marches aux puces

this video is for throwback thursday! i shot this promo video for a great friend and photographer Andrew Kovalev ( he worked on a series entitled 'marche aux puces' for years, and upon its completion, he asked if i could shot a short documentary/promo video to advertise this impressive series. 

beware directed by matthew williams

1st and foremost i must say that matthew williams work is pretty dope. his work displays huge juxtapositions of surrealism and realism. he loves to make his audience feel as though they are watching a documentary of something, and suddenly you creep into this surrealist moment for just a short while, then boom, back to reality. however, i am not a fan of this video at all. very well executed, but i am definitely surprised. 

my interpretation: definitely more towards the "short film" direction. would have loved to see something with a narrative, very passionate, with a lot of different emotions (anger, sadness, distress, love, charm, innocence, unity, and desire.) the color thing could have came into play simply with differently lighting set ups. (red=desire/passion, blue+sadness). something like this i think would have been more effective in expressing the meaning of the song, and meanwhile, showing a different and brighter side to big sean. a bit disappointed, but not surprised when i see the direction of music videos anyway.  


the joker

this song is a tribute to an amazing singer and composer lucky ali. the music video is a dedication to love that is near and far.

talent/editor- jalaj tyagi
cinematographer/lighting director- vasily veprintsev

camera operator- amanda jones

lykke li

love discovering new artists. lykke li is a swedish artist whos music is a mix and open to all ears. this simple music video reflections her love for eclecticism. 

the drake song that i mentioned in the previous post. take the time out to listen to the song while watching the alice and wonderland clip. i don’t think i would turn drake, the talent, into a caterpillar. his swag doesn’t really call for that. i really love how the scene opens with the slow track into the subject and the set. the leaving add my favorite cinematic approach breaking the fourth wall that separates the audience from the visual. i really love the affect it gives the viewer watching. people are always flattered with invitation. this aesthetic can do that!! 

i would definitely keep the talent on top of some sort of pedestal. maybe something related to music. i was thinking a turning record player, but then i thought that might be a little to expected. i always try to be not so boring. maybe to keep along with the whole fantasy dream-like thing i already got going one, why not place the artist in the booth. RAP CITY style. (there will be a future post about RAP CITY, stay tuned.) he can be on the pedestal, but he doesn’t necessarily have to be. 

i really like that fact the drake is an artist that almost has an extremely conscious need to just spit rhymes. videos may have some color lighting, great choreography, gorgeous women, and great camera work, but they all seem to focus on the artist simply (for the lack of a better phrase) spitting his lyrics. and i personally love that about a rap artist still so new to legion of hip hop. as a director it is my goal to create something that truly represents the artist and myself visually. state to the point yet a little inviting. 

"dreams money can buy" inspiration

so i was listening to one of my favorite songs by drake “dreams money can buy” and i’m not sure why but today i immediately thought of alice and wonderland. in particular the scene with the infamous caterpillar. still thinking of a little twist i would add to it. i really love the whimsical  art direction that collaborates with the slithering movement and curving lines everywhere! i really would want something that clearly be referenced back to this particular scene in alice in wonderland. however, being that not only are we talking about a treatment for a music video, but for an artist like drake, i dont think the “disney land”/”everyone loves a fairy tale” feel will really work. therefore, there must be some other type of visual aspect that will juxtapose. it would be a great aspect to visually investigate the creation of a world so complex in its twists and turns but on the surface of humanity develops inevitable chaos.

why i love NABIL

“welcome to heartbreak” kanye west and kid cudi. directed by Nabil (who is AMAZING!!) dont look at the concept so much. look at how its seems as though we are getting so close to the overall reveal of the talent but are continuously diverted by something else. if nothing else its just a sick music video i must say so myself. 

"locked out of heaven " directed by cameron duddy & bruno mars

incredible! give this video three thumbs up. one of my favorite music videos currently. i love how its looks back to 70s filmmaking, but its not so deliberate. from the filming, to the styling, to the action, the music video screams 70s influenced. however, the video guards its creativity and brings a little originality to popular music videos. 

what you won't do for love

bobby caldwell. great video for its time. i love the references to his album covers and posters but the best for me is bobby caldwell. i love how he's not trying to be some smooth good looking r&b singer. he's just being himself.  


“confessions part 2” usher directed by Chris Robinson (not the best director in the world, but deserves much respect. the man is kind of a legend. ignore the beginning. we don’t care about the narrative so much (but narratives usually are good additions to music videos because then its not just a music video anymore.) 

look at the lighting, approach, movements of the talent, camera movements, and what specific parts of the body are shown that correspond emotionally. i prefer more of a contrast for this video, meaning playing with blacks and whites. however, the neutral toning to this video give it a sort of blithe and nonchalant feeling. i dont think that will work for the remake of “hero”. the song isnt about a gray area. the song isnt about “should i go left or should i go right.” the talent has already made their decision, but i’m afraid the feeling is so strong that it leaves him really feeling more bemused. 

caribbean queen

billy ocean “caribbean queen”. this video is bad thats its good. i couldn’t help but notice the awful casting, mediocre editing, and unflattering lighting. At the same time, i couldn’t help but love the video. It could be because I really love the song, but more so because of the video’s creative concept and strangely amazing visually additions.

the video introduces the artist for what he is, a performer that is just like everyone else when it comes to crushes. through the shots and narrative approach, i got that feeling of anxiety when you have a crush; being afraid to talk to that person you secretly adore. i really liked the set design of his performance sequence. im glad the director decided to ad more creative camera movements to transform the set from a stage and into cinematic entertainment. best part of the video was the saxophone sequence! pure genius. i was a bit disappointed that the actor was not actually playing the saxophone, but somehow still worked. i really thought that the rapid strobe lighting made the white strings and painted in white performer make sense. even with all of its technical faults, i really could not help but to enjoy this music video.