18 Feb Sean Metelerkamp interview
Since Die Antwoord has been blowing up, we thought it would be a good idea to get “behind the scene” – as we like to do on 10and5. We first featured Sean Metelerkamp‘s work with his first Die Antwoord shoot, and in that first mini-interview he told us how he believes that they will blow up all over the interwebs. Step aside Nostradamus. Sean is also the person responsible for shooting the wildly successful Zef Side video, which has been instrumental in Die Antwoord‘s rise to internet fame.
It’s difficult to not argue that Sean might most possibly be the most watched South African director on Youtube at this stage. As of writing, the two Zef Side videos have a combined viewership of over 1.2 Million views, which has been unheard of for any original South African music video, let alone video.
We had to ask the man some questions:
Can you tell us a bit about how you got to meet Die Antwoord first?
Ninja phoned me one day, about 6 months ago, and we then met up and talked for hour or so about random things. He even did a rap on the spot for me to prove to me he was a good rapper. He didn’t have to rap for me cos I already convinced myself I was going to photograph him because of his hairstyle. His rap was still good though. I met Yo-Landi and Hi-Tek a few days later.
You’ve done quite a lot of other shoots as well, mostly musicians and bands. What is your favourite style and who do you like shooting?
I enjoy working with anyone who is excited about creating something fresh. I couldn’t care what the image/video is used for as long as it is satisfying creating it. It feels really good making something. I am still figuring out my style. I hope to keep evolving to become better end better in my own eyes.
All your stills have a crazy, surreal air about them – what do you try to convey?
I don’t know. Sorry.
Your latest Die Antwoord shoots are less theatrical than say, the work you’ve done for Fokofpolisiekar, aKing and even the earlier Die Antwoord stuff. Why this departure?
Well Die Antwoord has a specific style/feel to them and I try my best to capture that. I have learnt a lot about photography from this ongoing project with Die Antwoord. But I am actually interested in moving away from my colourful surreal thing, that I can’t help doing.
What was it like on Die Antwoord set?
Not really a set. It’s a situation.
Its more a go-with-the-flow than the usual stuff I do which I am meticulous about.
Always fun, sometimes worrying because of the location and surrounding people.
Zef Side is seen as a short-film rather than a music video. Ninja has mentioned plans for a full-feature film, are you part of those plans? And what is the story behind that?
Ninja originally wanted me to direct the short film cos we all work really well together, but I’m not into making short stories at this stage of my life. Perhaps when I’m more experienced in story telling. I can’t tell you the story behind it but its gonna be fun to watch. I hope it comes out good.
What do you have in mind for their next shoot?
Yo-Landi riding the Cobra at Ratanga Junction. No I’m lying. We haven’t discussed yet. Things are going crazy for them right now and we quite happy with where the imagery is sitting. Its nice to put it on hold for a bit and not overdo it. Possibly start again with their new album.
Who or what would you like to shoot and why?
Would dig to shoot someone in the head. Cos I’ve only done it in tv games before.
Since Die Antwoord has exploded internationally, have you also been contacted by bigger international brands?
The best part for me is hooking up with Ninja and Yo-Landi now and again and sharing our stories from this crazy worldwide explosion. It feels like we are in it together in some way but its much better that all the attention is on them. That stuff gets a bit heavy for me. Funny, cos I’ve been dreaming this for a very long time and now that it has happened I feel kind of lost. Production companies in Los Angeles/London that I have admired are contacting me wanting to represent me and it feels too much, too early, a bit overwhelming. I’ll figure it out though I’m sure. Or I’ll just go take pictures of animals on a farm.
I’m just thinking now if you remember the last interview I did with you I said that I believed Die Antwoord were gonna go world wide and many people doubted that. Now they have exploded like I have never seen in any South African art form. So I’m stoked to have clicked into Die Antwoord’s world for the past six/seven months and produced work that has interested people around the globe.
Wish them luck on their adventure.
Sean Metelerkamp directs music videos, commercials and short films.