Daniel Wolfe’s HTC ‘Miami Bass Project’ finally launched this week. It’s been a while coming. We shot it earlier this year.
George Belfield was on the ground, working on the project. Here are his reflections on the experience. Safe.
Miami is refreshingly free from the constraints of irony. Back in the Drizzle there is a constant substratum of self-analysis, identities contorted by layers of awareness. Miami is mercifully unhindered by such doubts. It is a city inhabited not by people, but by personae. Everyone has an angle. Everyone has a nomme de rue. Smurf. Turf. Double-O. Whooshy. G-Smoov. Where do these names come from? Trigger seems obvious enough, but Sofa King just liked the double entendre in an ad for a furniture shop. When I asked Cakes why they call her that she simply tapped her ass. Some white people have nicknames too. The location scout was called Spring Break. Don’t ask.
My favourite name of the lot was King Make Movies.
For the first few days I thought they were just referring to our HTC commercial shoot when they said “It’s gon’ be a movie”, but a ‘movie’ in Miami is just a good time. A night so big they should’ve immortalised it in celluloid. The kind of night that’d probably sell out the Peckham Plex if they did. King Make Movies, like most people I spoke to, describes himself as “A promoter, a ennertainer. Sorta like a local celebrity. People know me.” He’s in the moviemaking business, Miami-style.
Having bricked my way through customs I drove straight to the casting in Winwood, where I met King Make Movies and his friend Sofa King. Spot the two guys standing at the back nodding along to Rick Ross’ I’ma Bawss, the soundtrack of Miami. See them swimming in the grey seaweed of smoke from a couple of Black And Milds. Within half an hour of meeting him I’m being shown through King Make Movies’ phone photos. It’s mostly girls in various stages of undress.
“Who’s she? She seems nice.”
“I just tol’ her to suck on them titties.”
I’m now his friend on Facebook. He runs nights at Kaffe Krystal and the G5ive Gentlemen’s Club. He also has his own logo and merch, which he kindly gave to the wardrobe girls and casting director.
What a lad. Shout out to King Make Movies.
His friend Sofa King was the most helpful person we met in Miami. Every city needs a fixer. Anyone looking to set up a ghetto block party in Miami should look no further. He gave us the speakers for the shoot, found most of the cars, and provided the DJs that kept the crowd warm between DJ Switch’s cameo appearances. He also helped casting directors Leanne (British) and Lashawna (American) streetcast every last person in the ad. He has a deep badman voice with a lispy top-note as the esses catch on his golden grill. He is the only man I have ever seen with enough swagger to pull off wearing a Bluetooth earpiece.
When I interviewed him for the behind-the-scenes film he hadn’t slept, having spent the night at legendary nightspot King Of Diamonds. He fans out a few crumpled dollar bills like a hungover magician.
“When I started I had twel’ hunnerd.”
Shout out to Sofa King.
Every time we drove from our base in Fort Lauderdale into Miami proper we passed the neon striped King Of Diamonds strip club, but we never went in. As Sofa is at great pains to explain though, King Of Diamonds is so much more than a titty bar.
“For anyone that haven’t been to King A Diamonds, King A Diamonds is… (long pause)… well how can I explain this, it’s… (another pause)… It’s errything you ever wanted, and more. I mean it’s not like regular strip clubs. I mean, these girls do tricks. Shout out to Remy Red.”
In Miami, I experienced the closest I have ever been to a strip club, when Dan Emmerson and I went to Hooters one night for onion rings and beer. I’m not proud of it, but there it is.
Here’s my Miami Playlist.
There are three songs in Miami. I can honestly say I didn’t hear any other music in public.
Shout out to the Three-O-Five.