Music

Good-strange new music video from Jeremy Liebman with Aurelien Arbet for My Best Fiend

Posted by Bryony Quinn,

The latest music video for My Best Fiend, Cracking Eggs, brilliantly choreographs curious mini-performances with everyday materials in a totally non-cringe and experimental way. Behind the curiousness is one of our favourite photographers, Jeremy Liebman, who has more than an eye for the immediate and so it’s always interesting to see him working with such premeditated aesthetics. And he has been working closely with French creative duo JSBJ, Aurelien Arbet and Jeremie Egry, to realise this strange and super engaging few minutes in which actual smoke and mirrors are used to excellent effect. We caught up with Jeremy to hear a little more about play and fruitful collaboration.

Hi Jeremy, how did the collaboration with the JSJB guys come about and what was the concept behind this music video?

Aurelien and I have worked together (along with Jeremie Egry, who also worked on the art direction for the video from Paris) on lookbooks and videos for Hixsept for about three years. I’ve always enjoyed collaborating with him, so asked him to work on the project with me. 

The concept grew from an initial conversation I had with the band where I pitched a completely abstract video – essentially, coloured light on a set. The band wanted a person to be involved, but they didn’t want to be in the video themselves. They liked the Probleme & Crepuscule video that I had done for Hixsept, so I started playing around with the idea of a figure in this non-specific dream-like space, which led me to a flat theatrical/silent film treatment which informed both the production design and the movements of the character, played by Cody Chandler.

I wanted a silent, pantomime style that would add to the artifice of the whole production, so I asked Cody to watch Kenneth Anger’s Rabbit’s Moon and Oskar Schlemmer’s Triadic Ballet.  I have an old book of Japanese stage and TV set design from the 1970’s that we looked at a lot to design the set, which Ian Savage of WARS built on a shoestring budget.

What can you tell us about the experimentation process with visual effects that you must’ve gone through?

I had to edit pretty quickly, so I didn’t experiment all that much. Aurelien and Jeremie created the borders that are used throughout, and the rest just sort of came about through trial and error. I didn’t want a story to come into play at any point, so I thought it was important to break up that impulse to make narrative sense of what’s happening on screen by short-circuiting the video with graphics.

How does the staging of a music video compare to the happenstance element that we’re familiar with in your photography work?

We had to do a lot of careful planning in advance, but once we got on set it was very loose and I encouraged Cody to improvise a lot. It was definitely more controlled than most of my personal photography, but there was still a big element of chance and I think it ties in to some of my more recent work with its awareness of the mechanics of sight & vision rather than captured moments or happenstance.

Portrait9

Posted by Bryony Quinn

Bryony was It’s Nice That’s first ever intern and worked her way up to assistant online editor before moving on to pursue other interests in the summer of 2012.

Most Recent: Film View Archive

  1. Haim

    This is great! Haim have actually had a really great back catalogue of videos so far, proving to everyone that this medium is still mega-important as to how a band is seen (Metronomy also do this well). Now I may not recognise many (any) of the trendy music names that star in this video, but what I do know a lot about is chat shows. The whole video is a pastiche of ubiquitous telly fodder like Jerry Springer, Jeremy Kyle and Oprah – the gross chairs, beige set-design and on-screen graphics that remind you of Saved by the Bell that we all know and love.

  2. List

    There can be no question that ballet is one of the most enrapturing art forms out there, but I sometimes wonder if the archetypal representation of the dance as graceful, pristine and effortless quite does justice to the physicality of it. How refreshing is it to watch a short film about a ballerina, that doesn’t airbrush over the fingerprints on the mirror, the beads of sweat on the shoulder blades, the tremble of a lip as a dancer exhales?

  3. List

    You know those CDs of whale music you can buy at the tills in garden centres? If, rather than listening to those, everybody in need of a couple of minutes of downtime halfway through the afternoon could just take the time to watch The Ridge, the world would be much, much better place. It’s kind of a spectacular bit of filmmaking; filmed for Camp4 Collective in Denali National Park, Alaska, the camera sweeps across mountains buried in fluffy snow, rocky ridges brandishing over barren expanses of white and mountain faces that look curiously like old men’s faces (watch out for the moustachioed bloke at 1.40).

  4. List

    You know how it is; you’re filming your latest music video, taking instructions from cue cards administered by an overbearing director when suddenly he’s distracted and is no longer showing you what to do. Do you stop what you’re doing and risk looking like a chump or just keep on dancing until the next cue card flashes up? This is the great existential debate at the heart of Ninian Doff’s latest video for Peace, which sees him taking this line of inquiry to extremes; crashing cars and terrorising families in the process. Fun times!

  5. List

    It’s always fascinating to see how different cultures take certain musical genres and shape them into something quite unique depending on what they adopt and what they re-imagine from the original. Scene Unseen is a new video series from Bose and Vice which explores this phenomenon through three examples; indie in Mexico, electronica in India and dancehall in Japan which is the subject of the first film.

  6. Main8

    Is anyone else slightly unnerved by how happy Bill Callahan has been of late? His songs no longer deal with loneliness and somewhat terrifying obsession and now dwell on nicer, every day things such as driving in the car with your loved one as a snoozing pillion passenger. Yes I know it’s nicer to listen to songs about that sort of thing, but I kind of miss wigging out to some of his earlier classics where he would, for example, go into stark lyrical detail about arranging a woman’s lingerie into the shape of a little dolly on the bed while she’s out.

  7. List

    Every friendship has its issues. A mate I used to live with once cooked baked beans in a wok; a culinary move so baffling that I can feel the irritation welling up every time I see him (it’s now seven years after the incident). Maybe we should have gone to therapy, because it seems to be working for Daryl and Joe, the stars of this terrific unscripted web series. In each short clip the pair discuss something about the other person they believe affects their relationship; from drinking to punctuality and a racist dog to an inability to pronounce a sister’s name properly. It’s the kind of thing the web does so well; giving life to content that couldn’t really live anywhere else. It might, might, even help me get over wok-gate.

  8. Main8

    Pretty much anything created in the style of an old video game is fine by us. This partiuclar pixel art music video created by animator Mattis Davier is a thrilling, erotic voyage into creepy suburbia where we’re faced with a Twin Peaks style horror story and a lot of visuals that kind of remind me personally of the Are You Afraid of The Dark? intro.

  9. List

    Lana Del Rey is something of an opinion splitter in the studio, so it’s with great relish that we’re posting her highly-anticipated new video for Ultraviolence. In a glorious twist from the super long epic Tropico that she released in December, it’s incredibly lo-fi and brings to mind that first video for Video Games. Directed to feel like a home video made by her husband on their wedding day, it focuses pretty heavily on Lana herself; putting her veil on, eating an orange and walking to the church. Whatever you think of it, it’ll likely make you long to whack out a Super 8 camera and start writhing around in a wedding dress. Which, let’s face it, we all want to do secretly.

  10. List

    Jack Featherstone, Hans Lo and Simian Mobile Disco have long collaborated on music videos for the band’s singles, using highly complex analogue techniques to generate visuals that complement each song. But their latest offering may well be the most complex yet. Six months in the making, Tangents features live-generated digital imagery fed through an oscilloscope. The guys filmed, it, manipulated it and then knitted it all together into a four minute epic that builds from monochromatic morse dots and dashes to a full-blown crescendo of strobed psychedelia.

  11. Main

    I love how Beck is always pushing the boat out and doing something that bit more creative than other recording artists. Remember when he released stickers with his album so you could design your own CD artwork? Or that time he discussed the meaning of creativity with Doug Aitken for his show at the Liverpool Biennial? Or his astonishing Song Reader? Exactly.

  12. List

    We’ve all seen paper process films – all sun-dappled mills and babbling brooks – but we’ve never seen anything quite like Ben Stevenson and Made Thought’s jaw-dropping Bright Red for G . F Smith Colorplan. Borrowing more from the vernacular of horror than the usual creative fare, it’s an super-intense journey into the heart, and art, of making paper. Ben’s film was premiered at a series of Colour In Context events last month which took place in London, Manchester and Edinburgh. Each evening saw three speakers talk about how colour influences and inspires their practice, and you can now enjoy all the talks below. It’s Nice That was proud to media partner with G . F Smith for the series, on which we were able to work with some of our favourite creatives.

  13. Main

    What’s more terrifying than a street gang? I’ll tell you, a Maori gang called the Mighty Mongrel Mob. In this haunting short film by filmmaker and photographer Tom Gould we are thrown into the personal history of famed Mighty Mongrel Mob gang member Martyka Brandt, whose tattoo-covered and weathered face speaks volumes of his turbulent life. In this short film we learn about the perils of being in a gang like the Mongrel Mob, the near-death experiences Martyka has escaped, and how a man can truly turn his life around to something rather magical indeed.