Jay Z

Studio Session

Inside The Studio With Jay-Z And Samsung

The Samsung and Jay-Z 3 minute long viral-video, which premiered during the Spurs Heat Game 4 on ABC finals game, has garnered close to 8 million views online in 3 days time. In addition to be being served as an ad for YouTube videos, it was seen by the roughly 16.2 million people watching Sunday’s game. So far the seemingly lower-budget yet, precisely shot and edited piece, has proven to be a well-worth-it anchor for Samsung’s latest campaign.

Rather than producing a big budget commercial which would lack this video’s intimate, organic feel — which is essential to why it’s become so viral. Yes, the video drops big news: Jay-Z is releasing an album July 4th and, in a brilliant move, has reportedly sold 1 million copies of it to Samsung for $5 apiece — who will in turn, give it away to Samsung smartphone users 72 hours before anyone else gets it. But, one of the most distinguishing parts of this carefully deployed announcement, is the video’s contrived “insider access;” a type of voyeurism by which everyday hip hop fans can feel like they are witnessing greatness in the making. It’s shot in behind-the-scenes fashion: peeking out from behind speakers, through window panes, seconds shot through a cracked open door and other angles throughout the studio.

The video also non-nonchalantly introduces hip-hop producing icons Swizz Beatz, Pharrell, Timbaland, and Rick Rubin (fresh off Executive ”reducing” Kanye West‘s ‘Yeezus’). It is shot and edited in a natural and candid way; the viewer feels almost lucky to have the privilege of seeing these music mammoths work together for a few seconds at a time — when in reality this is most likely highly produced with each cut thought-out and crafted to give us just that impression. It doesn’t feel like an ad –sharing only a few frames with the Samsung products themselves.

- Brian Petchers, Forbes Magazine


June, 2013

Lead Compositor + VFX Supervisor

Mark Romanek

72 and Sunny