Sunday, October 31, 2010

FAQs for Ninjaboi's Documentary on Hip Hop Dance

Why did you do this?
-Short answer: A club I’m applying to asked for a creative submission. 
-Long Answer: Since I got sucked into hip hop via BABDC, there have always been these questions about how it all started and such.  Forums and some documentaries like “Planet Bboy” helped some, but as I learned more, I started to realize how little a lot of people really did know (ie, those who misuse the term breakdancing or poplocking, or don’t know who DJ Kool Herc was).  So this was also comes from a long burning desire to teach others the facts so they can give their due respect.

I’ve been in the hip hop community for a long time and what you said is totally false. [Insert name here] was totally a huge influence but you didn’t give them their due!
-First off, like I said in the disclaimers in the beginning, I’m not an expert, so it’s very well likely that I overlooked, or overplayed, certain aspects of the history, That being said, I erred on the side of caution here, because I know that there are a lot of unresolved debates about certain aspects that I really don’t know enough about.  Apologies to anyone who wasn’t mentioned by name or feels overlooked.

Why is it so long?
-Because I’m an overachiever, and also that the history of hip hop isn’t something that you can do a good job telling in 5 minutes.

Hey you took my video from Youtube! Isn’t that like property right violation?
Honestly, I don’t really know.  All I know is that A)Youtube is really the only source of video that was relevant that is also easily accessible, B)I make it clear right off the bat that I don’t intend to use this video for personal profit, beyond the fuzzy feeling of finally getting this done and dropping some knowledge, and C)I do have a credits at the very end of the movie listing all the channels I took footage from.  The only videos I claim as my own are the transitions with subtitles that are of me dancing.

Oh that was you dancing? You suck!
-Why thank you very much.  Also, thank you for not yet watching the whole video to the end and realizing that I think it’s the emotion and feeling you put into the dance that’s more important than the technique.  Maybe I’ve only been dancing for 2 months, but I hope that you all can tell how much feeling I put into each dance.  Hopefully in a few years I’ll be better.

I can’t understand the voiceovers!
-Again, not a question. But yeah, that’s me talking.  I did it all in one night in a study room as a sound studio, again using my laptop as a voice recorder.  I do have a slight speech issue, and as the night went on I started to get more and more hoarse.  Also, a few segments were impromptu without script.  Also, some of these were close calls where I managed to twist a mistake to a “correct” version, so that I wouldn’t have to start over again.  Apologies for the problems my speech deficit give, and also apologies for what my microphone couldn’t pick up. 

The quality sucks!
-Not a question, but I’ll answer anyway.  The quality suckage was (to a degree) intentional.  If you’ve watched the whole thing, you know that at the end I talk about how hip hop is being kept alive via webcam.  Those people keeping it alive may not always have the best equipment, so I tried to give them credit.  So, any footage that I filmed myself was done via stationary webcam around campus as well.
Also, a lot of the clips I got from Youtube weren’t exactly HD quality, and processing them degraded that a bit too.  So blame the limited technology I have.

I found some editing fails, were those intentional?
-Unfortunately no.  First off congratulations because that means you sat through a good portion of the video to find those mistakes.  But in any case, this was done for submission by a certain time, and as time got short I guess I panicked and skipped a few corners.  Sorry about that

Will you go back and fix them?
-Considering that for those 2 fails that I found, I’d need to go through another 3 hours of editing, more likely more, I doubt it. 

I do new style choreo. Are you saying I’m not hip hop?
-In the most literal sense of the word, no.  But, I’m not putting down any other style of dance at all in this video (I’m a folk dancer myself).  New style choreo has some aspects that are really dope, as do pretty much any form of dance.  But the big issue I have is when people think of new-style first when they hear “hip hop” rather than old-style, and sometimes don’t even know what the differences are between bboying, locking and popping.

What about [insert krumping/turfing/jerking/other dance style that some call hip hop here]?  You didn’t mention them much.
-As it stands, I wanted to talk about what I (more or less) know.  Unfortunately, I don’t really know so much about all those styles.  I did try and throw in a little bit of krumping footage in there, but aside from that, apologies. 

Any directors notes you wish to add?
-Umm, this was a great project to work and keep me busy.  Sure stressful, but the fact that the deadline finally forced this out of me sorta makes me happy that I had something to do.  Much thanks to those more experienced in hip hop who dropped some knowledge on me, especially those from this board.  Thanks to the whole BABDC community (I give you all a shoutout at some point in the movie and also in the credits). 

As for things to look for in the movie…
-The biggest thing I wanted to address was the naming issue of “breakdance” and “poplocking,” and the issue of old-school styles being overlooked sometimes.
-I may have given a bit much emphasis on the Step Up Movies, but in all honesty I need to watch more hip hop dance movies.  I stuck with what I knew.
-The music selections were sometimes random, but there were a few (especially in the “dark age” and the “future generation” sections that were definitely intentional.  Most notably, I made sure to use a lot of James Brown near the beginning.
-If you watch to the end, I hope that the full-circle effect is taking place.  Big ups to Eddie Uehara for being a huge inspiration in terms of what attitude to have when dancing.

Dance to Express, not to Impress

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

ABDC Master Mix Sudden Death results: 14 people with perfect scores!

Here are the people eligible to compete in our Tie-breaker round tomorrow. Note: I had accidentally left two names off the list when this was first posted. Here's the COMPLETE list: 
Andrea Richards, Brad L, Byenyn, David Bay, Erik S, Jai, LetRyGuyIn, Levithan, lilpuffygirl, Numa Nash, RockSteadyByMe, Shahin, Sunset, TimetoFlytotheCheese

Congratulations and good luck tomorrow. I want to give away that shirt/Itunes certificate already!

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

ABDC Master Mix Contest: People eligible for Sudden Death Round

People who have 22-24 points in our ABDC Master Mix Contest are still eligible to win by entering the Suddent Death Round. If your name is not on the list and you think it should be, then email me at with what score you think you deserve. I will email you back and tell you which weeks are missing/incorrect. If you can then forward your original email to me for that week, I will give you credit for the missing points.

The names listed are either: the name the entrant used in the emails or the first part of their email address (in cases where there were multiple people with the same name or if no name was given)

People with 24 points: Andrea Richards, Belgian Boy, Brad, Byeynyn, Candice, CG, Chemamin, David Bay, Darren, Erik S, Florian R., Framfrit, Goonie644, Hank, Jai, jjvirus, John Doe, Jonathan S., Karen Chu, LetRyGuyIn,  Levithan,  Mr. Tabachoi, Ninjaboi, Numa Nash, pupkp161, Robel, RockSteadyByMe, Shahin, Sunset, Teldon, TimetoFlytotheCheese, Tony Tran, VivalaVix, xxxcrashoverride, y2kt1189

People with 22 points: Doug, Jarthon, Justin W, Leslieforsheezy, Meowie, Ramcnei2, Rellmatic, Sharrod, Sophia, SurroundedbyIdiots, The Trend, Tuba

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