Writing my last post I got a real feeling of ‘I’ve done this before…?‘. Linking out examples of things to demonstrate a point… Having awesome stuff happen in the wake of awful stuff. Then I realised where it was coming from.
A few years back, after a few life-changing and frankly rubbish personal events occurred, I left my friends and family in Sydney and took a scholarship to go to film school in LA. About a month into it, I put my first ever video on YouTube. It was called Sebring feat. Danny Trejo.
My creative partner, Anna Bennett and I had managed to woo Danny ‘Machete’ Trejo (while he was visiting his pals Mister Cartoon and Estevan Oriol to wish them a merry Christmas) into being in our ‘music video’ that we were shooting on my grandma’s mini DV – standard def.
His bodyguard, Mario, was our cameraman. We shot under the 6th bridge in downtown Los Angeles. Danny choreographed some synchronised dance moves to a recording of us doing karaoke to our own version of ‘Pony’ by Ginuwine. We jumped into a Cypress Hill/Antrhax photo shoot, photographed by Tyler Clinton, to whom Danny proclaimed “I’m rolling with these chicas ‘cos they’ve got f**king balls”. Then he bought us dinner at 2am from The Pantry. Most unexpected and excellent sequence of events? Absolutely.
Anyway, jazzed on this video as we were for its complete absurdity, we went to In Fidelity Recording Studios and recorded the music properly, edited it and threw it up on YouTube and our Facebook walls for all to see.
Mum saw it. Thought it was legit. A little too legit. I received a very concerned phone call.
To which I responded via email, as spoken words were not enough to demonstrate my point:
ok, hear me out. i have not become a gangster rapper since moving to LA. here’s the thing about that video that i think you didn’t pick up… (simply because these types of music videos are something very closely associated with my generation)…
it is a parody video clip. a comedy. a social comment. we are taking the mickey out of all the the rubbish video clips that are out there (as you know, there are many). the song in our clip is an existing (very famous) 90’s RnB song with re-written lyrics to take the mickey out of the ‘hot cars, thugs and fast women’ lifestyle of the R’n’B/Rap scene.
… can you understand why we chose this genre to make fun of? it is immediately apparent to people of our ‘music video generation’ that what we’ve done is a parody… we have drawn on tattoos, we have fake thick gold jewellery, we’re two WHITE girls, i have a gold grill in my mouth, we’re wearing tourist Rap shirts, the video is acting as though the Sebring is a hot car when the lyrics clearly state that its a heap of junk… all dead giveaways.
this isn’t the first time someone’s done this… we’re really not breaking any new ground here. there is a very long running TV show called Saturday Night Live (SNL) that have been doing parodies like ours for years.. and many other people, e.g. jim carey. There is a comedian named weird al yankovic who did this parody of ‘Ridin’ Dirty’: the original video vs the parody video
… okay so are we on the same page now? we’re making a social comment. for example with the bit in our video where we sing that we’re living the ‘american dream’ while the images are depicting the poverty, homeless ex-veterans in wheelchairs, skid row, trolley-pushing bag people. (skip forward in our video to 2:42).
so i hope that’s cleared that up for you so you don’t have to be quite so disappointed. please take the time to watch all of the videos that i have listed above so that you have a good understanding of what i’m talking about here.
Give my love to Baba and the animals and a very special kissy to Boblabous. I love you!
Yep. Had to do it.
To be honest, I love that song Candy Shop. Always have. Probably why it was one of the first songs that came to mind to reference. But I know hoochie dancing when I see it. And Pony by Ginuwine? If we ever have the good fortune of spending a night of karaoke together, you will know that this is my number one jam. In retrospect, I feel like I should have given The Lonely Island a bit more of a mention in the references. Time for the offending footage?
The video that ramped up my street cred in my family home:
Click here for the second video we released. Venice Cheap-Skates. Post-Sebring, different tattoos, set in Venice. I didn’t show mum this one. And there’s a language warning.
When I got back to Australia a couple of months later, mum still hadn’t clicked my links for reference. Oh how my blood did boil. But by then she had physical proof that I didn’t have the tattoos or any kind of drug addiction… So we were cool.