MMVAs 2012 - The Making of Down With Webster's "She's Dope"

Crédit photo: Screen shot MMVAs 2012 - The Making of Down With Webster's

A repeat nomination for Video of the Year? Yeah, that’s dope.

One year after Down With Webster enjoyed top-nominee status at the MMVAs, the Toronto bros have claimed themselves another four nominations -- including a Video of the Year nod for their Time To Win, Vol. 2 clip, “She’s Dope.”

Directed by Aaron A. -- the band’s former tour videographer, and the guy behind DWW’s 2011 MMVAs entry, “Whoa is Me” -- “She’s Dope” is one dreamy video, but we don’t mean that in the Justin Bieber sense of the word. Aaron A. throws the six DWW guys into a series of “totally random” fantasy sequences which were apparently as fun as, well, a Down With Webster show. talked to Aaron A. about the making of “She’s Dope,” and the one thing he has in common with Indiana Jones.

Watch “She’s Dope” by Down With Webster: Your video for “Whoa is Me” was up for an MMVA last year. How many videos have you done with Down With Webster at this point?

Aaron A: We've done four. It was a good run. We're friends, also. […] They call me and I'm there, that's kind of how we work. Is that how this one came together? What was the idea you came up with for this video?

AA: All the videos I've done with Down With Webster, it's a collaborative effort when it comes to coming up with creative. For this one, we got together at Tyler [Armes’] house and pretty much started shooting the ideas back and forth. We definitely wanted it to be a very random video, to almost feel like how a dream is just random thoughts that pop into your head, and are gone the next [minute]. And we definitely wanted to convey that in the video in terms of how it flows […] but they're all intertwined by this one girl. Dream sequences are definitely all over the Video of the Year category. There’s one in Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” and there are some dream-like flashback scenes in Marianas Trench’s “Fallout.”

AA: Yeah, yeah. I think we need to arrange some kind of get together and make sure we all don’t do the same concept again. (Laughs) […] Music videos are kind of this make believe world, and I think maybe that’s some reason why there’s a common theme in this year’s category. All the dream sequences in the video: Did the guys pitch their own scenes?

AA: No, I definitely wanted to do something with water, I wanted to do a miniature kind of set. (I’m a huge fan of ‘90s videos and fisheye and off-frame shooting … and I definitely wanted to play with some camera tricks, some basic ones, and use them to create this kind of surreal environment that the video takes place in.) There are some scenes where it really looks like you’re putting the guys through their paces -- like Cam Hunter’s bit in the pool, for instance. How’d he react when you told him you wanted him in the water?

AA: I’m pretty sure he was down for it. They’re all amazing sports. They’ll do pretty much anything. […] Cam was a really great sport for the pool stuff. By the third take he was so winded -- and I’m asking him to stay underwater for 30 seconds every time while acting. It was starting to get a little much, and we did it for two, two and a half hours. We rented a pool that has a glass in the bottom so you can shoot out of it and we just shot for two hours. The first dream sequence -- where you serve up a plate of snakes -- can you tell me what the idea was behind that? Those were real snakes, too, weren’t they?

AA: Yep. Totally real. We had a snake handler come who knew way too much about snakes and bugs and all these other things -- kind of creepy guy. But he brought all these snakes in and it was kind of tricky to shoot because they have to be lying on lettuce, because if they're lying on the porcelain of the plate, they actually don't like that -- they want to squirm away. And it's actually a lot more complicated to shoot a snake than I thought, because every time we'd [cover] them and we'd go to do the reveal, one would be taken off. We had to do it a bunch of times. Any snake phobias on set?

AA: I hate snakes. I ABSOLUTELY hate snakes, spiders. Yeah. I'm a wimp when it comes to that stuff. So how’d you power through?

AA: Well, I wasn't anywhere near them. I was in front of a monitor. (Laughs) I wasn't touching those snakes. That's for sure.

“She’s Dope” by Down With Webster is nominated for Video of the Year. The 2012 MuchMusic Video Awards air on MuchMusic Sunday, June 17 at 9 p.m. ET. For more MMVA coverage, check out

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