Billy Ray Cyrus has found new life as an ass-kicking nug of weed in his latest video, “Angel in My Pocket.”
The one-time mullet king’s newest single and accompanying music video for the song is an ode to something every cannabis aficionado can recognize: an emergency joint.
The video brings Cyrus, aka Doobie Ray, to life as an animated cannabis bud, complete with the artists signature cowboy hat, boots, and beard. Cyrus voices the character who works at The Nug Nation gas station and breaks into jokes and street fights throughout the blues and country-based song.
The single comes off Cyrus’ latest album, The Snakedoctor Circus, out May 24. “Angel in My Pocket” is written by Don Von Tress, also responsible for the country star’s first chart-topping 1992 hit, “Achy Breaky Heart.”
The music video was co-directed by Potsy Ponciroli of Hideout Pictures and Mikey Peterson of The Nug Nation.
We spoke to Peterson about the process of creating the animation for the music video, and some of his favorite moments from it.
Peterson explained that “Angel in My Pocket” took two straight weeks to complete.
“The team got the green light to create the video on Easter Sunday and delivered it just four days before it premiered on Youtube on May 9,” said Peterson.
The process required “all hands on deck,” said Peterson, adding that The Nug Nation’s team of eight worked every day and night — sometimes for 40 hours straight hours — to create the animated enlivened nugs and storyline.
The hardest scenes to shot were the rocket landing, and the car jumping scenes. Peterson explained that maneuvering the smoke, and the weight and positioning of the car, made it a difficult undertaking.
One of Peterson’s favorites scene is the car’s landing in the hemp field, he explained, “there’s an abrupt stop to the song [and an ensuing joke] which makes it impactful.”
Animation projects like these — and the ones found on The Nug Nation’s website — are shot frame-by-frame, Peterson explained. One second of animated footages takes an average of 24 frames.“A lot of those images are then doubled depending on the scene and if any rigging is needed,” he said. “Rigging is the process of deleting stands and supports that hold up characters or props within a scene.”
The process took around than 10,000 still frames in total to complete the video, which is just over four minutes long.
“Animation is the most tedious form of production you can possibly do,” Peterson said. “Everything is done frame-by-frame.” All materials are hand-built, including the set and characters. After design and filming are done, it goes into post-production, where it’s turned into video and edited, “so the process is more extensive than anyone could ever imagine for one second of video,” he added.
All of the nugs in “Angel in My Pocket” and other Nug Nation creations are made from real cannabis. The cannabis is provided by Whole Meds Dispensary in Denver, Colorado, who select each for its photogenic color and texture.
Not to worry, though, no top-shelf buds were harmed in the making of the video.
“It’s not top-shelf, it’s only used for visuals. No need to waste the good stuff,” he laughed.
The Nug Nation’s collaboration with Billy Ray Cyrus was rather serendipitous.
The company produces a series of stop-motion animated comedy clips. The Nug Nation is part of BurnTV’s original programming lineup. BurnTV is a lifestyle and entertainment network set to launch this summer1.
Each episode of The Nug Nation series takes place in Nugville, a fictional Colorado town. One of its main characters Diesel (named after the famous strain Sour Diesel) works at The Nug Nation Gas Station, which also appears at the beginning of “Angel in My Pocket.”
When asked if Cyrus’ song — whose lyrics include “I lost my job at the station” — was in homage to the comedy series, Peterson said it was a coincidence, one that started a conversation and a collaboration between the video’s co-directors and Cyrus’ management team.
Part of the enjoyment of this project, and animation in general, said Peterson, is the ability to go off script, and “throw in some funny gags.” One example of this is in the video’s fight scene.
“Our lead animator, Jamey Jorgensen, thought it would be funny if the joint just pops up in someone’s mouth [during the fight],” Peterson said. “It’s fun to add little surprises or scenes within a scene that were not originally written. Animators are actors themselves in the sense that they become these characters during the animation process and are given the freedom of improving when they feel the need to.”
Keep an eye out for more Nug Nation collaborations in the near future. While Peterson remains tight-lipped about details, he hinted at an upcoming project which will feature an Instagram series and a well-known artist.
The Jerry Garcia Cannabis Collection to Launch in 2020
It looks like one of rock’s most famous guitarists is finally getting into the cannabis industry, following the recent announcement of the Jerry Garcia Cannabis Collection that’s set to launch next summer.
A post on Garcia’s Instagram account on Friday, claims the new cannabis line will be “Honoring Jerry’s legacy in a fun and authentic way.”
The estate of the late guitarist of the Grateful Dead shared a series of photos along with the caption, “Introducing a whole new way to experience Garcia. Like his music and art, Jerry’s signature cannabis collection will be spontaneous, revelatory, healing, and anything but ordinary. We cant wait to share this experience with fans next year. Launching Summer 2020!”
A short statement of the Jerry Garcia 2020 website offered some very general info about the overall brand ahead of its upcoming launch next summer. Fans can also register to receive the first updates of information on the Jerry Garcia Cannabis Collection in the coming months.
Magic and bliss, exploration and celebration. A simple, free, and optimistic live. This is Jerry Garcia’s uniquely personal legacy as an artist. And the inspiration behind his namesake cannabis product line. Like his music and art – and unlike any other product available – Jerry’s signature cannabis collection will be spontaneous, revelatory, healing, and anything but ordinary.
Garcia is the second member of the Grateful Dead getting into the weed game. Earlier this year, drummer Mickey Hart, announced the launch of his own “Mind Your Head” cannabis brand, which includes 1/3-gram joints.
Social Cannabis Use Reform Receives Big Endorsement
The first cannabis reform victory in the United States occurred in 1973 when Oregon decriminalized cannabis possession. In 1996, California became the first state to legalize cannabis for medical use. Colorado and Washington State became the first states to legalize cannabis for adult use in 2012.
Another historic victory was achieved in 2016 when Denver voters approved an initiative to legalize social-use establishments in city limits.
Social cannabis use reform is a relatively new political concept, however, social use establishments have operated in the United States for a number of years, albeit illegally.
What is Social Cannabis Use Reform?
Unregulated, unlicensed cannabis clubs have existed in the United States for decades, many of which have allowed on-site cannabis consumption.
Some establishments were designed to distribute medical cannabis and others required people to bring their own cannabis and pay a fee to enter the venue.
Many concerts served as de facto social cannabis use sites over the years, with concert-goers openly consuming cannabis. On-site cannabis consumption was very common at cannabis competitions where musicians performed.
During the second half of this decade, a big push has been underway to license and regulate social use venues, including events.
Fortunately, licensed social use venues are becoming more common in legal states, although many legal cannabis states still prohibit them.
The Social Cannabis Use Reform Movement Receives a Big Endorsement
Earlier this week, presidential candidate Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard endorsed social cannabis use reform in an interview with the International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC).
Congresswoman Gabbard will be appearing live from the campaign trail via Skype at the upcoming ICBC in San Francisco in February.
“If someone can legally purchase cannabis from a state-regulated dispensary, legally possess it, and legally consume it, they should also have a legal setting in which to conduct that activity if someone wants to provide that setting for them in a safe manner that keeps cannabis away from children and properly helps mitigate driving under the influence,” Gabbard said in the interview.
The endorsement appears to mark the first time that a presidential candidate has specifically endorsed social cannabis use reform.
“Cannabis opponents act as if social cannabis use venues do not exist anywhere in the United States, which is not actually the case,” Gabbard went on to say. “The city of Denver passed an initiative to allow regulated social cannabis use venues, and they exist in parts of California as well.
“Venues would need to be implemented and regulated properly to ensure safety and that age restriction policy is enforced. A strong, ongoing public awareness effort would need to occur as well, which could be funded by social-use license fees. As President, I’d support giving our states and local jurisdictions the flexibility to adopt sound public policy that includes social cannabis use reform.”
Social Cannabis Use Is an Important Component of Comprehensive Cannabis Reform
In 2012, social cannabis use reform was not on most cannabis advocates’ radar. It is a fairly granular cannabis policy that has taken time for advocates to become familiar with.
Social cannabis use reform is very important and is something that cannabis advocates should always push for as part of the greater effort to legalize cannabis for medical and adult-use.
Cannabis may be legal to purchase in Washington State, however, racial disparities in cannabis enforcement is still a problem.
In Seattle, a study found that “about 36% of those arrested for public pot use were African American, who are 8% of the city’s population.”
If a medical cannabis patient lives in housing that is subsidized by the federal government, they are not permitted to consume cannabis in their homes.
College students that live in student housing and tourists in legal markets have nowhere to legally consume state-legal cannabis, despite the fact that they can legally purchase it.
Social cannabis use reform is the answer. It provides for a legal setting for patients and consumers and it’s a smart public policy, as Congresswoman Gabbard points out.
Hopefully, her endorsement will boost social use reform efforts.
Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard will be appearing at the ICBC in San Francisco via Skype from the campaign trail live from New Hampshire.
Sherbinskis Has a New Home in Hollywood
Sherbinskis has cemented its place as one of the legal cannabis titans with the opening of the new flagship store on the iconic Fairfax Avenue in Hollywood, Los Angeles.
Famed grower Mario Guzman a.k.a. Mr Sherbinski has created something of a cultural phenomenon with his premium Sherbinskis genetics including the Gelato family, Pink Panties and Sunset Sherbert.
Sherbinskis strains have a cult-like status, lauded among musicians, entertainers and cannaseurs alike, including some of the A-list guests in attendance of the launch party, including Ty Dolla $ign, NBA star Al Harrington and Ben Baller.
A ‘designer’ cannabis-and-lifestyle brand, the Sherbinskis product line has expanded beyond just premium flower to include cartridges of cannabis oil for the Double Barrel vape, the first patented dual cartridge on the market, which was also on display at the launch party.
In addition, Sherbinskis has launched prerolls, collaborated with Post Malone for his Shaboink prerolls, released a limited edition pair of Nike and launched a clothing line. They also recently announced a partnership with No Vet Alone to providing relief to military veterans, a reflection of Guzman’s appreciation and admiration for the cannabis plant as medicine.
Originating from the Bay Area with close ties to the Cookies Fam, Guzman’s ethos of old-school hippie values and weed culture has evolved into a company very much focused on high-end cannabis and iconic branding.
Next time you’re in Hollywood, stop by Sherbinskis at 345 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles.
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