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March 2006
AWSOME: I FUCKIN’ SHOT THAT!: An Interview with The Beatie Boys

AWSOME: I FUCKIN’ SHOT THAT!: An Interview with The Beatie Boys

by Stacey Chapman

The Beastie Boys are one of the most evolved groups to come from the genre of Rapp music. They should have been a one-hit (Brass Monkey), one album (License to Ill) wonder, however, they kept getting better and kept giving fans different perspectives of Hip-Hop through future albums and live shows. Now, audiences are able to experience this kinetic group, first hand, through the eyes of 50 lucky concert goers turned guerrilla filmmakers. What resulted is a rock documentary called AWSOME: I FUCKIN’ SHOT THAT. In a laid back interview the Beastie Boys talk about performing in New York City’s Madison Square Garden, their innovative film technique and numerology. Numerology???? Read on…

Talk about inspiration, I read a little bit about the cell phone but if you can articulate the inspiration…

Mike D: You didn’t buy that…

Adrock:  I was looking on the internet and I saw that some kid posted…

Mike D:  Why were you looking on the internet, Adam?

Adrock:  Oh, I was looking for porn but I ran across our website by accident (jokingly) and some kid posted a 30 sec clip of us running out on stage at our show and it looked cool. It was hand held and low resolution and something about the fact that it looked grainy. It had energy to it.  You can almost feel like what it felt like to be at the show.  So, I thought it would be interesting to document the whole thing.

You are definitely taking a risk when you are giving fans video cameras.  Were you surprised at the quality of the material you got?

Adrock:  No.  I mean, it was a risk, but you knew that you had 50 cameras out there. The odds were that at any given moment something was going to happen.  In a way, you kind of found the moments that worked with the music.  Sometimes more stable cameras worked sometimes crazier cameras worked.  You play around and find what you need.

Did you get all 50 back?

Mike D: Yup, we got them all back.

…In working order?

MCA: Yes. 

How was the editing?  You have all that footage, 50 cameras, and a couple of hours.  It must have been quite a task?

Adrock:  Yeah, it was a lot.  We basically digitized everything to synch up the material the best we could.  Sometimes having to chop things up and move it around because the cameras did not have time code.. I then started doing three different cuts with three different editors. (The editors) got 20 cameras each and did their own cut of the movie.  We spent about a month doing that and then I picked the best parts.  From there I began working with the main editor, Neil.  It was the two of us and we started building off of that.  We made one version and then edited on top of that.

50 cameras any particular reason…

Mike D:  We are very heavy into the numbers and numerology.  We had to get everyone’s chart done.  What time they woke up that morning is what played into whether or not they were selected.  (They were being facetious)

It’s been awhile since we’ve seen concert movies…you, Chapelle, and Neil Young.  Was there something in the air that made you want to do it as a film as opposed to a DVD?

BB:  We are always in direct competition with Neil.  He drops an album we drop an album.  He plays Woodstock we play Woodstock.  I order pizza he orders pizza.  What’s up with that?


Adrock:  The original idea was to just make a DVD to document a show at the Garden.  It was a last minute decision, like let’s document this thing and see how it turns out. Once I started cutting I started thinking of the possibility of us projecting it as a theatrical movie.  I then talked to some distributors.  People talked to me and they got excited about it.

Would you do anything different?

Mike D:  No, but we probably should have.  The second we had the idea, basically, we should have given the cameras out a couple of days leading up to the show.  That will be in the sequel.

Can you go to concerts and still be excited?

MCA and Mike D:  Sometimes.  It’s hard. You tend to watch shows and critique as its going on because it’s sort of what you do.  You wish you can have the experience of just going to a show and be completely non critical.  A lot of times it’s weird for me because I’ll go see a show and I’ll send the band notes afterwards, completely unsolicited, telling them how to improve on what they are doing and often it causes hatred between me and that band. 

You don’t get to watch yourself when you’re in concert.  What was it like watching those clips?

MCA:  I loose focus; I am much more interested in watching the audience.  I have one little strip of audience that I can interact with so, to me, that was what was most fun.

Have you started working on a new album yet?

BB:  No, not really. We’re just jamming, seriously jamming.



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