Laying freaky visual narratives over strong tunes, High5Collective are an anonymous community of visual artists who first met around an open urinal.
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Relieving their creative juices via the medium of moving art, the faceless film buffs behind Hi5 take an ingeniously alternative approach to entertainment. Engaging audiences with elaborate plot lines, exploring characters and relationships in an emotive manner, each music video the five co-write, direct and shoot is unique, charged and dramatic. Exploring extreme scenarios, predominately based upon abduction, bloodshed, lust, love and voyeurism, Hi-5 started life making music videos for songs they stumbled across online. The buzz around their offerings grew little by little; until the hype exploded earlier this year after a certain Master Frank Ocean hit up Hi5 for a video to track Thinking Of You. The five film school friends turned business partners have written and officially released music videos for Jay-Z and Kanye, Theophilus London and Citizens since. Recently signed to Partizan, the collective continues to seek out lesser-known acts that are right for a heavy dose of the Hi-5’s hench treatments.
Why did you decide to work as collective? We moved in together, so it made sense to work together because we’re all poor and couldn’t afford to do stuff on our own. What is the most accomplished video H5C have ever made? People started to take us more seriously after we did the video with Frank Ocean for ‘Thinking About You‘. It was like we became legit because he co-signed. So we owe him gratitude. Thanks Frank! How do your video scripts evolve? For music videos it’s all about what we feel when we listen to the song. The five of us will sit in the living room and throw ideas around, and it keeps snowballing until we come up with some shit that gets us really stoked. How do you inspire one another? We have krump battles and karate fights. How do you source the actors in your videos? Sometimes we write roles specifically for our friends, because we’re all about keeping it in the family, and creating a community. Sometimes we’ll have a role that we don’t feel can be represented by people we personally know, so then we cast actors – which normally consists of meeting up and seeing if they’re rad people. More often than not the people we decide to use end up becoming our friends, so our pool of talents keeps getting bigger! What draws you to particular artists? We’re huge fans of music, so we want to work with artists that get us hyped.
Text: Milly McMahon