Video director Hype Williams says he doesn’t want to run a good thing in the ground, so he’s saying goodbye to that nifty letterbox eye candy he’s been using in videos such as Beyoncé’s “Check on It,” Ne-Yo’s “So Sick” and Jamie Foxx’s “Unpredictable.”
“Hype Spielberg,” LL Cool J recently called Williams, who directed the legendary MC’s video for “Control Myself” (see “Jennifer Lopez Drives LL Cool J To Lose His Cool” ).
“I love it,” he said of Hype’s method. “I think it’s great. It gives you more information, it gives you a chance to watch three, four videos at one time and have a great time. Every time you watch it, you can focus on one of the letterboxes and have a different experience. You get to experience the record that much more.”
“The idea came from the use of negative space,” Williams said on the set of Mary J. Blige’s “Enough Cryin” (see “50 Helps Mary J. Blige Relive Her Most Embarrassing Moment” ), explaining his use of extra footage. “We’re so used to looking at letterbox because of DVDs, that everyone’s brains tunes into what’s in the middle and there’s nothing that fills up the entire TV screen anymore.
“So the first idea was to use the negative space on Ashanti’s ’Only U’ video and give people something extra to look at. Plus, we always have so many things we don’t use in music videos that people might find as entertaining. I thought it would be cool to give people three different versions of the same videos all at the same time — hence the letterbox idea. The younger viewer is able to absorb way more information than before, because of the Internet, and because of this new era of technology, it makes more sense to give people more, faster,” he added.
Hype says his style has become so huge, he has to retire it for now.
“I feel a little bit violated because a lot of my ideas and creative flow gets ripped off and emulated so many times, it goes beyond being flattering, it gets a little done,” he said. “Plus I’ve been running it into the ground some, because my videos became so popular so fast. That’s all that’s all the TV right now.”
Williams is getting ready to fly overseas to shoot a video for Kanye West.