An Evening with Brando

TLDR: I Invited a Twitter rapper over to my house to film a music video, He proceeded to trash my entire basement, get to cross-faded to want to drive home, all while we got bad iPhone footage and watched the chaos unfold.

It was a normal Monday, I was Scrolling though my twitter feed and I saw a rapper named Brando tweet:

“Looking for someone to shoot a music video short notice, DM me”

My roommate and I have been looking for a creative outlet for some time and Rob has expressed interest in shooting a music video. I thought the two of us working together on this could be a slam dunk.

I DM Brando saying I’m willing to do a video shoot if he wants. I have worked with Brando in the past actually. We had both gone to the LiL Tracy concert and met two girls from Ohio who really wanted to come back to Michigan to see us again. It was a good time, we did a photoshoot and got some killer shots. Brando made a song with one girl while I handled the photoshoot for the night. Everyone had a good time, it was a night to remember. Now I have not exactly been talking with Brando since that night, but we both had known of each others existence for a while as we both went to the same high school. I thought he was an alright dude.

It’s 7pm and Brando comes over. I was already in the basement preparing the workspace and thinking of what kind of shots I wanted to get. I explained to him the best lighting scenarios we could get in the basement and was trying to find what he wanted to make his “stage”. He wanted to do a sad and grungy kind of vibe. He wanted all of the lights off and to embrace the shitty basement aesthetic. At first I could see what he was going for, we had a futon and some folding chairs and he said he wanted to do a “tv show interview” kind of deal.

He wanted to have the place in complete and utter shambles. He threw cans and trash all over, ripping out alphabetized vinyls and scattering them all over the floor. I stood back in amazement in the chaos that was happening before me. He was definitely getting the aesthetic he was looking for.

I was trying to capture the entire thing on my trusty DSLR but the shear chaos made it a disaster to try and capture it without constantly having to adjust the camera settings. Brando was getting annoyed, he was looking to get a steam of conciseness. “Just film everything, forget the tripod and just follow me.” Brando would not stay in one space. He wanted to pace back and forth though out the basement all while I follow and film. I can barely get a shot in focus. He is constantly going from light to darkness. Standing right in front of the light even when I tell him not to stand there. I can barely keep up. He asks me to stop filming with the DSLR and take out my iPhone. I was so annoyed with trying to get anything to look good that an excuse to think even less about what the camera was doing and more about what I was filming was a plus, so I obliged.

Rob comes home to see the shear chaos unfolding. The look on my face tells him exactly what is going on. I hand him the DSLR on auto and tell him to just take shots while I film on the iPhone. We proceed to follow Brando around getting content while he paces around the basement continuing to trash the place. We film him walking over to the speaker system, change songs, and just stand there. He would go to what was the best “set” occasionally and not even acknowledge the camera. Turning his back and not staying in the dedicated zone for filming. He would smoke cigarettes and put them out on the floor and stomp them with his bare feet. He at one point even ate a cigarette butt and we filmed the aftermath of him wanting to puke it up after. Washing it all down with more Hennessy out of a mcdonalds coffee cup.

At this point Rob and I are just going along with it trying to make the best of the situation. Trying to coach him back into the lit section of the basement. It wasn’t until he started FaceTiming his buddies that we knew it was all over. Brando was telling them ” Yea guys come over to Zach’s house it’s crazy! You can come and smoke and party it up.” Rob looked at me and we knew we had to do something and now. We stop the shoot and tell Brando we need to go have a business meeting.

We go upstairs to find our third room mate Aaron laughing at us in the kitchen. We basically all agreed that this had gotten way to out of hand and that we needed to get him out immediately. We agree to do three more “songs” and then it’s time for him to get out. Brando is standing downstairs, half apologetically looking at us. Telling us how he was planning to help us clean and he was sorry if he was being a bother to us. We explain we are only gonna get a few more shots as he should have more then enough footage to work from. He says he wants to play his new ep for the final set of songs and then we were done.

Brando didn’t even preform any of his new ep. He proceeded to do the same thing he was doing all night of pacing, not looking at the camera, and getting the same shitty shots we were getting all night. In the final shot he gets 2 feet with in the camera and looks at it screaming “FUCK YOU GUYS!” Rob and I took it as a jab at us and stopped the shoot.

I go upstairs to start dumping all of the footage while Rob start trying to put the basement back in order, with Brando “supervising”. I begin to put everything onto a flash drive as I just wanted to get him the hell out of our house as soon as possible. Brando and Rob make their way upstairs and I hand Brando the flash drive saying this is everything from the DSLR and I would upload everything from my phone to Google drive.

We all go sit down in the living room and Brando says he’s too messed up to drive. We don’t want Brando here any longer and we basically tell him he better call an Uber then. He wanted to have his friends pick him up and he would come by tomorrow morning to pick up the car. We were not really cool with this but if he says he’s to messed up to drive it’s probably best to just let him do whatever to get out of the house.

Rob and I sit and look at each other is disbelief, as we witness who we can only imagine is Brando’s mom calling him. “No I’m just tired, I’m out with my friends I’m not sure when I’m going to be home” he gets off the phone and wonders when his friends are gonna be here. He calls them up and they say “We don’t get off work for about another half hour” and from the look on Brando’s face he knew he wasn’t gonna be able to stay for another half hour. He says he is just gonna walk around the neighborhood and FaceTime someone in an attempt to sober up. I just look at him knowing we are in a not so great neighborhood just north of 8 mile that if he doesn’t know what he’s doing he’s going to get in some trouble. We told him he was better off just sitting in his car on the street if he wanted to do that.

Brando finally gets up and heads out the door. He could not walk out soon enough so I could lock the door and scream “what the fuck just happened!” Rob was in shock as to what just happened. How could a person just come over to someone’s house and just completely trash place with out so much of as a warning as to what he wanted to do.

The best conspiracy we could come up with was that he had some sort of grunge against us over the last time we saw each other. He made references to it though out the night. Pointing out the cowboy hats that we wore to the concert, and even flatly asking me how much I remember that night. I never felt any animosity from him since that night.

Moral of the story: Do not invite Soundcloud rappers over to your house if you don’t have so much as an idea as to what kind of video they actually want to shoot.