BY CECELIA CAMPBELL-LIVINGSTON Observer staff reporter email@example.com
FILM producer Gerald 'Ras Kassa' Hynes has given directing music videos a break due to what he says is a fall in music standards.
"The music industry is in problems, the music coming out now is crap. I don't want to mess up my history," he told Splash.
According to Ras Kassa, a good video demands good music. But it does not stop there.
"Second, you need artistes that have sense, a good concept, good directing, good stylist, a good director of photography, good art department and last, but not least, a good film producer," he said.
While pointing to vast improvements in technology, Ras Kassa says most of the videos being produced in Jamaica are not up to international standards.
"It's a better time now, they have good cameras which are cheap, but I am not sure the product coming out is better," he observed, adding that when he started, directors had to learn the dynamics of lighting and composing a shot.
Having directed over 100 music videos, he only rates about five Jamaican productions highly. The rest, he said, is "borderline garbage".
He names Welcome To Jamrock by Damian Marley as his best production.
"It was the biggest video out of Jamaica...period. It took me places no other video ever has," he said.
Rounding out his top five productions are Soul Food (Gentleman); Kingston Town (Alborosie); Love Against The Wall (Gyptian) and All I Want Is You by Michael Franti and Spearhead.
As for fellow directors, his top videos are: Traffic Blocking (by General Degree and directed by Kevin Lee); Lucky Man/Want To Get Next To You (by Courtney John and directed by Ras Tingle); Pushover (by Danielle, directed by Gareth Cobran); singer Wayne Marshall's Marshall Town, which was directed by Delano Forbes, and Winston Mayhew's Nah Go A Jail Again Again and Jamaica Whey Mi Born and Grow both by deejay Busy Signal.