Harold "Hype" Williams (born 1970; Queens, New York), previously known as HYPE, is an American music video and film director of African-American and Honduran descent. His nickname "Hype" comes from his hyperactive nature as a child. Williams first displayed his work by tagging local billboards, storefronts, and playgrounds using HYPE as his graffiti tag. "That's probably what stimulated my interests in color," he says. "I wanted to be Basquiat or Keith Haring of the streets."
Williams graduated from Andrew Jackson High School of Art and Music in 1987. He later attended Adelphi University. Hype's big break came when he began working with Classic Concepts Video Productions. Lionel "Vid Kid" Martin & VJ Ralph McDaniels created Hype's first opportunity with the "Filmmakers With Attitude" moniker (FWA), which was Hype's first video company.
A signature style used by Williams throughout the vast majority of his videos (shot mostly with cinematographer John Perez) was the Fisheye lens which distorted the camera view around the central focus. This was used by the tandem Williams/Perez in "Gimme Some More" by Busta Rhymes and "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)" by Missy Elliott; however, it was dropped by 2003, when he experienced his lowest level of production activity since the beginning of his career as a music video director.
Another "signature style" involves placing shots in regular widescreen ratio, while a second shot is split and placed in the upper and lower bars. Videos that use this style include "Diamonds on my Neck" by Smitty, "I Ain't Heard of That" by Slim Thug, "So Sick" by Ne-Yo, "In My Hood" by Young Jeezy, "Gomenasai" by t.A.T.u., "Check On It" by Beyoncé, "Freeze" by LL Cool J, "Snap Yo Fingers" by Lil Jon and many others.
Since 2003, Williams has adopted a signature style combining a center camera focus on the artist or actor's body from the torso upward and a solid color background with a soft different-color light being shown in the center of the background, so as to give a sense of illumination of the background by the foreground subject. This has been displayed in "Gold Digger" by Kanye West, "Digital Girl" (Remix) by Jamie Foxx and Beyoncé's "Video Phone".