Where do you live?
What do you enjoy most about your city?
When I get to leave it to go anywhere else in the world.
You have worked on a lot of music videos, can you discuss your most memorable experiences?
I’ve been directing videos for almost ten years now and was a cinematographer before that. Each one is such a unique and awesome experience that to think of memorable ones are tricky, they are all memorable. A couple that come to mind are finding myself on a custom-made barge on a lake in Austin with the world’s only crane that goes underwater, trying to shoot a one-take video for Norah Jones where we only had 20 minutes of the right lighting conditions to get the video shot. Shooting Taylor Swift’s last video in Paris the day before my child was due and looking at my phone for signs from my wife was equally memorable, as was shooting Lenny Kravitz in an old haunted house in New Orleans just a few months before shooting him on the beach in Rio in front of about 1.2 million people. There’s been car chases in Seoul, location scouts by snow mobile on Icelandic glaciers, giraffe-spotting in South Africa and much much more that doesn’t come to mind right now!
At this point I’m fortunate that I can pick and choose my projects, which didn’t use to be the case, I just had to take what I could get. For me, it’s all about if the artist is someone I love or if there’s a particular idea that’s been floating in my head and a song comes along that suits it.
How did you get involved with the Taylor Swift video? What did you like about the premise?
I’ve done a couple videos with taylor in the past and her team reached out to me for this project. Taylor is incredible in that she comes to the table with such a vision. In this case she already knew she wanted to tell the story of two children whose friendship blossoms over the course of the video, with the big reveal of Taylor and Ed picking them up at the end. She was interested in the idea of the children replicating adult-like activities in very child-like ways. She gave me a few examples and then I brainstormed others as the pre-production evolved.
What inspired you during the production process?
Location scouting was a great inspiration. I’ve been out of high school for almost 20 years and was blown away by how different classrooms are today! I really wanted the film to be timeless rather than ridden with the latest technology, so as I walked through classrooms I alternately soaked in all the children’s creativity and tried to be blind to all the electronic advancements!
What do you think of littleBits? What made you want to create a tattoo gun?
I felt like getting tattoos is such a standard part of young adulthood now so when taylor said she wanted this to be about children doing adult-like things, this was a no-brainer to me. I even remember crudely drawing fake tattoos on my arms as a kid with sharpies and thought it would be really funny to take it up a notch and have this absurdly complicated device. It was INCREDIBLY easy working with little bits. We actually didn’t get the package in until the day we had to shoot and the art department only had about an hour or so to open up the box and put something together!
Any advice for those creating with littleBits?
It seems like you can literally do anything with them!! I would just say think big and think small. Re-create the most complicated thing you can think of, or the simplest. Either way you’re going to have a blast and wind up with something wholly original.
Click here to learn how to make Taylor Swift’s Tattoo Gun.