Careless Music Manila (CMM) has been hustling for Island City’s launch all week. Still Mr. CEO himself James Reid can’t help but put out new material for us. Premiering last Friday, “Fiend” featuring rapper Just Hush gave us more than just fresh visuals. It gave us a version of JaDine we didn’t know we needed.
The music video is the brainchild of James and Dominic Bekaert—co-founder of Zoopraxi and the director of last year’s SCOUT 20. This wasn’t Dominic’s first project with CMM. Before “Fiend,” he did the visuals for Curtismith’s “Soju.” James loved it so much that he tapped Dominic to direct his latest video.
“James really enjoyed the edgy artistic side of the ‘Soju’ music video we did for Curtismith and he contacted us to collaborate with him on ‘Fiend,’” the director explained. So for this chill yet sultry R&B track, Dominic decided to contradict the track’s initial vibe by turning its visuals into an homage to American film noir.
“Knowing their chemistry in life and on-screen, the idea of having them being partners in crime became obvious to us.”
“We loved the passion, the intimacy and the sensuality it exuded,” he said. “The first time I heard it, I started thinking of Arthur Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde with Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty, Tony Scott’s True Romance, Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers, and the style of the American film noir cinema from the ’50s.”
And that’s exactly what we got. “Fiend’s” MV is not the JaDine we all know and love, which turned out to be a good thing. It gave us a couple of criminal anti-heroes hopelessly in love with each other.
In four minutes and 48 seconds, this music video encapsulates James and Nadine’s unspoken ride-or-die agreement with each other. Think of Kendrick Lamar’s “Loyalty” featuring Rihanna mixed with our Filipino version of Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers.
“Fiend” is James expressing his love and passion for Nadine. Dominic also reveals how James wanted Nadine to star in it from the get-go. “We came up with the Bonnie and Clyde storyline right away because of the passion and drama that emanates from the lyrics and the melodies,” he said of the MV’s inspiration. “Knowing their chemistry in life and on-screen, the idea of having them being partners-in-crime became obvious to us,” he continues.
The shoot was in Dominic’s Cavite home studio. It was a two-day shoot, yet he tells us that the set’s energy never fell flat. He thanks the dynamic couple for the shoot’s smooth flow. “We were able to move from sequence to sequence fluidly as James and Nadine were very honest and natural in their performances.”
“We were able to move from sequence to sequence fluidly as James and Nadine were very honest and natural in their performances.”
“As you can imagine, it was a pure pleasure having them on set. They are extremely professional and efficient.” He noted how the couple took him by surprise while shooting the intro’s bloody car scene. “They surpassed all my expectations each time we did a scene, and it was so exciting to see what they were going to bring to the next scenes.”
Read more: The story of Careless Music Manila so far
Rest assured, this won’t be the last you’ll see of a unique cinematic video between Dominic and the folks from CMM. There is trust in both creatives’ sides and both are striving to push the envelope of their fields. Who knows? Maybe we can expect a CMM visual album in the near future.
“We love pushing the envelope and always try to offer something new to our audience, and we were thrilled to work with James and CMM because they strive for the same thing,” he said. “I guess my dream would be to make an independent feature with them along the same lines as the music video. One can always dream.”
Stills from Fiend