Get To Know Janelle Ryan.
via The ‘D’ Diaries by Danielle on 10/27/08
We all know that in the world of entertainment it’s quite hard to make ones self stand out among the plethora of other starving artists. Director Janelle Ryan has managed to do just that with her standout video for Final Outlaw’s “Hip Hop 4ever”. Described as, “a powerful story of struggle, maturity, and the path towards freeing oneself from the mental prisons of society, addiction, and past pain”, Janelle manages to convey all of this in a little under five minutes.
In a short interview with The D Diaries, Janelle discusses the concept for “Hip Hop 4ever”, her directorial flare, and a few upcoming projects. Check out the interview and be extra sure to check out the video for “Hip Hop 4ever” below!
How did you come up with the concept for “Hip Hop 4ever”?
I came up with the concept for “Hip Hop 4ever” with Final Outlaw. It’s important to me that I work very closely with the artist to create a personalized vision. It started with me writing down key words that immediately created imagery in my mind, such as rape, broken hearted, change, love, dishes, etc. I wanted the video to be extremely fast paced, not showing anything twice. And there were very specific details that Final Outlaw wanted to be included – such as the age/ethnicity of the rape victim portrayed. We then came together and created different scenarios, combining both of our ideas. After that, we did casting, location scouting, etc. It was a lot of fun!
Is “Hip Hop 4ever” a song you can relate to? And if so, how do you relate?
Yes, “Hip Hop 4ever” is a song I can relate to. I actually had the pleasure of seeing the song performed before I heard the track. His performance style and lyrical ability forces you to pay attention, so I took notice to the song immediately. Being a struggling artist myself, I can relate to demanding the industry to show you the respect you deserve upfront. I refuse to let anyone make me feel under-qualified, or let them question my ability. I worked very hard to gain the knowledge and confidence that I possess. It’s just a matter of time before my persistence pays off. So keep the comments and opinions to yourself.
As a director, how would you describe your style?
That’s a tough question! My directing style is simple, yet very personable. I like fast moving images, story-lines, metaphors, real people, architecture, colors, contrast, etc. I want the audience to feel overwhelmed with emotion when they watch my videos. I want the unexpected to happen, and I especially don’t want them to see anything twice. I’m so tired of seeing the same old performance shots over and over again, What I loved about Hip Hop 4ever was the fact that the scenery was constantly changing, and just when you thought it was over… the video suddenly cuts off, then Final Outlaw appeared in the mirror as his alter ego and broke free of the handcuffs. When we held the video release party, everybody went crazy during that part!
When an artist submits a song for you to potentially direct/produce what qualities do you look for when deciding whether or not to actually work with that artist and make a video?
The song has to be decent, and the artist has to be capable of creating some kind of buzz. I’d prefer it if I actually liked the song… hahaha but I understand that my taste in music is different than other people. Right now, I’m more or less focused on directing Hip Hop music videos, but I plan to branch out eventually. Obviously, if the song is disrespectful towards woman, or is just flat out ignorant, then I have to pass. I’ve definitely received some awful submissions from artists recently. One artist sent me a song about woman who think they’re cute, but they’re not, so he’s making fun of them in the song… it was just ridiculous. I also hold an initial meeting with the artist to see if we click, and to go over the logistics, such as time-frame, budget, etc. Then the fun begins!
What projects can we expect from you in the future?
I am currently working on music videos for two different Hip Hop artists. One video is in the location scouting and casting phase, which we plan to shoot the first week of November. And for the other one, we’re in the process of soliciting investors to financially back the project. I’m also working on another amazing project for Final Outlaw that we will be releasing towards the end of the year. I don’t want to give too much away, but all three of those videos will be something different, and really push the boundaries of traditional music video production.