Happy new year! Okay, enough of that – today’s video insight is for my NEW parody song, a spoof of 2 Chainz’ “I’m Diffrent” called “I’m Christian!”
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INSIGHT INTO A SONG
When I first heard 2 Chainz’ “I’m Diffrent” song, I immediately started trying to think of a parody for it. The song was just too darn catchy to NOT be a hit, and even though it came out back in August, the song continues to bump heavily now and is still climbing the charts.
Around October is when I first thought of the idea to make a parody of it called “I’m Christian.” Not necessarily because I wanted to do a religious parody (though it had been on my mind for a while), but because it just fit so perfectly, and I knew I’d have tons of subject matter to talk about. However, since it was the holidays I had also considered turning the song into a spoof called “It’s Christmas” to take advantage of the holiday momentum. Eventually, I realized that “It’s Christmas” would only have relevancy during the holidays, whereas “I’m Christian” could rock all year, and tons of kids who went to church AND listened to worldly music would get a kick out of it.
It took me until January (like 2 weeks ago) to finally write and record the song; however, I was coming up with words, phrases and ideas for the song in bits and pieces for a few weeks. I’d be on a film set (I do background work here in L.A.) thinking up song verses and sending them to myself, or I’d be walking home and suddenly – BAM! – another verse would pop into my head and I’d be on my phone texting it out.
I wanted the song to be both funny AND enlightening. I placed a good amount of focus mentioning things that happen in the church that are funny (i.e. kids falling asleep, old ladies dancing, communion), but I also mention things like Jesus dying for our sins, having one’s spirit being happy, changing your life around, etc. All in all, I think I made a very well-balanced song – one that’s not too preachy and is funny, yet is respectful of God and what he can do for people’s lives!
Some Interesting Song Tidbits:
1. The easiest part of the song to write – which I thought would be the hardest – was the first part of the 2nd verse. In the original, 2 Chainz is rambling on about meeting girls at tellies and putting his stuff in her belly, but it’s the flow and his usage of words repeatedly I thought would be hard to duplicate. And then, when I was walking home one day, words just started coming to me, and I couldn’t type fast enough on my phone to put it in a text message and send it to myself. What I ended up writing just worked so well, and it only took about 5 minutes to come up with!
2. Like I said, the words of the song came together in bits and pieces, like a puzzle. I’d go a few days not even working on the song, then BOOM – I would have half a verse done in no time.
3. Trying to include as many church references as I could proved to be hard as I got close to completing the song. I wanted to mention the Bible, angels, preachers, kids falling asleep in church, and so much more, so fitting all that stuff in really became a matter of re-arranging ideas. The hardest one was trying to fit in communion, and the fact that most places use grape juice instead of wine. But I did, and it’s probably the funniest part of the song (at least to me).
4. Initially, I tried to imitate 2 Chainz’ voice. Turns out, my vocal range is slightly higher than his, so I just went for trying to say words like him instead.
INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT
All I knew was I wanted to film everything in front of the green screen. I recently moved to my own place where I have my green screen placed up in my living room, ready to use 24/7/365, and wanted to put it to good use.
What I didn’t know, though, was if I’d be able to get anyone else to be in the video with me (don’t I always say that?? LoL). Long story short, I got my friend Joe to be in it (’cause he’s in, like, almost ALL of my videos), plus some new women additions to the “A.P.T. Video Archives.”
In order to put the video together, I knew the backgrounds would be of utmost importance. I went on YouTube to see if anyone had background loops of church stuff I could use; it was a shot in the dark, but lo and behold: a media group called Muddy River Media (http://www.muddyrivermedia.org) had tons of free-usage backgrounds with spiritual content! I downloaded as many of them as I could to use in the video, along with pictures of things like churches, pews, seats, and other things for me and my guests to stand in front of.
And, of course, different backgrounds meant dressing up in different outfits! I must say, I got a LOT of new clothes over the holidays, so most of the stuff I’m wearing in the video isn’t stuff I’ve worn on camera before. I have about 4 or 5 outfits I wore for this video so there would be a variety in look.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot! In a happy circumstance, I was able to get J. Anthony Brown – radio personality from “The Tom Joyner Morning Show” – to make a guest cameo in the video! He had called me to film something at his house, and was gracious enough to allow me to get some footage of him to use for my video. Appreciate the look!
Anyway… I can’t really say too much more about the video, other than I shot it as if I was doing a cable access show. So… check it out already!
Some Interesting Video Tidbits:
1. The girl in the black jacket – Destiny – looks like she’s wearing a church robe in the choir scene. But really, she’s just wearing her jacket backwards.
2. Also, none of the people in the choir scene were shot at the same time. I filmed each one individually because… well, they weren’t all here at the same time.
3. The original idea for the baptism scene was to through me in the pool. However, by the time we got ready to shoot the scene, it was nighttime, so the light wouldn’t have worked. Getting baptized in the kitchen also seemed like a funnier idea to me.
4. J. Anthony Brown’s scene is one of the few that doesn’t have a green screen background. However, the part of his house we filmed in front of – with a brown maroon curtain and a wall light candle – just happens to look like a wall a church may have!
5. Estimated editing time was… a LOT. I actually edited the flow of the backgrounds before I finished filming the video, so I was editing while filming. Let’s just estimate it at around 12 hours or so – at least that what it felt like!
That’s all for now! Enjoy the video, and be sure to get the song on iTunes!