Film, Music & Acting Students Collaborate on a Hip-Hop Video

Posted by Dee Cunning on 5/31/2020 in Student work

Success We’ve Seen Before

We talk to Film Production student Masih Tajzai and Electronic Music Production & Performance student Alissa Janine about their chance collaboration on Alissa’s new music video for ‘Deja Vu.’

Whether you put it down to serendipity or simply keeping your eyes open to opportunities, some of the most exciting collaborations are born out of chance encounters. And since our creative production institute brings together diverse students of music, film, visual effects and acting, Catalyst’s bump-into-ability is pretty amazing. Whether you connect at a networking event, get chatting in the kitchen, or overhear a rehearsal, when it comes to collaborating, the only limit is your curiosity.

Take the fortuitous meeting of third-year Film Production student Masih Tajzai and second-year Electronic Music Production & Performance student Alissa Janine, which sparked the creation of Alissa’s sci-fi inspired new music video for ‘Deja Vu’ – an entirely Catalyst student production!

The Meeting

Film, Music & Acting Students Collaborate on a Hip-Hop Video | Catalyst Berlin

“I met Masih while I was recording in one of the recording booths downstairs. We introduced ourselves and exchanged work. I was really fascinated.”

“I met Masih while I was recording in one of the recording booths downstairs,” Alissa tells us. “We introduced ourselves and exchanged work. I was really fascinated.” Masih asked Alissa for her feedback on a music video he was editing. Then they got chatting about her plans to make a music video for her hip-hop track ‘Deja Vu.’

“As soon as I started writing the track early last year, a sci-fi, robotic theme came to mind,” says Alissa. “Deja vu is the feeling of already having experienced the present situation. So, the context of the song was a past relationship – a pretty stale, robotic type of love. It’s about revisiting the places to which you once went with your significant other, except the only difference is that now they’re not there anymore.”

When Masih came up with a cool storyline and an arresting mood board, Alissa was instantly sold on his ideas. “She loved it,” he says. “She shared it with her management team, who also liked it, and we got a green light to do the shoot.”

The Collaboration

Film, Music & Acting Students Collaborate on a Hip-Hop Video | Catalyst Berlin

“I didn’t choose anybody from outside of the school community.”

Masih was set on making the music video an entirely Catalyst student production. “I didn’t choose anybody from outside of the school community,” he tells us. “When it came to the actors, Agnes is a first-year Screen Acting student and Emil is a graduate.” In the video, Agnes plays the CEO of a robot company, Emil plays the robot, and Alissa plays the robot tester. Alissa and Masih both agree that the actors did an absolutely stellar job.

“We spread out the shoot over three days. The first day, we shot the office scenes upstairs in CO-LAB 3, turning it into a robot lab.” Alissa explains. “The second day, we shot all of the computer-generated graphics scenes in the green screen studio. And then the third day, we shot outdoors in Berlin. So we got some really cool locations.”

“The editing took me much longer,” Masih adds. “That’s because we had a lot of graphic elements in it, calibrating and so on. In all, it took nearly three months to deliver the final music video. She shared it with her management team and everybody loved it.”

The Verdict

“I think that’s kind of the art form we’re creating here: collaboration. Just sharing ideas and making those ideas even better.”

Masih puts the project’s success down to the open environment he facilitated for the production team. “They were all welcome to contribute their ideas and knowledge,” he explains. “At the same time, we were working in a professional way. For example, we had a costume designer, makeup artists and set designers. Everything was up to a professional standard of work. I’m very happy because, through the collaboration, we made something we’re really proud of.”

The result was better than Alissa ever imagined it to be. “It was really fun overall and I got to meet a lot of new people,” she enthuses. “It’s just really cool how music students and film students get to collaborate on a project. You introduce an idea and someone makes it even better and develops that into an even greater thing. And I think that’s kind of the art form we’re creating here: collaboration. Just sharing ideas and making those ideas even better.”

Follow Alissa, Masih, Emil and Agnes on Instagram.

Discover another collaboration between music and film students – a film score for the chilling short film Logan’s Will.

Curious about studying at Catalyst? Check out our trailblazing courses in music production, film production, screen acting and visual effects.