One of Eminem’s longstanding collaborators talks about shooting a “Venom” performance for the Jimmy Kimmel show.
Director James Larese was a guest on the No Jumper podcast when a host asked him about this project opening the topic with a phrase: “You’ve had a chance to work with Eminem”.
Well, it’s an understatement. Larese directed two videos for “Relapse” in 2008: “Crack a Bottle” and “3 a.m.”. Since then he collaborated with Em consistently. James’s most recent project with Marshall is his joint with Snoop Dogg, “From the D 2 the LBC”. So he started by pointing it out:
I’ve worked very very consistently with Eminem for many many years, since about 2008. So, he was gonna perform. He had this song “Venom” out and he was going to do that performance. They did an actual music video for it as well but this was gonna be a separate live performance that we were gonna shoot live.
James could only agree with the praise the host was singing Marshall:
Eminem is amazing. He’s a genius. He’s a genius.
But the director had to clarify something in regards to calling the Venom video from the Empire state building a “live performance”:
Here is the thing. We shot it a week before the Kimmel show before it was gonna air. And it was planned that on the day it was gonna air Kimmel will throw it to them and it would seem as if it was right then. So, because we did that a week ahead of time it had to be a secret. So, how you do that? It could not let be known because then everyone would know it wasn’t live when it actually aired. I mean, people do that all the time when they shoot things. Basically, we had from the 70th floor up of the Empire State Building for about two days. To rehearse and sequence, the lights of the Empire State building to the song, so when we would play the song the lights of the Empire State Building would pulse to the beat. They change it throughout the year, like, for breast cancer awareness it will be pink and stuff like that. They’re always changing the lights. We had it actually pulsating through the beat like this crazy light show. And then we had two helicopters. We had a helicopter that was filming his performance and then we had a helicopter shooting that helicopter shooting him. I wanted to take advantage of the fact that we were actually using a helicopter so I wanted to be able to shoot the helicopter in the shot.
James Larese says that he doesn’t even know the budget of the video, but two helicopters certainly fit into it, and James didn’t want to miss his chance.
Watch the interview below:
Watch Eminem performing from the Empire State Building below: