Lucas Leyva Speaks on His Ass-Clapping Winner in Sweat's Rachel Goodrich Video Contest

Sweat Records announced the winners of their "Make A Rachel Goodrich Video and Win $500" contest this past Saturday night, which was followed by an in-store performance by the local superstar folk diva. (Read Crossfade's recap of the event here.)

In my humble opinion, Lucas Leyva's entry, above, should have taken a clear-cut first place (the three finalists all tied for a joint final win). I may be biased, because the video features local tattoo-artist extraordinaire Gordy, who once let me sleep on his couch for like a month, during his pitbull Jonesy licked my dirty face all night long.... But we'll get to that some other time.

The video just adds so much depth to the song, and makes it so much more Miami, more dirty, and gangsta for real. Its all about the light bulb, dog. Crossfade exchanged text with the video's creator, Lucas Leyva, the Borscht Film Festival's "Minister of the Interior" and a recent recipient of a Miami New Times MasterMind Award. Here's what he had to say about the making of the video, after the jump.

Crossfade: Tell us about the concept of the video -- how you made it, the people involved.

Lucas Leyva: We were originally going to make a different video -- a little darker than the other entries but still happy and more in line with what one typically thinks of when you hear the song. It was going to be a sort of "It's a Wonderful Life," where the protagonist is going to kill herself, but when she goes to put her head in the oven she is transported to a magical land inhabited by the artwork of Jillian Mayer. 

Prepping the shoot was a pain in the ass, and whimsy is expensive, and I saw some pictures from Fro's shoot and I frankly didn't think we could compete in a head-to-head whimsy war. I'm always talking about wanting to do a rap video, so Jillian (also the art director) had the idea of just making the rap video for Rachel. I recorded myself acting hard while singing the song, and the dissonance was definitely amusing. We decided we were going with a satirical "hood" video in Wynwood. 

We chose Wynwood for various, mostly pretentious reasons outlined here: I called some friends and sent some messages out on Facebook and hoped people would show up the next morning (Monday) to shoot. Richard Houston (the guy with his shirt off, and my old high school classmate at New World) was the only one who showed up, and he brought his brother and his friend to feature in the vid.

They showed up driving the car in the video, which features airbrushed scenes of a Mortal Kombat fatality, the Joker, and Ken from Street Fighter. Gordy (the guy with all the tattoos and the "Welcome to Florida" shirt) is my neighbor, and showed up with Jonesy, his pitbull, and Malika, the booty-shaker. Aside from pooping in our yard all the time (poop which Gordy refuses to clean up) Jonesy is the nicest dog in the world, so it was really hard to get her to look tough. The kids on bike were just hanging around the neighborhood, shouting things like "Wynwood all day! All day!" at us, so we had to include them. 

It was shot by Danny Fernandez (who DPed my last short "Day N Night Out," written by Tarell Alvin McCraney and played at the 2009 Borscht Film Festival) on a Panasonic HVX and Joaquin Escobar (a talented music video director) who showed up with a Canon XH A1 with a letus extreme adapter. We shot it for about four or five hours. 

I had work the next day, and after I shot the gunplay stuff courtesy of Julian Rodriguez (another filmmaker) and his firearm enthusiast friends, I shot a scene of the process of Milton Garcia making crack, but that was eventually cut. This was Tuesday. The video was due Wednesday by midnight, so I was only able to edit for a few hours before I had to upload it. 

I had no time to clean it up or color correct, but that sort of helps with the roughness of it. My next project is an experimental musical play I directed, Mrs. Ms., which is premiering at the Arsht Center March 4th, as part of the Here and Now Festival. I am also gearing up to get the Borscht Film Festival going again this year, as well as sending out the videos we created last year to various international film festivals. 

I also had such a great time making this video that it makes me want to do more videos for local bands. If any of them read this, let me know- they don't have to be hood or sloppy, they can be clean and classy like the Borscht films.

Anything else you want to add?

Check out all the hate comments coming our way on YouTube. A sample: "So. Who slept with whom in order to guarantee that this piece of garbage 'won'? In a little under three minutes this little ditty manages to be misogynistic (look it up), racist, violent, *and* downright dumb. At least Mr. Leyva covered all his bases, & gets to bask in some pretend street cred for an evening. As for Rachel Goodrich, it's going to be hard for me not to appreciate her music, but if this is the aesthetic to which she aspires, she's got a long way to go to earn my ear again." Thanks for the love, man.

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Jason Handelsman