I had to do a part two of the video I posted earlier. Gil Green, a Miami native is no stranger to anyone in the hip-hop world. He’s one of the most sought after video directors and has orchestrated dozens of videos in just the last year with all kinds of artists from all over the place. But he also took on a more interesting project â€“ the production of a video intro for the 2009-2010 Miami Heat. I posted the video this morning and I could not stop watching it. And then I run into this story in the Sun Sentinel with Gil Green talking about the project and these amazingly dope portraits (click on the thumbnails above to enlarge). Both the video and the portraits have a â€œBlueNote/1950/Jazz Album Coverâ€ theme. Read below as the Sun Sentinel catches up with Gilâ€¦.
Red-hot Miami Heat hoops-stars show Blue Note cool in new intro video
Posted by Rod Hagwood on November 23, 2009 06:11 PM
The Miami Heat are some cool hep cats.
That’s the message in the NBA team’s new introduction video played at all home games where the visual style being sampled is jazzy Blue Note record albums, circa the 1950s.
“Who does an introduction video like the Miami Heat?” asked director Gil Green. “They go all out. They take it to the next level.”
He should know. Already a video auteur in pop music circles for his hip hop and dancehall music videos, Green has also branched out into TV commercials for And 1 athletic shoes starring NBA All-Stars Stephan Marbury and Marcus Camby.
But even doing heavy rotation videos for chart-toppers such as Drake, Usher, Lil Jon, Akon, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Flo Rida and DMX doesn’t give him the kind of reaction that doing the video that introduces the Miami Heat to their their fans.
“I think the first time I saw it was opening night against the Knicks,” Green said. “I think that was the first time they used the new Jumbotron with high def. I got chills from watching it. I mean 10,000 to 15,000 fans screaming their heads off is very exciting and something totally new for me.”
It’s the moody milieu blue-green Blue Note album covers that famed art director Reid Miles did for the legendary jazz record label of artists and the dapper dialed-down dandyism of such artists as Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Art Blakely, Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane that informs the video and promotion campaign.
“For the Heat players introduction video, we like to make our guys seem larger than life,” said executive marketing veep Michael McCullough. “Kind of like rock stars, or in this case, cool jazz icons.”
And icons have a signature style.
“Basketball players are a little out of their element in fashion,” said wardobe stylist Calyann Barnett. “Most of them have oversized suits and that’s about it. No one has anything fashion-forward. They know basketball, not fashion.”
So was it tricky getting professional athletes to get in touch with their inner-glam god? Not for Barnett, who is also Dwyane Wade’s personal stylist.
“Of course there is always a hesitation, always a back and forth between the players teasing each other,” said Barnett. “But that keeps me on my toes. We had a blast on this shoot. We were always laughing. All the players were a little unsure until they got there and then they got what we were doing right away. By the time we got going, only a few were hesitant. Well, one person was not happy. And no, I will not tell you who.”
But she did dish that Udonis Haslem is “Just cool. He doesn’t want to push it too far; he likes [his fashion] to be clear and simple.” As opposed to Mario Chalmers, who’s constant tweaking of his look earned him the sobriquet “Mister Know-It-All.”
Burgeoning fashion fan Michael Beasley saw a few pieces he wanted to keep and Carlos Arroyo was crazy about his shoes, but it was Dorell Wright’s jacket that was the biggest hit with the players. “Dorell’s jacket was a big hit. I think it was more cutting edge than they are used to seeing on themselves.”
After combing through the player’s closets for some basics, Barnett realized she needed some made-to-measure items.
“I got some customized things from Jared M and some pieces I created with my line called Unraveled that I do with Khalilah Williams-Webb. I got the hats â€“ hats are a big part of that look â€“ from Goorin and Bailey’s Hats. The glasses came from Carrera, Oliver Peoples, Mosley Tribes and Roberto Cavalli. Oh, and the jeans from Rocawear. They were one of the fewer companies with great-looking jeans in a larger and longer fit.”
The videotaping went something like a stylish assembly line.
“I had two cameras and seven mini-sets already lit,” said Green. “Then I had a second unit with a green screen. That way each guy only took maybe 15 or 20 minutes.”
Barnett thinks keeping things moving at a brisk pace was the key to keeping the vibe cool.
“I arrived at like 8 a.m. and the players were there around 11 a.m.,” said Barnett. “I think by 6 p.m. they were out. It flowed very smooth. We kept it fun and entertaining. We videotaped at the Arena and when it’s their day off these guys want to go home. So it was good that we kept 15 guys only a short time.”
Green agrees, but adds that having been a friend of Haslem’s also helped.
“Udonis set the tone for the shoot,” said Green. “I did a music video with him in Miami with Rick Ross and DJ Khaled. Our fathers played basketbal way back when.”
Green also said that as a DJ himself back in the day, he used to sample from Blue Note.
“That was when I was in high school,” said the 30-year-old. “I used to go to this record store on 163rd Street in Miami and look for Blue Note records. We used to call it â€˜diggin in the crates.’ So that’s how I was so familiar with the artists we were talking about.”
Currently Green is working with British Indian rapper Jay Sean and superstars such as Lil Jon and Sean Paul. Last week he was in Fort Lauderdale helming a music video starring newcomer phenom Drake and chart-topper Usher.
Original Source: Sun Sentinel