Dance hero's slum story retold in music vid
MANILA, Philippines - UK record label Asylum shot a music video in the slums of Manila for the newest single of Rudimental, a quartet of songwriters-producers who aim to bring back soul into electronic music.
Titled "Not Giving In," the song features vocals by John Newman and Alex Clare. It plays in a 5-minute video dramatizing the story of Filipino world breakdancing champion, B-Boy Mouse.
B-Boy Mouse — also known as Ereson Catipon — grew up in the slums of Manila.
He spent most of his adolescence in the streets after being thrown out of home by his father when he was 8 years old. His mother, a migrant worker, found him when he was 16 years old and took him with her to the United Kingdom.
Catipon continued to pursue his passion for dance in the UK and started winning contests left and right.
“Over the next 10 years, he finally became world champion 3 times,” music video director — and B-Boy's good friend — Josh Cole said in an interview with 1.4 (www.onepointfour.co is a site that features new talent in "short form creative films").
“I've known him since just after he came to the UK and I'd wanted to do something with him for the last 6 or 7 years.”
Actors from the streets
Cole created a fictional character loosely based on the older brother of B-Boy Mouse who was dragged into the world of drugs.
The character also represents what could have happened to Mouse had he not found dance, the director said.
Allen Añas, a prodigy in breakdance, portrays the younger Mouse. He had to un-learn the moves to look amateurish in the video.
Most of the cast members are real slum dwellers like Tugo Cunanan, who plays the drug-pushing older brother in the video.
“We found Tugo who plays the older brother in our first location: Grace Park. He was smoking and had a sharp cheeky expression. He actually lives on the street where we shot the machete sequence. He had an incredible presence and could also really act,” Cole added in the interview.
Hits and misses
The shoot took 3 days but they went back to the country 3 weeks after to re-shoot missing footage.
Scouting for the location was also a headache when the local production company they commissioned seemed to be "actively avoiding all slum areas," said Cole.
Fortunately, Mouse flew to the Philippines to help Cole find the location he needed.
Despite the setbacks with "Not Giving In," Cole says he plans to come back to the Philippines to film more videos.
Watch the music video of "Not Giving In" here:
“Got so much love for the Filipino people and everyone we met. Been overwhelmed by the response to the video from everybody, its (sic) been quite moving. Really want to get back out there to make a longer form version of this story. Stand up the Pinoy massive!”
The video posted on YouTube has generated more than half a million hits since it was posted on October 19.
"The video is like a short City of God," UK music news site The Fader said.
"City of God" is a movie about two boys who grow up in a violent Rio de Janeiro neighborhood, only to grow apart. One becomes a photographer; the other becomes a drug dealer. - Rappler.com