Cinehack: The Netherlands

As part of the wider Cinehack project, we recently co-produced a hip-hop video with X the 24th (a.k.a. Mingus), an African MC based in The Netherlands, in preparation for CX/Cinehack workshops in Cape Town in January.

In collaboration with researchers from the SiDE project, this project was a pilot study for a forthcoming one-month field-trip to South Africa, where we plan to run workshops with hip hop artists in Cape Town.

This study in the Netherlands was an opportunity to dry-run the Cinehack workshopping process away from the UK (where it was developed), but close enough to home for a test-run. This has allowed us to reflect upon (and improve) our methodology but also to produce something we can show to potential participants in Cape Town as a recruitment tool.

Prior to the shoot, in late November and early December 2013, we spent time discussing influences and style with Mingus via Skype and Facebook before travelling for the 3-day shoot in mid-December. We settled on some ideas, including a 'style' for the shoot (a 'magic-hour' "feel-good vibe", and an 'Instagram' aesthetic) along with some ideas for specific shots. These were determined, largely, by Mingus himself, though our role (as filmmaking support) was often to interpret the ideas into realisable plans; an early indicator of an opportunity for development.

Over the 3 days, we shot over 2 hours of material (for the 2.5 minute video) including time-lapses, high-angle shots of the city of Amsterdam, dashboard-cam shots and moving shots from the back of a car. The shoot was done "guerilla-style", employing the use of several existing Cinehacks (from the Cinehack website) and a number of innovations, including a saucer dolly-rig, a bespoke steadicam and a tripod/ghetto blaster.

See the production stills for more information; the finished video will follow shortly.