We welcome Exile Ramirez to Rock’n The Mike for his first on-air interview where we chat about Whiskey, celebrity holograms and making music videos!Exile is a friend of mine from back when I worked in Manhattan with Music Video directors Jim Swaffield and Ulysses Terrero.
Facial Hair Blues.
As usual when guests arrive at Rock’n The Mic studios they forget that we have a three camera setup. So when Exile showed up he forgot that he had a rather bushy beard, which prompted us to talk about barber shop stories…
Respect The Whiskey.
When Exile showed up to the house he was somewhat nervous (understandably) since this was his first live interview, but the best part about having guests come in about a half hour early is that we have time to try and calm them down a bit. I think, for the most part, he was calm but he became calmer when he came across a bottle of Jameson whiskey that I had lying around. So, since I’m not really going to drink that stuff anyway—I use it for marinades and cooking—I decided to go ahead and let him polish off the rest of the bottle…yeah he calmed down quite well. Mentions: A-Love, Ulysses Terrero
What Goodfellas Enterprises Could Have done To Help It Succeed.
Goodfellas entertainment was housed in the same suite that I worked with Jim Swaffield in. The back of the office, which was ours, is where we did all the post-production for Trapped in the Closet and Goodfellas was in the front of the suite. We regularly bumped into each other.
Tupac Hologram An Industry Pandora’s Box?
Considering Exile is in the hip-hop industry making music videos, I decided I’d try to get his initial response on the Tupac hologram at Coachella. I’m sure we both thought the novelty of it was quite awesome but there’s a lot of hidden issues that this hologram concept will be raising in the music industry for years to come. My opinion is that this is a marketing pilot program that will eventually bring artists to start litigating about what “in perpetuity” really means (there’s some irony). Reminiscent of the arguments about artists owning their (recording) masters. Video Clips Mentioned: 40yr Old Virgin Clip – “Big Words Taken As Disrespect” Dude get’s eaten in Jurassic Park BREAK MUSIC: Robbie Shades “It’s Over” First single off that “Broadway Barrett” mixtape -
Finishing The Unfinished.
Sometimes as a music video director you’ll have your “runaway video” and by that I mean a video that you started but for some reason (budget, lack of interest, death or disbanding, etc…) it just “runs away” from you. I was happy to know that I’m not the only one who suffers from runaway video syndrome. Sometime ago I shot a video for a friend, & former guest on Rock’n The Mike, and since we shot that video in 2006 it never really got finished; he had to go and do “some time.” When he got out of jail he looked significantly different than when I shot him in 2006…it was roughly two and a half years later. Needless to say I had to think, should I re-shoot or try do use the two and a half year old footage. It still sits in my archive.
Video Village, Not The Place To Be.
Having a music video director in the studio, discussing his craft, I decided that since I directed a few music videos myself I would try to get something answered once and for all that was bugging me…about standing in ‘video village’ on the hip-hop music video set. The brief story is that I was invited to drop by the set for NAS’s video, for ‘Unforgettable’ (w/Natalie Cole), that was happening in midtown Manhattan some years ago. Now, I’ve been on film sets before (invited) and knew to respectfully stand a fair distance away from the actual people working on this project. Nobody said anything to me directly, at the time while I was on the set, but apparently there was a buzz going around that everyone may have been mildly annoyed at someone (me) they didn’t know standing 5 feet behind a very prominent music video director, Chris Robinson, alongside the assistant director and producers, watching video playback. Apparently in hip hop, this is a sign of status and only those who are ‘of stature’ are allowed to be watching the playback monitor…sigh. Video Clip Mentioned: This was the video I was invited to watch being filmed, Nas’ ‘Unforgettable’ feat. Natalie Cole.
Our 2nd Seat Collapse
While we were talking about shrinking music video budgets we had our 2nd seat fail in Rock’n The Mike’s history, the first being when we started and had Ron J. Williams, CEO of Snapgoods. It seems to be a good luck thing…one seat fail per year. So we’re all good for this production year of Rock’n The Mike. Video Clip Mentioned: Busta Rhymes talks about the old days of music video budgets
Don LaFontaine, The Sequel
Most music video directors also have put their hands and feet (so-to-speak) in the full length feature film industry and I wanted to know if Exile was one of those directors. I also felt this line of questioning COULD be a good bridge to talk about this 14 year old kid with the ‘LaFontaine voice’ It somewhat worked…not really.
Comments from the chat
Trying to take advantage of having a nice fan base from Exile in the chat room I thought I would try and get some dirt…like Exile’s REAL NAME. Video Clip Mention: Agent Sands explains why he has to shoot the cook (from the movie Once Upon A Time In Mexico)