Noise rap trio, clipping, debuted their latest video this week for the CLPPNG track “Get Up”, the third for the group from director Carlos Lopez Estrada (and in this case, co-director Cristina Bercovitz). We here at Sub Pop HQ have been blown away by the quality, creativity, and ingenuity displayed by Estrada and clipping in the videos that they have worked on together, first “Work, Work”, then “Inside Out”, and now with “Get Up”, that we decided we wanted to hear from the director. We sent him a few questions and he was kind enough to answer them.
Sub Pop: Tell us a bit about how you became the sort of guy who makes music videos for experimental noize rap trios like clipping.. Like, did you go to school for film? Are you friends with the clipping. dudes? How do I get your job? Ignore any and or all of that, Carlos.
Carlos Lopez Estrada: I’ll try to answer all of your questions here. I’ll try my best. I did go to school for film, and that is precisely how I met Jonathan (1/3 of clipping). He scored one of my short films and we somehow managed to stay in touch through the years. I knew he made weird music but I somehow never heard any of it until clipping came to be. Of course, it blew my mind. The rest is history? I guess you get my job by having friends who make weird things and convincing them to let you make weird things with them. In terms of being friends with the dudes, I like to think that is the case, but you should probably confirm with them. (Don’t think I won’t check on this – Ed)
SP: Do you typically collaborate with the artists you work with when creating music video treatments?
CLE: As much as they let me. Making videos for clipping is a complete unorthodox experience, though. Working with them has been a true blessing because the guys are extremely intelligent, absolutely fearless and always appreciative of the work that goes into their videos. We met once for coffee and they were very specific about what they *didn’t* want in their videos, then they pretty much trusted me to do whatever I wanted. It was quite remarkable.
SP: The videos for “Work Work” and “Inside Out” seem to follow the same character through a linear timeline. Was this intentional when you initially created the treatment for “Work Work” (the first of the two), or did the idea come later? Will there be a future installment of the headless MC?
CLE: It is all part of a master plan that I am unfortunately not able to talk much about, for both yours and my safety. All I can say is that those 2 videos are the top of the tip of an iceberg; and it is actually more like a glacier, rather than an iceberg. (Sounds juicy. No, sounds icy. - Ed)
SP: Your visual interpretation of clipping.’s “Get Up” is both heavy and beautiful and feels like it makes the song even more culturally impactful than it already was. What brought you to gunshot wound on the street?
CLE: Well, thank you very much. Cristina Bercovitz deserves as much credit here because the idea was hers as much as it was mine (we co-directed the video). The guys knew that “Get Up” was our favorite track in the album so rather than asking us to pitch against each other, they thought it would be a good thing for us to work together on the video. That is how magical Clipping is. Now, this is one of those songs that should perhaps not ever have a video, so agreeing to move forward was difficult, to say the least. We went through many many potential ideas and ended up with the most simple of them all, which seemed to do justice to the way the band approached the music. Our only goal was to present an absolute honest representation of how we interpreted the song, both musically and emotionally. Hopefully someone out there will agree that we did. Do those last few sentences even make any sense? Probably not.
SP: Any advice for aspiring filmmakers and/or video directors?
CLE: Don’t do it! (Sounds like someone’s afraid of a little competition - Ed.)