What a summer! May has been amazing and June is coming along nicely. Early summer is also the beginning of “the season” and what a merry time I have been having.
At the beginning of June, I went to a musical cabaret show that had Mozart break dancing and hip-hopping, and last week, I got really close to fun and laughter with Bill Bailey at the stand-up comedy show in Berlin and boy, have I got lots of stuff for you in June. Oh yes, so stay tuned!
But what did I do in May? How can I forget? How can you forget? May was great for my young blog and thank so much for being supportive everyone, and either reading it, sharing it, or letting me explore the wonders of this fine city – Berlin.
Oh yeah, I digress. May!
Well, in that lovely spring-summer month, I was overwhelmed by death and destruction through Shakespeare, I went to a fabulous, glamour, slightly erotic show at the Friedrichstadt Palast, I went along to the all night museum event that takes place once a year. I went on a fantastic alternative walking tour that you really shouldn’t miss, and what I haven’t yet written about was that I was so lucky, so enormously lucky, to have randomly met a public relations person, who then invited me to come and check out the Berlin Music Video Awards.
Yeah, you heard me. Me. To get on that most coveted guest list. A Music Award Event. In Berlin. Amazing or what!
The organisers were so lovely that after meeting me, they allowed me to hang out with them, meet, have drinks with, and interview some of the jury panel, guests of honours, performers,
prize winners, nominees, V.I.P’s, the photographers, the movers and shakers of the independent music world, and also the founder of the Berlin Music Video Awards and the man and brains behind it all; the young and enormously attractive: Mr. Aviel Silook.
WHAT IS THE BERLIN MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS?
Well, the Berlin Music Video Awards or BMVA is an annual festival that puts filmmakers and their art behind music videos. In the spotlight. Supporting both unknown and famous artists, it is a primary networking event for the video and music industries in Europe.
With a vast selection of music video marathons, professional judges, live performances, filmmaking workshops and networking events, the festival is not only a meeting ground for filmmakers, but also for musicians as well as all music enthusiasts, and boy, was it just.
It was crazy.
The 2nd Berlin Music Video Awards was held between the 28th and the 31st of May 2014, at a hip industrial metalbox called the Platoon Kunsthalle in Berlin Mitte. In fact, I had been to this venue before! Not only was it about 10 minutes from my house, but it was also the venue of the Bloggers pre-ITB party, the place where I met travel and social media bloggers for the first time. Ever. In. My. Life!
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?
Well, the BMVA brings together independent and established filmmakers, musicians and all music video fans, through the live event of screening 120 nominated music videos and announcements of winners for each category such as Best Director, Best Animation, Most Bizarre, and Best Live Act.
Live performances, camera workshops, 3D animation/VFX and editing, filmmakers and directors forums, and networking with fans, other musicians or film makers, and the industry. A platform for everyone including people who direct, produce, edit or perform, to people who are simply truly interested in the art.
Anyone can participate.
Budget, label and names are not a determining factor.
I was made very welcome by La Vern Marquez (Aviel’s Production Assistant / Social Media Person), Andrea (a very active member of the volunteering team), Carmen Talavera Armero (one of the main PR people), and Deborah Di Nauta (the Press Relations Manager). Carmen in particular was lovely and allowed me to hang out with her and interview as many people as I wanted, so I did.
I asked people to describe the festival event in one word. This is what they said:
“Independent.” “Trashy.” “Ambitious.” “Cynical.” “Bollocks.” “Enthusiastic.” “Lovely.” “Eclectic.” “Glitzy, but light-hearted.” “Teamwork.” “Jagermeister.”
Here are some interview extracts from Golden Wolf: winners of the Best Animation category. Dog Blood – Chella Ride. They were a really fun bunch of people based in London but consisting of British, French and Spanish nationalities. I laughed so much while interviewing them. All I can say is that they wanted to eat their award, shared the huge bottle of schnapps with one and all, and danced both nights away. A great bunch of happy, young people! “We’ve been accused of being part of the Illuminati because people think we worship and sacrifice goats!” “Berlin is fantastic.” “This award will take us to the moon.” “It’s our first award and we’re going to boast about it!”
Here are some interview extracts from another British artist – Naren Wilks – for being the overall winner for Best Production and also Best VFX category: The Correspondents – Fear & Delight. “I make short films and this is the first music video that I’ve ever made.” “The BMVA is terrific.” “Festivals are better organised and better funded in Germany.” “I’m considering learning to speak German as Germany seems to be the place to be!” “I like to make films that appeal to people with a short attention span, and I want the film to be fun as well.”
I also interviewed one of the hosts of the evening, an American comedian based in Berlin called Daniel Stern, who had me in stitches over his very natty (fashionable) bow tie with expressions like “I thought it was amazing.” “That this award exists says a lot about Berlin.” “You can have an award that presents most bizarre, most trashy, and everyone explicitly understands that it’s a celebration of the nominees.” “I’m getting paid in Jaegermeister.” “The event is a little bit like playing pretend but it’s also definitely very real and authentic.”
I interviewed Andrea who is one of the active members of the organising team and the person to go to, as practically everyone directed me to her for anything that I needed or wanted! She described the BMVA staff team as “dedication and time.” “I’m simply amazed that it’s all happening.” “People who are trustworthy but willing to work for little or no pay.” “I love music.” “Make contact with people.” “The team are very dedicated: technical, filming and editing, working so hard.” “The BMVA is a chance for everyday people to connect. A mixture of mainstream and underground.”
Of course, I couldn’t imagine the night over, if I didn’t get the chance to interview the founder and Artistic Director, of the Berlin Music Video Awards. A guy originally from Israel, so humble and unassuming that I probably would have walked passed him a thousand times if he hadn’t been pointed out to me! A young man with huge ideas and a warm heart, seemingly loved and respected by all who came in contact with him. Mr. Aviel Silook.
It must have been at least 03.30 when I interviewed him, as the after-party was rocking, people were drinking cocktails galore, and the noise level had increased 1,000 fold. Thankfully, there was the electronics room that was a fraction quieter, and so Aviel graciously and shyly, agreed to be interviewed by a girl whom he was meeting for the very first time. Me.
Why did you organise this event?
It’s not about winning. It’s about presenting cool stuff to people and to let everybody know what is going on right now.
What gave you the inspiration as the creator of the Berlin Music Video Awards?
I love music videos. I think it’s important to keep this form of art alive.
I heard only this morning, that music video is out of date but obviously, it isn’t!
As you can see, everybody is celebrating this form of art here. Everyone around us is an artist, producer, actor and film-maker, and they’re all here because they believe in this project and they don’t want to bury music videos. They’re all on a mission. Together.
It’s not about me as one person. I’m surrounded by 45 team members and each person is passionate and crazy, and they trust me. It’s about trust and passion.
As an Israeli, why did you choose Berlin as the home of your project?
It’s easier to attract people to such a city like Berlin. Berlin is highly rated and brings people together and as you can see. At 03.37 in the morning, they are still here, drinking, and having fun!
How do you think local Berliners see this event?
Local Berliners see me as an intruder because I came to the city with horrible German, and took the name from them. They asked themselves why they (the local Berliners didn’t do that). I tell them that they were sleeping, doing drugs, etc, but I was focused on my life and I wanted to make things happen. You can’t put the blame on someone who is making action. Things happen with hard work and passion.
Berlin has a lot to offer. Do you think that the Berlin Music Video Awards will really put Berlin on the map, as a city to be reckoned with?
I will not say that ever. It’s a big thing to say. We’ve done a great thing bringing 5,000 people together in 4 days, but that won’t put Berlin on the map. We’re not a film or music festival. We’re a music video festival. It’s a unique feature with unique people. I want us to grow but not just as a number of people or the size of a place, but as a platform for Berlin music video awards. It’s important to keep things fresh in a new forum so that things are more interesting than last year.
The Berlin Music Video Awards was created last year (2013). What have you learnt ?
We’ve signed up a lot of teams. I’m learning a lot and we’re trying to learn from past mistakes. It’s human to make mistakes. We’re trying to make things better and more accessible. it’s happening. No matter what. We’re making things happen.
Describe the Berlin Music Video Awards in 1 word.
There you have it.
WHAT ABOUT THE FUN PART OF THE BERLIN MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS?
It’s music and art. Of course, there was fun!
Being that I am a corporate trainer and I had other engagements that week, I was only able to join the BMVA folk on the Friday and on the Saturday. There was an after-show party and live music and D.Jing featuring “Son of Kick” and hosted by an American friend of mine – Paul Salamone. I had a merry time drinking free shots and free cocktails. Time home: 02:30.
On Saturday, there was the red carpet event, but I was so knackered from the night before that “The Music Producer” and I decided to have a sensible romantic dinner before hitting the festival and joining in the BMVA fun and mayhem, at about midnight. In Berlin, midnight is for wimps!
In fact, so much fun and engagement went on, that one of the prize winners had broken his arm running down the street, and his arm was in a cast! My lips are sealed, as to the intimate details.
That’s rock and roll people! Rock and roll!
The Final Awards ceremony took place and was hosted by an acquaintance of mine who I always seem to bump into these days Drew Portnoy & BAM (aka Nathaniel Hall – former member of the Jungle Brothers) with a special musical performance by SMASH HIFI now consisting of Leroy Thornhill from The Prodigy and Marten Hørger from The Punks. The time that I got home was 04:30!
The after-party was still going fantastically strong, I missed my train ‘cos I fell asleep on the platform, and people were either skipping around, or vomitting in the early morning sunlight!
Thanks so much for letting me interview you jury panel, guests of honours, performers, prize winners, nominees, V.I.P’s, La Vern, Carmen, Deborah, Sasha, Pascale, Elizabeth, staff members, everyone and of course, Aviel.
See you next year!
This article is not sponsored and all opinions and the wonderful green shots of Jagermeister, are my very own! Every week for the months of May and June, I’ll be writing about summer time in Berlin, and what to do when you get here.
Next week, I will be writing about the the various outdoor summer festivals taking place very soon in, or near Berlin.
Berlin’s Mardi Gras the 36th CSD – Christopher Street Day Gay Pride festivity, will be on 21.06.14.
Are you coming?
Watch this space!
Have you been to a video music award? Are you an artist? Have you ever had Jaegermeister?
See you in Berlin.
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