Insanely talented video directors Lamar + Nik were kind enough to share some words with me.
One of your first videos with Lushlife had a handmade aesthetic vibe that resonated well with audiences brought up in a digital age. How does that handmade element incorporate in defining your style?
We really appreciate how much the handmade aesthetic can add to a project. When we first starting working together as a duo we looked into Nuke and Cinema 3D, but ultimately it just wasn’t that fun to us. We wanted to be out getting our hands dirty and physically create something. Digital effects have come a long way and look great, but there’s still something to be said about just going out and doing everything practically and by hand. For us it’s nice to see our ideas manifest in real life rather than on a computer screen and since that is such a rarity it resonates with people.
Your video with Houses had the same DIY feel with the stacked tvs and ice sculptures. What inspires your hands on style?
We both feel like we are artists and creating something by hand has a very transformative element to any project we work on. Had the ice city video been done digitally it would have looked cool, but not have felt as personal for us. The thing about our hand-crafted style on smaller projects and even larger commercials is that it adds character. We don’t really like to call our style DIY because we like to make polished projects, but earlier on it was just Nik and myself trying to make something out of nothing. Essentially, we just want to have our work to relate with people. Not everyone would make an ice city in their mother’s garage, but people can appreciate the work we put into it whether they are into film or not.
In an age where you see artists making more videos, more directors making more videos. What are your thoughts on quality vs. quantity?
That’s always an interesting question. The domination of DSLR’s has made everyone a self proclaimed professional photographer, director, etc. To be honest that’s how we started as well. No one thought we were directors or even that we had great ideas, but we just went ahead and did what we wanted. It’s a blessing and a curse. It’s easy for anyone to just start making films, but that also means anyone and everyone is your competition in the long run. That makes it harder if you’re trying to make a living or be “discovered”. Ultimately people with unique voices will be heard though. Whether that be an artist, a filmmaker, a photographer, etc. It’s all about finding your specific voice and separating yourself from the pack. That’s kind of how it’s always been.
If making the connection was no problem, who would you want to work with next?
Off the top of our heads Missy Elliott or Denzel Washington.
What trends do you see developing into obstacles and how do you see yourself planning for the future?
Internet culture. So much about the entertainment industry right now is buzz. They love you one day and forget about you the next day, With such a heavy stream of content scrolling past your eyeballs everyday it’s kind of hard not to be in that mindset. If you don’t have the buzz you don’t get the jobs. We’re helping ourselves deal with this obstacle by having a stronger social media presence as well as putting out projects that are very personal for us. Even with some of the higher budget things we’ve done it’s always great to be able to have no restraints and strictly do a good idea exactly how we want to do it.
If you were alive before music videos what would you be doing?
I’m not really sure. Was skateboarding a thing? We used to skateboard and film skateboarding a lot more before we started making music videos. So maybe we’d just film skateboarding and possibly beat Spike Jonze to the golden age of music videos.
If you could give yourself advice now to your younger self getting started what would it be?
Don’t get bogged down in trying to do things just for money. Stay true to what got you interested in making films in the first place. Create. Create. Create. Never put your career in someone else’s hands. It’s up to you and it’s always been up to you to make the life you want to live. Stay the fuck away from dairy.