With the year shaping up nicely for great ideas executed to perfection, e.g. the reason Word Is Cheap exists, we shouldn’t be surprised one bit that when Nelson de Castro and Carlos Lopez Estrada team up this is what happens. This is the kind of video that non-music-video lovers share around, general creative types that pop in from time to time and say “did you see this music video??” We love those guys.
With the two Doomsday directors both firm favourites in their own right over here at Word Is Cheap we had to find out a little more. How did they come to direct together? Oh so many questions. Oh such funny answers. Enjoy.
Word Is Cheap: How did it come to be that you both worked in a directing partnership?
NDC: We’ve been helping each other for a while, sometimes Carlos edits for me, sometimes I art direct for him. We’re always sending each other ideas and thought it made sense to team up.
CLE: What Nelson said.
WIC: There’s a lovely mix of Nelson’s in-camera tricks and Carlos’ post effects, was this a conscious effort?
CLE: I don’t think so. Nelson and I have strangely similar, almost identical ideas, which is both cool and scary. It’s nice to work with him because we can be lazy and do only half the work, with the same results.
NDC: What Carlos said. (both laugh)
WIC: Always being late for the bus ourselves we can’t help but feel the premise is based on real life experiences, what does the bus represent to you?
CLE: I did take the school bus every single day for over 10 years – and I do have a serious punctuality problem – so this is probably a materialization of all of my traumas.
NDC: I was definitely late more than I was on time in high school. I guess we were mining some deep issues.
CLE: We should send the video to one of those people who analyze dreams.
WIC: The mysterious yet hard hitting ending is perfect, that feeling of being lost, young people often feel. Is there a definitive narrative in your head?
CLE: I wouldn’t say there’s a definite narrative, but hopefully an interesting thematic thing going on. Something about aging and the passage of time. Should we not say that? Ok. I take it back. There is a definite narrative, but we just can’t tell you, because it is a secret. Is that more intriguing?
NDC: It’s more about a progression than a narrative, even if the kid seems to be stuck in a hamster wheel. I think we’re both fans of repetition, and the monotony that results.
CLE: It’s about Nelson’s childhood.
WIC: Was it tough getting the perfect take with so many people to direct in a small space and short sequence? Was there one group in particular that just couldn’t get it / consistently nailed it?
CLE: This shoot was pretty wild. Zach Wechter, our good friend and producer, deserves a shout-out here because he managed to put this insane cast together, which honestly, seemed impossible. He called his high school principal back home and convinced him to let us use their football team and cheerleaders in our video. I don’t think I’m answering your question at all.
NDC: Yes huge props to Zach! And to the head coach/preacher for taking on some ridiculous lip sync on short notice.
CLE: That is actually our friend’s dad. I couldn’t believe he agreed to learn those lyrics. There is some real dirty stuff in there.
WIC: It’s hard to pick but what’s your favourite bit in the video?
NDC: Upside down pass! Love the simplicity of the effect.
CLE: I’ve been teaching a film class at a non-profit film school and we got my entire class to appear in the video, so I’m going to have to say that the student scenes were especially fun to shoot.
WIC: What would it take to get you two to direct together again?
CLE: Someone to buy into our treatments! Hire us, guys!
WIC: Bloody love the video and so does every else over here. So so good! Thanks guys!
Nelson & Carlos: Thank YOU!