A loving homage to Japanese anime that hits a sweet spot between cinematic and comic book.
Nicholas Lam, director: From childhood, I’ve always been drawn to Japanese anime. The storylines, epic action and stylized emotion that only seemed possible in such a singular medium. Influenced by older shows like Saint Seiya, Ghost In The Shell, Trigun, Evangelion, Cowboy Bebop and Rurouni Kenshin to more recent series like Black Lagoon, Guilty Crown, Parasyte and Psycho Pass, once lockdown hit Los Angeles and everyone was scrambling for unique ideas to keep creating content, I knew it was my chance to pitch anime even though my whole portfolio had only ever been live-action.
Drawing inspiration from the aforementioned shows for the anime style, while also paying homage to Final Fantasy VII (still the greatest video game ever) and Akira for the gritty cyberpunk world, this is my love letter to anime, while likewise incorporating my passion for American muscle cars, Japanese sport bikes, hyper-stylized combat and strong narratives, all drowned in a hazy, orange summer sunset — my favorite time of day.
I absolutely have to hand it to the folks at Point Five Creations for truly going above and beyond what everyone else told me could not be done on the budget and timeline. I’m particularly proud of working with them not only because they’re all Chinese animation artists, bringing their own style to the traditionally Japanese anime genre, but because I spent seven years growing up in Hong Kong myself, and so this just feels like the perfect amalgamation of influences from past and present.
Shania Twain releases might not be as frequent as other country superstars, but she's clearly paying attention to what's cool thanks to this collaboration with the mysterious alt-country star Orville Peck and director Cameron Duddy, who also plays bass in Midland. The stylized video itself takes place at a magical movie drive-in, which once would have been considered retro, but is now as timely as ever in these Corona times.
Even when it's raining daggers in a futuristic dystopia — created with notable film director Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, Machete) — the diva duo of Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande are able to dance their way to joyous release.
Sometimes it takes next level mediation to get a great rock band back to rocking. And if that fails, you can try hallucinogens and next level spirituality as a way to see the stacks of cash in the distance.