Author Archive: Alex Bec

Ab-300

Alex is one of the directors of It’s Nice That who now oversees our sister creative agency INT Works. For several years he oversaw the Monday Morning Music Video feature until it came to an end in 2014.

ab@itsnicethat.com

1105 articles
  1. List

    Before stumbling across Burning Questions I have to admit I wasn’t that familiar with New York-based designer James Victore’s impressive repertoire. His talents and projects span the creative disciplines making him part designer, part activist, part curator, part motivational speaker and (in this case) part agony aunt.

  2. Nirvana_unplugged

    Usually at Christmas I get a bit nostalgic with this slot; historically I’ve posted Wham!, Bing Crosby and David Bowie, so you’d be forgiven for thinking another Christmas classic was due. This year however, calls for a more serious bit of nostalgia, in the shape of one of the most memorable sets of music I’ve ever heard.

  3. List

    Anyone who’s read It’s Nice That for a while knows I’ve got a real soft spot for lo-fi videos of people dancing. I don’t know why I love them so much, but there’s something about the complete joy of seeing someone dancing without overly-produced choreography that really appeals. Anyway, the latest one to seduce me is this from Blood Orange, directed by the fantastic (and expertly-named) Alan Del Rio Ortiz. Stay warm!

  4. Main9

    The lyric video is a bit of a new phenomenon, but has given creatives confident with typography the opportunity to really strut their stuff. U2’s latest is beautifully penned and filmed by New York based creatives Oliver Jeffers (yes you probably recognise his handwriting) and filmmaker Mac Premo. Aptly shot, seductive type and some handy location scouting make this a beauty. Check it out here on Facebook.

  5. Weareshining

    Now I’m not usually one to quote press releases, but when a phrase as juicy as “a global party where everyone is dancing along to the end of the world” crops up, it begs to be repeated. The phrase is used to describe We Are Shining’s debut single directed by the Mill+’s fabulously talented Carl Addy and the video really doesn’t disappoint. The three minutes sees a tumblr exploration of hundreds of psychedelic, schizophrenic GIFs spliced together for an overall effect that literally had me on my feet. This single-handedly proves the worth of a stunning music vid to draw attention to new music – I for one cannot wait to hear what’s next for We Are Shining.

  6. Main

    This weekend the clocks went back in the UK, meaning the start of a stretch of pitch-black mornings and frosty evenings to keep us company until well into the new year. Usually, this would also mean the death of morning runs and fitness regimes, but the Dirty Projects are here to save us. Instead of rolling over and hitting snooze on that alarm clock, wack the dirty projectors in your ears and pretend you’re running through Yellowstone National Park, like this lucky chap. Breathtaking, impeccably timed stuff from Adam Newport Berra.

  7. List

    This week ahead of taking up his new role as visiting creative director at Wolff Olins, It’s Nice That director Alex Bec asks whether a wide range of influences is an imperative part of the creative process or a distraction. As ever you can add your thoughts using the thread below…

  8. Main

    First you’ll try and work out how on earth Andrew Huang has managed to make the movement in this video so beguiling; stop frame? CGI? Magic? Then you’ll start forgetting that and become completely enthralled by the beautifully undulating landscapes before finally feeling totally inadequate by the sheer quality of what you’ve just watched. Well, you will do if you’re anything like me. Stunning stuff from a supremely talented director.

  9. Kitgrill

    Don’t ask me why this works, it doesn’t matter. Also don’t ask me who made this, that also doesn’t matter. All you do need to know is that NTS DJ and producer Kit Grill is making beautiful music and someone out there has found some totally entrancing old cycling footage to set it against. Stunning.

  10. List

    At first I couldn’t quite work out whether Tom Kenney’s new music video for Shit Robot was a too-easy-to-be-good stylistic cop-out, or a beautifully simple accompaniment to a great track. I’ve erred on the side of the latter, and ladies and gents, here it is – a guy who’s skin has turned into space. Have a great week.

  11. Quasi

    There’s nothing I like more than a completely inexplicable music video, and this is from the top drawer. Even though I’ve sat through it four or five times now, I’ve still no idea why all of these snippets of moving image have been spliced together, I still also have no idea who is behind the madness, but you know what, I don’t think I care.

  12. Nabil

    This week I was spoilt for choice for a music video. First, I was woo-ed by the jovial new Arctic Monkeys effort but it couldn’t match up to this absolutely brilliant piece for Jay-Z’s Higher. So, imagine how excited I was to hear that even though their characters are polar opposite, both were made by the insanely talented Australian director Nabil. To describe the above as a music video doesn’t do it the justice it deserves, so sit back and let this six minute short suck you in and spit you out entranced.

  13. Krule

    With lyrical prowess as sure-footed as: “I know I should’ve kept my receipt, cos this sandwich yeah, it’s been off for a week,” Archy Marshall (AKA King Krule) has never, in his short career failed to spell-bind his listeners. His sometimes slightly awkward, aggressively spat compositions aren’t for everyone – but then you find out his psyeudonym is inspired by computer game character King K. Rool (from Nintendo’s classic Donkey Kong) and you can’t help but be sold. As for Easy Easy, his latest single shot by L.A’s Focus Creeps, the combination of reckless cricket bat wielding, hazily filmed memories, oversized suits and lens flare prove to be the most unlikely yet perfectly formed medley.

  14. Washedout

    I always found zoos a soberingly disappointing affair as a child. Not only did you see first hand that these animals were actually couped up in cupboard-sized pens, but also you could never get the view you wanted. Being less than six feet tall always made trying to see some monkey magic or spontaneous penguin cuteness an impossibility so my thanks go out to Kate Moross for creating this beauty for Washed Out and perfectly summing up THE zoo view I always wanted. Personal childhood angst over, now go and let those
    colour-rich close ups erode the bad times.

  15. List

    It was a mere fortnight ago when live on stage at our Here 2013 Symposium directors Canada treated us to a behind-the-scenes look at their latest video for French band Phoenix. So, it’d be rude of me not to make sure the video was front and centre on its arrival into the public realm. The content of the video itself is an indie masterpiece – with everything shot in camera, with film crews rushing around the set to make each cut visible to the next. To be honest, just reading this post is destroying the magic the guys had on stage, so save me the embarrassment and just watch it. Genius!

  16. Skater

    I’m a terrible ice-skater and am in awe of anyone who can even stand up on skates, let alone fling themselves around the stupidly slippery surface. Which may explain why I love this new promo for Pissed Jeans’s latest single Romanticize Me so much. Not only do we have a simple little narrative, but also some mad ice skills set to a brilliantly heavy accompaniment — well done Joe Stakun.

  17. List_08.27.28

    We’ve all seen that Youtube video where the American guy cuts loads of bottles with a sword/other sharp things right? Well if you were hankering for more (I know I was) then Wavves are here to help you out. Surely influenced by the brilliant viral, director Brandon Dermer has set new single That’s On Me to a more professionally produced version of the original concept with some stunning results (for our more squeamish/vegetarian readers, beware the last 90 seconds that get decidedly meaty).

  18. Youngsummer

    I’d imagine director Ivan Grbovic believes in doing things well, or just not at all. His latest video for Young Galaxy is a painstakingly created slow-mo CGI romp through the end of the world, set to the band’s dulcet tones. Now I’m as much of a fan of the tongue-in-cheek, lo-fi, low-budget music video as the next man, but when belters like this come along it reminds me how apt a full-on cinematic journey can be for the right piece of music. Hats tipped Ivan.

  19. Holden

    One of the real keys to getting music video creation right is to appreciate and respect the tune you’re accompanying; to add a layer of understanding, rather than distract from the musical main event. Jack Featherstone’s latest animated effort (alongside Will Samuel) for Holden does exactly that, accompany the “appetite-whetting arpeggio extravaganza” with beautifully expressive and honest animated hieroglyphics that feel as though they were born with the track. Jack’s behind all of the visuals for Holden’s upcoming The Inheritors, so watch this space for some more where this came from.

  20. Iamunchien

    Going to see BUG is a music video fan’s dream. Comfy seating, a big screen and two hours of the brilliant Adam Buxton selecting and chatting through some of his favourite videos, and last week’s show threw up this gem. Directed by the mysterious (I can’t find out much about him) Panteros666 for French band I Am Un Chien we see a super-simple idea executed with aplomb. Take some actions of wild animals, get the band members to try and impersonate them as accurately as possible, and set them up as a split screen. Voilà! Promo perfection.

  21. Kanye

    Who said that the only way to get your music out was through the internet? Whoever it was obviously didn’t speak to Kanye West, who this weekend, ‘premiered’ his single New Slaves onto 66 different public buildings across the globe. Bystanders from Brooklyn to Sydney gawped at an oversized, front-on depiction of one of the most powerful men in music for the duration of his latest single – and the raw, personal effect has led to a ripple of individual anecdotes being spread internet-wide. Smart.

  22. Ghostpoet

    Last week London’s Ghostpoet released his second record, Some Say I So I Say Light and as we’ve come to expect, gritty, sombre tones are present throughout. The first single from the album, Meltdown has had its promo directed by LA-based director Dave Ma – and the aptness of the video to the track is a rare treat. A snap-shot split-screen of two young relationships should, on paper, be nothing to write home about, but there’s something so oddly compelling about it that it drew me in completely.

  23. Atrak

    We’ve seen lots of Fischli & Weiss inspired chain reactions in creative work over the last few years, so this latest one for A-Trak & Tommy Trash’s Tuna Melt should be a total non-event. However, the charms of Kinetic King’s (AKA Tim Fort) unbelievable patience makes this one something to write home about, demonstrating that compelling content is a brilliant way to stop the viewer’s pesky skipping finger. The big final reveal had me literally laughing out loud (also, for the cynics – it turns out they really did do it.).

  24. Donottouch

    Today’s music video is a little later in the day than usual – so that we can bring you an exclusive first look at a brilliant new video from Moniker. Somewhere between music video and video game, Do Not Touch invites the viewer to use their mouse pointer to complete various tasks, from staying in a certain area of the screen, to avoiding a naked model and being the opponent for a scantily clad boxer. Beautifully simple and super effective as we’ve come to expect from Moniker – and I’m sure Dutch band Light Light are suitably thrilled. Get touching.

  25. Cat_power_manhattan

    We’re used to seeing the music video treated as a canvas for creative experiment. With clever visual tricks, left-field concepts and weird storylines par for the course now, I felt Cat Power’s simple new video for Manhattan was worthy of note. Set (aptly) in Manhattan we see Cat hanging out, goofing around on the subway and singing from out of a sunroof (I’m guessing) through one of America’s most recognisable landscapes without a surprise in sight. A music video for the purists, thanks Greg Hunt.

  26. Django

    What you may have known about Django Django is that they’re a great Britsh indie rock outfit who met in Scotland. What you almost definitely didn’t know if that they’re obsessed with the infamous Indian Well of Death riders in Allahabad. So, the guys pitched up at Noisey HQ, cap in hand and asked if they’d help them film their latest video with this odd obsession as the backdrop. As always (being a Vice channel) the video content is the kind of stuff to make any online platform green with envy and is the perfect accompaniment for a blinding record. Good vibes all round.

  27. Sledge

    If I needed any more tempting to drop everything and jump on a flight to New York, The Museum of the Moving Image have just given me a great reason. The smart people over in Queens have been putting together Spectacle – the first ever museum exhibition to celebrate “the art and history of the music video”, which opens early next month. The romp through the last 35 years of vids will showcase over 300 videos, artifacts, and interactive installations – and of course (my personal all-time favourite) Peter Gabriel’s Seldgehammer for your Monday Morning pleasure.

  28. Suuns

    When it comes to flicking through Canadian visual artist Sabrina Ratté’s portfolio of moving image work, you’re never quite sure where you are. The glitchy mix of analogue and digital techniques leave plenty of room for both carefully conceived and beautifully serendipitous outcomes that probably resemble the inner workings of her brain. Regardless, who cares what they look like when they’re as magic as they are? Oh yeah, the point of this article was to tell you all to watch her latest video for Suuns – sorry that took so long to get to. Enjoy!

  29. Afp

    We’ve never made any secret of our love for director Garth Jennings here at It’s Nice That HQ, and having gone cold turkey since 2011’s Lotus Flower, I’m thrilled to be able to post a new video from the man himself. Sticking with his good mate Thom Yorke, Garth has pieced together a beautifully coreographed dance-off between the main man and the even more beguiling Fukiko Takase. The video’s simplicity makes it almost pointless to describe, so I won’t, but immerse yourself in four minutes of gorgeousness.

  30. Jackwhite

    Jack White’s Tennessee-based record label Third Man Records have released their fair share of exotic formats; from glow-in-the-dark 45s to 13" ‘Texas’ size LPs, so it’s unsurprising to see them pushing the bar again. This time, Jack’s cheekily sandwiched a 7" inside a 12" to conceal a secret track that can only be found by cracking open the original vinyl. Whether you’re a fan of the man’s music or not, I think we can all learn from experimentation of tangible formats to keep them as extra special as we’ve always known they were.

  31. Grace

    There are so many reasons to post this 1986 classic this morning. Firstly, it’s a banger – drenched in 80s soft focus and colour. Secondly, Keith Haring draws a massive 60 ft dress for her to wear (3 minutes seven seconds), and the anniversary of his death was on Saturday. Thirdly, Andy Warhol’s in it (36s) looking amazing. And finally, doesn’t that blue backdrop at the beginning twinned with powerful black songstress remind you of the incredible new Gentlewoman cover?

  32. Andrec

    It’s common knowledge that music video budgets have been tight for some time now. So, when presented with such an unabashed exploration of techniques, scenes, and casting all in four and a half minutes you have to stand up and take note. Having only graduated from The Norwegian Film School in 2010, director André Chocron has created something beyond his years that I’m sure will do the band wonders in the PR game. Hell, even if it’s not your cup of tea – where else will you find a video with underwater dancers followed by skateboarding businessmen?

  33. Niceideaeveryday

    With all this hoo-ha over Vine this week, I was reminded of how brilliant A Nice Idea Every Day were at the much spotlighted simple gif-like moving image technique. To my delight I found their new-ish promo showing off their now trademark stereoscopic technique for Bring me the Horizon, and it’s a belter. Forget what you’re watching on Vine – these guys wrote the book on engrossing repetition of still imagery.

  34. Daddy

    On Friday we were lucky enough to be visited by the fantastic D.A.D.D.Y (Design, Animaton, Design, Design, Yay) all the way from Dublin, and were spellbound. Every piece of their work whether a hard-hitting Red Cross campaign, one of their stunning self-written short films, or in this case a music video – is soaked in good humour and ingenious technique.

  35. List

    Turns out that it’s nearly the end of January and true to form I haven’t kept up my New Year’s fitness regime. What I need is an excuse to get active, a creative cardio session that makes me think I’m having fun but I’m actually doing exercise. Bang! Voila! Here it is in the shape of Dutch Uncles front man Duncan Wallis doing his thing with some supremely satisfying timing. See ya later physio, I’m hanging out with Duncan!

  36. John_m

    I don’t need much of an excuse to write about the fantastic Django Django, but John Maclean has given me a brilliant one. First, I enjoyed watching the beautifully shot promo for Hand of Man, complete with absurd picnic cutaway (skip to 1:25s all you impatients), but my real joy came in discovering that the director is not only the brother of DD’s drummer, but even more importantly was part of timeless indie heros the Beta Band. If that wasn’t exciting enough, I then learnt that John also was nominated for a BAFTA for his short film Pitch Black Heist, starring Michael Fassbender. John, sorry for being totally naive to your being – I hope this post goes some way to stopping others also being blindfolded.

  37. Toro

    We know Chaz Bundick (aka Toro Y Moi) has a keen eye for beautiful things, as we found out he trained as a graphic designer in our feature with him in Issue #6 of our magazine. So, whenever a new video lands on our doormats with his name on it, we’re always excited. Say That is no exception, and sees Chaz occupy various different locales in a rather fetching orange jumper. No, you’re right it doesn’t sound too riveting, but combine the stunning art direction (well done Cooper Rodgers) with his dulcet tones and brilliant directing from The Harry’s and you have yourself a fine piece of film to kick off 2013.

  38. Wham

    So here we are, another year of weekly music videos passes, and it’d be rude not to finish on a stone-cold classic. Last year I got away with posting Bowie and Bing’s beauty and this year I’ve Whammed up the cheesy Yuletide warmth with Last Christmas.

  39. Sigur_ros

    This weekend saw the end of Sigur Rós’ Valatari film experiment; an initiative wherein the band gave 12 film makers free rein and a little dough to create a short film for one of the tracks from their album of the same title. Some great names have donned their headphones and created brand new work, including Ramin Bahrani, Alma Har’el and John Cameron Mitchell. The final piece of the jigsaw is a beautifully shot dialogue between a father and daughter and regardless of your liking for art-house narrative, can’t help but leave you wowed by its sheer good looks. I know, I know, it’s 12 minutes long and you’re very busy in the run up to Christmas, but I urge you find time to sit down and enjoy this and the rest of the series properly.

  40. Main

    I’ve always associated Flying Lotus’ output with an astute visual confidence since seeing Timothy Saccenti’s brilliant photographs for Cosmogramma pt.1 . So on seeing their latest video, directed by David Lewandowski I wasn’t surprised that it was easy on the eye. Having a lead star in Elijah Wood is never going to harm to profile of a video like this, but the promo’s aesthetic aptness that makes it so memorable. To start, the coming together of tiny fragments to make Elijah’s bionic arm instantly links beautifully to the music it accompanies and continues to keep you enthralled throughout. One to watch.