Monét X Change, Manila Luzon & More: Brad Hammer Has Directed All Your Favorite Drag Queens’ Music Videos


As queens graduate from RuPaul’s Drag Race, it has grow to be a convention of types for the present’s alum to launch music tasks. Some play up the campy, comedic roots of drag whereas others purpose to be taken significantly as musicians, however all of them have one factor in widespread: they need their music video fantasy second.

That’s the place Brad Hammer is available in. The 41-year-old director has labored on almost thirty music movies for drag artists, beginning with Manila Luzon's 2015 launch, “Ice Cream.” Earlier this month, Luzon dropped the candy-colored “Go Fish!,” including to the pair’s rising assortment of collabs.

He additionally directed All Stars four champ Monét X Change’s epic visible EP, Unapologetically. The newly-crowned winner was proud of the end result: "He did a very nice job of serving to put collectively many essential items that made my music video come collectively," she tells Billboard. "I'm unapologetically proud of the way it all got here out."

As the director prepares his subsequent tasks (he teased movies for Drag Race legend Trixie Mattel and no less than one queen from the collection' upcoming eleventh season), Hammer regarded again at a few of his largest hits. See under for his favourite recollections on the units with Luzon, X Change, Sharon Needles and extra.

Monét X Change, “Gently”

Hammer: “In LA you by no means actually fear about rain or being too chilly, so I didn't even take into consideration that after we booked the areas. But the morning of the shoot I bought a name from the studio and so they advised me that they didn't have warmth and the ceilings had been leaking. So we get to this location and there's buckets all around the studio the place water is dripping in and it's freezing chilly. Everyone was wrapped in blankets as we're filming. I used to be actually apprehensive as a result of some queens are a bit extra divas than others, however Monét was completely chill. She didn’t complain as soon as.”

Behind the scenes: The total Unapologetically visible EP was filmed in two days.

Manila Luzon, "Go Fish!"

"I by no means press the queens for details about what's going to occur on Drag Race, so I didn't know the total scoop about what was happening. When we had been placing collectively the shoot, I used to be suggesting different queens to play the Queen of Hearts as a result of I used to be considering of people that lived in LA; I actually didn't know Naomi. But Manila was very adamant about casting Naomi, so I knew there clearly needed to be a cause. Just by likelihood, Naomi was from Redlands, and the mansion we shot in was within the Redlands. Naomi was visiting her household in on the time, so it was simply form of meant to be.

Same factor with The Heathers. Trying to get The Heathers collectively for something is difficult. They're all so busy and so they all have utterly completely different lives now. So it was simply actually thrilling to have the ability to carry all of these individuals collectively for one video shoot. It virtually felt like a bit household reunion as a result of everybody was very loving and supporting of Manila."

Behind the scenes: While filming a gazebo scene, the digicam stopped working. Given that they weren’t in LA, they didn’t have any connections to get new gear shortly, however lucked out after discovering the identical precise digicam from a person solely 5 minutes away by way of a rental web site

Jiggly Caliente feat. Alaska and Ginger Minj, "All This Body"

"You can see a real queen's character by the way in which different queens deal with them and you’ll inform that the entire different queens actually love Jiggly. The chemistry between her, Alaska, and Ginger was a lot enjoyable.

I believe we additionally had her go a bit bit exterior of her field in that video. We did like a Marilyn Monroe look. We did a few seems that I believe that she usually wouldn't pull off or normally go and put on. But she did and he or she was completely down for no matter which I beloved."

Behind the scenes: Caliente suffers from a coronary heart situation that stops her from getting main surgical procedures, which has been esspeically irritating as a trans girl. That frustration impressed the physician workplace scene on this video.

Blair St. Clair, "Now or Never"

"So Blair's actually massive on basic films, previous Hollywood, and musical theatre. So you possibly can really feel that in virtually all of her movies. There was an affect from Wizard of Oz as a result of Blair and my editor Sean each love that movie. And additionally Pleasantville. It was like a bunch of influences actually."

Behind the scenes: Jinkx Monsoon’s cameo within the music video got here collectively final minute. She even ad-libbed her traces and even got here up with the identify “Blair St. Air.” "When you learn the feedback, everyone is quoting Jinkx's quotes there," Hammer says. "She's such a genius."

Detox, "She's Gotta Habit"

"I like ’90s supermodels and so does Detox. My good friend Aurora Sexton, who can also be within the video, stayed up the entire night time earlier than stitching these gold robes. She actually did all of it herself that one night time. The subsequent morning she was nonetheless on the stitching machine and I used to be like "Girl I can't consider you're nonetheless up stitching these." And she's like "This is the final one." I look and so they're all performed. And she was like "I believe Donatella goes to see this video and touch upon it," and I used to be like "Oh yeah proper lady you're loopy." Sure sufficient, when the video got here out, all these individuals had been messaging me as a result of one of many homosexual boys who works for Donatella noticed the video and confirmed it to her. She actually went to Detox's Instagram and commented how a lot she beloved it."

Behind the scenes: Vivienne Westwood and Marc Jacobs mailed them luggage of samples to make use of for the video shoot. “That's by no means actually occurred on some other video shoot that I've performed for a drag queen, in order that was actually thrilling,” Hammer says.

Sharon Needles, "666"

This shoot was actually humorous since you would assume that Sharon would love snakes. But they introduced out the snake and he or she's like, "No! Get it away from me!" But truly she had a bit little bit of Jack Daniel's, bought some braveness, and he or she ended up being happy with it.

Behind the scenes: The video was initially faraway from YouTube for a bit after Christian blogs posted it and bought it flagged. But it wasn’t Hammer’s first undertaking to be faraway from the location: “I used to do the loopy adverts for Andrew Christian 9 years in the past. Some of these issues would get pulled as a result of they had been softcore porn mainly.”