-Jeremy Scott” —Jeremy Scott’s Twitter
Last night I got a call from a music video producer asking me to style the back up dancers for an upcoming video. As we all know artists and creators can be vague with their vision, so it’s important to ask for a Treatment or Character Breakdown.
So what is a treatment?
A treatment is breakdown of each scene and each character in each scene by the director. As a stylist it’s your job to review the treatment, highlight-light any information pertaining to the characters you’re dressing, to give your self direction for the characters.
You may as so receive a treatment for commercials.
Please see the example below:
Doo Wop (That Thing)
artist: Lauryn Hill
A musical video outline
This is a high concept performance video with a unique visual twist, set around a block of streets, culminating in a block party. We will combine a 60’s and 90’s vision in the same frame. Lauryn will appear in both eras.
This will be achieved by shooting the video on anamorphic lenses twice. The two images will line up to give us a seamless wide-screen picture of the space.
Every scene will combine 60’s and 90’s action. The image of the 60’s will always appear on the left and the 90’s on the right. For example, a wide shot of the street will show buildings, cars, shops, sign posts, and people all styled in the 60’s, whilst the right will reveal a 90’s vision of the same street. These two diverse sets of people will appear to be physically sharing the same space.
This combined image will confront your sense of perception. It will be realistic and impossible at the same time. This time machine idea will be all the more striking due to the perfect line up of the two worlds. Only Lauryn will exist in both worlds. She is our narrator. She crosses the divide of time.
We are taking our cue from movies like “A Bronx Tale,” “Coolie High” and “The Five Heartbeats,” as well as contemporary based films like “Do the Right Thing.” However, the video story is not a literal interpretation of the lyric, rather it is an exploration of the two eras, their styles, their fashions, their dance steps, their attitude.
We start outside a brownstone with Lauryn and her two crews, one 60’s, one 90’s. She gets up from the stoop and begins to walk down the street. As Lauryn and her crew move along the sidewalk, we continually see both a 60’s and a 90’s vision of the same thing side by side. Beauty shops/hairdressers, corner shops, automobiles on the street, guys and girls just hanging out on the stoops and street corners. Guys chatting up/checking out girls, girls doing likewise.
As we turn the corner we see a block party is in progress. The streets are full of people. There is a band on stage, or rather two bands, a 60’s and a 90’s one. The floor is crowded with people dancing. The two Lauryns move through the dancing people and onto the stage, where the bands are performing. Stepping up onto the platform, they continue to perform but this time with the backing of the 60’s and 90’s band.
The audience responds to these two differing styles of performance with their own unique style of dancing. This is the heart of the video. In each shot we will see details of both 60’s and 90’s dance. We will immediately be able to see the change in dance movement and clothes, and hair and makeup between the two eras.
The art direction of both the 60’s and the 90’s will be immaculate. The details of the streets and the block party will be radically different. It will seem we have compressed 30 years.
In the 60’s image an old super 8 camera will be recording the event, whilst in the 90’s a new video camera will be doing likewise. We will see from time to time the point of view of these cameras. The image on the 60’s cameras will be grain and black and white, while on the 90’s cameras it will be lurid, digital video.
In each scene we will see both eras. In each scene we will notice the contrast and sometimes the similarities in action and behaviour.
Lauryn’s performance will be different in each era. The 90’s streetwise and confident, the 60’s more innocent. The band behind her in the 60’s is a traditional R&B outfit, Wilson Pickett meets James Brown, with a dash of The Temptations. In the 90’s it will be more eclectic with scratchers and mixers and the whole contemporary crew.
The vibe of the video is up, celebratory, the colours will be crisp and bright. This is not a dark ominous video. It will be shot on 35mm on Cinemascope lenses. The finished piece will be highly distinctive and emotionally uplifting, full of energy, life and passion. You will get the sense that you are there yourself.
flattered thank you.
How do you feel about bright red lipstick on interviews?