ego”. The song starts off slow but picks up when the suggestive hook starts. On it she sings:

It’s too big/it’s too wide
It’s too strong/it won’t fit
It’s too much/it’s too tough
He talk like this ’cause he could back it up/He got a big ego….

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On the ballad “Halo”, the follow up to her well-received international hit “If I Were A Boy”, the Queen Bey sings about him being her “angel and saving grace”. The song doesn’t disappoint vocally, lyrically or melodically. Definitely a theme song for all the young girls in love.

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To see more of her promo pictures…. Read the rest of this entry »

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Can’t wait until November 18th? You can preview Beyonce‘s new album I Am… Sasha Fierce at NewMusicLeak before the official release. Just don’t tell Papa Knowles we told you! LoL.

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ForWomenOnline.com is reporting that the remaining members of Danity Kane refuses to sign on for the new season of Making The Band 4 (to begin taping in 2 weeks). There is internal friction between the group, Diddy and Bad Boy/MTV and the ladies are reportedly tired of living out their lives on camera. Check out the report:

We have learned that MTV will begin shooting the next season of Making The Band in 2 weeks, however, it will be WITHOUT the 2 members of Danity Kane. Apparently, the group is said to be extremely fed up with Diddy and living out their lives in front of the MTV cameras.

The new season is following Day 26 (the male group formed from the reality series) as they go out on the road and prepare to tour Europe. The season will also capture Donnie Klang a.k.a. Aubrey O’Day’s former love interest, as he tours with New Kids On The Block.

The remaining girls (Dawn Richards, Aundrea Fimbres) and possibly Shannon Bex?? will have a “meeting” with Diddy on camera but that is their extent of their participation right now with no contract in place to appear in the new series. Maybe this will be the episode where Shannon tells Diddy and her fans that she quit? We hear that she has not “officially” come back to the group and though she may perform here and there with the remaining 2 group members, she did resign and no one has heard otherwise.

Seems like the drama isn’t stopping at the axing of D. Woods and Aubrey, and for those who thought the fallout was made for T.V. might have been wrong. Or maybe…. nevermind.