Hit Me With The Horns – An Interview With Josef J Weber

When we were growing up, we didn’t meet a ton of girls at video arcades.

Thirty-something dudes who had foregone gainful employment in favour of Virtual Fighter II glory? Absolutely, but not many ladies.

Thankfully Australian director Josef J Weber has re-written our adolescent arcade escapades, adding a bus-load of babes into the mix in his video for DJ KATCH‘s “The Horns”.

Commissioned via Radar Music Videos, “The Horns” follows a crew of lovely young ladies as they tear it up after hours in a suburban arcade.

Josef was kind enough to answer a few questions about “The Horns”, and share some insights on classic arcade shooters, pitching for projects on Radar, and the dangers of bowling alley dance sequences.

Where and when was the video for “The Horns” shot?
“The Horns” was shot in Sydney, Australia during the winter!

What was the budget for the production?
The production budget was $10,000AUD (about $9700CDN). That was a solid budget for what I wanted to achieve visually. You always prefer more, but it sure is a far cry from the days when I did videos for $0!

What inspired the concept for the video? Were there any other videos that influenced your approach?
The track initially inspired a party vibe. The brief was very open for interpretation, so when I heard the song I thought “girls having fun, but with a twist…”

“Blow” by Beyonce was my favourite video at the time, and I love that video for its fun aesthetic and colourful execution. I started by watching that and connecting to the style and vibe it explored. Then I added my own twist to the treatment for “The Horns.”

How involved was DJ KATCH in the development of the concept? Did you need to make a lot of adjustments after you won the job on Radar?
DJ KATCH was heavily involved from the beginning which was great. With any of my projects they continually evolve once the production process begins. Even during post we conjure up new ideas and concepts to create the most dynamic video possible. The changes weren’t drastic – they never are – they just enhanced the project as a whole.

How did you get access to the arcade/bowling alley where the bulk of the action takes place?
I went on a location hunt! I found “Manhattan Super Bowl” which is an old school gaming and bowling arcade in Sydney suburbia. I scoped out the location, negotiated a day rate and locked it in! Location scouting is one my favourite parts of pre-production, as you start to get a sense of the production slowly forming and taking shape from your treatment.

Well it was definitely the perfect location! How did the dance sequences come together?
I had a choreographer by the name of James Deane choreograph the video for me. I’ve worked with James numerous times and I knew the dance routine had to be tightly rehearsed and ready to go on the day.

Funny story: the owners of the arcade oiled down the bowling alley a few days prior so it was so slippery for the girls to dance on! But they’re professionals and hit it out of the park.

Many of your past projects have featured some pretty lovely ladies – how did you find the girls for “The Horns”?
I have a great relationship with their management company JEEP MANAGEMENT, so I sent JEEP the treatment and they put forward the talent they thought would be a great fit for the project. JEEP has a great roster, and I trust them as I’ve worked with them several times so it all fell into place.

Did you experience any unique challenges in post?
The most unique challenge in post was to create a balance between everything. I like to shoot for the edit so that I have a lot of options once we land in post. When editing the video, or any video of mine, I treat the edit like a puzzle- you have all of these shots/setups and you need to spread it out evenly to create something that people will watch from beginning to end. That’s always the goal.

Following the success of “The Horns”, do you have any tips for aspiring film makers submitting to Radar?
Radar is a great platform for emerging film makers. They have a lot of briefs that go up with a variety of budgets so it really is open to anyone. I always believe that it’s important to continually work on your craft, and Radar really provides that platform for you to do so as it never sleeps – there are always new briefs to submit treatments for!

And lastly: Time Crisis II or Area 51?
I say yes to anything with aliens in it so Area 51 😉

A big thanks to Josef J Weber for his contributions to this post. For more from Josef, check out his Vimeo page or follow him @JosefJWeber.

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