SoulBounce Exclusives: Introducing ‘The Director’s Chair’


What's going on, world? My name is Matthew "Mac" Cherry and I am what some may call a music video expert. Not only have I been watching music videos since "The Box: Music Television You Control" days, but I now work professionally in the business as a director myself. I have worked on the television shows Girlfriends, Heroes and The Game and have recently broken into music video directing. The reality is that today budgets are not even 10 percent of what they used to be, and you can clearly see it in the visuals that artists put out. With that said lack of money is not an excuse for a lack of creativity. There have been some great music video directors that have broken out onto the scene and have made amazing visuals. Directors like myself, Ms. Melina, Taj and Vashtie stand out as people who take pride in coming up with creative visuals for the artists that they work with. I come to you live from "The Director's Chair" to break down some of your favorite (or not-so-favorite) music videos from a creative and technical angle. On top of breaking down your favorite videos this blog will also offer you some insight and special behind the scenes footage on my sets as I work with some of today's hottest artists.

The first music video that I am going to breakdown is a prime example of how not to put an artist out. Although it's not your typical SoulBounce fare, the song is one that everyone has probably heard on the radio every 10 minutes: Jeremih's "Birthday Sex." I really have a problem with videos that come across like the director didn't even listen to the song when he submitted an idea for the video. Helmed by music video veteran Jesse Terrero, this video finds Jeremih and his leading lady dry humping throughout a lavish mansion on the beach. My biggest problem is that the video for "Birthday Sex" contained no references of balloons, candles, presents, or a birthday cake. Hell, it barely contained any references to sex save for a handycam sitting on a tripod. Honestly after the whole Rihanna/Chris Brown and Nas/Kelis alleged sex tape scandals I don't think implying that a sex tape is being created is the proper way to promote a young new artist anyway. All in all the video as a whole is boring and unmemorable. After watching this video, the question you need to ask yourself is, does it make you like the song better and Jeremih more as an artist? Probably not and the video itself even less memorable.

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10 Responses

  1. I feel you Mac. I don't get the video at all. Calling it boring is a compliment.

  2. Avatar

    I like you Mac! Thanks for keepin' it real.... the song really does suck and needless to say the video did not help! When I go somewhere with my nieces and this song comes on they think its the jam! There is no value in our youths music and they are feeding off of this junk that we now call hip hop and RnB! Ur honesty is much respected! ;0)

  3. I disagree I thought it was sensual without being overtly sexual

  4. I totally agree when I saw it online a few days ago I thought to myself is that it? Or was this just something created until the actual video came out? LOL it was so bland and uncreative. I think that soooo much could have been done with this video considering the context of the song but who am I? LOL I'm still trying to break out into the world of media so if thy think it's hott well...........

  5. It's not the video that throws me - it's the tired song and the stupid lyrics. Who is still sportin a water bed as sexy in the 21st century? Only whack brothers still on that Pimp tip. That's not the kind of man I'm interested in at the dawn of a new century. But I'm sure there are some ghetto sistahs who are still "down" with this type of unimaginative, shallow, and completely unrealistic "brotha." Sexin you for hours?? C'mon - and then they BOTH woke up.
    And cameras in the bedroom are so cliched they are more symbolic of the genre as a whole - part of the visual hieroglyphs or visual language of sex videos. The song itself almost begs for this kind of shallow, superficial treatment. Look at the artist in the video and look at the standard, mixed-race, twiggy thin black girl with the light eyes. Which one of us really sees ourselves as being any one of these people? This guy looks like a Kanye West/T-Pain Hybrid.
    It's catchy, but it's not creative and certainly not cutting edge. It's typical of the genre, unimaginative, and shows the director was in it for the quick bucks or just gave up on trying to give the artist something relevant to show with his rather unstellar and unimaginative lyrics in the first place. You're only as good as the materials and the people that you have to work with.
    You told us what was wrong, now tell us how you would have shot this video. Also, the lyrics say that they don't need candles and balloons and all that, so to have them would actually contradict the lyrics. This is all bare bones - the song is about sex: raw, unfettered, seductive, and with no strings or expectations attached. I think it was actually too tame - not that I like booty vids anyway. And I almost can't stand the simple-minded hip hop and rock vids. The motifs are the same throughout - so I'm not just pickin on my black folx. We aren't the only ones past our due date in the creativity department.
    The best part of this video was when she smashed the fruit. Now, THAT is would have made a bigger part of the video. I would have shot it close up, in full, lush, sensual glory - being squeezed, smashed, and demolished with all those lovely juices flowing stickily down open hands, clenched hands, open mouths, closed eyes, skin, faces in various states of ecstasy, etc. And the last shot would be them, the next day eating breakfast...table full of luscious fruit - they look at the fruit and then look at a calendar on the wall where the next person's birthday is circled in red. They bite into the fruit, staring at each other as the camera pans away and diffuses.

  6. Ok...
    First, can I say that I hate this song and I never want to hear it again for the rest of my life. Making it to the 2:33 mark was sheer agony.
    Secondly, I don't think that it's necessary that the visuals EXACTLY match the lyrics of the song. Too much of a literal interpretation and you end up with the video for "Lions, Tigers, and Bears".(sorry Jazmine)
    Thirdly, he mentions in the song that "we don't need no birthday cake or candles..." so I doubt if having that in the video would have helped @ all.
    I really don't know what type of video could enhance this song.

  7. 1. They clearly weren't going for creativity. lol 2. This MUST have been an attempt to put his face w/ his name/song b/c that is really all that they feature (his face) 3. No sistas showed up for the casting call? Just asking. I like the new feature btw, SB!

  8. @ chynadoll: I don't know that ANYTHING could enhance this song, except maybe a new songwriter, producer and vocalist. Good heavens, this is awful! Like, it reminds me of how much I hated "In Bed" when that first dropped. And dude looks like Puffy and Kanye's illegitimate child.
    The concept of "Birthday Sex" is cool, but this SONG? I can't even begin to comment on the actual video. Joint is torture.

  9. I actually like the song, but the video is kinda boring, lol. It would have been a little more interesting if they were at a birthday party and left (around the time when he said, " you know you want to riiiide out"). But HEY! at least they weren't half naked? lol

  10. @nOvaMatic: If I agreed with you anymore about this song, we'd be the same person. LOL