Emerson student#039;s video hits MTV affiliate

by Beacon Staff • October 11, 2006

Undeterred, he created a DVD called "Waitlist Purgatory" and sent it straight to the film department and to Sara Ramirez, Dean of Admissions.

His method worked, and Hodierne matriculated this past spring.,Two years ago, Cutter Hodierne applied to Emerson and was waitlisted.

Undeterred, he created a DVD called "Waitlist Purgatory" and sent it straight to the film department and to Sara Ramirez, Dean of Admissions.

His method worked, and Hodierne matriculated this past spring. "I was trying to create some buzz," he explained, "I was basically begging to get in."

Four months ago, the second-semester freshman film major wrote and directed reggae artist David Kirton's video for "Free to Fly," which will debut on Tempo, the newest channel of MTV's media empire.

Though it was made with a budget of less than $20,000, Kirton's video will run alongside some of the biggest names in reggae and reggaeton.

"David competes with Sean Paul and people with big record companies backing them and he doesn't get any promotion," Hodierne said.

Hodierne edited Kirton's first video, "Time for Change," during a semester off in the Fall of 2005. Director Tom Krueger, who has also worked on videos for Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, invited Hodierne to Barbados to be his editor after the two had worked together on an Under Armour commercial.

"I told them 'I'll do the video, but I want to bring my editor, and I have a feeling we can afford him.' Those were my conditions," Kreuger said, "I didn't bring Cutter to Barbados because I wanted to teach him something. I brought him because he's the guy I wanted to edit my video."

Noelle Kirton, David's wife and manager, was so impressed with Hodierne's work on "Time for Change" she asked him to re-edit a video for another client, Alison Hines.

"They shot ["Roll It"] and cut it and were like, 'Man, this sucks,' and they asked me to redo it," Hodierne said.

Hines' "Roll It" eventually became the most-requested song on Tempo. This June, Kirton asked Hodierne to write a treatment for "Free to Fly."

After listening to the song many times, Hodierne found inspiration in an unlikely source: writer James Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. The song and the book share themes of flight and artistic transcendence, Hodierne says, and he was able to incorporate the artwork of Kirton's friend, acclaimed Los Angeles mosaic artist Bill Attaway, into the video.

Hodierne and Attaway corresponded twice a week to brainstorm and plan the video for a month before shooting began, and then they spent a day storyboarding in Los Angeles before three "long, long days of shooting," Hodierne said.

In the video, a young man, Stephen, finds inspiration after stumbling upon a collection of Attaway's colorful artwork.

The artist appears in the video painting canvasses and the floor around Kirton; eventually the singer's suit, too, becomes a medium for Attaway's bright mosaic.

Attaway created several original pieces on the set and easily collaborated with Hodierne. "It was very smooth. Once we got to where I wanted to do something, he knew exactly what to do with the camera," Attaway said.

After seeing the final cut of the video, Attaway said, "I love it. I want to do more. I want to work more with him because I think he's got a great eye."

Gary Dourdan, who plays Warrick Brown on "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and is a friend of Attaway, appears in the "Free to Fly" video with Kirton, accompanying on the drums, keyboard, and stand-up bass.

While Dourdan "helped us get the sweet camera and helped get David some credibility," Hodierne said, he was also an intimidating presence on the 19-year-old director's set.

"The truth is, I've never seen 'CSI,' but there really is something different about someone like that when they walk in a room.

I'd never worked with someone who was a 'star' like that. But I was like, 'He's an actor, and I'm going to continue to work with actors, so I better get used to it," Hodierne said.

He also had to get used to handling a crew of 15 who were all older than him.

"I'd tell someone to move something and I was paranoid the whole time that someone would be like, 'Who's this ... ? Move it yourself!' I was concerned they'd take me less seriously," he said, "but I realized it's better to be straightforward with them."

Hodierne recently finished writing, directing, and editing a video for Dynamite, a rapper from Washington, D.C.

"That one he's going to take-once he gets off house-arrest-to record companies, to try and get a deal," Hodierne said.

Hodierne said he is also trying to shop his reel around and get a job with a music-video production company.

Hodierne said if he is made the right offer, he will face a tough decision: finish school or start a career.

"It's like deciding whether to declare for the NBA draft," he said, laughing. "But, no, it seems to me the more valuable things you get from school are the things that teach you how to tell a story. I don't know, man, it's fun here."