Project info: Music Video
Song Title: "Never"
Director: Edwin Decena
The camera dollies around a parked SUV to find Jaheim leaning on the front bumper. Jaheim places a call to his lady, Gabrielle.
Gabrielle, who at the time is having dinner with her girlfriends, answers the call.
“Hey Jah baby”
Jaheim smiles and answers back,“Hey love, you gon’ meet me at the spot tonight right? (beat) Aiight just makin’ sure”
Gabrielle hears the street noise in the background which prompts her to ask “Where you at right now?” At this point Gabrielle’s nosy girlfriends (Latisha and KIM) begin to tune in to her conversation.
Jaheim shoots back, “I’m by the shop right now, handling somethings”
Gabrielle’s facial expression changes. “At the shop? With X, Y, Z (whatever his boys names are – cameo op) and them?” Her girlfriend Latisha begins to chime in by sucking her teeth and shaking their head while KIM listens (she has a shady look to her). Gabrielle is disappointed in Jaheim and says “See for that you could have been here with me, I should know better, you aint NEVER gonna change”
Jaheim holds back any instinct he as to fight back and says “Look, just meet me at the spot tonight aiight?” Gabrielle bites her bottom lip in frustration then finally says, “I’ think I’m gonna go ahead and just go out of town tonight (to see her parents maybe??) ”
Jaheim’s eyes open wide “Yooo! What?? Nah don’t…”
Gabrielle hangs up the phone.
Shit. Jaheim, couldn’t even get the last word in. With the chance that his love might leave him, Jaheim starts to move like a man on a mission.
The video will unfold with two narrative sequences. One focusing on Gabrielle: as she feeds into the “He aint never gonna change” comments from her girlfriends and makes her way to a station where she will catch a train out of town. The other narrative sequence focuses on Jaheim as he desperately tries to catch up to his love before she escapes him.
Jaheim walks from his car to the sidewalk in front of a barbershop (pool hall, etc) where his boys are shooting dice and parlaying with some around the way girls. Jaheim flirts with the girls for a quick second before signaling to for his boys to roll out.
After hanging up the phone Gabrielle’s friend Latisha begins her Jaheim bashing tirade, “Forget him girl, I’ll take you to the train station, take some time off and get your mind right…”
KIM excuses herself.
“I forgot I have to go do something, I’ll catch up with ya’ll later” She says
Latisha and Jaheim’s girl Gabrielle give her a “where you goin look” before they get back to bashing Jaheim.
Jaheim and his homies walk through a strip (something of a shopping district, ie downtown Newark, BK, Queens, etc). Just as they are about to walk into the more “hood” store, Jaheim makes a beeline into a more sophisticated boutique next door. His friends don’t follow.
While in the store Jaheim trades his trademark timbs and jeans for a fresh pair of shoes and slacks. As he looks at himself in the mirror, Jaheim chuckles to himself. NEVER in a million years did he ever think he’d take off them timbs to look like this!
The city reflects on a slightly tinted window. If we focus, we can look pass the reflections and see Gabrielle’s face behind the window. As she is being chauffeured by one of her instigating girlfriends, it’s obvious that she’s got Jaheim in her thoughts.
At this point we will introduce a band performance scene that features the Jaheim. This performance will be inter-cut throughout the video. It will feature, tight, intimate close-ups of Jaheim as he softly, yet passionately performs the song, showing a bit of vulnerability that women will find irresistible. The lighting in this piece portion will be very subtle, natural and very cinematic. There will be a sporadic passing light that will flash across Jaheim’s face, leaving us to wonder where he actually is. We wont exactly get a sense of where he is, and how this scene relates to the unfolding story (more on that to come).
While in the store, Jaheim eyes a fashionable blazer. a stylish, finishing touch to his outfit. As he takes off his track jacket, the dressing room door creeps open.
Someone is sneaking a peak at Jaheim.
The last thing Jaheim removes is his jersey. He ceremoniously hangs it up in the changing room rack and puts on a button up, followed by the fashionable blazer (suit, etc). Jaheim looks in the mirror and cracks a smile.
Jaheim takes a closer look in the mirror and sees that the dressing room door is ajar.
Jaheim can see Gabrielle’s friend KIM smiling through the door. Jaheim quickly turns away from the mirror and sees KIM come through the dressing room door. This is a surprise. KIM is a very provocative woman. Every move about her is very seductive, and at the site of seing Jaheim in his new, dapper digs, she cant help but smile. She tugs on his blazer jacket and gives him a nod of approval.
KIM seems very shady as she pulls out a card and a strange bundle from her purse and gives it to Jaheim. As she rushes out, Jaheim stashes the bundle is his blazer pocket then looks at the card and smiles. (Seems like Jaheim is still up to his player ways.)
Once Jaheim steps out of the boutique, his boys are outside the truck waiting. Needless to say they can’t believe what they are seeing. Pointing to his shoes and pants, Jaheim’s boys give him a bit of a hard time, but he dismisses them and gets in the car and tells them to step on it.
It’s about rush hour. The traffic is stifling. The sense of urgency overcomes Jaheim. He looks up at the street and sees he’s about 4 blocks away from the train station. The freshly clad Jaheim hops out of the truck and jogs towards the station.
Gabrielle has just been dropped off at the station. As her friends pull off, Gabrielle hopelessly looks around the busy streets, hoping to see her prince charming (Jaheim). Of course, there is no sign of Jaheim. Gabrielle shakes her head in disappointment. She heads down to the station to catch her train.
Gabrielle stands on the edge of her platform. Waiting on the train. Her frustration is kicking in, but she swears to god she ain’t about to cry for this n99@*!
We will now cut to wider, more revealing shots of the intimate Jaheim performance scene. These revealing shots fit the performance in the context of our story. We now see that all this time, Jaheim’s been standing on the platform of the train station, waiting for Gabrielle. Jaheim’s eyes are fixed straight ahead. He sees Gabrielle.
And in an instant, Gabrielle looks up. Just as she can make out a resemblance that that might be Jaheim standing at the platform directly across from her, a passing train blocks her view. Shit!
Once the train passes, Gabrielle eyes dart around to see if it was indeed Jaheim. But again, there is no signs of him. “Shit, I’m trippin” she whispers to herself.
Gabrielle looks down the tunnel and she can see her train slowly arriving. Gabrielle rummages through her louis bag to make sure she has her ticket. Once she retrieves her ticket, Gabrielle looks up.
Much to her surprise, she sees one of Jaheim’s friends walking across her path. She looks in bewilderment as he smiles at her. Gabrielle looks around with a look of “what the f*ck??” written all over her face.
As she looks around, things get even more surreal. Now she can her two friends sheepishly standing behind her.
“Latisha, KIM, what are ya’ll doin here”
Yes, even shady KIM is there.
At this point we will cut in to a brief, revealing flashback montage that details the specifics of what transpired earlier in the day. From KIM’s leaving Gabrielle’s apartment, to her encounter with Jaheim, to the information that was on the card (the handwritten note on the card reads the exact address of the trainstation where Gabrielle was going to be dropped off), to Jaheim clutching the bundled package KIM gave him.
Flash forward to Gabrielle.
Just then Gabrielle feels someone’s breath behind her. She whips around and finds a gallant Jaheim standing in front of her. A crowd of people (some very familiar to the viewer-from previous scenes) starts to form a circle around Gabrielle, right in the train station!
Gabrielle’s eyes are glimmering with wild excitement. “Jah baby, what is going on??”
Jaheim pulls out the mysterious “bundle” from his jacket. He carefully unfolds it to reveal a brilliant engagement ring. Gabrielle looks around, the station to see everyone’s excited face, she still cant believe this is happening to her!
She turns back to Jaheim who is now on bended knee.
She says yes…Fade to Black.
There will be a “television” version of this video where the conversation/argument between Jaheim and Gabrielle (during the intro) will be told through images while the song is playing (to ensure that the run time of this video is TV friendly). A dramatic, long-playing version (with the dialogue at the top of the treatment) will be used for other promotional/marketing vehicles.