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Interview with LAMAR+NIK: All CAPS. Nospaces. Or else.

Lejmo Vidmar subota, 6. srpnja 2013

Zaintrigirali smo se za rad dvojca LAMAR+NIK kada smo vidjeli njihov spot za Lushlifeovu "Magnoliju". Nakon što smo saznali da su upravo oni ti koji su snimili novi (i neočekivani) spot za novi singl Pixiesa odlučili smo im se javiti i pitati ih kako im ide i koji su im najdraži spotovi.

Would you please introduce yourselves and what it is you do.

- We are Jesse Lamar High and Nik Harper. We are directors under the moniker LAMAR+NIK. All caps. No spaces. Or else. Hahaha.

How did you get into making music videos and how long have you been making music videos?

- We've always really been into music. When we started getting more involved with our film work we decided the best avenue for us to begin with would be through music videos.

What are the most common production problems in your experience?

- Just really initially figuring out how we want to attack an idea. Each of our videos is so different we have to really get into what we're doing to be able to see the idea succeed. Unlike most videos that are made, ours usually don't have something to reference most the time, so we have to be clever in our approach.


How did you get involved in making the Pixies video for "Bagboy" and what's the feedback so far?

- We got the Pixies video through a PR contact we had made on one of our other videos. She was so impressed with our work that she sent it around to her bigger clients. She told us to expect something soon, but months went past and we heard nothing. Out of nowhere we get an email from the Pixies. THEY WANTED US TO DO THE VIDEO. They didn't ask anyone else. As far as feedback on the video is concerned it has been overwhelmingly positive and we couldn't ask for more.

How much pressure was on you making the Pixies video knowing it would be largely popular and scrutinized?

- It just kind of comes with the territory. We obviously wanted to do a video for the Pixies because it would be a great opportunity for us. We knew what we were getting into and the larger the video you do the more criticism will accompany it.

Was there any attempt to get the band in the video?

- Our first pitch actually did feature the band in some way, but in the end they decided they'd rather not be in the video.

How does one get Lamar+Nik to direct their vid?

- LAMAR+NIK. All caps. No spaces. Hahaha. Honestly, it's all about how we are approached, if we like the music or project, and if the project is willing to pay at least for the idea we want to do, we consider it. At this point we feel we've proven ourselves that when we are approached for our talent we should at the very least be given a budget to make the idea happen. 

Your videos are good examples of how far you take a modest budget if you got the right ideas. What does your creative process consist of? Do you work with the artists or do you present yr ideas after you've come up with them?

- We usually present our ideas in a treatment after we've come up with something we feel would be a strong fit for the song or project. We have a plethora of ideas we have stored up that sometimes spark other ideas for a particular tune. Every time is its own process really. More or less though we just brainstorm and collaborate until an idea is solid.


Being a old/middle school hip hop enthusiast I first saw the work you did for Lushlife's "Magnolia" track. That video was recently shown at the Sprockets Music Video Festival. How was the reception and what was your experience with the longest running music video festival?

- We actually didn't get to attend Sprockets, but earlier this year "Magnolia" screened at SXSW and deadCENTER which we did attend. It was a pretty awesome experience and definitely something we'll remember for the rest of our lives.

What kind of other video work, other than music videos, are you involved in and what other video genres are you guys interested in?

- We are working in the music video medium right now, but soon enough a short we've been working on will come out. We are also interested in fashion films. We have a possible commercial in the works as well. Ultimately we'd like to end up doing features and television.

Some stand out music videos are say B Boys' "Sabotag"e, Talk Talk's "It's My Life", Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun", Devo's "Whip It", MIA's "Born Free", Fat Boy Slim's "Praise You" or "SlashDot", Massive Attack's  "Angel", the Die Antwoord vidoes... what are your favorite music videos?

- They are actually pretty embarrassing hahaha. We adore any Spike Jonze or Michel Gondry videos, but the ones we remember most are the ones we watched when we weren't into making film. These aren't our favorites, but it's always a good laugh to revisit them. Sum 41 "Fat Lip", Alien Ant Farm "Smooth Criminal", and the list goes on with things we wish we didn't like, but for some reason have a nostalgic connection to hahahaha.

These days music videos are largely promoted through internet media outlets. MTV even dropped „music television“ from its name. What are your views on modern music promotion and is the internet better than TV?

- You know the internet has become a real catalyst for music videos and helping people launch their careers. We're a clear product of that. We wouldn't even be doing this interview really. MTV had it's time, but I don't think it would be possible for people like us to succeed if the system still worked the same. We also think it gives people the possibility to see more creative work without filters. People can put whatever they want online. There's nobody "watering down" the music videos that can be seen by the world anymore and that's a really awesome thing.