Director Of Young Thug's 'Wyclef Jean' Shows You How His Music Video Fell Apart [NSFW]

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There is always something going wrong on set. Always. It could be something minor, like the gaffer forgot to tape a section of a stinger or something major, like the talent shows up hours late and then refuses to get out of the car. That's what happened to Co-Director Ryan Staake in his latest Vimeo "Staff Pick" video of rap artist Young Thug's "Wyclef Jean." 

Now, all the sets I've worked on have been very commercial – not a lot of drama, generally a pretty small crew. On productions like the one above, though, especially in LA, there are generally a lot of people, and everyone stays in their lanes or else. Staake had his crew prepped and ready: models were arriving, child actors on set, all they were waiting for was the man himself to show up to his own video. Except he didn't. Well he did, but he got news that his Instagram was hacked and decided that was all he could bare that day. So he drove off. 

I just sat back and laughed at this video in the best way possible. Staake was just trying to do his job, and I can only imagine how frustrating it would be to be continually waiting for the actual performer to show up. I love how he tells it like it is in this video, calling out the producers because of "impressionable children" and his lawyers not allowing his nod to "Requiem for a Dream" to be shot (seriously, if you don't know what scene it is, go watch the movie – such a great film that will leave you scarred, but I promise it's worth it). Really, I just want to say thanks, Ryan Staake; you've taken a less than ideal situation and made it awesome and fun to watch. 

Do you have any crazy set stories? Share them below! 

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23 Comments

Lane Shurtleff's picture

As long as all the production crew and "talent" got paid...WHO CARES.

Chelsey Rogers's picture

I care!!! :O
haha, I just think the video is so well done, I had a good laugh!

robertc's picture

He cares because he was paid to do a job that became increasingly more impossible as the day went on. Just because you get paid doesn't mean that it's over and you shouldn't care about the outcome.

Alexis Cuarezma's picture

If all you care about is getting paid then become a banker, not a director/photographer/artist etc. Don't get me wrong, it's important to make a living and get paid, but the second you start doing an art form just for the money, you loose the passion IMO.

Dave Kavanagh's picture

Thats hilarious. Great save by Ryan Staake. I'm fairly certain the original video wouldn't have been anywhere near as entertaining (or got as much coverage) if all had gone to plan.

Dusty Wooddell's picture

Hahaha! I sorta wonder how it is to be Young Thug

Joakim Drake's picture

For a "failed" music video, this looks awfully like an actual music video. So much in fact, it's featured on the artists official youtube channel.

Feels more like this music video went exactly as planned...

Chelsey Rogers's picture

Illuminati confirmed!!!

Simon Patterson's picture

No matter how much of this was planned from the start (and I also suspect this was planned much more than the video indicated), it was a story told brilliantly, an enjoyable watch, and a fantastic effort!

Joacim Schwartz's picture

Story time!

Nothing has happened to me personally, but I assisted a guy who photographed a "young and upcoming" artist.
First location the "artist" chose was in a hotel, 4h drive for everyone. Why just this hotel? It had huge stairs, he had seen on the internet, which we probably could find similar in our own city.
Anyway, we get to the hotel at midnight, he changes himself in the bathroom and comes out in boxers, straps from the underwear holding his socks up and all oiled up. None of us had been briefed about this. We keep our cool and set up for the shot.
As the camera is clicking, he behaved differently, like he starts making faint noises, which gets louder after a while. At a point the guy tells the photographer several times; "Call me daddy". Photographer just calmly says No. I'm out of sight and facepalming the entire time.

We get out of the hotel and in the car, where he tells us he's sorry he acted so strange, he took a few pills to calm down beause he was really nervous. I'm thinking to myself "WTF??"

Fast forward a couple of weeks later, and the guy payed half the amount and would pay the rest when delivered.

However...
He starts arguing something about where the rest of his images are (I don't remember the details), but he had called the photographer several times a day, on weekends, even calling his retoucher asking which door he lived at.

But the icing on the cake is when he calls and says he is going to call his attorney, saying that he has "paid but not gotten XX amount of images", even though we just shot one part and were planning on next one.
The photographer keeps it calm and says "Okey then, you call our attorney and I call mine". Hangs up. 10 minutes later the guy calls back and says "Okey, I can comprise".

The last shot we meet up, shoot in a studio and everything goes like an ordinary session, we pack up and leave the studio and as we exit the building, we let out a big sigh of relief.

And that is the last I heard of him.

Sorry about grammar or spelling mistakes

Chelsey Rogers's picture

woooow!!! that's a hell of a story!!

Ralph Hightower's picture

I was looking for the mute button on Vimeo, but there was none; so, I just turned the volume to zero.

Dr. Dominik Muench's picture

It's 2017 and seemingly intelligent and grown ass men still refer to women as bitches and hoe's ?
Lets be realistic, these situations are our faults, after all our society/ industry is glorifying these people...excuse me...artists...and puts up with their unjustified and childish eccentricities and puts their importance above everyone else.

Its scary that we work in an industry where making a living for so many of us depends on these people and their status. Can you guys imagine what would have happened if the shoot got cancelled and no one got paid in the first place ? how many industry professionals would have missed out on making a living and got inconvenienced just because some spoiled, rich thugy kid has a bitchy hissy fit ? Glad to see the director handle it like a total pro and made the best out of the situation.

Ray Brown's picture

I couldn't agree more my man, I'm a part of the music/entertainment industry and fools like this make us all look bad

Ryan Burleson's picture

Entertaining funny video.

Josh A Katz's picture

I've been on some wild sets but none where the Talent never arrived. That's just insane.

Dr. Dominik Muench's picture

I have a stuntman friend who called me last year from a set in thailand where he was working on an action film for a very well known actor in the genre.....he spent 10 days fully paid lounging around the pool of his hotel....because the lead actor he was doubling for was late.......apparently it happens quite often.

Josh A Katz's picture

I'm sure it happens, but of the 100s of sets I've been on, it hasn't. Maybe I've just been lucky.

Chelsey Rogers's picture

It happens way more often than you might think!

Josh A Katz's picture

I guess I have just been lucky in my roughly 15 year long career. I've been on everything from no budget horror films to Super Bowl commercials and some major Hollywood film sets, plus more music video sets than I can count.
Never once did the talent not show. Again, I guess that's just luck.

Chris Lawrence's picture

I have had this to happen to me several times with famous people.

But the worst was a shoot for Nike, when Klass-Jan Huntelaar was scheduled to be in the studio at 10am. My client received a phone call from Huntelaar's rep saying that he had practice (on sunday) well it was true, some coaches make teams practice the day after they lost a big match.

So, my client and the rep decide to reschedule for 2pm. Me and the whole crew just hung out had lunch... 2pm rolls around and no Huntelaar. My client calls the rep. "Huntelaar is resting" :( 2 hours pass and no sign of Huntelaar. The shoot was in a rented studio in Milan that was costing me 1500€ a day(the day before we shot Wesley Sneijder who was also late, but showed up a 2 pm and was a nice about it saying he was sorry) anyways we had to be out by 6pm or pay overtime.

My client was getting pissed, Huntelaar is sponsored by Nike and gets paid not just free shoes. Huntelaar shows up at 10pm and whining about having to do the shoot and saying that he does not have much time. That to me is worse than being late.

I am very used to having 5 minutes to shoot famous people. Most are nice if you are nice everything goes smoothly. But this guy was being a total dick. Needless to say he cost Nike 6000€ in extra charges for showing up late.

Frank Balthazar's picture

Hate it for you. Way to take a spin on things. Very impressed with how you improvised and not to mention this video itself is a great promo/lesson for the community.

ALEXANDER TARDIF's picture

[NSFW comment coming right up...] I want a lot of bitchez, I want a lot of hoezz.

Good stuff :)