Interview: Ewing McGregor – “The Art Of Storytelling”Culture, Featured — By Logoism on June 12, 2012 at 3:09 am
In this digital era music videos are highly important to an artist, they work as a tool to help promote their songs, it gives their song a face. Videos have helped a lot up and coming artists careers, a few have even gotten signed off the strength of their viral music videos. People seem to like songs more after watching a video for it, it gives them a better understanding of the artist and makes them fall in love with the artists character. A$AP Rocky’s video for “Peso” has to be one of the best low budget hip-hop videos to be shot in a long time, people automatically fell in love with this flashy kid from Harlem after watching that video, it introduced you to a piece of Harlem you have never seen before.
What people always seem to forget though is that the guys behind the camera are the ones who make everything come to life, they’re the ones who help make your favorite artists likeable. Today I want to introduce you to video producer Chris Black of the Ewing McGregor production company. Chris has had his hands in the making of videos like “Peso”, “EARL” and several other notable videos. Ewing McGregor has took videos to a new level, making low budget videos seem like they’re worth a million dollars through their signature style of shooting. I spoke to Chris about the Ewing McGregor company and got the inside scoop on videos he has shot in the interview below.
Words by Logan Jean
Photos by Chris Black & Ghost Pizza
JGM: Would you guys call the videos you shoot low budget?
CB: Yeah, all of our videos are in fact low budget, however, the budget has been increasing with each video, but that’s what sets us apart from other people doing it. We’re able to take a low budget and create something visually stunning and cool.
JGM: Who makes up the Ewing Mcgregor company and where did the name come from?
CB: Officially Ewing McGregor is just myself. But it’s really just a group of my friends that come together creatively to make some dope shit. The name came about as an inside joke. Some friends and I were sitting around talking and Ewan Mcgregor (the actor) came up and I said I was the urban version, “Ewing McGregor” and we all laughed and I thought it was a good name for a company. Also my middle name is Ewing.
JGM: What are your roles?
CB: I work a lot with Abteen Bagheri and Isaac Bauman; director and DP respectively. In addition to producing for Abteen, I’ll help with the creative aspect and all of our videos came about from me just reaching out to artists, so I guess you could add Executive Producer. The great thing about working the way we have is that it’s a total collaborative system. And we’ve been fortunate enough to reach out to artists we like and admire.
JGM: Where do all of you guys originate from?
CB: The funny thing is that we’re from different parts of the world and we were brought together to make some cool stuff. What’s crazy is that when I met Abteen he was a college student and was volunteering at this homeless shelter I stayed at here and there. We would chat it up and discovered that we were both into film and decided to work together and just brought Isaac Bauman aboard.
JGM: Did the “Peso” video really have a set treatment?
CB: We had a treatment for Peso, which Rocky loved, but wanted to shoot for his “Wassup” video. Abteen had a real basic idea of what he wanted to get. Considering these dudes from Harlem are into fashion, he wanted to make this urban lifestyle video reminiscent of old hip-hop videos. Once we landed in NYC we scouted for some locations and shot it.
JGM: Would you guys say you have a signature style of videos?
CB: We like telling stories. So a lot of our videos are narrative-based. We’re not against doing performance videos, but just make sure you make it interesting.
JGM: Out of all the videos and shorts that you’ve worked on, which were the most fun to shoot and which would you consider your best work?
CB: The most fun we had shooting a video may have been the Delta Spirit video. We shot on location at a punk rock/ska show and that shit was banging. There was a big circle of people skanking and every so often they’d come by and shove us… But it wasn’t because they were pissed, but that’s what happens! Shooting the Milli Mars video in San Antonio was fun too. We love visiting new locations because it gives you a chance to step outside of yourself and your comfort zone and exposes you to new peoples and cultures.
JGM: You helped produce the video “EARL” for Earl Sweatshirt which is one of the most viewed odd future videos on the web, what was it like shooting that insane video?
CB: Shooting that video was fun. It’s still crazy to me to know that I, and director, AG Rojas, had a hand in launching their careers. Here’s the story of how that came about…
My cousin is a good friend of Earl’s and we wanted to do a hip hop video. My cousin told us about him and I reached out and he was in the process of recording the EARL album. Shooting that video was cool cause it was super laid back and pretty much all the stuff we had them do was natural to them cause that’s their life. I still can’t believe we had them ingest all those drugs…
JGM: Did any of your videos ever get television exposure?
CB: What’s crazy is that you never expect for your videos to be played on TV or anything except for the Internet. We’ve been lucky to have Peso played on MTV and our video for Delta Spirit was also played on or will be played on MTV… I don’t have cable… Or a TV.