It's no doubt the year 2011 belonged to the always vivacious Beyoncé.
Her fourth solo project was charted as an instant success. She wins my vote for Flashy Baby Announcement of the Year and who else coined the catchphrase "drippin' swaggu (off the track Party feat. André 3000 for those who don't know what I'm referring to).
Download Beyoncé's 4 on iTunes
This year rapidly climbing numbers were also a big deal for former University of Florida student Alexander Hammer . He has worked on Beyoncé's last six videos for the new album including tracks: 1+1 Countdown Love On Top Party End of Time and another video one that is currently in progress. Alexander is also the Editor of her upcoming Live at Roseland: Elements of 4 concert DVD - out Tuesday November 29.
We caught up with the SCAD graduate and Buchholz High School alum to talk about his work with the entertainer.
Rarely IN FRONT of the camera Video Editor Alexander Hammer CMC: So Alexander storyboard it for us - what exactly is your role and what is the process like? ALEXANDER HAMMER: As editor I work directly with the Director (in these cases with Beyoncé herself) to take what has been filmed on set and bring it to life. It is more than just putting pieces together it is about creating a rhythm finding the magic in performance and photography and developing a narrative whenever possible. When this is done well you should not be thinking about the editing while watching...the movie or video should just bring you to a place that the director and editor want you to go. CMC: WOW! So you literally worked alongside Beyoncé as far as artistic and editing direction? AH: Sure did. She is involved in every aspect of her career and we sat side by side when we reached the “fine tune” stage of the editing process for every project. We both make an appearance in the Behind the Scenes portion on The Elements of 4 DVD CMC: You've done 6 of her videos so far. Do you have a favorite? AH: I do love them all but I definitely clicked with some more than others. From the concert End of Time was my favorite to edit. It combines multiple performances while keeping Roseland as its main anchor not to mention it basically kicks ass and Beyoncé always kills it.
As for music videos...1+1 is the most special to me and was my first collaboration with B and co-director Ed Burke. Because the experience was successful the videos kept on coming. I love Countdown too but my favorite is the video that has yet to be released (directed by Beyoncé and Alan Ferguson). It is very clever and stylish (and freakin’ hot) and was loads of fun to bring to life. It will be included on the Elements of 4 DVD and should be released worldwide shortly after.
CMC: What's the best part about a project like this? Do you go through hours of footage or do you get to attend the concerts too? AH: I believe the best part has to be working one on one with so many talented people that are part of “Team B” not to mention Beyoncé herself. I was thrown into this whirlwind getting to see so many amazing things first hand all the while just trying to keep up. It isn’t until now that I can look back and actually think about some of the remarkable stuff that went down.
And yes in most cases the post production team is more removed from the action but in this case we are side by side through almost everything including the concerts music video shoots and sometimes traveling with her to keep the workflow moving. It has definitely been an adventure.
CMC: That sounds incredible! So when it's time to relax and come visit home what are your favorite things about Gainesville - any special projects eats or events? AH: I love Gainesville and visit my family often. I wish I had something more clever or deep to say but I love going to Target. We do not have them in NYC (or a real one) and going to Target is like going home. I mean it has everything you could ever need all in one place. What more could you ask for?
But seriously G-ville is where I am from and it definitely has a lot to offer. Oh and I do always go to Dragonfly Sushi when I am in town.
More Beyoncé Need TO Knows The two-disc set features the full concert performance including iconic Destiny’s Child tracks and behind-the-scenes footage of Beyoncé with clips from her childhood and rise to fame.
The diva produced seven separate videos for “4” all of which are available in an anthology on disc two. Perhaps the most exclusive treat is an advanced viewing of her music video Dance For You which is set to premiere after November 29 the DVD’s drop date. PRE-ORDER BEYONCE: LIVE AT ROSELAND :: ELEMENTS OF 4 HERE TO SEE THESE VIDEOS AND MORE OF ALEXANDER HAMMER'S WORK CLICK HERE Download Beyoncé's 4 on iTunes
Alex Hammer was nominated for Best Editing in the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards for his work on Beyoncé's Countdown and Watch the Throne's (Kanye West & Jay-Z's) Paris.