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Kid Wise Casts HipNJ Kids in Viral Music Video

By Kenneth Barilari

#HipNJ spoke with Jeff Pinilla and Matt Pourviseh, the duo responsible for “Hold On,” the latest music video from French group, Kid Wise.

Pinilla and Pourviseh launched their production company, Astronada, in December. However, they have been working together for ten years.  About four years ago, they were working on a script for a short film with basically zero money. Once the film was complete, they started submitting it to film festivals. It won Best Short Film at Woodstock Film Festival and began to gain momentum online. That film, titled, The Earth, the way I left it, can be seen here.

Three years later, a Swedish band reached out asking to license the short film to use as a music video. The pair agreed, and the music video gained over 30,000 views. Months later, the guitar player of Kid Wise asked them to create something original for the band. Kid Wise sent them the new song, and the two got started.

“Jeff called me and told me about the opportunity,” Pourviseh says. “I immediately liked the song, and got started writing the concept.” The video is a combination of Peter Pan and The Lost Boys, showcasing a child making a wish at his birthday party, then becoming an adventurer.

“We are children ourselves,” Pourviseh says. “I have an obsession with Peter Pan, and The Lost Boys is one of my favorite movies, so I wanted to intertwine those two things.”

The video was shot with a tiny budget, so there was not enough money to go through full casting. So, Vanessa Rufo, Pinilla’s girlfriend, reached out to her family in Wyckoff. “A lot of her cousins are kids, and their friends sent photos,” Pinilla says. All of the children featured in the final product are from New Jersey.

“They had a blast,” Pourviseh says of the NJ kids. “The day before shooting, I wanted to meet all the kids and have them meet us, so we held the meeting inside the blanket fort and they didn’t want to leave.”

The two relied on teamwork to ensure that the project went as smoothly as possible. “It’s hard enough to direct one child, then add six and have all these moving parts…there were moments when me and Matt divided and conquered,” Pinilla says.

Their goal in making this video was to get Kid Wise some notoriety in the states. When their album comes out later this month, they will be buying it. They are happy to have worked with a group that shares a similar passion for their work, calling this a “passion project.”

As mentioned earlier, Pinilla’s girlfriend, Vanessa Rufo, helped out with casting. In addition, Roxie Kratt, Pourviseh’s girlfriend, built all the blanket forts and handled wardrobe along with Michael Staffieri. Rufo’s stepmom and stepsister were the main actresses.

Watch the video above, and click here to visit Astronada’s website. Check out the video’s official credits below.