Skip to main content

When I first moved to Oakland…

We made some new friends and one of them who also happened to be our neighbor, was a shorty by the name of Nani. Nani was friends with an artist homie of ours, and we initially got connected through music, and over the years, I’ve learned that Nani’s passion, is baking!  She was known as IrieEyes back then and was known as the founder and owner of Soul Desire Bakery… After a couple years Soul Desire rebranded into Brown Butter Bakery.

Nani lived in the Lake Merritt neighborhood for close to 10 years, and each year I was delighted to be able to experience her creations, especially during the holidays. She made the best pies, cakes, cupcakes, and has developed an amazing taste in curating how she presents her work.

One thing I’ve always noticed about Nani is that she is so loving, even when I didn’t know her all that well. She was very loving and somewhat trusting of new friends, which is a surprise, cuz I feel like with living in Oakland, you kind of have to have your guard up.. and sometimes even amongst your close circle.  But for whatever reason, Nani stood out to me because she exuded a loving energy that not too many people possess.

When 2023 came around, I was in a very specific frame of mind of being on a creative offense of sorts. My 2023 was going to be defined by creating work with close friends.

And  a friend that I’ve always wanted to work with and create with, was Nani.  She had officially rebranded her new business that year,  and I felt like it was a good time for us to connect and collaborate on a promotional video to advertise her talents and services. So I wanted to create sort of an influencer/lifestyle video. Nani has always been very fashionable, and I wanted to be able to combine her work life and her natural life, in a way that was compelling and resonant with other creators in her industry.

So with this promo, we kept it to a one-minute duration, we shot it in 2 days, and we did post-production for maybe about two weeks. What was fun about this project was that we got to of course flex on some VFX, and include some motion graphics, 3D animation, in conjunction with the edit and sound design.

This project was very organic.  However, I did create a reference edit that I pitched to Nani, and we used that as our guide. When I say organic, I guess I’m referring to the copywriting and voiceover that we had created on top of the video.  Typically you’ll write a script at the beginning phase of a video, but in this case we let the edit guide us in the beginning and then after seeing a solid edit, I had Nani write some things about what she wanted to say about Brown Butter Bakery, and we had a voiceover session to record, afterwards I was able to select pieces of audio and lay them over. Then we had a revision cycle where we felt like we needed to omit some things, adjust some things and add new voiceover.

By not steering it in any specific way, we created in this organic way, that ended up being the icing on the cake, because we made a piece that was truly authentic.

I’m super thankful that Nani and I had this opportunity to work together. I recall her saying that she knew that I was ‘dope’ but didn’t really get to see how professional I was until we worked on this together.  I’m super grateful that I’m able to not just offer these services towards corporate clients, but also towards my community. I think in this collaboration, we both got a chance to really showcase our voice.  Hope you enjoy the video!

Director: Ratha Nou | Assistant Camera: Marcus Reposar | Stylist: Mey Saechao | Production Assistant: Geraldine Convento | VFX: Greg Del Savio, Ratha Nou | Talent: MzCakeMaker | Music: Decap