Deuces II went above and beyond with his team for his LIVE performance on the Overcast Hip Hop Festival on September, 26th.
We sat down with Michael Cunningham II (aka Deuces II) and Nick Schultz to chat about the concept and process of the Live video. While the LIVE was actually pre-recorded, the filming process was all actually LIVE and not planned. Especially the last segment with the Golden Hour: Improvisational Hip Hop Band. Golden Hour is a completely improvised experience every time they play.
Within the LIVE video, Deuces II started outside 20th Century Theatre, and moved seamlessly through sets within the 20th Century, at Urban Artifact, and even in a backyard with our friend, Monty C. Benjamin.
"I didn't want to be in one place when I performed. That's basically how that first started. I really wanted it to be more professional and cinematic so that it could be captivating, and it could really keep your attention to where you almost feel like you're watching the BET Awards or the VMA's or the MTV Awards, or you're watching some type of music video, but it's a live performance," Deuces II said about the performance, "So I came up with an idea to do a live performance, but I wanted it to be more cinematic and professional on an industry level. With the time that's going on right now, due to the coronavirus and everything, livestreaming is a huge thing right now for musicians. But due to the year 2020, our attention spans are very short. So my ideal thought was, how do I perform a 20 to 30-minute live performance and keep their attention?"
Nick Schultz (Director / Editor) added, "When he came to me with the idea, and I appreciate the challenge of multiple spaces, filming multiple spaces, but in such a short time, but so many multiple spaces and making it seem like a story, like a linear story, and being a live performance, no break or pause in the music or within the stories to once again keep people's attention and make it seem like one big flowing motion. When in actuality it was throughout multiple days throughout the month of September. That's why like then if you see some of the camera angles, so me working as the director with Deuces, but then working with my director of photography, Fabio Souza, I said I want to capture the linear story and I don't want any harsh cuts throughout this piece. And how we can do that is through in-body camera transitions by just doing simple tilts and pans. And then I actually used like a lens flare, an effect I use in the post-production to transition seamlessly into the next scene, to just once again continue to drive the viewer."