Entertainment

Keeping dancehall on US screens

GIL GREEN: video director bats for dancehall

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL Observer senior writer

Friday, January 04, 2013    

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GIL Green, who has directed music videos by Sean Paul and Elephant Man, has revived his involvement in dancehall productions through his 305 Films.

In a recent interview with Jamaica Observer, he said the company has helped promote visuals by two high-profile acts.

"My company is seasoning upcoming directors and one of those is Dayo (Dayo Harewood) who recently did two videos for Popcaan (The System) and Beenie Man (Hot Like Fire). With the changing record company situation, this is one way I can stay with the dancehall scene," Green said.

The 37-year-old, who is married to a Jamaican, vacationed on the country's north coast in December. He said artistes around the world are increasingly producing low-budget music videos which are posted on YouTube, attracting hundreds of thousands of viewers.

He estimates music videos by top pop acts cost record companies as much as US$200,000. That goes beyond the budget of dancehall performers, many of whom have failed to attract major label attention in the last five years.

"Dancehall is in a odd space right now, it's not getting a lot of play (in the US) and that's definitely not a good thing," Green pointed out. "Dancehall is my passion but there is no money."

Born in Atlanta and raised in Miami, Green studied film at New York University. He has directed music videos for a number of leading artistes such as Akon (We Don't Care, Beautiful), Lupe Fiasco (Out of My Head) and DJ Khaled (I'm On One, featuring Drake, Rick Ross and Lil Wayne).

Green has also worked with several Jamaican artistes including Sean Paul (as he appears in Do You Remember by Jay Sean and also featuring Lil Jon), Elephant Man (Pon the River) and Sizzla (Thank You Mama).

Green worked with Sean Paul and Elephant Man around six years ago, a time when dancehall was popular among pop fans in the United States. At the time, a handful of Jamaican entertainers were signed to major record companies which helped push their music on major cable channels including BET and MTV.

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