Smuggler

Vic Mensa f/ Wyclef Jean, Chance The Rapper "Shelter" (Andre Muir, dir.)

Bodies everywhere in this personal and poignant commentary on our current world situation.

Andre Muir, director: This video was deeply personal and stemmed from a tragedy in my life and in a way was my way with dealing with grief. I originally pitched a few different ideas to Vic Mensa, that he wasn’t really into. The ideas weren’t really there and I guess Vic could tell. We have known each other for more than a decade now, so I guess he could tell there was a level of distraction there and he had challenged me to make something based on what’s on my mind. My mother had just passed due to COVID 19 and we decided we would make something dedicated to her. I’m really thankful to him for allowing me to take his song and really make it something so much more personal...

When coming up with the idea, I knew I wanted it to be a social commentary and a critique on what was going on around us, but I couldn’t exactly narrow what exactly we wanted to critique, who was to blame? Who were the bad guys, who’s our antagonist? Who’s at fault. We knew we didn’t want to blame the victims, blame their habits or blame their lifestyles? You can’t blame essential workers or the elderly? That’s when we kind of realized what was at the heart of this video. It was this idea: “COVID’s not the disease, it’s the symptom.” – Of course, COVID is a disease but it is doing exactly what a virus is designed to do. The people dying from COVID, the essential workers, the elderly, the people with bad health – they are dying because they are victims to the socio-economic system that failed them. Most of the victims of COVID are people with underlying health issues, health issues that couldn’t be addressed because they didn’t have access to healthcare. Or their essential workers that couldn’t stay home and safe during the pandemic. These are all victims of bad infrastructure. They're just victims of being forgotten, being insignificant. COVID in a way was just the straw that cracked the camel’s back." [via press release]

Glass Animals "Tokyo Drifting" (rubberband., dir.)

A multi-media video that's inspired by 90's-fighter-video games, stop motion animation and comic books.

rubberband., directors:  "We had a lot of fun taking outdated processes (everything from 16mm long exposure stop-animation to step printing) and blending them together in a relatively post heavy way. There’s a lot of vfx in the video that you wouldn’t notice outright. We sort of loved the idea of taking what most people would consider laughably old school and bringing it to life with people who are used to working with slick, CG heavy imagery. We just wanted to make something that translated all these influences and references into something original. And we feel pretty good about where we landed.

However long you plan to shoot stop motion, we’d recommend making it longer."

Leon Bridges "River" (Miles Jay, dir.)

There's a peaceful sound from Leon Bridges' guitar and voice in his motel room, but it's violence and harsh realities out on the streets. But, hope is there if you choose to find it, even if it's via a garden hose baptism or just finding some solace with your loved ones.

Leon Bridges: "A river has historically been used in gospel music as symbolism for change and redemption. My goal was to write a song about my personal spiritual experience. It was written during a time of real depression in my life and I recall sitting in my garage trying to write a song which reflected this struggle. I felt stuck working multiple jobs to support myself and my mother. I had little hope and couldn’t see a road out of my reality. The only thing I could cling to in the midst of all that was my faith in God and my only path towards baptism was by way of the river.

When thinking about how to best visually represent this universal battle, I reflected on the depiction of black communities in our media and particular experiences within my own life. This video showcases the unique struggle many black men and women face across this country. However, unlike the captured images which tend to represent only part of the story, I wanted to showcase that through all the injustice, there's real hope in the world.

I want this video to be a message of light. I believe it has the power to change and heal those that are hurting." [via Facebook]