Hey all -
I didn't get a chance to do the text-based companion to the 2 videos: KKK video or the "the naam-uh-saa-kay" video. Both of those videos should be up now, so here is the "making of". I'll start with the KKK one.
The video was shot on the set of a film i'm currently working on (Harold and Kumar 2), during some downtime. When I see KKK guys in their outfits, they make me think of clowns. Cowards. People who hide their faces, knowing the shame (not to mention moral and legal remorse) they should feel for their actions. The reality of the KKK and it's part in the brutal suppression of non-white, non-heteronormative, non-Christian Americans is that the organization and its members murdered, tortured, and terrorized innocent people. One of the objectives of their actions was to violate the human rights of people of color.
So in deciding to shoot a short video with actors dressed as KKK members discussing a film featuring predominantly characters and performers of color, the entire existence of the Klan is being ridiculed and disempowered. This is done specifically without using any racial, ethnic, or gender-based indicators. It purposely subverts racism and violence rather than expanding upon or embracing it. For more on some of my personal heroes, I urge you to read essays by Gandhi, King, Assata, and Malcolm X on issues pertaining to structures of power, race, and violence. Of course, the basis of the MLK nonviolent civil rights movement is Gandhian in nature, and I think that ties in to the very universal themes of the film in many ways (not overtly, but with regard to the progressive Bengali political sphere).
As far as the "naam-uh-saa-kay" video - that's sort of a takeoff on some of the identity-based issues people bring up (mispronouncing names, misunderstanding contexts, etc). It's not unlike a couple of scenes from the film, but perhaps more generally is an embellishment of reactions to the things that people sometimes see (and comment on) through what they view as a "south asian american" lens rather than a strictly human one.
Special thanks to Jerry Johnson and Macc Niemann for the first video, and Jorma Taccone and Andy Samberg for the second one.