NEW MEDIA LTD, the Brooklyn-based directing collective consisting of Mike Anderson, Ryan Dickie, and Abigail Horton headline this week's Playlist.

Winners of the 2016 shots/CFP-E Young Director Award for their work on Yeasayer's I Am Chemistry [below], which also picked up a Graphite Pencil from D&AD, the trio have also worked with Softspot, Fort Lean and on Yeesayer's Silly Me.

What’s the best music video you’ve seen recently and why?

There are two music videos that have come out recently, and they’re both so stunning. May I Have This Dance by Francis and the Lights ft. Chance the Rapper. It’s so simple. All about performance and cinema with spot on lighting transitions, compositions, and camera movement. We love sequels and prequels in music videos, and this is such a nice nod to his video for Friends in regards to set design and movement -- but also totally stands alone.



And then of course bow down to Paul Thomas Anderson’s recent video Right Now for HAIM. It’s similar in that it’s simple and uses incredible performances and careful camera movement to be so effective. Music videos are the same to any type of cinema in that way – every moment calls for incredible performances by everyone on camera.



That said, Mike just saw Bon Jovi’s Runaway at an airport bar and it blew his mind.



What’s the first music video you remember being impressed by?

Abby: Khalil Joseph’s video for Flying Lotus, When the Quiet Comes was the first video that made me see music videos could be art and could make me really feel something. I mean, everyone loves this video, and it really ushered in a new form of visual storytelling.



Mike: [Michael Jackson] Thriller. I was a little kid. It scared the living shit out of me.



And what’s your all-time favourite music video?

Abby: I’ve been pretty obsessed with PTA’s Hot Knife video for Fiona Apple for the past few years, I’ll always go back and watch that when I need to be inspired. I also think Blaze’s Virile is perfect.


Mike: Thriller.  It’s like the Citizen Kane of music videos.



What other directors/artists do you look to for inspirational?

We go through a lot of films and books to find inspiration for our work.  There are definitely lots of inspiring folks making work today. Love watching anything by CANADA of course, Hiro Murai’s videos, Jake Shreirer. Spike Jonze’s videos are amazing of course, and it’s always inspiring to pour through his immense catalogue of music video work.


 Justice: New Lands (dir. Canada)


Outside of film, some recent inspo is: Shara Hughes and Jon Kessler at the Whitney Biennial, Benjamin Marra inks, and or our latest piece with Amanda Phelan were looking at Isamu Noguchi, Caitlin McBride, Trenton Doyle Hancock and Ellsworth Kelly.  Kerry James Marshall forever.  Other forevers are Chris Cunningham, Paul Thomas Anderson, Marcel Duchamp, Richard D James.


Rubber Johnny (dir. Aphex Twin, Chris Cunningham)


Why do you feel the shots/CFP-E YDA is so important for young directors?

The YDA is great because it’s bringing the work of younger directors into the spotlight and into different circles and crowds than our work would normally be. It’s a huge honour to be recognized amongst so many amazing other directors and pieces and the award has definitely gotten more eyes onto our work – which is why you make the work in the first place!



One year on, how has winning the shots/CFP-E YDA benefited your career?

It provides a legitimacy to the work.  It’s really wonderful to be recognised, and it’s also really helpful with prospective clients and collaborators to be able to point to this award and say: “look, we’re respected.  We can do this for you.”



What are you listening to at the moment?

Still can’t stop putting Kayatranada 99.9% on repeat.  And our friends SOFTSPOT newest album Clearing is really moving and moody. We did a video for them recently and were luckily obsessed with the song.  Demdike Stare, NxWorries, BADBADNOTGOOD, Kendrick Lamar, Aphex Twin.



What’s your favourite bit of tech, whether for professional or personal use?

We’re pretty teched out.  Octane Renderer is a game changer for CGI, and mobile VR is pretty mindblowing in its potential.  Accessible mocap with the Perception Neuron really reshaped our process.  Substance Painter is a killer painting app for 3D.  On set, we’re really practical: into camera effects using like prisms, magnifying glasses and super powerful but tiny flashlights.



What artist(s) would you most like to work with and why?

Frank Ocean, Sophie, and Flying Lotus are a few, off the top of our head. We love to collaborate with artists who take risks and have a strong individual voices.  We’ve been a fan of these artists for a while.



How do you feel the promo industry has changed since you started in it?

Big budget fluctuations of course.  Most interestingly, for a while it seemed like young indie bands were became very risk-averse, very image-conscious, right at the beginning of their careers. Seems like that’s fading away now, which is a really good thing: right at the beginning is where all the experimentation can actually happen.  Young bands sometimes try to be pro too fast, and they lose a lot of the raw energy.


 Yeasayer: Silly Me [dir. New Media LTD.]


Music videos have had a resurgence of late; where do you see the industry being in five years’ time?

We’re hoping for music videos to become more experimental in their delivery and storytelling formats. We’re really big fans of breaking up songs or using them in unexpected ways throughout a video. We’d love to see more of that.

There’s a very valid question about the purpose of music videos that can only be answered by delivering really beautiful works.  In 5 years, hopefully there’s a separation from the “lyric video” or the “I play this video just to hear the song” video from the more experimental and/or cinematic possibilities that a music video has. 

Music videos can be a really powerful expression of the artist and album, a la Beyoncé - but there’s a million ways to do that besides the means that Beyoncé uses.  Right now, the riskiest stuff seems to come from the A-listers at the top: but really, in 5 years, ideally, it’s being led from the bottom, as it should be.



Tell us one thing about yourself that most people won’t know…

Ry’s from the South, Abby’s from New England, and Mike’s Californian.  We’re like a big slice of American apple pie.




To find out more about the CFP-E/shots YDA, (which takes place from 3.30 today) and to buy tickets- click here.

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