Naughty By Nature - “Written on my Kitten”

Naughty By Nature - “Written on my Kitten”

I was the “fixer” on this music video.

By the time it got to me, the piece had been through several editors. Treach, of Naughty by Nature,  was still not happy with the video. At this point a record company representative was supervising the edit rather than the director.

During the session, Treach sat in the back couch with his girlfriend at the time, Pepa, from Salt n Pepa, He did not speak to me at all, only addressing the  record company rep, who then gave me instructions.

For me the problem became clear immediately: The video was over-cut.

Fast cuts can be a crutch for music videos. It’s a sure-fire way to add energy, so when in doubt, make more cuts. But over-using this technique can also make a mess.

Apparently, the previous editors had a lot of doubt: The over-editing was disrupting the flow and ruining great shots. My solution was to remove edits and let shots play out. This was especially effective for the evocative moments when Treach moves in and out of darkness. For example, the shots at about 2:17 might have had 4 or 5 quick cuts interrupting Treach’s movement through the shadows. I removed all of those cuts.

I knew I was on the right track when I would show edits, and Treach would exclaim his approval from the back. But always to the rep, never to me.

When the session was over, Pepa had already left, the rep was settling the paperwork, and Treach and I were alone in the room together for the first time. As he was walking out, he finally spoke to me directly. “Thank you,” he said and then surprised me by giving me a big hug.

“See you on MTV,” I replied. And a few days later, I did.

Naughty By Nature - “Written on my Kitten”
Naughty By Nature - “Written on my Kitten”

I was the “fixer” on this music video.

By the time it got to me, the piece had been through several editors. Treach, of Naughty by Nature,  was still not happy with the video. At this point a record company representative was supervising the edit rather than the director.

During the session, Treach sat in the back couch with his girlfriend at the time, Pepa, from Salt n Pepa, He did not speak to me at all, only addressing the  record company rep, who then gave me instructions.

For me the problem became clear immediately: The video was over-cut.

Fast cuts can be a crutch for music videos. It’s a sure-fire way to add energy, so when in doubt, make more cuts. But over-using this technique can also make a mess.

Apparently, the previous editors had a lot of doubt: The over-editing was disrupting the flow and ruining great shots. My solution was to remove edits and let shots play out. This was especially effective for the evocative moments when Treach moves in and out of darkness. For example, the shots at about 2:17 might have had 4 or 5 quick cuts interrupting Treach’s movement through the shadows. I removed all of those cuts.

I knew I was on the right track when I would show edits, and Treach would exclaim his approval from the back. But always to the rep, never to me.

When the session was over, Pepa had already left, the rep was settling the paperwork, and Treach and I were alone in the room together for the first time. As he was walking out, he finally spoke to me directly. “Thank you,” he said and then surprised me by giving me a big hug.

“See you on MTV,” I replied. And a few days later, I did.

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