A month ago, DANakaDAN x afterschoolspecial released their music video for DREAMERS. The video, produced by Scott Yoshimoto and Daniel J. Seo of The Dreamlapse Project, featured many cameos by your favorite YouTube stars from Ryan Higa and Joseph Vincent to Jason Chen and David Choi. We wanted to find out more about this huge collaboration so I contacted DANakaDAN, Scott and Daniel to see what they have to say about this project.
First we have DANakaDAN:
Audrey Magazine (AM): Tell me how the collaboration started.
DANakaDAN (D): We started about… 11 months ago. Scott and I have worked on a video before and we wanted to do another project. DREAMERS has always been the song I’ve wanted to do a video for and I wanted to do it right, so I asked Scott and we started to work on it.
AM: Why did you decide that this song deserved an ‘epic’ music video?
D: It’s an epic song! Also, it’s a song about California – the people, the sites, and the vision behind the song make up a slice of California through the eyes of someone who’s chasing their dreams. California is such an epic place and the track is one of my favorites so we had to do it justice. Plus, having all those great cameos made it such an epic endeavor.
AM: How did the concept of the first-person perspective chase in California come about?
D: We wanted something creative. Scott actually came up with the idea of doing first-person. I wanted the “chase” aspect. There was another idea we had been bouncing around but weren’t able to lock it down; it involved a chase too. So, the chase aspect needed to be there. First person perspective- wanted to do it because it brings a unique point of view.
AM: Have they surprised you with some of the things they did for your video?
D: The biggest surprise was the cliff dive. That takes a lot of guts to do. It was one of the shots that made the video. I’m not sure how high the cliff was, but it didn’t look like a small jump. My favorite surprise.
AM: What message do you want to send through your song and through this video?
D: The general message is about chasing one’s dreams – whether figuratively or literally (in this song, it was both I believe). It’s about community; having that community that came together to be in it is pretty incredible to me.
AM: Final words/anything you want to add?
D: The video has done incredibly well so far! Thanks to everyone who has watched it and supported by downloading the song. Final message is that Scott and Daniel of Dreamlapse Project did incredibly well – super talented. It’s exciting to see where collaborations can take you.
For more DANakaDAN and afterschoolspecial:
Tumblr (New!): http://danakadan.tumblr.com
Before we let you read on with the interviews, we wanted to quickly introduce the Dreamlapse Project, which was actually created because of this music video. I am impressed by how much they were willing to go above and beyond to bring their ideas to life for this video. They scrapped an idea they have developed entirely and went with a new idea – one that they feel has a more unique approach – just to give audiences something different. Not everyone would be willing to start over like that! Plus they’re a lot of fun (you’ll see as you read on!) I want to congratulate them on all their successes! Be on the lookout for many more videos produced by them on YouTube. Now onto the interview…
THE DREAMLAPSE PROJECT:
Audrey Magazine (AM): Let’s begin with how the two of you know each other and how this collaboration with DANakaDAN started.
Scott Yoshimoto (SY): We’re brothers from another mother! One of us came out Japanese, the other came out Korean though. I don’t know how that happened (jokes).
Daniel J. Seo (DJS): We met each other a year ago in a class at UCI. We randomly got paired up in a group for a video project and we just kind of meshed well together. From that point, Scott was like, “We need to work together” and I was like “For sure!” I didn’t expect him to reach out to me though.
SY: That was winter quarter; then we had different classes in the spring quarter. I’ve been wanting to work with Daniel since we had class together and I thought [this project] would be the perfect chance so I called him in on the project. During the time we were planning this music video we formed the Dreamlapse Project.
AM: Tell me about the whole concept and how you came up with it.
DJS: I guess Scott and I when we first started the project, what we would do is just hash out ideas – just a bunch of ideas and we would never get settled. We finally agreed with one concept which was very post-production heavy.
SY: Well we actually had a lot of different concepts before we settled on this one. If you go on DANakaDAN’s blog, he explains the original idea that we had. We were going to split up all the YouTube people in three different teams, but the problem we had was scheduling; everyone was on such a different schedule that it would be too difficult. So we changed our game plan and came up with this idea of shooting different cameos individually. That’s the first part; and then how we were going to shoot it – instead of seeing one image on the screen, we wanted to make like four different boxes or more in the same screen.
DJS: Yeah – that’s a very basic way of describing it. The way we wanted to do it was very complicated; we put in a lot of time developing that concept. I think we were almost done with that concept and we were ready to shoot, then while we were in a random brainstorming session, we saw this video on YouTube called “Take it to the Next Level” and we were thinking, “Hey! Why not make a video that’s first person?”
SY: We found that video and we sent it to Dan. He liked it a lot – that’s why we went with that idea. It was a headache before we even settled on this idea.
DJS: It got to a point where we were in serious debate because we developed [our original concept] so much. We knew that the first person idea was really cool; it’s really creative. At the same time, we already spent so many hours developing that post-production concept so we literally sat there and spent a good thirty minutes asking each other if we were really going to go through and switch to the point-of-view concept… but we did!
AM: How did you get so many cameos on board?
SY: Well… the people that we chose are all good friends of mine so it wasn’t hard to ask them to do the project ‘cause I’ve done videos for a lot of them already. Plus, Dan is friends with a lot of them too, so when we told them we wanted to get them in on a little cameo for his music video, it was pretty easy to ask them to do it. The only thing we had to figure out was when they could do it. Some of them that we wanted had scheduling conflicts, so you don’t see some of them in there that you might have expected.
AM: How did you choose who would be in which scenes?
DJS: We looked at each of the personalities and we wanted to make the video kind of bizarre. We wanted to put them in a light that their followers wouldn’t expect to see from them.
SY: That’s how it started off, but then we changed all the way throughout what they were going to do just based on where they could meet us. Like AJ, we always thought of him on the edge of a promenade of Santa Monica pier as a street performer, but we didn’t have the time to go all the way to the pier, which is why we went to Cal State Fullerton. Other things… (thinks) we had this funny scene with David Choi where he’s getting rejected by the girl and we thought that was funny ‘cause it’s not something people would expect.
DJS: And we were going to take Jennifer Chung go-carting, have a race and put together a fake crash and then cut from that to a real car and imitate the crash in a real car.
SY: Yeah but she didn’t have that much time either. That’s why we had to improvise and we went to that scene in the mall. You wouldn’t see Jennifer Chung in the mall or at the table just randomly singing to songs and stuff. And Joseph we had imagined him as a surfer dude. We would’ve had him naked but it was really cold that day. I could tell you got excited by that a little bit (laughs).
AM: Why did you decide to add in the extra work and do all the behind-the-scenes for each day of shooting?
DJS: We spent so much time with all of the cameos, or more time than you would see in the video, we wanted to show everyone how much work was actually involved. Realistically, everyone got 12 – 15 seconds [in the video] and we didn’t want to leave it at that, so we put a separate video for each cameo because we felt like so much happened [when we were shooting] that it would be hard to put everything in one behind-the-scenes video. We thought of breaking it down and putting it into two behind-the-scenes videos or something but then we realized it would be better and more appropriate if we gave each cameo their own behind-the-scenes.
AM: What was the craziest thing you think you did for the music video?
DJS: Oh! Good question… Well the cliff diving was… I guess… pretty intense. There was definitely quite an adrenaline rush. I think probably jumping off backwards – that was probably the worst. That one was a little scary just ‘cause you’re jumping into the water blind sight. And it was freezing. Everyone who was in the water – me, Casey and Arika – we just wanted to finish the shoot. I think the water was like 45 degrees or something. I actually got a fever the next day.
AM: What is your favorite part from shooting this music video?
SY: Being done! (laughs) I’m kind of kidding but I’m kind of not – the best part of it was seeing it done after months of planning, shooting and everything.
DJS: It was a very fulfilling moment. Yeah – I mean the first time we put the cut together Scott and I just looked at each other and were like, “Oh man, what did we do?” Cause…
SY: It looked bad. It just didn’t look like what we expected it to look like right away so we were both very disappointed. But I’m proud of it when I see it now; it turned out better than I expected – the final product – so it was definitely worth it.
DJS: Yeah me too.
SY: The other part was working with everyone; that was another rewarding part.
DJS: I really liked the brainstorming process just because we didn’t know what we wanted. We just kept hashing out really bizarre concepts and we had fun with it, you know? We didn’t think about any limitations. Originally Scott and I didn’t plan on creating a channel together. In my mind, this was going to be a one-time music video and that’ll be the end of it. But then we thought – might as well go all out and make something crazy! (laughs)
SY: Well the funny thing is – this was the first project we took on together but it definitely was not the first project we released together.
DS: Yeah but I mean this project holds in a very special place in our hearts most definitely. It’s the first video we ever shot and it’s a project that you would never forget.
AM: Last fun question – how many times did you listen to that song?
DJS: OH MY GOSH! (laughs) I don’t even know… probably like almost a thousand times, maybe even more.
SY: Well that’s TOGETHER. I can’t tell you how many times I listened to it myself. I can’t even figure that out – at least a thousand or more; probably more than that. Just a lot… enough that I can sing it backwards!
AM: Okay let’s try it out!
SY: Okay, just kidding not really.
AM: Final words?
SY: Keep it on the DL.
DJS: Keep it on the DL!