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MTV Asia tapped Los Angeles-based motion design & production studio Royale to create the music video for “Take Me to the Philippines,” the latest effort by hip-hop artist Apl.de.Ap of The Black Eyed Peas. Created in conjunction with the Philippine Department of Tourism, the video visually underscores Apl’s lyric homage to his homeland -- a salient inspiration of the internationally acclaimed artist’s repertoire – and serves as a unique medium as part of a greater campaign to promote tourism in the Philippines. Royale Creative Directors/Partners Brien Holman and Jayson Whitmore helmed the video, with a dynamic mix of live-action and 2D/3D animation.
“Take Me to the Philippines,” which debuted on October 1, 2009, launched as part of MTV International’s Annual Creative Highlight.
“We had a marvelous time working with Royale on the music video,” says MTV Asia Creative Director Andrew Lo. “From pre-production to the final product, everything went great. We are very proud of the video and look forward to working with Apl and Royale in the near future.”
“Collaborating with MTV Asia and a renowned artist like Apl was an exceptional experience, very symbiotic,” remarks Creative Director Brien Holman. “Everyone involved made the entire production a huge success.”
Creative Director Jayson Whitmore adds: “We’re thrilled more clients are tapping into our production capabilities, especially a venerable entity like MTV. From the outset, our mission has been to deliver hybrid creative solutions -- ‘Take me to the Philippines’ epitomizes that through a unique medium: it’s part tourism spot, part music video.”
Royale took an experimental approach to both the live action and design aspects of the production: from freeform green screen shoots with Apl.de.Ap to rendering eclectic interpretations of Filipino imagery.
“Michell and Andrew allotted ample room to experiment, which really helped nurture every aspect of the creative,” says Whitmore. Describing the live-action shoots, Whitmore continues, "While the boards were generally loose, our approach was collaborative, as MTV Asia approved each scene as we shot.”
Royale says the organic shoots also lent to a comfortable, performance-friendly environment for Apl.de.Ap (and his accompanying Filipino belle) to work within, as he aspired before the shoot to let the music guide his movement, rather than choreograph.
Complimenting Apl.de.Ap’s fluid on-screen performance, Royale seamlessly integrated animation and graphics. Highlighted by vibrant and tropical palettes, the renderings are quintessential interpretations of Filipino assets, which comprise the video’s lush environments. Because 90 percent of the images in the video were repurposed, Whitmore says the inherent challenge was rendering them fresh and contextual, with varying dimensions and depths, while maintaining an aesthetic cohesion.
“From a design standpoint, it was paramount to maintain a balance between subtlety and blatancy,” explains Holman. “We aimed to steer clear of constant literal translations. With the whale shark, for example, we rendered it as a ‘constellation graphic,’ evoking themes of a whimsical, round-the-world journey – really echo the song’s tone and message. Experimenting with and exhausting an array of media and software achieved part of that balance, too.”
Pleased with the outcome of the video, Apl.de.Ap and his management have recently elected to repurpose some of the video’s visual elements and implement them into other outlets and mediums under the Apl.de.Ap name, including his recently launched record label Jeepney Music, as well as the non-profit Apl Foundation based in Silver Lake, CA.
Royale concludes, “Apl.de.Ap is truly an amazing artist to work with. His passion for his homeland and its people inspired the entire Royale team. Through his ability to connect with people as an entertainer, Apl has a deeply profound mission with all his philanthropic efforts. We have a deep respect for that mission.”
Airdate: October 1, 2009
Client: MTV Asia
Description of spot(s) including title(s): Apl.de.Ap “Take Me to the Philippines” music video
Where shot: The Source, Los Angeles, CA
Producer: Michell Tan
Creative Director: Andrew Lo
Advertising Agency: N/A
Creative Director: Brien Holman
Creative Director: Jayson Whitmore
Executive Producer: Jen Lucero
Producer: Anne Hong
Production Company: Royale, Los Angeles, CA
Executive Producer: Jen Lucero
Line Producer: Rayna Saslove
Editorial Company: Royale, Los Angeles, CA
Visual Effects: Royale