Crazy Hood is a name that should be familiar to you if you’ve been a long time follower of The305.com and/or a longtime follower of the local Miami hip hop scene. They’ve dived deep into the music industry from the artistry side and in the marketing and promotions side. Well, you can add another notch to Crazy Hood as they are now jumping into film world with the launch of the Crazy Hood Film Academy, a subdivision focused on video production.
Just recently they directed a few videos including one with Mayday and another with N.O.R.E. And earlier today, they released a behind the scenes they filmed at N.O.R.E.’s shoot for “Finito”. I recently caught up with DJ EFN and Garcia, both who run Crazy Hood Film Academy. Garcia was deep into the filming world years ago, and just now recently resurfaced via this new venture. Click below to see what we can expect from these guys and their new venture…
305: So explain what exactly is the Crazy Hood Film Academy?
DJ EFN: Crazy Hood Film Academy is the visual arm of C.H.P. (Crazy Hood Productions Inc.).
305: What inspired you guys to jump into the film side of things? And who’s part of the company/crew?
DJ EFN: Over the years C.H.P. (Crazy Hood Productions Inc.) has worked closely with many of Miami’s top directors and film companies prior to their reaching a certain status. So early on we knew the importance of visuals to our business. Several years ago C.H.P. artist GARCIA went to film school and had directed early videos for Wrekonize, Â¡Mayday!, Heckler and others. Garcia put down the camera to focus more on his music and family life and it wasn’t till recently that I told him it was time to pick it back up. I myself started dabbling in visuals and was working with Dre Films on a series I called “DJ EFN Visual Mixtapes”. The series consisted of high quality made for web street videos. Both myself and Dre got a lot of acclaim from the blog world for our work but not long after, Dre got the call from Maybach Music to join their team. So it was only natural for myself and Garcia to partner up in what we now call the Crazy Hood Film Academy. We both collaborate creatively but Garcia is the director and editor and I am the executive producer and producer on the projects. We are not closed to collaborating with other people or companies and have already done so. We also work very closely with another Miami film company by the name of Film Heads which people will start seeing a lot of their work soon!
305: Garcia, you’ve definitely stepped back from the film side of things for a few years, so glad to see you back. What’s your take on the state of the music video industry now and the whole expansion of filming in hip-hop and music in general?
Garcia: Thanks man I’m glad to be back. As far as the question, I think its a good thing that every artist has a camera by their side now. For marketing aspects that’s great. The flip side to that is this: does every guy with a camera know what their doing? I mean honestly some of the videos we have been seeing coming out, could be done with so much more taste and creativity. I like what Dre films has been doing a lot with Ross because I know he knows his camera and takes pride in the editing process. Its apparent in what he shoots, and I don’t say that because I know him. But a lot of cats think just because they buy a camera they can call themselves a director. It’s far from the case in my opinion.
305: What can we expect from you guys in the coming months? And are you working on any special projects that you are able to talk about?
DJ EFN: I consider us in the baby stages of developing our style. I want to create a solid body of work before I can say we have truly arrived on the scene. Therefore, expect a consistent flow of music videos and behind-the-scene videos from us. We are also working on a documentary film that explores some of Miami’s Hip Hop history.
305: And so I can kinda’ get the vibe of what you guys visually…in your opinion, what are some great videos that you’ve seen recently that you’ve found amazing or inspiring?
Garcia: Some recent videos that I have really enjoyed have been Tyler The Creator “Yonkers”, Red Fang “Wires”, and OKgo “This Too Shall Pass”. There is a lot of dope stuff out there if you know where to look.
305: What would you say is the “motif” or the outlook on what you guys want to accomplish with Crazy Hood Film Academy?
DJ EFN: Speaking for myself, I just like being creative. I am not the one picking up the camera or even editing (that would be Garcia) but I love to organize and conceptualize. So my goals are simply to consistently put some creative and clean visuals together. To help artist visually get their music across.
305: With that, on what’s the creative process like when coming up with ideas or treatments?
Garcia: That’s a great question. With music videos now (mostly hip hop videos) being so cookie cutter, I really try to take the artist out of their shell. I try to figure out who they really are as a human being and person and catch that. Its so cliche to show nice cars and women. And if the client is deadset on doing that I will and try to make it as creative as possible. But If allowed I like to take the artist out of their comfort zone. I want my videos to be creative and standout as opposed to just falling in the mix of every other video out there.
305: How do you like using the new SLR HD video based cameras versus the more traditional video cameras/camcorders?
Garcia: Personally I love them. As far as a prosumer option they are amazing. Their ability to catch light in low lighting situations is amazing and their workflow with editing programs is second to none. Plus the fact that you can use all the photography lenses is a huge plus. But with that said, when budgets allow, I opt for something more high end.
305: Definitely. So in conclusion, what do you think separates what you guys are doing or about to do with your video work – among everyone else?
DJ EFN: I feel our experience and background separates us from everyone else. Garcia is an artist himself and I am a DJ and have worked behind the scenes in the industry for over a decade as a manager and marketer. We bring that experience to our work. We also try to stay away from the stereotypical “rap” video. Also expect to see us working with artist outside of the Hip Hop realm as well.
—- For more information on the Crazy Hood Film Academy, go to www.crazyhood.com