ALAN MASFERRER TALKS KLYNE - QUESTIONS FROM LUKE TIERNEY
The story goes that Alan Masferrer was the first director to be featured on the new (current) site, and well, the rest has been a loving relationship ever since. We could see straight away this guy knew to do things his way. Unique choreography meets harsh beautiful (neon) lighting are themes Alan's has often visited and this is an incredible culmination of all his that, and on a budget, not that you could tell. We, again, caught up with Alan for a chat to find out where the colour scheme came from, how big the octopuses were and where he got those outfits from. Word Is Cheap: Is there a narrative behind the progression of the video? Alan Masferrer: Of course! Although I approached it in a more instinctive way than usual, it turned out being a very linear story, but honestly I think that's the less important thing. What I really wanted was to make something very suggestive that immersed the viewer in a hypnotic way. It's more about feelings than understandings or interpretations. There's a phrase from designer Anthony Burrill that left a lasting mark upon me that says: "I like it, what is it?", and that's the feeling I usually like to get from the viewer.
There’s a phrase from designer Anthony Burrill that left a lasting mark upon me that says: “I like it, what is it?”, and that’s the feeling I usually like to get from the viewer
WIC: How did you decide on the colour scheme? AM: I was obsessed with that kind of environment created by two different colours at the same time, and when I listened to the song magenta and cyan came to my mind immediately, although we adjusted them with Marc Miró (DOP) at the shoot. My main concern was to avoid the usual duo-tone, where a colour is used for the key light and the other one for the back one for example. I wanted it so that they really merged together. To get it we added smoke particles in a very subtle way and we designed a scheme of lights that let us get a wide range of configurations, using a lighting controller to turn on and off every light manually and independently. It was pretty complex, but Marc did an amazing job controlling everything and getting to make it look even more subtle than I imagined.
WIC: How did you manage to match the beat so well to the movement? AM: I guess that's because all the ideas came listening to the song, without external references. I'm not the kind of director that put many references together to draw a visual collage, for me it's always an inner process. For me the most important thing is always to find a good concept for the lyrics, but then I try to adapt it to the feeling of the music as much as possible. In this case it came all together, as the first thing that came to my mind when I listened to the song was the octopus, so everything turns on that from the beginning. My brilliant editor Lluis Murua also helped in this regard, as he was very careful to get it so that every take would lead to the other.
WIC: What was it like working with an Octopus?? AM: I don't know if I should tell about it because it can break the illusion, but I can say that it wasn't at all as we expected. We had to buy them from a dutch supplier, so we couldn't see them previously. They only sent an image of the it with some approximated measurements. We asked for the bigger ones because they didn't look very large, but we never imagined they were sooooooo small. I couldn't believe it when I saw them for the first time, the same day of the shoot. I really thought it wouldn't work, but luckily we had rented some macro lenses and we took advantage of them. The only inconvenience was that we had to work in a much more subtle and detailed way regarding the light set and camera work. Due to the very limited budget we couldn't afford a proper animal trainer (I don't even know if there's something like that for octopusses!), so my genius art director Ivan Triviño and my never-falling AD Didac Meya did an improvised impression of ringmasters and finally we got to shoot everything we wanted in a very reduced timeframe. It certainly was the most fun part of the shoot.
WIC: Where did you get such great outfits from? AM: The stylist Brisa Salietti did a very extensive research to rental suppliers from Barcelona to look for a bodysuit that merged perfectly with the glittery make-up. It was difficult because I didn't want any kind of ornament on it, but she miraculously got it. As to the white latex one, we designed and manufactured it for the occasion.
Finally, I’d like to thank all the crew and everyone at Grayskull to make this project possible and my wife and son for their invaluable unconditional support.
WIC: Would you say choreography is becoming your niche within music video? AM: Honestly I feel very far from that idea! Clearly there's a lot of choreography involved in my last videos, and I guess that's because it lets me work in an abstract way and it also helps me to fit the music, but as I said the concept is always the most important thing for me, and if it asks for a choreography it's ok, but always using it in a complementary way, not for free. Finally, I'd like to thank all the crew and everyone at Grayskull to make this project possible and my wife and son for their invaluable unconditional support.