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RELOAD is a project created by childhood friends Ellejae Jimenez and Dani Meuret. It’s a music video for the hip-hop artist, SRE, consisting of digital art, animation, and live action footage. Our visual concept is inspired by old school 1v1 fighting games, like Street Fighter. The music video tells the story of our protagonist, played by SRE, and his journey of confronting his opponent, Shadow, played by Dani, as the two players maneuvre through a corrupted level. The narrative is formed around the saying, “You are your own worst enemy,” as the song talks about the process of overcoming the perfectionist and overthinker within yourself. We question the ways in which we may be playing our own self-saboteur.
“Our music video displays the ways in which our inner self critique tends to make enemies out of our insecurities, as we villainize the parts of ourselves we do not like. When we beat ourselves up for our shortcomings and hate our mistakes, it’s harder to accept and learn from them. Like our shadow, we cannot continuously run from our faults and insecurities, it will catch up to us every time. The only way to overcome our shortcomings is by accepting ourselves and embracing our faults, in which we are then able to move forward, and in this case, level up.In our past projects together we enjoyed the process of creating choreography and animating over the performance, all things we wanted to incorporate into this piece. The narrative came from our shared struggles in being the over-critical artist in our own practices. We also wanted to highlight the type of artist SRE is in contrast to the scene of a lot of male rappers/artists within the music industry whose only topics are limited to overused materialistic tropes showcasing outright misogyny and reducing women as accessories or the punchline. These motifs are perpetuated and glorified in this type of media as an attempt to hyper-masculinize these artists. There isn’t enough focus on the value of emotional vulnerability, introspection and ascribing it with masculinity, which is the type of music SRE produces.RELOAD is not just a culminating project of our time at OCAD, it is also a showcase of our 11 years of friendship and the connections we fostered with other creatives. We were fortunate enough to have our friends, Marvin Roux and Ferdi Orlain, assist us during the filming process and had complete trust in our direction. This is a project brought to you by a small group of friends who connected through a shared dedication to music and art.”