Apple’s iPhone used in the shooting of a major music video production for rap artist Paul Wall featuring Travis Barker of Blink 182. Music Video to be aired on MTV2’s Sucker Free on September 23rd. Director Amir Valinia has pushed the limits in creating professional, high-end content using a simple video camera function found on a mobile phone.
Houston, TX; Los Angeles, CA — AV1 Productions and Gatecrasher Films are pleased to announce that their recent music video production, “I Need Mo” by platinum-selling artist Paul Wall and featuring Travis Barker and Kobe, will premiere on MTV2 on September 23 during Sucker Free. On air promotions will begin September 21, 2009 by MTV and run all week long on MTV2 as well as MTV Jams. This is the first music video with major label artists shot exclusively on the Apple iPhone 3GS.
In making the video, director Amir Valinia explains, “We wanted to do something that was more than just unique. We wanted to take an available technology and really push the envelope. We wanted to see how far we can go in making a high-quality music video with something that is fast becoming a common item, the Apple iPhone.” The iPhone 3Gs is Apple’s latest generation of smartphones. It comes with a simple video camera that shoots with 30 frames-per-second capability
G-Dash, the owner and CEO of Swishahouse, Paul Wall’s record label, responded, “I was excited that Amir approached us at Swishahouse and afforded us the opportunity to be a part of this innovative way of shooting a music video using the iPhone….We have always been known for setting trends for others to follow, so when the concept was presented to me , it was a no brainer.” Amir explains, “We didn’t want production values to be any less than how we’ve worked in the past. But we knew that at the same time we had to make many adjustments to how we shot the video because of the iPhone.”
Producer Ron Finberg also stated, “We knew going in that there would be challenges during post-production, especially with how to turn the footage into broadcast-quality. We are so pleased with how the video turned out.
Production began in mid-July in Houston, Texas and wrapped in Los Angeles with scenes featuring Kobe, who collaborated with Paul Wall on the song, and special guest star Travis Barker of Blink 182. Barry Strickland, the director of photography, created and customized several mounts and adapters specifically for the iPhone. Producer Ming Wang adds, “Even though the camera itself was simple enough, this was still a full-scale music video production. We still employed a professional crew, lighting, equipment, set design, make-up and so on. We wanted to maintain a cinematic look. The video also incorporates several greenscreen effects.
Post-production was spearheaded by Vic Tamborella, president and CEO of VT2 Studios in Houston, TX. “We had worked with VT2 Studios on several projects before and their work has always exceeded our expectations. We knew that their expertise in all aspects of editing and VFX would be valuable in working on something revolutionary as the iPhone video,” says Amir Valinia. Vic Tamborella states, “When Amir first approached me with the idea of working on the iphone music video I immediately said yes. We’re just excited to be a part of something innovative and truly groundbreaking in media today. We were blown away at the response when news first broke of our intention to use the iPhone on our next music video”.
The overall effort was a collaboration on several fronts. Producer Ron Finberg explains, “We at AV1 Productions and Gatecrasher Films were able to execute and complete the iPhone video because of the cooperation from G-Dash & Paul Wall of Swishahouse, VT2, Justin Seyb and Barry Strickland of APS along with Christian Heuer who assisted in producing the Los Angeles segments. After we came up with the concept for “I Need Mo”, we were very fortunate that everyone had the same insight when it came to shooting this project… it was definitely a team effort.” “We’re very excited about this video,” says Amir Valinia.
“We’ve truly reached a milestone with all the recent advances in film and video technology. I have directed and produced music videos for over 10 years now, and saw the opportunity to utilize that experience to try something different, something unique. The production values for this music video is not any different from all the other music videos we’ve worked on in the past. It was still a professional production. We utilized a soundstage, green screen, professional set-design, etc. The major difference is, we used the iPhone as our camera. Of course new shooting techniques were
incorporated using this new type of camera, but it’s just another way of embracing technology. This is not just revolutionary, but evolutionary.”
AV1 Productions / Gatecrasher Films is full-service motion picture production company, specializing in films, music videos and commercials, using cost-effective strategies and efficient processes and techniques resulting in beautiful motion pictures at ultra-competitive rates. Music videos produced and/or directed by Amir Valinia and AV1 Productions /
Gatecrasher Films have in the past aired on MTV, VH1 and BET among others. Amir has also directed several feature films including “Mutants” starring Michael Ironside (“Top Gun”, “Starship Troopers”) and Steven Bauer (“Scarface”), and “Lords of the Street”, starring Kris Kristofferson and hip-hop superstar DMX.