On their official site, Yours Truly describe themselves as “a tight-knit family of friends, collaborators and creatives working together to discover and document, capture and catapult those artists whose craft without question demands our affection.”
We had a chance to sit down with Yours Truly founder and filmmaker, Will Abrahmson to talk about some of his favorite videos, the creative process and how the charming video for “Age” by Lianne La Havas came to fruition.
Seagate Creative: Let’s jump right in and talk about the Lianne La Havas video, “Age.” What was the process for making this clip?
Will Abrahmson: The making of the Lianne La Havas video was a crazy turn of events. We were scheduled to do a session at the abandoned zoo in LA and Lianne’s song called “Age” talks about falling in love with an older man.
So I was thinking, “Wouldn’t it be cool if I got some old guy to come dance with Lianne during this song?” Well, I found an old guy named Reggae Pops who is famous around LA for showing up to shows and dancing with people’s girlfriends. We’d just finished the acoustic set with Lianne when Reggae Pops shows up and Lianne starts screaming, “Reggae Pops, what are you doing here?” Turns out they’d danced together that Sunday at the legendary LA club, The Do-Over, and hit it off. One thing led to another and the next day we were shooting our very first music video starring Lianne and Reggae Pops.
Seagate Creative: What are some of your favorite Yours Truly videos?
WA: Recently, my favorites are: The GVB II video where we documented the second annual GVB festival, Twin Shadow, which was shot at George’s house in Silverlake, and Killer Mike because he was an incredible example of a modern southern gentleman.
Seagate Creative: How do you feel video impacts the translation of a song to the listener? What are your thoughts on performance video versus creative treatments?
WA: Sometimes it takes a video for a song to truly connect with its audience. “Thriller” for example wasn’t a hit at all until the video. Azealia Banks’ “212″ had gone unnoticed online for months until the video caught on and she blew up. A video has the ability to communicate an artist’s identity and sensibilities in ways that a track cannot. Sometimes the best way to do that is via a traditional music video, and sometimes it’s best to strip away everything except for the artist and their craft. Yours Truly typically chooses the latter.
Seagate Creative: Can you walk us through your creative process…how you decide if an idea is worth pursuing to the finished product?
WA: Much of our creative process is instinctual. A huge part of what we do, curation, is an expression of taste, and taste by nature is difficult to quantify. Our goal is to build trust with our audience and with artists. To build that trust we have to trust our vision and believe in our ability even when there are very few (if any) outside forces offering confirmation that a creative choice is the “right” one. So we experiment, and we dissect what went right and what went wrong from each project and try to learn from that next time.
Seagate Creative: What specific technique, muse or ritual do you use on a regular basis?
WA: Listening to music! Works every time.
Seagate Creative: In terms of gear and equipment, what has helped you discover or create a breakthrough in your art? Can you describe what happened?
WA: The breakthrough we experienced a few years ago was not unique to Yours Truly but one that filmmakers all over the world experienced at once and that’s the DSLR revolution. The proliferation of DSLR’s increased the quality of our content exponentially but it also leveled the playing field by creating a standard on which filmmakers were forced to innovate to stay ahead.
Seagate Creative: What’s one piece of advice you’d give an aspiring filmmaker to help them be creative or develop their ideas into art?
WA: Figure out exactly what you like, know it through and through. Then ask yourself why you like it? What do you like about it? Break it down and then challenge yourself to try something else.
Seagate Creative: What’s next from you that we can look forward to?
Seagate Creative: Thank you for the time, Will. We’ll definitely be on the look out for these projects.