In super-saturated colors, textured sepia tones and grainy black-and-white shots, music artists are stripped down and laid bare in Uncut, a new documentary sponsored by Gillette.
Featuring country singer Tim McGraw, All-American Rejects’ Tyson Ritter, Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus and Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am, Uncut is an aesthetically beautiful, edgy and deeply artistic ode to music. Veteran music photographer and filmmaker Danny Clinch directed, incorporating his expertise in still photography to create visual melanges of moving images and photographs. Through first-person dialogue, music and slick editing, the film’s four segments offer a beind-the-scenes look at how each of the artists prepare for a concert day-of — from biking inside Madison Square Garden to beat-boxing at home before a hush-hush DJ set in L.A. and, of course, shaving in the dressing room.
Uncut made its worldwide premiere Thursday at the Grammy Museum Thursday in Los Angeles, where Clinch and three of his four subjects gathered to view the film — some for the first time.
“[I]t was better than I thought it was going to be,” will.i.am told RadarOnline.com. “It came out pretty dope.” The premiere was just the warm-up for him: The artist and his fellow Peas are nominated for six awards in this year’s Grammys.
For Ritter, lead vocalist for the Rejects, Uncut takes a fresh look at him and his teen-friendly bandmates. “It looks like finally, we’re being showcased as a real band,” he said. “[The documentary] wasn’t really MTV-flashy.”
Asked if his MTV rep was something he’s been hoping to shrug off, Ritter told RadarOnline.com: “No, but I feel like it’s something with time, as you get to know somebody or some artist, you slowly start to get it. And I feel like [Clinch] caught us in a moment of self-realization, for a band.”
Yet, Clinch’s cinematic intimacy didn’t intimidate the star, who sported his signature glitter makeup for the premiere. “I wear everything on my sleeve,” he said. “I’m not afraid to tell everybody what I feel. I don’t bite my pillow when I go to sleep. Danny [Clinch] is the nicest fly on the wall you could ever invite in. And the vibe I got from him was like, ‘This is what I do. This is why I like collaborating with other artists.’ I live for the bohemia of it all.”
Uncut is a striking compendium of artsy shorts, but its corporate sponsorship role therein as the centerpiece of Gillette’s new promotional campaign is loud and clear — albeit ever so subtly. Discreet logos and the seamlessness between preparation (read: shaving) and being a rock star underscore the film’s raison d’etre. But that didn’t scare off Clinch, whose past work has included documentaries and videos for bands from Pearl Jam to the Foo Fighters.
“A lot of people aligning with brands — as will.i.am was saying, all these guys will attest that, you’ve got to get your music out, one way or another,” the director told RadarOnline.com. “And this is an opportunity for the music to get out. And if it can have integrity, like I think these films have, then I think it’s a win-win situation.”
Uncut is now available online at www.shavelikearockstar.com.