Babeo Baggins Wants You to Stay True to Yourself
Babeo Baggins is the new singer on the scene shaking things up. With a brand new video just released (watch it here) addressing the often harmful side effects of cultural groupthink, she’s making it clear that individuality reigns supreme (in her own words, “there’s a lot of times where we end up doing things that we wouldn’t necessarily do and make choices that we wouldn’t make because they are influenced by people outside of us.”). TL;DR: stay true to yourself, no matter what. We caught up with Baggins (or BB, her preferred nickname) and the “Mice or Men” director Arshum Rouhanian for a quick chat, in which the pair interviewed each other sans moderator. Hear firsthand on how the vid was made and what’s next for BB and Rouhanian below.
Babeo Baggins: Do you want to start by introducing yourself?
Arshum Rouhanian: Hi, my name is Arshum I am the director and editor of B.B.’s “Mice or Men” music video.
BB: Cool. I’m B.B. (also known as Babeo Baggins) but B.B. is better. I make songs. It is my video that Arshum made.
BB: So I have a question, what would you say was the hardest part about making the video?
Rouhanian: The hardest part…honestly dealing with the horse.
BB: Mmm, yeah for sure.
Rouhanian: It took forever to find a horse that we could use and it ended up being my Aunt’s boyfriend’s horse that we used. And I had to convince the farm that he was my uncle because he had a relationship with the farm already. And I told him that you had a lot of experience riding a horse.
BB: I’d like to clarify for interview purposes, I did not have a lot of experience riding a horse but I will say everything went well. Thankfully.
Rouhanian: Thankfully! He told me the horse was very well-behaved and it’s no big deal.
BB: Yeah, he definitely had a mind of his own.
Rouhanian: Yeah, for sure! You never know what could happen. But thank God the horse worked out. There’s still a lot of shots that I wish we could have included the horse even in the background. But I think we definitely made a lot of good use of the horse for the music video. It brought it to another level.
BB: Yeah, for sure!
Rouhanian: Now I’m going to ask you a question.
BB: Can you tell me before you even considered the video what was the inspiration for the song itself?
BB: Umm, soo. The song is of course titled “Mice or Men” and a lot of people think it’s related to Mice or Men…but it’s not. I originally wrote it with the idea in mind of sorta like, I hate to say animal testing, but basically that’s it. Basically, just rats and a maid or mice and a maid that’s manmade sort of having to do the same test over and over again; that’s not necessarily their choice but eventually it just becomes a way of life. And they’re not aware that they are being forced to do this. And I think a lot times being human, and just living life, there’s a lot of times where we end up doing things that we wouldn’t necessarily do and make choices that we wouldn’t make because they are influenced by people outside of us. So that’s the original inspiration for the song…But I think now after the video the song has so many more meaning.
Rouhanian: Is this the first song you did departing from the Barf Troop?
BB: Ouu! This is definitely not the first song but I would say it’s the first song that I feel is most important. I kind of just wrote this randomly and I was super, super inspired. I’d never written something that I was so inspired by. And I ended up recording a weird demo. The actual finished song is the first recording of it ever. We added on to it but it was never like re-recorded. It was actually recorded just in my sound engineers bedroom…It was just perfect from the start. We didn’t need to change it.
Rouhanian: Wow that’s amazing.
BB: Yeahh. Ouu, let me think. I want to ask about how many different cameras you used to make the video?
Rouhanian: How many different cameras I used? What do you mean exactly?
BB: The different kinds of cameras that you used? The reasons that you chose to use multiple cameras?
Rouhanian: Oh, I see what you mean. So the camera I chose to use for this video was a Canon C200 Mark II. And I chose to use that camera because I wanted this to feel very cinematic, almost as if what we were filming was going to be screened on a giant IMAX screen. I wanted it to feel huge, almost like this is a snippet from a feature film. I felt like the colors that this camera gave and the wide aspect ratio just really would make it feel more cinematic than another camera I usually use. In a perfect world, actually very early on when I was still thinking about this idea, I wanted to shoot this on 35mm but it’s incredibly expensive and I don’t have the funds.
BB: That would have been crazy though.
Rouhanian: Yeah, it would have been pretty amazing. I also considered shooting the entire film in Super 8 film.
BB: Yeah, I love doing the Super 8.
Rouhanian: Yeah, but I’m kind of glad I didn’t do that because I prefer to incorporate it into the story instead of the whole thing. I think it worked out better.
BB: The drone shots were my favorite.
Rouhanian: Yeah, they are really good. I haven’t stopped using that camera since I bought it. That was actually my first time using it for this music video so I had no idea if it was going to work out.
BB: I’m very glad that it did. Those shots were super super cool.
Rouhanian: So now I want to ask you, after the video is done and completed do you think that it added a new meaning to the song that you didn’t see before? Or do you think it helped bring the story to life, the story of the song to life. What do you think the video did for the song?
BB: I would say it definitely brought a new dimension to the song that wasn’t there before. I think as far as the video itself, it’s definitely on par with the matter of the song. It definitely fits it perfectly but I definitely think it brings it to a new level. I think it visually expresses the feeling of the song versus being able to hear things because a lot of times humans are very visual. So I think being able to add that visual component definitely elevated it a lot.
Rouhanian: What was your original vision for the video? Did you envision something else?
BB: Yeah, I actually had a crazy idea which probably would not work because it was going to take a lot of time and manpower but I don’t want to explain it because I actually want to revisit that idea at a later date. But, when we’re not having an interview we can definitely talk about it.
Rouhanian: Alright, cool. I think I know what you’re talking about too.
BB: Yeah, it’s going to be so cool but it’s going to take a crazy amount of manpower.
Rouhanian: I want to do something like that too. That’d be cool. We’ll definitely talk about it later
BB: Yeah. Let’s talk about everybody who helped make the video. There were so many people that came out. We definitely couldn’t have made it without everyone that was there.
Rouhanian: For sure! There was Sherwin the cinematographer, he knew the technical aspect. I would explain to him my idea for a shot and he would take it and interpret it in his own way and make it more beautiful.
BB: He was awesome, he was so dedicated. He was crawling on the ground. I was like, “Hell yeah.”
Rouhanian: He killed it. He was willing to do whatever it takes to get the shot. I loved his patience. I couldn’t ask for a better cinematographer for the music video for sure.
BB: For sure!
Rouhanian: Hmm…Who else? Everyone that was standing by. I don’t know if a lot of people know this but we shot this in 30 degree weather.
BB: It was cold.
Rouhanian: Yeah, it was freezing and we had to have people standing by with giant blankets for you and Jonathan.
BB: I’ll be very clear I made terrible fashion choices in regards to this video. Definitely could have worn warm clothing. It was totally on me.
Rouhanian: It went perfectly with the video; it was meant to be a summery kind of thing. But, it was so unfortunate that it was 30 degrees outside.
BB: I’m glad Jonathan and I were able to pull it together so we don’t look like we are freezing even though we definitely were.
Rouhanian: For sure! Shout out to Jonathan. Such a trooper. Funny story about Jonathan, I’ve known him for about 5 years now, he acted in my first feature film.
Rouhanian: I hadn’t worked with him since then and this music video was the first time I worked with him in like…years.
BB: He killed it!
Rouhanian: Yeah, he killed it. I couldn’t have asked for a better actor in the film for sure.
Rouhanian: Funny story I think people should know is we actually never met before we started filming this music video.
BB: Hmm that’s true!
Rouhanian: I was wondering what was your expectation going on to set having very little background information about what it could be. What was your expectation?
BB: Umm, that’s crazy because of course you emailed me and I saw your work and I thought this was amazing. Your work wasn’t anything you were planning to do for the video, so I had no idea what was going to happen. And I ended up going to kind of in the middle of nowhere and I was like “I don’t really know what’s going on.” But it came out perfectly and I’m so happy.
BB: I would ask how did you choose the location for the shoot? Because I didn’t help with that at all.
Rouhanian: Yeah, I went through six different farms. It started with a Google of farms near me. And I would call each one and be like “Hey I want to shoot a music video on your set, on your farm. And then I would go by and look at it. And then…
BB: And we had so much trouble finding a horse.
Rouhanian: Yeah, and they had to give me a horse and let me film on their farm and there’s a lot of liability issues and a lot of people wanting insurance that I didn’t have. So, luckily the farm that we ended up using was 5 minutes from my house and it was my aunt boyfriends farm that he goes to. So it really worked out so perfectly even though that was probably another thing that was incredibly difficult to find, finding a farm.
BB: We were definitely doing very dangerous things. I’m glad we found someone…dangerous stuff with no training.
Rouhanian: Yeah, for real. We should not have been allowed to shoot this music video. No doubt.
BB: Not at all. Not at all…
Rouhanian: But thank God my quote unquote uncle uncle was a G.
BB: True, shout out to him. He taught me alot about horses in those 2 days.
Rouhanian: You had never ridden a horse before this video, right?
BB: I did once or twice but not enough to say I know how to ride a horse.
Rouhanian: You looked like a pro so it’s fine
BB: Thank God, I’m very glad. I was hoping this horse and me have a great connection and thankfully we did. The horse was there for me.
Rouhanian: The horse was great.
BB: Yeah, love them.
Rouhanian: How would you compare the experience of this music video compared with other videos?
BB: This music video was definitely the most in-depth video shoot that I’ve ever done. Even mine or other music videos that I’ve been a part of. Super thought out and well-planned. I don’t think it could have been done any better. So hats off to you. It definitely was way more organized and I’m also glad that I had full control of the outfits. Can’t say that I’ve had full control of that in other videos. All the clothes in the video, outside of Jonathan’s pants and shoes, all of them were mine. So I’m very happy about that specifically. Yeah, it was definitely way way different. There were definitely so many people there to help and everybody was so excited to make the video. Any problem that we had there was like 7 people to help us figure it out and I think that was such a big help and very different from any other video I made.
Featured image courtesy of Babeo Baggins
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