David C Snyder Continues His Shoot Streak 8 Videos shot in November 2015
The SpitSlam Record Group (Kate G): What goes into preparing for a shoot like you recently did for Jelks and Retina MC?
David C Snyder- First and foremost I have to listen to the songs that I'm shooting videos for. That way I can at least get an idea of the mood and tempo which can help dictate the style and rhythm of the videos and the way that I approach them. I also try to speak with the artist or label head about the songs, concepts, and what we're trying to accomplish with the clips.
You have shot most of if not all of PE & Chuck D's video, how did you hook up with Chuck?
David C Snyder- I've shot almost all of Chuck and PE's videos since 2005. There are a couple that I did not do, but for the most part I get the call. As far as how I started working with Chuck... I grew up as a huge PE fan and I tried to keep tabs on everything that they were doing. When PE started to build an internet presence in 1996-1998, Chuck made himself accessible through message boards and email. So I reached out by sending music that I was doing. Eventually we began to collaborate on a musical level and I started doing remixes for Public Enemy as well as producing a group that Chuck had a hand in creating: The Impossebulls. When Chuck finally saw a video I directed for The Impossebulls, he was really impressed and he began to show it around to other artists he was working with. That led to more video work and finally a shot at directing videos for PE as well.
What got you into hip hop?
David C Snyder- I grew up listening to a lot of different types of music, especially soul and funk. So when I finally heard songs like WALK THIS WAY and ROCK IT, I instantly gravitated to it. Growing up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh meant that we had to wait for Hiphop and Rap to make it's way out of New York so it took a while. But a friend of mine bought LL COOL J's BAD album and made me a copy of it. After that I was all in. It was such an amazing time for the music and I'm so glad that I got into it when I did.
What director influenced you?
David C Snyder- There are so many over the years and it changes as I grow older and appreciate different things. But the most influential for me have been directors with a very strong visual sense. My top three (my holy trinity, I call them, as they had the most profound early influence on me) are Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, and Spike Lee. After that there's Bernardo Bertolucci, David Fincher, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Jean Pierre Melville. This list could go on for days...
Tell us about your last shoot with Retina and Jelks?
David C Snyder-With Jelks it was my first time in Memphis and my first time meeting him. He's got a great team down there and we got all the footage we needed to get. We had to compromise a bit and we couldn't get to some of the locations we wanted but it was productive nonetheless. It was a long day but we managed to get what we needed.
I've worked with Retina before so it was great to see her again. Our greatest challenge was that there was a storm flooding Charlotte on the day we were shooting, so we had to rethink everything on the spot. Luckily we found some great locations and we made it all work somehow. Ask me again after I get the videos edited!
Anything else you want to add?
David C Snyder- I just want to say how appreciative I am to Chuck D, Public Enemy, and the entire roster of artists that I have been fortunate enough to work with. Thank you for the opportunity!
WATCH videos from the shoot:
Kate G is Kate Gammell for Update Reports on The SPITdigital SLAMjamz Recording Label Group