Best of Stash 2014 Preview #5: “Turn Down for What”
With “Turn Down for What” set to crack 155M views on YT at the time of this post, Sirs Kwan and Scheinert’s cult status appears to be in jeopardy. But as overplayed and omni-present as it may be, this manic mini-masterwork for the DJ Snake & Lil Jon single deserves to rank on every serious 2014 Best-of list.
Co-director Daniel Kwan, during an interview with Vice: “Generally we come from a concept. We try to push that as far as we can, and that’s usually the glue that holds it together.
“It’s usually a really dumb concept that we try to treat with utter sincerity, you know, in a way that makes people feel like: Really? they spent this much time on this idea? For some reason I think that cognitive dissonance is really funny to us.
“I never wanted to be in the video. I really don’t like acting and directing at the same time – it’s not a fun way to approach a shoot because then you’re like constantly split and you never actually get to concentrate on anything.
But the other Daniel basically forced me because he was like, “I don’t think we’ll ever be able to find anyone who can do the shit that you do,” which is probably true. It’s not even a skill thing – my dance moves aren’t good, they’re just weird. But beyond that, the shoot pushed my body to the edge.
“I had a cup on – that’s how I was breaking everything. I was actually smashing my dick on things and I actually broke them. There’s this huge bruise around my dick on my thighs from where the cup was cutting into me, but I had bruises everywhere on my body because all of those falls you see – I was actually busting through drywall, wood, all that stuff.
My production designer Jason is incredible. He loves making things beautiful and then destroying them. He built all these walls and platforms and things for me to smash through. So that was awful.
“I mean that’s probably a big part of it, too – the fact that we do just look like normal people. The mother, who is incredible, was the first person we auditioned, and we just instantly knew that she was the one. Because she was so insane – so down to do whatever.
“What we did to make [her breasts pump] – and actually a lot of YouTube commenters figured this out – was cut holes in the back of her shirt and we had little punching gloves, like little boob-shaped punching gloves.
And the whole party scene – most of those people were just our friends. They’re people we know like to go hard. Like, “OK, you guys wanna go hard? Come over for an hour.” That’s another thing you don’t see in music videos. It’s always like a very manicured party, there’s still a precision to it, and it was important for us to actually capture the spirit of the song, ‘Turn Down for What’.”
Producer: Judy Craig
Co-producer: Jonathan Wang
Executive producer: Candice Oauknine
Commissioner: Bryan Younce
DP: Larkin Seiple
Production designer: Jason Kisvarday
Stylist: Corban Poorboy
Edit: Paul Rogers
VFX: Zak Stoltz
Colorist at MPC: Ricky Gausis
Starring: Sunita Mani, Aixa Maldonano, Paul Hatter, Allie Lemelle, Daniel Kwan