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Director X Discusses Scenes From Drake’s Track “Started From The Bottom”

Music-Drake-Started-From-The-Bottom

Complex spoke to Director X about his latest video with Drake titled “Started From The Bottom“. X explained the different scenes in the video in great detail for Complex. Catch the interview below.

The Soccer Scene:

Director X: “It’s just executing: Where are we going to shoot, getting the right kids, casting them. The kid who plays Drake is his homie’s son—one of the real friends. We just wanted to show that nothing could make a statement about being together, teamwork, and winning more than team sports for kids.”

The Bentley and The Blizzard Scene:

Director X: “That shot of him in the car, we shot that once. The shot we used was one take. We did a bunch of other stuff like getting the snow right—this whole video ended up being that whole kind of thing. We’d shoot a couple shots, but it ended up being one take for everything. It was almost like making a movie.

It wasn’t a snowy day that day. All of that snow is fake. Every bit is fake—the snow on the ground, the snow in the air, everything is artificial. The shot with his mother. In the back—that’s Movie Magic. It’s foam.

It’s just the right calls to the right effects people. On my side of things, it’s not as difficult as it may seem because there are people who do this all the time for different productions. A million movies you’ve seen and the snow is not real. Can’t tell, but there are tons of them and this was one of those situations.”

The Lovely Leading Lady:

Director X: “I’ve known her forever. For a really long time. Everyone in this video is from Toronto. It’s a city, but its a town at the same time. So that’s my homie. The way God planned it, she was the closest to set. She’s the hottest girl, but she actually lives closest to Hamilton.

Hamilton is where we shot the airport for the flying scene, so just for scheduling we had to shoot the drug mart close to there because of production rules. The day of when we didn’t have anybody, we were just like, ‘Call Maria [Angelica Charuppi], she lives in Hamilton.’ We were like, ‘Don’t go to school today and come do this thing.’ So it just happened to be that the hottest girl on the planet lived 10 minutes from set when we were shooting in the middle of nowhere.

She wants to do all that stuff in front of the camera. She’s a performer, so it’s possible. She’s gorgeous and she’s incredible. She’s not in the mix on the other side of the border so people are like, ‘What the fuck just happened?’”

The OB and “OVORyan” Skit:

Director X: “OB’s a real natural. Ryan is fun, but he’s not an actor or jokester like that in front of the camera, so he needed a little more finessing, just to get him comfortable. OB didn’t need nothing. He was off to the races. You can tell even in the ‘HYFR’ video just by the way the video starts and his attitude that he’s a real character. We just wanted to take it to a ridiculous place and have fun with it.

“It was generally planned out by Drake and them. They came up with that, but on set is where we finessed the lines and made them come together.”

The Lucky Strike Scene:

Director X: “That’s the Lucky Strike he likes to go to. So it’s all kind of personal beyond it just being a bowling alley. That’s the one he goes to.”

The Paradise Hookah Bar Scene:

Director X: “That’s [Drake’s] place Paradise. That shit is pretty easy. With all those people and everyone knowing each other, it’s a little bit different than the usual video set where people are strangers for the most part. Everyone knew everyone on that set, from the crew on down. Even that crew of guys shooting the video, they shoot all of their videos. Everyone knows everyone so it was very familiar. It was pretty normal. Nothing too crazy.”

The “Started From The Bottom” Billboard Scene:

Director X: “That’s Drake. He’s up there. If you were to ever come to Toronto on the Gardiner Expressway on your way downtown, that’s where it is. There’s not a double or anything. It was a cold fucking day—on the ground it was cold so imagine 200 feet in the air. Forget about it.”

The Private Jet Scene:

Director X: “No, we’re not flying it, but we were definitely in a jet. It’s a lot, especially for the amount of time that you see it. It’s a big production. In the 2000s, people were jumping out of airplanes and they had Hummers, and they shot in the desert. They danced with Jennifer Lopez. Busta Rhymes was turning into metal. We all grew up watching these videos that were giant productions where people were working really hard to entertain and compete with one another.

They were trying to do the biggest and best thing they could possibly make and then he gets to make a video and they’re like, ‘Here’s 100 grand.’ So ‘HYFR’ was the beginning of him pushing it conceptually, but this is where he said, ‘I’m going to push the envelope monetarily. I’m going to spend the money and make the bigger thing and make those videos that people will actually enjoy, not just something that plays because you want to hear the song.’”

The Champagne Papi Scenes:

Director X: “That’s the Dominican Republic. That’s where he was vacationing. We just showed up where they were, me and four other guys who shot it. It was great. A lot of the fun you see was actually happening. Everyone had a good time. If you’ve got good eyes, I’m dancing in there. I’m in the background grooving.”

On The Budget For The Video:

Director X: “It comes up to a lot, but it’s still not as much as when we filmed back in the day. I’ll tell you that. It’s in the upper region of what people spend now. You’re not going to get that money without a fight from the record labels and being an artist like Drake. The money he spent on this—I’ve done Mobb Deep videos for more money. Back when the dollar was worth more on top of it, so that’ll put that in perspective for you.”

Director X Talks To XXL Magazine About Working With Drake

drake-director-xDirector X spoke with XXL Magazine about Drake in the current shooting of his new video “Started From The Bottom”. Read below what Director X had to say in the interview.

Collaborating w/Drake for “Started From The Bottom”:
Drake trusts me because we go back. We are from Toronto. We are from the same city. We did “HYFR” together. It really worked. We’ve been trying to work together for a long time so when it connected…it connected. And we kind of ran with that. I can’t really say too much about it…but he’s got a lot going on. He’s one of those guys that want to spend the money to make great video. That’s what he did. He went for it. He did his best to make a great video.

Will It Top “HYFR”:
You can’t really predict what’s going to do what, but he wants to do it. He’s making the effort. There’s a lot going on in the video, just on that level where we are doing a lot of stuff. His goal is to really make something where people sit up. He looks at those generations. He came up from that generation where watching videos is a real experience. You know, “Oh, wow. Look at that. Look at what they did. They are doing this and that.” I want a video like that. That’s what we are dealing with. He’s going for it.

Director X Talks “HYFR” Video With VIBE Interview

VIBE caught up with Lil X, the director of Drake‘s new music video “HYFR“. Read the whole interview after the jump.

Let’s talk about the Drake video. How did you guys get connected?
Oh, you know, I’ve known Drake since the Toronto days. We’ve been talking about doing a video forever, but just couldn’t quite align with the right project. Which is kind of right right now, serendipity, because this is by far his most ambitious and interesting concept, you know. This isn’t just like, “Here’s a pretty video,” you know what I’m saying. This is like, “What?!” [Laughs]. Yeah, definitely the conversation goes to, “What?!”


Before the video dropped we saw pictures of Drake on set in a suit and at a temple, people had all types of thoughts about the theme. Tell us about the plot of the video and how you came up with it.
It’s Drake’s re-Bar Mitzvah. That’s why you see pictures of him floating around where he has like the yamaka and the prayer scarf. I saw something on the Net, “Drake makes religion cool.” No one quite understood what was going on. And then I saw a few other stories where other people figured it out, that it’s his re-Bar Mitzvah, but yeah, it’s Drake’s re-Bar Mitzvah. I’m looking at pictures right now of him standing in front of the synagogue performing.

What was the general feel on the set? Happy, crazy, serious, fun??
No, it was a lot of fun. You know, you’re doing a re-Bar Mitzvah, the guy’s in his what, mid-20s now? So you’re already entering knowing it’s a bit ridiculous. And it’s fun, especially the crowd of people that he moves with, you know what I’m saying? It’s all a little crazy, like having Birdman and DJ Khaled sitting beside an old Jewish lady, as they watch Drake read from the Torah [Laughs]. Listen to the sentence I just said: “Birdman was at a Bar Mitzvah.”

[Laughs] Yeah that’s a tongue twister right there. Is it more or less a satirical video or serious? We were very respectful of the religion and all that happens there. So everyone took care with thinking about what’s what, but at the same time, it’s Drake, he’s 24 having a re-Bar Mitzvah. So it does have a comedy element just by the scenario itself. You don’t need to do much for Lil’ Wayne as he hangs out after his party, you know what I’m saying? It’s built in for you. The ridiculousness is built in.

How many days did it take y’all to shoot the video?
We shot it in one long day.

One long day? Oh wow. How long was it, like 12 hours non-stop?
Hours, that’s a short day. Please [Laughs], that’s a cake walk. No, we went long, shot on film, we did it big, in the perspective of what doing it big is now-a-days.

That’s crazy. I’m thinking 12 hours is a pretty long day. You’re saying that’s a cake walk. I can just imagine some of the videos that you’ve been on.
Yeah, brother. In the old days we were straight breaking laws with the times that I’d have crew working on set. Like, actually illegal [Laughs]. So 12 hours, I’ve never shot for 12 hours. Commercial sometimes do that, commercials are a different deal, it’s much more corporate. But music videos, you gotta do 3 to 4 minutes.

We see there were some guests on set.
It was the usual suspects when it comes to a Young Money video. So Khaled’s there, Birdman’s in there, Mack Maine is in there, Wayne has a verse, Trey Songz showed up, so that’s the kind of thing going on.

What was some of the funny behind-the-scenes action?
Wayne teared/fucked his performance up! [Laughs] things get crazy. Things got crazy with Wayne. Things got crazy. The Bar Mitzvah kids got real excited, so it gets a little extreme. Yeah, it gets extreme [Laughs].

So was it a closed set? Were people able to watch?
Well it was kind of hard. We were in a synagogue, so we were already pretty removed from things. We were inside, it’s not like were out on the street for people to come run up and see what’s going on. So we were already in a different zone from everybody.

Any last words about the video?
No, it’s pretty simplistic, it’s a re-Bar Mitzvah. But it’s a lot of fun. Definitely very enjoyable fun time.

Source: VIBE