“When I'm alone it's different..."
In it's first week of being released, the music video for Different has amassed over 50K views on Youtube. It's making huge success on TikTok, as other artists and fans alike are raving to recreate the magic this was. Between the infectious, heartfelt lyrics, and mellow strings this song produced by Moses Mosima and Carter Fox draws you in to a point you can't help but sing along. It's safe to say we aren't alone!
Over the years I’ve become fond of the saying ‘teamwork makes the dreamwork’. On a frigid Saturday afternoon I arrived at HBC House to meet with Moses and Riley. Got there just in time to witness a savvy styling consultation provided by Eli616. As Moses approves the look, Riley comes downstairs with a husky Canon EF 70-200mm lens in hand. (Sidenote: a must grab). A friend of Riley’s was so kind to loan it for the day, in fact, saving the day since the camera rental spot was closed. As per Riley’s treatment, I’d zoom in on Mo from a far post...what any good sniper does I imagine. I couldn’t wait to see how far I could go with this thing.
On a back block near 46th St. Station in West Philly, we set up to capture the first few scenes of ‘Different’ music video. Snow on this unplowed street was beginning to ice over. Did I mention it was cold af? In our favor the shots weren’t any bit of complex. All the trouble was in actually trying to get them. Equipped with my monopod and Riley's tripod, I attached my camera to one and lens on the other for a balanced, sturdy rig. Haunting me was the thought of my less stable monopod sliding out from under the lens, then shit...I’m out of work. Once I felt confident with the setup, it was time for the main event. And that’s when everyone decided they wanted to drive down our street too. No sooner than us getting the unit stable and good framing of Mo, would a car come sledding towards us from behind. The street had a slight incline, which also made getting the angle on top of slippery snow very perplexing. After about the 3rd failed attempt, we got our window of opportunity catching our one and only take of Moses performing in the middle of the street. A street performance worthy of standing ovations...also peep the van leaves the scene just as he sings “no, I don't do my love from a distance”. That was fire. Exactly what I wanted to stick my hand in at this point because my fingers went numb.
Just Warming Up
The guys and I took a brief intermission in the house as Riley warms his car. Next on the agenda was filming at Belmont Plateau, which would proceed scenes in Center City. Initially we wanted to catch a scene of Mo during sunset at the Plat. By the time we parked and got our setup going, the sun had already begun setting. Either way our focus was to capture Moses with a city skyline backdrop. Belmont Plateau being possibly one of the best vantage points for a city view was lit. It’s a pretty common hang out spot for all walks of life...emphasis on all. Somewhere out there is Bobo the Clown, at least that’s who a guy pacing the parking lot asked for...But this night mainly families, couples, kids or anyone with a dream of sledding was there. So we sent Moses down to join the festivities. Headlights from another car parked on the hill provided great backlighting for these scenes. Special shoutout to whomever he was also blasting a beat the entire time we filmed. Since none of us could know what Mo was doing 100 yards away, aside from watching him dance in my cam’s viewfinder, this tune on rotation was every bit of entertaining. Quiet on the set, where? Our final hoorah came after briefly being stuck on ice when we tried to leave. As Riley floored it, a well timed push by Mo and I secured victory and applause from even the car next to us. I sometimes wonder if they ever made it out.
Bright Nights, City Lights
We found an excellent parking spot by Benjamin Franklin Pkwy. That's a feat in itself usually, but hardly no one was out, granting us that feeling of lonesome the guys were going for. Greeted by a local Philadelphian rat, we went over the final play. I was ecstatic for this part of the shoot. They were giving me a chance to step all the way in my element. Over the past few years doing film work I’ve noticed that run & gun documentary is easily one of my styles. Simple concept. We would be taking a walk downtown. This felt more like we were living than creating, and that’s the way I like it. A sense of nostalgia overwhelmed me with memories of roaming Center City with my friends doing hoodrat shit as a teenager. Now as adults with a disposable camera in hand, Moses directed our field trip wandering about searching for his distant love. Just as the cold, night air caught grip on us, we discovered the Wawa on 17th and Arch. Like a kid in a candy store I bee-lined to the coffee station. Somewhere between those first few gulps I regained most of my health points. Tonight was a clear victory.
On our way back to the car we attempted more shots around Logan Square. It’s always something new in Philly. You never know what you’ll have the pleasure of seeing, for example, one installment of statues are openly having an orgy. A passerby joined us in jokes about this city treasure. We visited the AMOR sign, and Moses risked getting scolded on the steps of Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter & Paul. Neither of these scenes landed in the music video, but aye, I’d say we got a hell of a behind the scenes reel on Riley’s hard drive.
*If you haven't already watch the video above 😉