Music Video: Naughty by Nature - "Written On Ya Kitten"

Post by Paul Devlin:

I was a “fixer” on this music video. Treach, of Naughty by Nature, was not happy with the cut. It had been through several editors by the time it got to me. If I remember correctly, a record company rep supervised the edit rather than the director. Treach sat in the back couch with his girlfriend at the time, Pepa, from Salt n Pepa, and did not speak to me at all, only addressing the rep, who then gave me instructions.

For me the problem became clear fairly quickly: the video was overcut. Fast cuts can be a crutch for music videos. It’s a sure-fire way to add energy, so when in doubt, make more cuts. But it can also make a mess. Apparently, the previous editors had a lot of doubt, because the over-editing was interrupting the flow and distracting from some great shots. My solution was to remove some edits and let the nice shots play out, especially the evocative shots of Treach in the darkeness. For example, the shots at about 2:17 might have had 4 or 5 quick cuts interrupting Treach’s move in and out of the shadows. I got rid of all of them.

I knew I was on the right track when I would preview an edit, and Treach would exclaim his approval from the back. But always to the rep, never to me. When the edit was over, Pepa had already left, the rep went to retrieve the master tapes, and Treach and I were alone in the room together for the first time. As he was walking out, he surprised me by giving me a big hug and a Thank You.

“See you on MTV,” I replied. And I did.

 

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