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Monday, December 16, 2019

First Time Film Director, Kingsley Egei, Produced 2019's Most Epic Black Mirror Inspired Music Video

According to a small test group, this music video has been rated higher than all of season 5 of Netflix's Sci-fi and futuristic TV show Black Mirror.

The renown television show Black Mirror has been around for years with season 6 set to be released Christmas day. As a big fan of the show, I was inspired to make this music video as trippy as possible and within budget. Here's my story on how it all went down.

Screen grab from Black Mirror Music Video
Screen grab from Black Mirror Music Video

Being a creative is demanding. Expensive. Painful. Joyful. Intense. 

It's not a career path for everyone, but if you know me, then you know I like challenges and love creating new things (Minus babies. Babies are expensive)

So when deciding to become a Hip hop artist 2 years ago, I never really thought it would be SOOO demanding, which technically with a full team and a label it really isn't. But as an independent, I quickly learned that my previous presumptions were ill founded and f*cking dumb.

After coming to my senses and experimenting with different sounds, songs, mixes etc, it was then time for me to market the products that I worked so hard and diligently on in my living room studio.

The one part of my creative process that was clearly lackin and missing was the visual aspect.

So I got my shi*t together and started crafting out the initial idea of what my first big video would be about.

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Back story: I made the song Black Mirror about 2 years ago in 2018 and thought it was something special. It was originally mixed by a young engineer via the Internet and it sounded just ok. But I thought it could be better. So I mixed the vocals and mastered it again myself. I taught myself how to mix in protools for this specific song. I didn't have the greatest mics or the greatest tools, but I was determined to get it done.

You can stream Black Mirror on any of your favorite streaming platforms or get directed by clicking Spotify or Amazon music(radio-friendly version).

Anyhow, once I was happy I started looking for music video directors.

I would send out a soundcloud links to dozens of directors. More than 30 over a year's period. Maybe a total of five hit me back and four flat out told me no.

The one guy that told me yes (I will leave him unnamed, I'm not about that bashing life), says yes but under certain "stipulations" he set forth.

Shooting would be on his schedule because I didn't have a big enough budget. We talked about shooting it very guerrilla for about $1200 USD and since he also lived in the DMV, I'm thinking this wouldn't be an issue and should be an easy shoot.

A few weeks go by after we talked, after I wrote the script, and after we had a pre-meetings to work out the kinks. Shoot weekend had been scheduled and calendared in.

Shoot weekend arrives and he tells me he picked a job that weekend so now he can't shoot. I get it, not super upset about it this time.

We set up another weekend. And guess what?  He picks up yet again, another job leaving me in the dark.

SXTWLVE sitting in the darkness

2 months go by and I never hear back from him again. Now I'm back to square A.

So after a year plus looking for music video directors and with no luck I gave up the hunt.

I reached out to anyone and everyone in the film industry that I knew. Living in Maryland, which is not a big music and film hub like Hollywood, New York, or Atlanta (yea I know, I need to move), there really wasn't that many people here that were making good music videos around here.

I kept searching locally and no one wanted to shoot my concept, mainly because I didn't have a big enough budget for the script I wrote.

So one day in the Winter of 2018, I was on Instagram and saw this dope ass video from this artist who I cant remember his name right now. Anyhow, I immediately looked up the director in the bio of the song and emailed him.

A couple days go by and he responds and asks me the infamous industry question

"What is your budget?"

I tell him honestly

"I don't know what this would cost to make." 

He tells me its a 10k job minimum.  MINIMUM. And I'm like Fuuuuuuu ******k. But he likes the song and script concept. So he tells me that he will do it for a considerably lower price. But he would only DP it (DP is Director of photography, meaning he will be the guy behind the camera). And I would have to direct it, book the locations, hire the actors, and edit it myself.

I've never directed a budgeted music video at this point in my life but I take him up on his offer.

SXTWLVE running through the script
SXTWLVE running through the script

Living by myself in a high rent area here in Maryland, I didn't have a couple thousands bucks lying around in a savings account so now I had to go out and find some money. After asking around, and being told f*ck no so many times, I had one friend donate money to me cause he believed in me and didn't ask for anything in return which is RARE!!!!!

The additional funds, I borrowed some from my mother (love her). And the rest I used my credit cards to pay him, the crew, additional expenses, and the actors.

So last December in 2018, I flew out to LA to go do two-12 hr shoot days for this video. I finished editing 85% of the video earlier this year around April but didn't put it out since I had no clout or traction.

This past November of 2019, I decided it was finally time to give this video to the world and just see what happens. I think my story is a story that most creatives have or will find themselves in.

Some won't talk about it and will just deliver the final product. But I think its important to always be transparent and honest with viewers and fans, because you never know what people are going through.

Creatives and artists are some of the most mentally fragile people I have ever met. This is not an insult, just an observation. And to keep pushing forward, I hope stories like this can motivate them to get sh*t done.

Anyhow, I hope you all like this video. This will probably be my last video for a while until I gain some traction or clout.

Feel free to help out by sharing with your friends because word of mouth literally is the only form of marketing that is worth anything. Below are some behind the scenes photos. More photos can be seen on my friend and camera woman Nivana Campo's website.

SXTWLVE PaintingActress on the set of Black Mirror Video shoot

DP working the camera on the set of Black Mirror Video shoot

SXTWLVE going through footage at the Black Mirror Video shoot

Take care and sorry this wasn't a fitness post! Hope you guys got something out of me talking about this journey thus far. The full music video is set to Premiere December 20th. You can search YouTube or click the link below. If you watch the entire video and like it, please thumbs up and share with a friend! Anyways, lataaaaa. #Sovicious4ever

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