You are on such a roll and it’s been fascinating watching your work evolve into ever more complex narratives. How did Wasted My Time come about? Did you work closely with the artist I/O developing the story line?
Alex: It’s a crazy story with how this video came about. I/O had been following my work from when I was a freshmen in college, and he had been asking for a visual ever since then. Once we started working out of school, it was hard to make time. Kyle and I were at a random studio shoot for a band one day in the city, and we met a dude named Gary. Somehow our cameras got switched up and I was using Gary’s for the entire shoot.
After the shoot Gary asked me if we would shoot for a guy named I/O, and I knew exactly who he was talking about. Apparently they were close friends, and it turned out I was using I/O’s camera for the whole shoot- Gary borrowed it from him. We also found out later on, from Angel Haze’s manager, that I/O put him on to our work, which is why we got that gig.
We did a video for Cris Cab previously, and when we met I/O for the first time, I/O told us that he was now being managed by Cris Cab’s managers, which is totally coincidental as they approached I/O. Apparently at his managers’ initial meeting, they pitched to him by saying they could get him cool videos by BRTHR, and I/O was like “I already know these guys.” That’s when we realized this had to happen. On top of that, I/O’s album is more than solid. He’s like a glitched out Frank Ocean.
We developed the storyline ourselves around xmas time, and then sent it out to I/O. He was totally down with everything, so we set the date to shoot.
In some ways you’re becoming more restrained with your effects. Although the effects are still integral to the mood and rhythm of the track – there’s a deeper layer of story. Has this been a conscious move?
BRTHR: For this particular track, yes. We didn’t want to overkill it with effects, although we definitely included more than we initially planned. The narrative was something that required deep thought, and we decided we wanted to explore the different mindsets of “regret”. We definitely wanted it to be some what non-linear in form.
So this video wasn’t commissioned by a label? How did you fund the project?
BRTHR: It was not – which is why funding it became an issue. All we really needed was equipment, so we all sold our DSLRs to get some cash. Even I/O sold his T2i. Craigslist saved us. We are looking into kickstarter for future projects like this, but obviously there’s a risk in that. Now that I/O is managed, it’ll be easier to fund his projects.
What was it shot on?
It was shot on the Red Epic with Zeiss Master Primes.
What are the key lessons you’ve learnt from your film-making over the past year?
BRTHR: Wow, so much. We’ve definitely learned to be grateful, and that you never know what can happen. A year ago we were rotting in class, wondering how we could both team up and start working. It definitely required tremendous amounts of work to get BRTHR started, and we can both attest to saying that it pays off.
We were also definitely clueless about how things work, on the business side especially. You know, we’ve been royally screwed over a few times by labels – which was bound to happen, especially with how naive we were – and we’ve learned what to expect when working with an artist. It’s quite important to have a middle-man working in, to support you, and those people alleviate so much stress.
Another key thing we started to realize was how important it is to say “forget about making money” for now and start thinking about quality. It’s important to do projects you’re passionate about, naturally those projects will be better. That’s why we worked on stuff for Ta-ku, Bahwee, I/O, that Doldrums remix vid, and even Angel Haze actually.
All of those budgets were ridiculously small, but we were so into the projects that it didn’t even matter. When people see what you can do, and you show your potential, bigger things will come about. It’s all about maintaining your focus, and having actual fun.