Freddie Gibbs – Serve Or Get Served

This video is an experiment in wiggle stereoscopy. Shot on a pair of 7D’s with the same lenses.
Inspired by “wigglers” around the internet including Jamie Martinez.
Thanks to Fabian Tejada for the titles, Javier Goin for the help, and Josh Harris for the roof.

Press:
PITCHFORK

BEHIND THE SCENES:

Complex – Viral Video Of the DECADE

I got the #1 internet video of the decade!
Prodigy’s “Mac 10 Handle”
I’d like to thank Prodigy, the fans, and most of all… oh wait this ain’t the damn VMA’s!
Thank you Complex magazine for validating my career…hahaha

#1: Prodigy “Mac 10 Handle” (2006)
The clip that arguably started the whole low-budget internet video craze also happens to be the best. After the disaster of Mobb Deep’s G-Unit debut Blood Money, many of the group’s fans were starting to wonder if Hollywood Hav and V.I.P. had lost their gritty NYC-essence for good. But after linking up with director Dan “The Man” Melamid to make this horrific video—filled with smoke, Henny, Satan and a bloody round of couch-stabbing—there was no question that P was going to deliver on Return of the Mac.

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Fader Blog Article

…while Dan’s videos for 50 Cent, Maino, Prodigy and a mess of others have established a reputation for making video art happen on recession proof budgets. This one is no exception. His signature style—quick cuts between slo-mo (or just slow panning) panoramic shots with a documentary feel—really emphasizes the photographic moment in every frame and–applied to Mavado’s home-base in Cassava Piece–it gives a you-are-there, goosebumps immediacy to what could have been the same old beach and block party scenarios….
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Fader Magazine article
Rappers, oligarchs and mad popes

Father & son Alex & Dan Melamid get arty
By Edwin Houghton | The Fader – May-June, 2008

One of the most prominent and controversial Russian artists of his generation, Alex Melamid immigrated to the US in the late ’80s. Since 2003, he has focused on a series of meticulously realistic portraits of rap luminaries. Lucky for him, his son is former G-Unit video-guy Dan “The Man” Melamid, guaranteeing access to many of the artists Dan and his partner Whoo Kid brought on their G-Unit Radio show
on Shade 45. Melamid’s paintings were recently exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit in an exhibit called Holy Hip-Hop, and he continues to churn them out, along with two concurrent series of portraits, one of various Vatican figures, and a new set of Russian oligarchs and oil barons.

When did your son’s work start bleeding into yours?

Alex Melamid: I was always interested in my son’s world, but he was not very generous to share.

Dan Melamid: Kids are always embarrassed of their parents, and my dad is the most embarrassing. He used to go into the supermarket and just yell “shit-stain!” in a Russian accent just to embarrass me. I think his real fascination started when 50 Cent mania became really crazy and I was touring with him all the time.

AM: I like painting these people because I’m really cold to them. I really have nothing to do with these people and I know even if I want to know them, I would never manage. It’s impossible.

It’s a window into another world.

AM: It’s not a window, it’s a keyhole. It’s snooping. How did they get elevated to this? I don’t believe in any god whatsoever, but when you see the cardinal you think, My god, there must be something.

[Pointing to a painting of Marley Marl] Why did he do this? All the people from his project, they say, “He did it.”

Who decides who should be in the series?

AM: That’s him [Dan].

DM: I’m trying to get Jay, Nas, Diddy. I want to finish off the greats that are here now. It’s like getting the complete set of baseball cards. Just like I collect videos under my belt, it’s the same thing with you, Dad. You collect oligarchs or rappers and it’s like, Ooh, I got another one.

Did your dad’s visual work influence you getting into video?

DM: No, I picked up a camera out of necessity. I always did documentary, storytelling kinda stuff. But recently I did that video for Styles P [“The Hardest”] and I collaborated with those Graffiti Research Lab guys, actual artists. We’ve been experimenting with some weird technology for my videos and I’m like, Holy shit, I guess I am an artist. I think it’s gonna come even more full circle, because I’m really embracing my Russian roots and I really want to pursue projects based on that.

So you’re going to start doing oligarch videos, while he’s doing rapper portraits?

DM: Basically. I think oligarchs are harder to get than rappers.

AM: Same. They’re the same.

New York Times


… then he thought of his youngest son, Daniel, a video director known in the rap music business as Dan the Man. At the time Dan the Man was working for 50 Cent’s G-Unit label, making the videos for “The Massacre (Special Edition).” He arranged for his business partner, DJ Whoo Kid — 50 Cent’s D.J. — to visit Mr. Melamid’s studio, then in SoHo, to pose for a trial portrait.
After that, 50 Cent paid a visit. He sat in a chair, rapping, while Dan the Man shot video and Mr. Melamid made preparatory sketches and photographs. The resulting portrait, which Mr. Melamid said took about a month to figure out, shows the rapper slouched in the chair, looking slightly wary. (The work, together with Mr. Melamid’s brush and palette, appear in the video for 50 Cent’s “God Gave Me Style.”) …

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Ill Roots blog interview


DanTheMan is a talented film maker out of Brooklyn, New York. Having worked with the likes of 50 Cent, Prodigy, J.R. Writer, Termanology and Lloyd Banks among tons of others, Dan is one of the few directors in the industry that consistently create quality videos on a regular basis. Getting his start by working with DJ Whoo Kidd and G-Unit, DanTheMan also did the videos that were featured on The Massacre Special Edition. Be sure to check out his work and keep your eye on this guy.
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SOHH.com – Player To Watch For in 2007


Player Watch: Video Director, DanTheMan
Video director “DanTheMan” has stepped behind the lens to create hip-hop DVD’s and videos for 50 Cent, Young Buck and AZ. After directing several highly-acclaimed straight to YouTube videos for Prodigy’s Return of the Mac CD, DanTheMan is definitely a Player to Watch for in 2007.

While the name DanTheMan may not be as familiar as Hype Williams or Benny Boom, the Jersey City native has actually been in the business of hip-hop for most of his life.

“The first video I did was for M.O.P. for their rock album on Koch three or four years ago,” Dan said, before reaching back over a decade to recall his early days in entertainment. “When I started I was a dotcommer, I worked at 88hiphop [.com]. My background is audio engineering, that’s how I started in the rap game. I never went to college, I went to school for audio engineering at IAR, but I went there pre-Pro Tools. When I got outta there I was just looking for jobs and I ran across the dotcom thing, so I did that.”

After the dotcom bubble burst, Dan bought a video camera. His years at the website had given him experience with streaming video and video production, making him well equipped to produce dvds. Soon after, while working for Game Recordings, Dan met his future business partner, DJ Whoo Kid.

“Whoo Kid and I were doing the same thing on the interview tip. We started going around hanging out with artists. He got an interview with Snoop, I got another one with Nelly, and so on. We did Rewind, the hip-hop DVD magazine, it was like one of the first hip-hop DVD’s that did well. That was my first hip-hop video project that started getting me attention. It debuted at #34 on the Billboard independent charts and we put it with an audio component. That was the number one independent release for like three weeks straight,” Dan recalled.

Dan next joined the “Roc the Mic Tour,” filming behind the scenes footage and began working with G-Unit regularly. In addition to adding interview, documentary and a/v components for Young Buck and Tony Yayo projects, Dan was asked to help out with 50 Cent’s The Massacre.

“50 had this idea to do these low budget videos for every song on the album…Like 7 of the videos were basically just me, 50 and my camera and editing. After that did well, I started doing a lot of videos. I created a formula where I could do these videos by myself and make them look like I didn’t do them by myself. Throughout the years the formula evolved and the budgets progressed from nothing to something and basically now people are hiring me because they know they could get a bang for their buck and they can get a video on a level that you probably can’t get for $50,000,” Dan revealed.

His formula came in handy this year while directing numerous videos for Prodigy’s Return of the Mac which were posted straight to YouTube. Chief among these was the horror flick inspired “Mac 10 Handle.”

“I feel like “Mac 10 Handle” ushered in this new YouTube video revolution. I’m not taking full credit for it. It’s also Prodigy. Me and Prodigy sat down and we did it and within months all these other YouTube videos started popping up,” Dan said.

“The internet is a great medium because I see the love and the hate right away. I used to be a dotcommer so I go on those forums and I see what people are saying. I love it, I live for it. It’s great to have that direct response with the fans to see exactly how much they hate me or how much they like me. Sometimes it’s scathing hate and sometimes it’s super love.”

Village Voice – #2 Video Of The Year


2. Prodigy: “Mac 10 Handle.” I already wrote a post about this one, but it’s worth noting that the grimy, paranoid desolation of this video does its job completely. Right now, I’m way more amped about Return of the Mac than I ever was about Blood Money (this doesn’t hurt, either), and I’ll buy a copy as soon as it comes out, if it ever does. Everyone involved in the making of this video must’ve known that it would never, ever get played on TV, and that sort of viral internet-marketing savvy can’t be taught. There’s a story here, but we only get a quick little glimpse of it. The mystery and darkness that’ve been missing from mainstream rap videos for a few years now come roaring back when Prodigy stabs his chair and it bleeds. (This is the second video in a row with a shot of someone wearing a George W. Bush mask; maybe that shot is a nod to “Get Ya Hustle On”?)

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