Q&A – Director Brandon Crowson speaks on the making of “The World Has No Eyedea”

Micheal Larsen, AKA Eyedea, is a St. Paul, Minnesota born hip-hop emcee with an amazing discography and a powerful message within his lyrics. After gaining notoriety in the battle rapping scene, Rhymesayers entertainment took the chance on signing the young artist to his first record deal. Since, Eyedea has released three full length albums under Rhymesayers, as well as a fourth project under pseudo name Oliver Hart, he has bloomed into one of our generation’s most profound and philosophic artists to date. Regarded as a savior and inspiration to many, the powerful messages and ideas that frequently filled his lyrics are a testament to the wonderful and thought provoking personality that Micheal Larsen was gifted with.

“Micheal Larsen was a freestyle battle rapping champion, a guitar player, a break dancer, lead singer of a punk band, a poet, a philosopher, and a supportive friend to many. He passed away on October 16th, 2010. We lost something very special and The World Has No Eyedea.” – Brandon Crowson

Sadly, this legacy came to an end on the date of Oct 16, 2010 when Eyedea’s body was tragically found by his own mother — reports stating that the young artist had died of an accidental drug overdose. Since then, thousands have stepped forward and reached out to his mother about the strength and support that her son had given the world in the form of his music. This impact on the world can be seen on the many tattoos that fans have gotten and heard in the many artists who have made tribute songs to the late emcee — peaking at the point of a full length biographical documentary coming out this year.

Created by Brandon Crowson of Son of A Crow Productions and co-produced by Eyedea’s mother Kathy Averill of Crushkill Recordings, the award winning film is now finished and doing a premiere tour throughout the United States. Colorado’s premiere is at The Oriental Theater on September 1, 2016 — purposely placed on the eve of Atmosphere’s Red Rocks show. Slug of Atmosphere was a lifelong friend and co-founder of the label that first signed Eyedea. Slug, as well as a host of other extremely talented artists, make cameos in the documentary and have a unique perspective on the stream of ideas that embodied Micheal Larsen. Not only do some of those artists make cameo’s in the movie, they also play a huge role in the premiere shows as well.

A post-movie concert will be thrown for all of the movie’s attendees, headlined by friends and fellow Minnesotans DJ Abilities and Carnage the Executioner. The first date for Colorado has been completely sold-out, so a second show has been added for the following day on September 2, 2016. Show time starts at 1:30 p.m. so you have time to make it over to the Red Rocks show later that night, and tickets can be purchased here. Below you can check out an in depth interview with the film’s creator Brandon Crowson, as he spoke on the phone with 303 Magazine about the making of “The World has No Eyedea.”

303 Magazine: What was your original inspiration for making this movie?

Brandon Crowson: Well, Eyedea’s my favorite rapper, period blank. I know all of his catalog verbatim basically. His mother and I struck up a friendship sometime after he passed, we had some mutual friends. I do freelance video production, I’ve been doing that full-time since 2013, and she let me record voice overs and stuff with my audio person for a commercial we would make in Eyedea’s old studio. As a fan that was a huge, it was a big deal. Eventually she asked if I would transfer some old concert footage from VHS to digital, and I said yes, of course. So I did that for her and after I looked at all the footage she had, I told her that if she just let me interview the right twelve people and take the time to edit it well, I knew I could make a documentary that would be good and would get some play at film festivals. There’s definitely a demand for the story to be told, and I’m trying to tell stories for a living.

303: What was it like working with Eyedea’s mother, Kathy?

BC: Kathy is cool, man; we are still good friends. We were out in New York for that premiere and I think I was at her house like two days ago. She’s a grieving mother, she’s funny and she makes me laugh a lot. She has a million and one good stories, and a lot of them happen to be about my favorite hip-hop artists so it’s always fun to hang out with her. But that’s like the main thing that comes to mind for me, is that she’s a grieving mother. She co-produced the film with me so it was pretty much just me getting input from her on the stuff I was doing.

303: What was the process of editing like, a lot of work?

BC: Oh god yes, because I was thorough man. She gave me full access, so I was actually able to go through all of his old hard drives and backup CD’s. Oliver Hart is my favorite album and I actually got to go through different drafts of the different songs of Oliver Hart that he saved to backup CD from way back in the day. So ya, that part was time consuming. I tried to edit the documentary to where Eyedea tells as much of his own story as possible. I obliviously have a lot of interviews too, but I’ll have someone kind of talk about something, and if I have footage of Mike talking about that same thing, I’ll cut to that, or if he’s addresses that issue in a song, I’ll cut to a performance of that song. So yeah, editing was really fun but it was hard condensing 27 years of epic life experiences into an hour and a half. That was the trickiest part. That’s why we did the web series after making some cuts from the film, and we released them for free on YouTube to help build hype for the project.

303: What has the general community reaction been so far?

BC: We’ve actually had really good responses so far, like people literally wept at the New York premiere. And the fan love has been enormous as well. When Kathy first green lit this, I tried to raise six grand on indie gogo, and we made that in 48 hours and ended up breaking $21,000 in 30 days. So that was kind of our budget, and I really took that as a sign that the demand was there. Like okay, if I’m as serious as I’m trying to be, I feel like Eyedea’s life story should be more than a straight to DVD film. 20,000 dollars in comparison to most feature length films isn’t anything, but we’ve been able to do this in a way to where we are holding our own against six and seven figure films and that’s really mind blowing to me. I mean, I’m working really hard on it every day, but it’s the fan support that is really pushing it to where it’s at now.

  1. A few typos, his name is spelled “Micheal” and the album is spelled “Oliver Hart”

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