Visuals have become increasingly important to music as listening habits amongst the masses have shifted to be more Internet-based. Technology also plays a part as well, allowing a larger gate of entry for people “jacked in” on the net looking to dabble in music video production. It’s one thing for a song to have an accompanying video clip, but two filmmakers from Australia are taking things to the next level.
Heath Kerr (aka HEATA) and Josh Davis have been sharing their talents with the Australian hip-hop scene for over a decade, establishing themselves as the go-to team for executing some of the countries most important video clips.
HEATA sharpened his directing and editing swords in the Melbourne underground scene, providing video clips for Bias B, Tornts, beatboxer extraordinaire Tom Thum (aka Tommy Illfigga), Bigfoot, Kerser, Flu and Jake Biz, as one half of Full Clip alongside the multitalented Crate Cartel don Discourse.
Josh Davis made a name for himself amongst the hip-hop community by capturing visuals for Brad Strut of Lyrical Commission and Unkut Recordings. Together, they have collaborated and put together cinematic clips for some truly groundbreaking songs, raised the level of quality standards immensely and proved to be extremely popular with tens of millions of views so far.
If there were ever an award handed out for earning the most awards, then A.B. Original — Briggs and Trials of The Funkoars — with their powerful debut album Reclaim Australia (2016) would surely get the nod. The album was revered for both its strong political message and musical quality.
Nineteen Eighty Four Films took on the challenge of conveying important topics in a visual form, mainly the racism and prejudice in Australia’s authoritarian system. The clip below is beautifully harsh, as well as confronting at times, and the warning during the title screen is no joke. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this video will definitely help shed light on an issue that mainstream Australia has swept under the rug for far too long.
“The video sees Briggs’ own family playing the forefront in what feels like a deserted, disenfranchised section of a community that has been left to its own devices.”
Briggs has made the transition from solely being a rapper to having an important public voice in a short amount of time, thanks to tracks like “Bad Apples”. The video is shot outside Briggs hometown of Shepparton, which is a vastly different landscape to the inner city surroundings that are often associated with hip-hop videos. The red dirt and hot sun of Australia make for a very unique aesthetic, and truly get across both the character and importance of the lyrics. The duo was also behind the videos for the uplifting “The Children Came Back” and more recently “Locked Up”, which both also feature Briggs.
One of the most impressive projects undertaken by Nineteen Eighty Four Films was the 2013 short film/music video/street musical “Kold Heat” DVD release. With a running time of just over ten minutes, the piece manages to showcase verses from several of the Brisbane crew’s rap talent with a rather uniquely-written narrative that ties them all together. With this one-of-a-kind project arriving during a time where attention spans are getting shorter and shorter, it stands as a true work of art.
In late 2017, one of the most successful solo artists in Australia dropped his “Blessed One” video ; in just six months, it is quickly approaching a million views. The Sydney MC was one of the first to utilize the act of frequently dropping videos and online exclusive content to build a fan base, and has since made a connection with a whole demographic previously ignored by majority of Australian hip-hop. The concept was simpler than his previous videos, but sometimes less is more. HEATA neatly packaged the single — essentially a documentation of a photo shoot — into an entertaining clip, proving that there doesn’t always need to be intricate scriptwriting and creative shooting techniques to get the job done.
From brainstorming concept ideas, scriptwriting, filming, editing and everything in between, Nineteen Eighty Four Films has produced some of the finest recorded material in the Australian music industry with their high definition portrayals of the darkest corners in Australian life. Other notable videos to check out include Kings Konekted‘s “Value of Adaption” (seen below), Tornts’ “I Do This” and Alerts recent “The Prisoner”.