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Game On!

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It’s out! Game On! The Bollywood-inspired music video we premiered at Comicon is now streaming on MSN and downloadable on Xbox!

MANY people need to be thanked, including @sandeepparikh for co-writing the lyrics, @jasoncmiller for writing and producing the song, @lisashearin for allowing me to use her book cover at the top of the video, @uhr our line producer for putting everything together, @gregaronowitz for getting us amazing sets (including an ELEPHANT!), Chantal Robeson for choreographing, Thom Williams for fight choreographing, Chris Darnell for DPing and @kimevey and @seanbecker for co-directing. Whew! So many other ppl to thank as well, but I should probably give some insight into the video now 🙂

I did not want to do this video. There, I said it. I was in the middle of MAJOR writer’s block for Season 4 and the idea that we’d ever make a music video after “Avatar” was just ridiculous to me. I mean, half the comments about Avatar were “How are you gonna top this?” Which is probably the most creatively stifling thing you can say to someone. (Ironically the FIRST TWEET TODAY I SAW WAS “HOW ARE YOU GONNA TOP THIS NEXT YEAR?” HAHAHA).

Anyhoo, last year Sandeep actually said, “let’s do a Bollywood themed video.” And I was like, there’s no way we can afford that. Our budget is pretty low, and we were maxxed out on Avatar, which was shot on one stage, so I was like, it’s never gonna happen. Cut to April 2010, and Microsoft and Sprint asked us if we have a music video this year, and then Kim emails me and wants to co-direct a Bollywood music video with Sean. Errrrrrg. Eep?

Kim already had the concept for the video down, the walls flying out, the dancing etc. and that seemed cool, but I was skeptical because I didn’t have the song in place yet, and everyone knows a music video without a good song isn’t gonna be great! So I watched a TON of Bollywood videos on YouTube, and the craziness of the genre (and watching some TERRIBLE fight scenes from Bollywood movies) convinced me to at least TRY to come up with something. I guess the key to overcoming creative blocks is to just release the need to “top” or “equal” or “dazzle” and just create. All those pressure are extraneous and don’t allow for anything good or great to happen. It’s my mantra now 🙂

Sandeep agreed to write the lyrics with me (because I am not well-versed in Bollywood), we sat down and brainstormed, knowing we had to avoid Avatar comparisons at all turns. I also wanted to avoid indicating that Zaboo and I were romantically attracted to each other, since that would confuse ppl, but since Bollywood is ALL about a girl and boy in love, we decided an outright parody would work and not be confusing. Then we sent the lyrics to Jason Miller, who, with his production team, came up with a crazy slick tune and awesome electronic touches that make me laugh to this day!

I just want to say, Kim and Sean pulled a miracle out by getting all this done in time and on budget. Gabe Uhr, our line producer, pinched every single penny, and Greg Aranowitz did INSANE things on almost no budget. That elephant has a MAN INSIDE IT! And that temple was built on a friend, Travis Oates’ BBQ area, lol. Also, the costumes were spot on, Michelle scraped up great colors that stayed true to our Avatar-selves.

The day of the shoot was probably the most stressful day ever. We had 3 cameramen, Chris Darnell pulled in every favor ever, and we had a JIB, which we’d never had before, and allowed us to do those cool overhead-y shots. We actually shot two days, one for the temple/fountain and one for the fight/gazebo. The scale of it was enormous for web video, and the whole time I was excited but on edge, because with a crew that big anything can go wrong at any second. Thankfully everything but a generator blowing up went awesome. Thom Williams, our fight choreographer, brought in a trampoline and Sandeep actually did those flips! I was so impressed!

My favorite parts are: Vork coming out of the fog (Why does he take his jacket off and THEN PUT IT BACK ON?!?!) and Bladezz coming BACK THROUGH on the end vocal. It makes me laugh SO HARD. The most comments I’ve gotten though are about Zaboo using my butt to type on, which I just pitched out during one of our MANY dance choreography sessions. It was totally ridiculous and exactly in the spirit of what we were doing: Not taking ourselves seriously and trying to have a good time.

The video will be for sale on iTunes IN HD next Tuesday, along with the mp3 everywhere for sale and streaming on iTunes. I’m extremely proud of it, and it turned out to be a collaboration that everyone helped make the best possible. Thank you to my Guild team, the best co-workers in the world 🙂

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