V & S Multi Makes a Splash on
VH-1’s “Mission: Man Band”
When VH-1 came knocking, executive producer Patrick Stein and director Carl Verna, co-founders of Orlando-based production company V & S Multi, knew they were staring at a golden opportunity.
The music network wanted them to produce the first ever video for Sureshot, a pop group made up of former boy band legends Chris Kirkpatrick (N*SYNC), Jeff Timmons (98 Degrees) Rich Cronin (LFO) and Bryan Abrams (Color Me Badd). The video would be featured in an episode of the VH-1 series Mission: Man Band which is documenting the now grown men’s effort to make it back to the top of the pop charts. The episode would also include behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the video.
For Stein and Verna, who previously teamed up for videos by such artists as Sisqo, Dope and Ment2B, it was a chance to showcase their skills before a national audience. There was just one catch: they had to shoot, edit and deliver the video in just 36 hours.
Naturally, they said “yes.” “We got the job on a Thursday and had to shoot it on Friday,” recalled Stein. “VH-1 needed the rough cut early the next day and a final that night to be ready for a public screening on Monday.”
Stein and Verna quickly met with the band members at Kirkpatrick’s Florida home. The group had a rough idea for the video, involving being chased by an evil wizard. “They wanted to do something completely different, something goofy and a little quirky,” said Verna, “like Saturday Night Live’s Digital Shorts.”
With the clock already ticking, Verna and Stein took the band (and a VH-1 documentary crew) on a mad dash to a costume shop, then returned to their production offices where Verna began drawing up storyboards and weaving the band’s ideas into a coherent narrative. Early the next morning, they found themselves on a sound stage at Full Sail Production School where Verna teaches filmmaking. “We shot on a stage they call ‘Candy Land,’” said Verna, who acted as his own DP and camera operator. “It has a cartoony atmosphere that was perfect for this script. We shot for 14 hours and then went into an all-night editing session.”
Stein and Verna turned in a rough cut the next day. Both the band and the network loved it, so it was back to V and S’s production facilities for final editing. What should have been a routine procedure, suddenly took a bizarre turn when there was a neighborhood power outage. “We ended up finishing the video in my car on a laptop computer powered through an AC adapter,” Stein recalled. John Macintosh did the editing and James Owens was the post production supervisor.
In the finished video the ‘evil wizard’ is bent on wiping out all the boy bands in the universe. The band goes to incredible lengths to foil the plot with its various members appearing alternately as Abraham Lincoln, Emperor Nero, a Viking and Elvis. In one scene, the band appears underwater, in another, they are in a jungle pursued by toy dinosaurs. The wizard turns Kirkpatrick into a bat, Timmons into a tab of Alka Seltzer, Cronin into a pineapple and Abrams into a baseball bat. In the end, the wizard himself blows up in a puff of smoke.
Not bad for a day and a half’s worth of work. “There were performance shots as well where we camped it up and had fun,” noted Verna. “The band is dressed in a hip hop wardrobe with oversized chains and foil on their teeth.” The quality of the finished product pins a happy ending on this episode of Mission: Man Band and Stein and Verna come off looking like heroes.
Stein and Verna currently have plans to produce their own reality series featuring rap star Sisqo. They are also currently producing The Girls of Stare Magazine for inHD’s MOJO block and are in pre-production for a comedy feature Action News 5, which begins shooting in October. Additionally, they have just completed a music video for up-and-coming hip hop artist BEDO on KDS Urban Records.
For more information visit www.vandsmulti.com