Louisville’s own Team HiHo, a filmmaking group led by actor Chris Saunders (29), and writer/directors Brennan Clark and Kyle Crews (both 28), were announced March 20 as winners of the Primus International Music Video Contest for the band’s song, “HOINFODAMAN,” off their recent album, Green Naugahyde. Team HiHo was returning from Los Angeles when they received the news. They had just exhibited their short film “Phenomenal Johnson” at Grauman’s Chinese Theater as part of Filmapalooza 2013.
The Primus selection came from a fan vote on Facebook. Along with the $5,000 grand prize, Team HiHo’s video will be featured on Primus’ VEVO page and various music and media outlets.
Team HiHo’s version of “HOINFODAMAN” stars Chris Saunders as a pimp turned advertising man, playing opposite of Red7e’s Pip Pullen as the Evil Boss Man. Co-director Kyle Crews credits his long-time collaborator Brennan Clark for the win. “Brennan’s editing was furious. He really went insane for a few days and the video is great because of it.”
The trio of Saunders, Clark and Crews is widely known in Louisville film circles, as they have won Best Film in the Louisville 48 Hour Film Project three times in three attempts (Phenomenal Me – 2007, Huckleberry Johnson – 2010, and Phenomenal Johnson – 2012). Other producers on the music video included local filmmakers Will Hartsock and Andrew Vititoe. Narration was provided by Helen Starr Jones of Louisville ballet fame.
Primus, led by their bass-God frontman, Les Claypool, recorded two platinum albums in the 1990s (Sailing the Seas of Cheese and Pork Soda) before taking a hiatus in 1999. The band returned with Green Naugahyde in 2011, releasing two videos. For the third video the band put it to the fans to create a vision for “HOINFODAMAN,” a song about artists selling out for commercial interests.
Team HiHo is now poised to begin filming their semi-biographical television pilot “Makin’ Movies.” The show focuses on the group trying to produce feature films in Louisville with scarce resources. Clark and Crews conceived the show as a response to the modern sitcom. “We’re calling this a cinematic-sitcom,” explains Clark. “Comedies always look like they were shot on a soundstage with three cameras. We want to shoot comedies that look like epic cinema in real environments.”
Clark and Crews are duPont Manual High School alums and have been collaborating since 2000.