Promonews - 8th July 2021

The routine of Mick Jenkins' suburban life is slowly transformed, as his neighbours are gradually replaced by white döppelgängers, in André Muir's video for Truffles.

Inspired by the photography of Larry Sultan and William Eggleston and the artwork of Eric Fischl, Muir collaborates with DoP Patrick Scola to flip convention, and create a vision of surburbia where the seediness and creepiness, bubbles to the surface.

ANDRE MUIR:

It started... in a kind of fish out of water scenario, but I ended up flipping that.

"The idea began as a reaction to the darker vibe of Mick’s song. The melody of the song felt very broody - like we're waiting for something to emerge from under the surface. It reminded me of an underbelly of sorts. A type of seediness. Thinking about the name of the song Truffles which is this extremely rare and sought-after fungus that grows underground. It almost felt like synchronicity.

"There’s a line in the song, 'Here goes another young man making trouble.' I loved this line so much. There’s just so much underlying substance and gray area with it. There are so many different ways to interpret that.  And the way Mick uses it in the song, it’s almost as if its meaning changes in every iteration of it in the chorus.

"On the surface level, you can look at it as the type of complaint 'a Karen' would make – 'here’s a Black man in America causing trouble.' But you can take a step back and look at it another way as well, here’s another black man causing trouble, upsetting the status quo. Trouble for some is liberation for others.

"What does upsetting the status quo look like? A black man fighting for their dignity? A black man being successful? A black man unapologetically existing? Those questions immediately created the visual of a black man standing in a white world… or more specifically a black man standing in the middle of a white suburb.

So, the video originally started with this black man in a kind of fish out of water scenario, but then I ended up flipping that as well.

"I’m just super over-critiquing white folks and am all about affirming ‘black folx.’So instead I wanted the story to take place in a black world. A black suburb. I also wanted to place it there just because there’s this kind of myth of Black suburbia… like it never existed (there definitely were black suburbs, however after redlining and unequal schooling these residential areas faded away but that’s a conversation for another time…), so I thought it would be an interesting setting for this video. It's kind of was timely as you see places like Tulsa kind of finally getting the shine it deserved. 

"The fact that that chorus’s meaning kind of changed with each iteration, led to the idea of repetition, which eventually played itself out as a Groundhog Day kind of story, where Mick wakes up each day as his neighborhood slowly gets replaced.

"Having the white kids smoke was a little inside joke to me. WE ALL SMOKE, but only one group really gets in trouble for it. And looking back, all the activities are kind of nods to things blacks have been arrested for, whether it's running while black, or even trying to get back into your home. The fact that I even use the language that it’s a joke, kind of speaks to how ingrained racism is, in our society.

"Mick was amazing to work with. His music is amazing, very conscious, very thoughtful, very deep but also still fun and funny. He’s definitely one of my favorite rappers out right now so it was amazing to get a chance to work with him.

"He was very easy to work with creatively. There’s a trust there that not a lot of other artists really have. He lets you do your thing. I think part of that comes from him really knowing the essence of the idea. I think since he knows the idea, the kernel, and heart of it, he can trust you with the arms and hands of it, the limbs."

PRO Credits

Credits

DirectorAndre Muir
ProducerManny Caston
Production CompanySMUGGLER
Executive ProducerPatrick Milling Smith
Executive ProducerBrian Carmody
Executive ProducerElizabeth Doonan
Service CompanyPogi Studios
Service Co Exec ProducerBryan Casallo
1st ADSaró Melero Bonnin
Director of PhotographyPatrick Scola
1st ACEmily Lazlo
2nd ACTaylor Brady
SteadicamJosh Ramos
GafferStephen Wester
Key GripRyan Zeller
Production designerKaden Maloney
StylistTaylor Zielinski
Casting directorJake Bloom
EditorNathan Rodgers
Editing companyCabin Editing Company
Edit ProducerBritt Carson
ColouristMikey Pehanich
Grade ProducerAshley Goodwin, Sam Centore
Grading companyBlacksmith
VFXBen Pokorny
Other credits2nd AD: Alex Wilson DIT: Sam Kelly Electric: Jordan Webb, John Klus Grip: Jordann Salvador, Brandon Hinsley Set Dresser: Jack Sterns, David Bryant Covid Tester: Xenon Zeigler Health & Safety Officer: Bryan Casallo Key PA: John White PA: Michael Villalobos Edit Head of Production: Liz Lydecker Cast: Logan Parks, Jarid Lea, Edward Williams III, David Walker, Gianna Taylor, Grace Nevaeh, Payton Dunlap, Sophia Kropp, James Rubey, Darren Rita, Robert Kelly. Terri Osters, Larry Hauge, Jeanne Scurek, Sharon Kluge, Seth Boyer, Sarah Hinkes, MJ Starshack, Erika K marks, Charles Bain, Debbie Sue Goldman, John B Boss Special Thanks To: Keslow Camera, Atlas Lighting, Camera Ambassador, Cabin, Blacksmith, Colorlab, Chicago Compliance Specialists

Promonews - 8th July 2021

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