tuned UP Special: Exclusive Interview with Nathan Lundquist, music video directorby Ryan G on Jul 23, 2012 • 10:33 am 1 Comment
In one sentence, give us the mission statement of Nathan William Media:
My mission statement is, “Nathan William Media, LLC. produces creative, meaningful, and high quality music videos, commercials, and films, that aim to challenge the norm and move the viewer.”
Is there a point in your life in which you can say the interest in film shifted from interest to career goal?
In my sophomore year of high-school I made my first film. It was a series of stop-motion animations that depicted people in their homes being attacked by household objects… it was therefore called, “A Series of Common Household Attacks.” It ended up winning “Best of Show” at my school’s film festival and that kind of started the ball rolling and it’s just been getting more serious and gaining momentum ever since.
You are becoming somewhat of a prolific music video director for midwest bands – did you fall into this or was this a goal all along?
Well, both. Like anybody I desire to make a living doing what I love, so I’ve definitely been strongly pursuing film-making and specifically music videos… but at the same time I have had opportunities all along the way that I cannot even remotely take credit for. So I basically said, “God, I really love doing this, and I want to continue to do this, would you please allow me to do this?” and so far he has made a way for me to do it. It’s pretty much that simple. I’m very thankful to God that he’s allowed me these opportunities, I feel like I’m constantly stepping back and feeling overwhelmed at all that he’s allowed me to do so far. Thanks Jesus.
OK, give me a memorable moment on set!
Oh man. When we were filming The Orphan, The Poet’smusic video “Invincible“ Dave Gutman (the lead actor) had to be in scenes where he was in trekking through the rain at night. Well, it was spring when we filmed and in general the weather was nice and warm… except for the day we had to film those scenes. So, Dave (a hero in by book) held up his lantern and buckled down while we blasted him with cold water in about 55º weather. The instant that we had the footage we needed Dave bolted inside our friends house and into a hot shower, fully clothed in his suit. The best part was that a week later we had to redo a shot… haha. Dave, your a champion of Maximus Decimus Meridius proportions.
Are there any hidden “easter eggs” in any work you’ve done, or any unplanned events that made it into a film? Want to tell us one (or three)?
Oh yeah. I love my easter eggs. I highly recommend reading the “Arson” news article in Wolves At The Gate’s music video for “Dead Man.” Also, if you look behind the article one of criminal record forms says, “sample” on the upper right hand corner… oops. One other one is in Wolves At The Gate’s other music video “Oh The Depths” there is one shot where Obadiah from RadioU is shredding the lead guitar instead of Jeremy [Steckel]… I’ll let you find that one on your own…
In recent months, have you been scouting projects or have clients been coming to you?
For the most part I’d say clients have been coming to me, but I’ve also pushed to direct music videos for bands whom I really love working with and want to support. So it’s a bit of both.
In today’s music industry, bands promoting themselves as a brand have become more and more prominent – one could argue music videos have become one of the prominent ways of accomplishing this. How do you react to this statement?
I absolutely agree. Music videos are a commercial for a product, that product being the band. Earlier on I thought, “Why on earth are music videos a good idea? Bands spend a ton of money on them and they then give them away for free!” but when I realized they’re a commercial it all made sense. The better and more moving and or interesting or unique the video, the more people pass it around online, and the more people see your commercial, the more people buy what you’re selling.
I always ask bands to name one positive thing and one negative thing they see occurring in today’s music industry – as someone involved in a different way, how would you respond?
Honestly, I have no idea. I just don’t think I’m involved enough in the actual industry to really know what’s going on or have a legitimate thought on the good or the bad. Haha. Sorry.
What has been your favorite project thus far?
My favorite project thus far has probably been my most recent video for Wolves At The Gate, “Dead Man.” It was not my favorite to shoot by any means because a lot of it was green screen which is super boring, but it has been my favorite to see come together in the end. I’m certainly most pleased with it, it was a big undertaking with plenty of risk that paid off.
Do you have a director/group you draw inspiration from?
One of my favorite videos is for “Coffee and TV” by Blur. And I’ve always appreciated Weezer’s videos, many of them are really clever. Another guy who does just killer work is a Canadian director who goes by the name Jodeb, his stuff is insane. For the most part I just love videos that you can tell have had some real outside-the-box thought, especially where it comes to good stories and storytelling. Another one is the Daniels’ who did “Simple Math” for Manchester Orchestra.
Most memorable piece of film you seen, music related or else?
I just saw The Dark Knight Rises so that’s currently on the brain… I loved it. One of my favorite music videos though is Underoath’s “Paper Lung” directed by Jodeb, it’s just really visually clever.
More information on his work can be found at the official site for NATHAN WILLIAM MEDIA.